|Review by Elizabeth||posted 11-04-2010 01:22 AM||11406 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
I recently got a bunch of reclaimed wood which used to be a boat frame. At either end of most pieces are lots of nails, and I mean LOTS – about 20-30 in each piece. I wanted to try to reclaim all the wood so I looked around for a way to get these nails out, and found many good reviews of the Crescent 56 Nail Puller on Amazon.
Nearly all the reviews said that this was the tool to get if you have to pull lots of nails, and described its use. It seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it item – of 36 Amazon reviews, 29 gave it five stars and four gave it one. Unfortunately I was one of those who wasn’t able to get it to work.
The tool consists of a hard metal body (cast iron I believe) with a sliding striker incorporated into the handle and a hinged jaw at the far end. One half of the jaw also has a lever foot. The idea is that you position the jaws of the tool on the wood around the head of your nail and slide the striker down hard a few times to get the jaws to bit into the wood and close around the nail head. Then you use the handle and the foot to lever the nail out of the hole.
I could not get this puller to keep its grip. The jaws would open up as I struck, forcing me to stop and reposition it. They would open again when I put force on the lever foot. And it took ages for the jaws to pound into the wood around the nails (this was weathered plywood I was pounding into). The one time that I was able to keep the jaws from losing their grip on the nail head, the metal of the nail head simply bent up instead of pulling out. Knowing that my upper body strength isn’t the best I asked my husband to give it a try. He was able to get about five nails out before he was exhausted from the pounding of the striker – he had to strike a lot more than “a few times”. He did note that the levering is easier if you lift the striker part up again before levering, but said he wouldn’t want to use this tool for getting a large number of nails out. Unfortunately the claim that this IS the tool for that task is what made me buy it in the first place. He said it would have worked better if the jaws would stay in the position that you put them in and not open on their own. Maybe mine is looser than it’s supposed to be.
I’ve decided to return it to Amazon and am hoping that they won’t deduct any value from it as a return, since some of the black paint flaked off on the part of the handle which is covered by the moving striker. If I kept it I know I’d never use it again. I’m either going to try an old fashioned prybar on these nails or just cross cut the nailed sections off of the rest of the wood.