I recently was sent a pair of nail pulling tools from a fellow blogger: Axxeman.
His blog is called, “The Nail Jack Family of Nail Pulling Tools.”
The two tools he sent me to try out are called the “Nail Jack’ and the “Nail Hunter,” both from Nail Jack Tools.
The two tools are identical except for size; the Nail Jack is the larger of the two, measuring 11″ while the Nail Hunter is 8-1/2″.
My first reaction to the Nail Jack tools was that they were a mix of an end cutting plier, and a cat’s paw which happens to be the two tools that I always carry in my tool belt.
Upon inspecting the tools I noticed that the handles were offset for leverage. The business end has a rounded spoon fulcrum for prying, a concave area inside the pliers that catches nail heads, and a sharp point for digging nails.
The rear or theses tools had a flat head made to take a hammer hit so you can dig the pointed end around a flush nail head.
The Nail Jack and Nail Hunter claim to be superior in digging, grabbing and pulling nails and staples and are made in the U.S.A. I decided to give them a try.
I brought both tools to work in the shop and on the job site.
Below is a photo of two cat’s paws and my nippers.
I took turns pulling nails with a cats paw. . .
A claw hammer . . .
My nippers. . .
And the new Nail Jack tools.
I was interested in seeing if the large rounded spoon fulcrum end would be more gentle on the wood surfaces when pulling nails.
The result was that all of the tools, including the Nail Jack and Hunter left marks on the wood so precautions need to be taken on wood that you do not want marred.
Above and below – tool marks in pressure treated wood.
The tools have a spring that keeps them open which made them more difficult to place in my tool bag without looking down at the bag’s pouch.
Storing tools without looking can be an important consideration when on a ladder or staging.
The off setting handles also contribute to the tool taking up more space in my tool bags than my end-cutting nippers and cats paw. See photo below.
Side by side photo. Nippers are stored more easily.
When pulling nails I found this tool worked but was awkward for me, especially the handle. I felt as if I was going to slam my knuckles when I push with force. I also noticed that I needed to maintain considerable squeeze pressure to the tools handle ~ which, if repetitively pulling was called for, would contribute to hand fatigue.
I did come to the conclusion that the Nail Jack tools were superior when digging out staples!
I also found them especially useful when I was trying to tie in new clapboards to old ones. The plier end was able to reach under the old clapboards, grab the nail and provided resistance for pushing out the nail…. very useful.
Overall I thought this was a well designed, all purpose tool but was not impressed enough to replace my cat’s paw or nippers which will remain in my tool bag.
The Nail Jack tools will have a home in my trailer and shop tool box and be called upon to deal with staples, clapboards tie-ins and maybe when I try to salvage interior trim by pulling the nails from behind.
The Nail Hunter goes for about $25 and the larger Nail Jack costs around $30, click on Axxeman’s site to read more.
~ concord carpenter