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10 Best Nail Pullers of 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews

nail puller

Nail pullers aren’t your average household tool, but they can be beneficial when you need them. There are many different models out there, though, and choosing the perfect model for your project is essential to success. It can be challenging to pinpoint which model you need – not to mention the exact tool you should purchase.

Because of this, we put together this complete guide to the best nail pullers. It includes reviews, as well as a quick buyer’s guide to the best models. With this article, you’ll be able to choose the perfect nail puller for your circumstances.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Crescent 56 Nail Puller Crescent 56 Nail Puller
  • Works on flush nails
  • Forged
  • Tempered jaws
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Estwing DEP12 Nail Puller Estwing DEP12 Nail Puller
  • Forged in one piece
  • Small and compact
  • Can remove headless nails
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Stiletto TICLW12 Clawbar Titanium Nail Puller Stiletto TICLW12 Clawbar Titanium Nail Puller
  • Titanium
  • Comfortable to use
  • Lightweight
  • Crescent NP11 Nail Puller Pliers Crescent NP11 Nail Puller Pliers
  • Inexpensive
  • Can remove all sorts of nails
  • Rubber grips for comfort
  • Dead On Tools EX9CL Exhumer Nail Puller Dead On Tools EX9CL Exhumer Nail Puller
  • Durable
  • Quality controlled
  • Can remove sunken nails
  • The 10 Best Nail Pullers – Reviews 2021

    1. Crescent 56 Nail Puller – Best Overall

    Crescent 56 Nail Puller

    The Crescent 56 Nail Puller has a forged alloy box-joint and hardened jaws. They are powerful, which makes them suitable for pulling out practically any nail. They’re suitable for your average home projects, as well as for professionals. They also come in different jaw designs, so you can better personalize them to fit your needs. The black enamel finish is aesthetically pleasing and offers plenty of extra durability. Overall, these nail pullers were made to stand up to challenging work. Don’t expect them to break any time soon.

    We also loved that these nail pullers work well with flush nails, which are notoriously hard to grip. They can get practically any nail out, making them a perfect option if you want to purchase one nail puller.

    These aren’t incredibly expensive, either. You can purchase them in packs to save even more money if you want to. This option may be more suitable for professionals, though, as most homeowners don’t need four nail pullers.

    Pros
    • Short and long designs available
    • Works on flush nails
    • Forged
    • Tempered jaws
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • May deform around more rigid nails

    2. Estwing DEP12 Nail Puller – Best Value

    Estwing DEP12 Nail Puller

    The Estwing DEP12 Nail Puller looks much different than our top pick. However, they still do the job well without costing a fortune. They are much cheaper than most of the competition, even though they often do a better job than their more expensive competitors.

    They are forged all in one piece for maximum durability. The rounded heat adds a bit of extra torque, which makes pulling out nails easier. They are built to be smaller than most options, which makes them more useable in small spaces. If you’re a plumber or work in tight quarters, these nail pullers are a must-have. The design even makes this nail puller suitable for headless nails that have been damaged. It damages the wood minimally during nail pulling, even if the nail is damaged and missing its head.

    These nail pullers are built for pros. However, they are cheap enough to be in the budget of most homeowners. Because of this, we believe these are the best nail pullers for the money.

    Pros
    • Forged in one piece
    • Small and compact
    • Can remove headless nails
    • Very durable
    Cons
    • Some quality-control problems

    3. Stiletto Clawbar Titanium Nail Puller – Premium Choice

    Stiletto TICLW12 Clawbar Titanium Nail Puller

    Just based on aesthetics alone, the Stiletto TICLW12 Clawbar Titanium Nail Puller is a top-notch tool. This is a nail puller you’d be happy to carry around with you at the jobsite. Beyond its good looks, though, this nail puller also works very well. It is made of lightweight solid titanium, which is more than durable enough to take on a few nails. The titanium design also means that there is less recoil shock than steel bars. This is a great safety feature since there won’t be as much give after the nail finally gives way. The design provides extreme prying power, allowing you to remove even the most rigid nails.

    The nail puller is quite comfortable, too, despite how it may look. It is lightweight, which we particularly liked. This means you’ll get fatigued slower while using it and that your tool bag won’t be as heavy as it might be otherwise.

