Best Pry Bars 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide
You may think you know pry bars but spending just a few minutes online looking at the various models out there may overturn that conviction. Like with many tools, you now have pry bars that range from cutting-edge to very traditional in design. They’re also available at a variety of prices, which means it can be hard to compare apples-to-apples.
We want you to be able to shop with confidence. Our reviews are designed to cut through the mess of tools online and show you the best tools available. We also cover each tool’s strong and weak points, so that you can find the one that meets your needs while avoiding any flaws which would leave you frustrated.
Our buyer’s guide is designed to help you think through your purchase so that you end up with a model you love, even if you’ve never owned a pry bar before. We’ve also included some tips on getting great value for your money, so if you’re looking to get a deal, make sure you check it out.
Comparison of our Favorite Picks
|Best Overall||GEARWRENCH 82220||
|Best Value||Vaughan B215||
|The Best Set||Craftsman Curved 3-Piece||
The 5 Best Pry Bars
1. GEARWRENCH 82220 Extendable Pry Bar – Best Overall
The GEARWRENCH 82220 Extendable Indexable Pry Bar is a fantastic pry bar that will serve you well in just about any situation you find yourself in. This model comes with a 14-position head, so you can make use of this tool no matter how awkward the positions get. It also comes with an adjustable size, so you can make it longer or shorter to maximize your leverage or make this tool fit into tight spaces. Plus, it comes with a rust-resistant black phosphate coating. Not only does it protect your tool from the elements, but it also looks cool.
Even better, this model comes with a lifetime warranty, which is a sure sign that the manufacturer believes this is a great product which should give you few or no problems since they’re on the hook if you have them. This model could benefit from the addition of a strike plate on the far end of the handle, but other than that, it’s hard to find anything to complain about with this model. Overall, if you’re looking for a pry bar that can get the job done no matter the situation, you’ll be very happy with this model’s performance.
2. Vaughan 15-Inch Pry Bar – Best Value
If you’re looking for a more traditional pry bar, then you should check out the Vaughan B215 15-Inch SuperBar. This model looks more like you’d expect a pry bar to look. It’s fifteen inches long, which lets you get a lot of leverage and makes a lot of jobs far easier. It also comes with a shepherd’s crook rocker head, which lets you exert more power when you’re working at 90 degrees. Even better, it comes with three beveled nail slots, so you have a lot of options when it comes to deciding how you’ll approach the problem.
You can get this model for about one-fifth of what you’d have to shell out to get the top model on our list. That earns it the title of best overall value for the money. If you’re looking to have a great experience with a pry bar, and get it inexpensively, then you’ll be very happy with this model. The only issue we have is that the occasional unit comes mis-stamped and sharp along the edges, which is fixable at home, but still a pain. Still, if you’re looking for a high-quality pry bar, then you can’t go wrong with this model.
3. Craftsman Curved 3-Piece Pry Bar Set – The Best Set
Sometimes it just makes sense to invest in the right pry bar for the job, and since jobs vary, that could mean buying multiple pry bars. The Craftsman Curved 3-Piece Pry Bar Set is the best pry bar set, as it gives you different sizes for different jobs. Included are a 12-inch, 17-inch, and 25-inch pry bar, so you’ll always have the size you need, even if you’re always tackling different types of jobs. Where these pry bars really stand out, however, is in their handles. These are some of the most comfortable pry bars on the market today, which is a nice plus.
This set also comes with strike caps, so it’s safe to use a hammer on them to loosen stuck parts. However, this set’s price is quite high. In fact, it’s more expensive than the top model on our list. While it still includes three pry bar, it’s still hefty on a per-bar basis. With a price like that, you’d expect no quality control issues, yet this set still has the occasional problem. Overall, if you’re looking for bars of different length, then this set is one which will leave you happy with your purchase.
