Don't fight those pallets and damage most of the boards! There's a trick to dismantling pallets using simple items you already have! If you've got a hammer and plank, you're ready to go! Learn how to Easily Dismantle Wooden Pallets using Hammer & Plank in the attached video!
A friend sent us this video on how to quickly dismantle a pallet using a simple hammer and a plank without breaking the planks of the pallet. He tried this method and confirmed that this method is one of the best! He was able to avoid breaking all the planks of the pallets!. The best part is that you don't need any expensive, specialty tools to do this. You only need what you've already got lying around in your garage or shed! Here are the explanations before the video:
Easily Dismantle Wooden Pallets Using Hammer & Plank:
- WEAR SAFETY GLASSES - Hammers can shatter small pieces off and recently one of our crafters was injured in the eye! See our Woodworking Safety page! Gloves are a terrific idea too!
- Turn the pallet upside-down.
- Place the plank (scrap of wood that is comfortable in your hand) against the pallet block. Strike the block a few times by hitting the plank you've placed in front.This will distribute the blow more evenly and prevent damaging any boards. Rotate through all three blocks on the support section, slowly loosening it as you work. The technique here is to distribute your blows with the small sledge hammer between the three blocks and gradually knock the section apart.
- Repeat on all remaining support sections until all are removed.
- Place the removed support sections underneath the main body of the pallet.
- Using the claw hammer, slowly knock the exposed nails through their holes. If the nails try to bend over, you can grip them with a large set of pliers or clamping pliers (such as Vice-Grips) to provide support. Try to get all nails out of the wood; otherwise you risk damaging your tools when using the pieces for your next project. Knocking nails out of wood is a skill. that requires you to be patient and accurate. Use the small sledge hammer to tap the nails into shape if they bend.
- If a nail becomes too malleable or bent, cut it in half using pliers or a hacksaw and try knocking it out again.
- Once those nails are out use the pry bar or crowbar to remove the deck boards. In this case, as there are seven boards, all the odd number boards are released using the even number boards to pivot the pry bar.
- Turn the remaining section over and again on the blocks knock the last strips of wood out.
Be careful when you dismantle wooden pallets - particularly knocking the blocks of their end boards to avoid injuring your fingers.
Also take care to avoid kneeling or standing on the nails. The nails are ribbed (and not for your pleasure). Nails also have shards of metal attached from when they were in a nail gun. Avoid running your fingers along them. You risk receiving metal or wood splinters if you don't wear gloves!
Editor's Note: This technique to dismantle wooden pallets may not work with pallet types using full pallet stringers (the boards with the forklift arches carved in). You can see other ways to dismantle pallets on our Essentials Page if this method doesn't work for you. :)