    Pros
    • Titanium
    • Lightweight
    • Comfortable to use
    • Aesthetically designed
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Crescent NP11 Nail Puller Pliers

    Crescent NP11 Nail Puller Pliers

    The Crescent NP11 Nail Puller Pliers are made by the same company that crafted our top pick. However, they are slightly lower quality, which is why they landed at number four on our list. These pliers do work quite well despite their slightly lower ratings. They allow you to remove nails from the front or back of the wood, thanks to their unique design. They can extract nails regardless of size or if the nail’s head is damaged (or completely missing).

    The head is forged for exact durability, and the rubber grips make them far more comfortable to use the other models. The dual handles provide you with complete control over the nail as you’re pulling them out. You can easily grip, roll, and tug on them to remove them as efficiently as possible.

    These nail pullers are much cheaper than most. However, they do have a few problems. There is no warranty for this item, though they may not necessarily be a big deal due to how cheap they are. There appear to be some quality control problems, as it is not unheard of to receive a nail puller with uneven jaws.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Can remove all sorts of nails
    • Rubber grips for comfort
    • Forged head
    Cons
    • Quality control problems
    • No warranty

    5. Dead On Tools EX9CL Exhumer Nail Puller

    Dead On Tools EX9CL Exhumer Nail Puller

    The Dead On Tools EX9CL Exhumer Nail Puller is precisely what you would expect from a nail puller. It can remove most kinds of nails and is decently durable. All nail pullers go through quality assurance to ensure that they are made to standard and are proven to function in real-world conditions.

    However, this nail puller didn’t function as well as we had hoped. It cannot remove nails without heads very quickly at all. While this is a rarer feature among nail pullers, it did leave us quite a bit disappointed. It does do an excellent job on sunken nails, however. Just as long as they have heads!

    The quality of these tools has dropped a bit recently. They used to be made in the USA. However, they are now made in China. The quality has dropped with the move, and it is now not what it used to be. For this reason, we rated them lower on our list.

    Pros
    • Durable
    • Quality controlled
    • Can remove sunken nails
    Cons
    • Now made in China
    • Cannot remove nails without heads

    6. Bates Nail Puller

    Bates Nail Puller

    At first glance, the Bates Nail Puller looks unique. We were very excited to try them. However, they did not perform to our standards. They are made from high carbon steel, which is always a useful feature. They can prevent rust and are designed to last an extended period. The handles are made with a soft plastic, which makes them way more comfortable than other models on the market. These pliers can also cut nails, which is an excellent addition. However, we doubt you’ll be using this feature often. This tool is also decently inexpensive.

    Our few complaints about this tool revolve around the fact that they are made in China. Their quality is a bit lower than it likely would be if they were made in the USA. They are also smaller than usual, which can make it challenging to get the proper amount of leverage. You have to apply quite a bit of strength for them to work.

    Pros
    • High carbon steel
    • Plastic handle
    • Can cut nails
    Cons
    • Perhaps made in China
    • Short

    7. Gunpla Carpenters Nail Puller

    Gunpla Carpenters Nail Puller

    The Gunpla Carpenters Nail Puller looks very similar to a regular pair of pliers. They are quite good at pulling nails, though. However, they are not necessarily as good as some of the other options on the market. They’re made with steel, which is coated to prevent rust. The handles are vinyl-dipped for extra comfort. A 30-day money-back guarantee also covers them. They are also terribly cheap.

    These nail pullers can not cut simple nails, however. Don’t plan on purchasing these tools if you need them to cut nails as well as pull them. This tool cannot even cut simple fasteners.

    Pros
    • Comfortable handles
    • Does not rust
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    Cons
    • Cannot cut nails
    • Mediocre durability

    8. Vaughan & Bushnell BC10 Nail Puller

    Vaughan & Bushnell BC10 Nail Puller

    At first glance, the Vaughan & Bushnell BC10 Nail Puller appears to be high-quality. They are manufactured in the USA, which means their quality is likely a bit higher than other options. They are designed to pull nails without damaging the wood in the process quickly. They are also made of forged and tempered steel, which is relatively more durable than other options out there.

    However, the nail pullers are a bit too fat, which makes it challenging to use them on thinner nails. They also don’t work very well on damaged nails or nails without heads. The coating is also a bit too thick. This prevents rust, but it does make it a bit more challenging to use them on smaller nails.