4. TEKTON 3318 15-Inch Pry-Bar
The TEKTON 3318 15-Inch Pry Bar is similar in design to the second-place model on our list, though it doesn’t live up to the same quality standards that make that other model great. This model is also 15-inches long, which gives it the leverage you need to remove most things that are stuck. It also comes with three beveled nail slots, so you have a lot of options when trying to remove stuck nails. Also included is a nice corrosion-resistant finish, which should, in theory, keep this pry bar in good shape for years to come.
However, this pry bar isn’t well made. The coating often flakes off and chips, which exposes the underlying metal to moisture and humidity, which can rapidly damage it. It also isn’t made from the highest-quality metal, so it sometimes bends when subjected to the forces that pry bars face. That’s a problem you never want to experience with a pry bar, and sign that the model isn’t worth your money. Despite these flaws, it still manages to be more expensive than the second model on our list. For most people, saving money and getting better value at the same time will be a no-brainer.
5. Stanley STHT55135 Pry Bar Set
While they won’t be the right model for everyone, the Stanley STHT55135 Pry Bar Set could be just the thing for someone looking for a set of light-duty pry bars. This set comes with three pry bars. The largest is nine inches long, while the shortest is just five. If you’re doing light duty-demolition work, then you may want to make use of these smaller pry bars, which are less likely to damage surrounding materials. Together, they cost about as much as you’d spend on a single, larger pry bar, so they’re relatively inexpensive overall.
However, they have some serious problems which drop them to the bottom of our list. For one, they’re tiny, so you’re not going to get the leverage you need to solve the toughest problems. For another, the ends on these pry bars, especially the smaller ones, are very thick, and that limits their usefulness. It also suggests that they’re made from low-quality metals which easily bend under pressure since the manufacturer isn’t confident enough to thin out the ends. Overall, there are select situations in which these pry bars will be useful, but they won’t be the right choice for most people.
Things to Consider When Choosing
There’s a lot to think about when choosing the right pry bar for you, so this guide is designed to break everything you need to know down into digestible bits and help you find the model which is right for you.
Adjustable vs fixed
The latest innovation in pry bars is the introduction of adjustable pry bars that can operate at multiple lengths. These are great for when you need more leverage since you can just extend the shaft. However, these models tend to be expensive, and they’re also on the heavier side.
If you’re looking for something cheaper or lighter, it makes sense to go with a fixed pry bar. You can’t change its length, but it will be lighter, so keeping it in a toolbox or toolbelt all day won’t be as much of a drag.
Quality is another feature you should value highly. If you’ve had the misfortune of using a pry bar which bent when you needed it the most, you know the frustration of using a poor-quality tool.
Generally speaking, if the price is too good to be true, you’re looking at a low-quality pry bar. While this isn’t true for all tools, it’s hard to provide a low price in this category without cutting corners somewhere along the way, and that usually means that quality takes a hit.
Which pry bar is right for you?
Many people start by trying to get the most or least expensive models they can find. However, it’s a good idea to focus on your specific needs first. That way, you narrow your search to tools with the features you need to have a good experience.
Once you know what those features are, you can choose the cheapest model which has those features. It’s the lowest price for the best value for you, which makes it the best overall value for the money.
The GEARWRENCH 82220 Extendable Indexable Pry Bar is our favorite model due to its 14-position head, adjustable size, and lifetime warranty. Next is the Vaughan B215 15-Inch SuperBar, which is 15 inches long, includes three beveled nail slots, and comes at a great price, making it the best overall choice for the money. In third is the Craftsman Curved 3-Piece Pry Bar Set, which comes with three pry bars with comfortable handles and strike plates, though quality control issues keep them out of the top two. The TEKTON 3318 15-Inch Pry Bar is similar to our second-place model, but it is significantly weaker and relatively expensive, which costs it a few places on our list. The Stanley STHT55135 Pry Bar Set also comes with three pry bars, though they’re light duty and cheap. Their small size and poor overall value drop them to the bottom of our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand the world of pry bars, and have helped you find a model or set that will take care of your needs for years to come.
New articles from our blog:
- Comparison of our Favorite Picks
- The 5 Best Pry Bars
- Things to Consider When Choosing