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Tool Hound Favorites: Nail Jack Nail Puller

comments (0) July 29th, 2011 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

Click To Enlarge Photo:

Today's favorite tool was generously contributed by friend, and fellow tool junkie/writer, Marc Lyman. Marc is Editor and Diabolical Mastermind behind, a tool and home improvement site that is almost as informative as it is entertaining:

"Up until last year, whenever I had a nail to pull I'd reach for one of two tools: a hammer, or a "cat's paw" style nail  puller. Unfortunately, neither tool was really ideal. Let's face it, a hammer is really designed to get nails into wood, and a cat's paw puller can be challenging to get under nail heads, especially brads. Both tools work on rough carpentry, but tend to be pretty destructive to the wood around them, making them a poor choice for finer work. I have sometimes tried to salvage a piece of wood by removing the nails, only to have it look like a drunken beaver randomly attacked it.

Luckily, a chance discovery at the 2010 National Hardware Show led me to Nail Jack tools.

I reviewed several of their models (they have Nail Jacks optimized for tiny staples and brads on up to beefy framing nails ranging in price from around $20 to $30). The Nail Jack is now my go-to tool for any fastener-pulling tasks. It has a few features that make it so effective:

  • The Nail Jack combines a hammer claw and pliers for serious nail gripping. You can grab the head or the shaft of a fastener easily. The simple physics here make the tool far more effective than the static claw of a hammer or cat's paw.
  • The Nail Jack's smooth bottom surface and ability to quickly re-grip a fastener closer to the wood provide solid leverage and less chance of damaging the wood. I frequently am able to remove fasteners without wood damage. If you're dealing with a really stubborn nail, you can always protect the wood next to the nail with another piece of flat wood
  • Most nails aren't conveniently proud of the surface for easy pulling. A flat area on the back of this tool, along with with it's pointed front-end, make hammering under recessed nail heads a breeze.
  • The Nail Jack shines brightest with smaller gauges, making pulling brads or both sides of a staple out a nearly effortless process."

Thanks, Marc. For a video of the tool in action, visit To buy the tool from one of many online retailers, visit the "Where to Buy" section of the Nail Jack site.

posted in: Blogs, nail puller
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