    Pros
    • Made of steel
    • Quickly pulls out most nails
    Cons
    • Quite fat
    • Thick coating

    9. Shark CORP Hardened Steel Alloy Nail Pullers

    Shark CORP 21-2028 Hardened Steel Alloy Nail Pullers

    The Shark CORP 21-2028 Hardened Steel Alloy Nail Pullers claim to be able to remove all sorts of nails, including heavily embedded nails, headless nails, and rusted nails. They are made with an advanced tempering method, which makes them much more durable. They do not chip or bend very quickly at all.

    They are made in China, which does make them a little lower-quality than other options. Not all products made in China are of poor quality. However, these are. They don’t stand up as well to moderate work. Furthermore, they aren’t as easy to use as other options. They also damage the wood quite a bit, which can be a problem for some projects.

    Overall, they do work, but they aren’t as high-quality as some other options. They aren’t expensive, but you’re better off saving your money and purchasing a better nail puller for about the same price.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Made in China
    • Not suitable for all nails
    • Will damage wood

    10. Hultafors Tools 820030U Nail Puller

    Hultafors Tools 820030U Nail Puller

    The Hultafors Tools 820030U Nail Puller is quite expensive, especially when compared to the other nail pullers on this list. They are twice as expensive as most other options. They do look quite impressive, but their quality isn’t worth the extremely high price. They are made out of steel and coated to prevent rust. They can easily pull out most nails, even if the head is buried deep in the wood. They are compact, but this also means that you have to use quite a bit of elbow grease to get most nails out.

    However, this tool comes with quite a few design flaws. Firstly, the nail-gripping claw is tiny, so you have to spend a decent amount of time making sure it is gripping the nail. It is not as fast or as easy to use as other options we reviewed. We did not appreciate how much work it took to pull a single nail out. Sometimes, they even dug the nails deeper into the wood, which isn’t useful in the least.

    Pros
    • Pulls out nails
    Cons
    • Challenging to get it to grip the nail
    • Very expensive
    • Requires quite a bit of elbow grease

    divider 7
    Buyer’s Guide

    Nail removing power

    The first thing to consider when purchasing a nail puller is how much nail-pulling power you need. Some models feature the ability to dig into the wood to remove a nail embedded below the surface, while others will only work if there’s already some clearance between the head and the wood below.

    Something to keep in mind is that the longer the handle on the nail puller, the less force you’ll have to apply to get the nail loose. Some people try to game the system and hit the nail puller with a hammer to yank the nail out, but that can be bad for the nail puller itself and can needlessly damage the wood beneath. With the right tool, you’ll be able to remove nails without the use of a hammer.

    Compactness

    The other factor to consider is compactness. If you’re only going to be working with nails in areas that have plenty of clearance, it makes sense to get a nail puller that has a long handle which can turn a little bit of power into a lot of action. If you’re going to be working with tight clearances, get something smaller that will be able to reliably fit into those spaces.

    Plier vs Lever Style

    Compact nail removers come in two varieties. The first is plier-style, which excels in removing nails from the top down, so it doesn’t need a lot of horizontal clearance to work. The second is lever-style, which needs a lot of horizontal clearance but needs as little as an inch or two in height to work.

    Which Nail Puller Is Right for You?

    Finding the right nail puller may seem like a tall order, but it’s easy to do when you approach it with the right mindset. While a lot of people start by looking at prices, a better idea is to figure out what functionality you need and proceed from there. By figuring out what features you need to have a good experience, you avoid ending up with a model you don’t like.

    Make a list of nail pullers that meet those criteria, then choose the least expensive one, which will provide the best value for your money since it provides a great experience at the lowest price.

    Related Guides:

    Angled vs Straight Finish Nailers: Which is Best for Your Needs?

    Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer: Which is Best for Your Needs?

    Siding Nailer vs Roofing Nailer: Which is Best for Your Needs?

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    Conclusion

    There are many different nail pullers currently available on the market. They vary quite a bit in size and function. Hopefully, our reviews helped you work out which nail puller is best for your situation.

    Out of all the options we reviewed, the Crescent 56 Nail Puller is the best for most customers. They are high-quality and not very expensive, either. They can remove most nails quite easily.

    For a cheaper option, we recommend Estwing DEP12 Nail Puller. It is much cheaper than most of the competition but is still suitable for most jobs. They are small and compact as well, which makes it easy to carry around.

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