Pulling nails... it doesn't get any easier than this.

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Review by Nick M. posted 03-16-2009 08:07 PM 4926 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pulling nails... it doesn't get any easier than this. Pulling nails... it doesn't get any easier than this. Pulling nails... it doesn't get any easier than this. Click the pictures to enlarge them

So I’m new to this whole wood working thing. In the short time I’ve been doing some renovation work to my house, I’ve found the biggest headache I have is removing fasteners from wood I want to reclaim, or reuse. With what I had on hand I had the tendency to get a little frustrated and literally destroy the wood during a fit (must be my Irish blood), or marring it to a point it was rendered useless.

While searching online a week ago I found an interesting device (i won’t bore you with any of the details about some of the other devices I research, which were “interesting” to say the least). At first it looked to me like a pair of tin snips or wire cutters, but as I looked through the website I started to see something more intuitive and unique. The product is called the “Nail Jack.” The product I bought is called the “Nail Hunter.” The difference between the two is size and a one or two design elements.

Using the Nail Hunter to remove the fasteners I was dealing with became a breeze after I had been using the tool for five minutes. The angle of the handle is unique in that it extends up from the head of the tool at a 45 degree angle, and then angles back, parallel with the tool head. It made it very simple for me to get at the fasteners and the ergomic design was very confortable to use.

The head of the tool itself is pointed like a cats paw, but opens like a pair of pliers (a spring actually forces the mouth of the NailJack open) allowing for easy access to staples. AllI had to do was dig a little (the tips are “pointed” nicely), squeeze and yank. What I had been doing with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers was easily accomplished with the Nail Hunter. I didn’t time myself to see how much of an improvement in the process I experienced, but if I had to guess I would say my time in removing the smaller fasteners was cut in half.

Another design point I really liked about the Nail Hunte was it’s “spooned” head. I could slide an exposed brad through the open mouth of the Nail Hunter, squeeze the jaws shut and simply roll the handle forward. The spooned head acted as a fulcrum and allowed me to really torque on the brad. I was able to pull them through the backside of the crown molding without any problems.

I didn’t have any need for the hammer tap for what I was working on, but I did go outside to the farmer’s barn in the field next to my house and pulled a few nails from his deteriorating structure (don’t tell). The hammer tap worked really well and gave me a better understanding of why the handles were angled the way the were. I don’t think this model was meant to be used on such large nails, but it still worked like a champ. I’d like to see what the big brother to the Nail Hunter could do to my neighbor’s barn.

The only place I could find this for sale was on the inventor’s website. I spoke with him via phone before I placd my order and the guy is a real tool “freak” (and I mean this in the kindest way) and is gung-ho about wood. (He said this tool design came to him as he was renovating his log cabin somewhere in Idaho.) He had clear frustration with the lack of a good fastener puller and decided to build one himself. He’s now turning the idea into a business! Ya gotta love entrepreneurism in America. I hope he makes it (as a business).

The only thing that stopped me from giving this tool a five star rating was that it is not drop forged. The inventor said that he is working a deal with a manufacturer to have his next version drop forged and those should be available in the next 45-60 days. As it currently stands, the product did was it was supposed to (and did it well) and held up well, but I look forward to buying the drop forged versions of these in the future.

You can read more about the tool on the website: The owner has schematics and videos of the product in action. I’ve included a YouTube video for you to take a quick look:

-- Langbart the Bearded

View Nick M.'s profile

Nick M.

2 posts in 4171 days

5 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5210 days

#1 posted 03-16-2009 08:12 PM

Looks like a solution to a known problem. There are many ways to get nails out but usually require two tools which means a pick up and put down.

This looks to be very fluid in its operation.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4766 days

#2 posted 03-17-2009 03:34 AM

thanks for posting this…this is the best nail pulling tool I have ever seen! I am going to buy both sizes! Hopefully it works as good in person as it does in the videos!


View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4695 days

#3 posted 03-17-2009 07:55 PM

Looks like a nice tool!!!
You do know that if you are pulling finishing nails out of trim you pull them thru from the back side of the board too keep from tearing up the front side?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Nick M.'s profile

Nick M.

2 posts in 4171 days

#4 posted 03-17-2009 08:10 PM

John, thanks for the input. I figured that out pretty quickly. The nail hunter worked even better doing it from the back side.

I hope everyone noticed on my post that I prefaced the article that I am new to this whole woodworking thing (if you can’t tell). ;-)

-- Langbart the Bearded

View GaryCN's profile


475 posts in 4744 days

#5 posted 03-18-2009 04:27 PM

$29.99 at Amazon with free shipping I just ordered one.

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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