Pallet ProjectsEasiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks

Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks

You’ve been inspired by the tutorials and collected a stack of pallets but decided your project would look better without all the nail heads. Using a hand punch, crowbar, hammer, and pliers can take an entire weekend that could be spent actually building that pallet project. This article will introduce you to different methods for removing nails from boards or blocks of wooden pallets fast and easily.

Remove nails from pallets board with an air gun

After her great video tutorial on how to easily dismantle a wooden pallet, Sarah James is back with another tutorial that will show you the fastest and easiest way of removing nails from your pallet planks. The only tool needed is an air gun such as the Air locker ap700 professional Punch Nailer/Nail Remover available at Amazon for 47$. Of course, always use safety glasses as Sarah does!

Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
978 Reviews
Air Locker AP700 Nailer/Nail Remover Kit with Extra Driver
  • This is a bundle of 2 items. 1ea AP700 and 1ea of DAP700.
  • 1 - AP700 Professional Punch Nailer/Nail Remover

Crescent Np11 Nail Puller Tool to Remove Nails From Wood Pallets

In this video, will going to show you how you can use the Crescent NP11 Nail Puller Tool to remove nails from pallet wood boards.

The Crescent NP11 Nail Pulling Plier is designed to pull nails in a variety of work environments. Capable of “Pulling” nails through the wood in circumstances where the head of the nail is not accessible. As simple as grip, roll, and remove nails and staples. Grasp the (nail, staple, tack, etc.) with the pliers and roll the pliers’ head to quickly and easily remove the fasteners. Perfect for applications in laying flooring and pulling up old nails, staples, or tacks. Check-out my video and see how I use it!

Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
1,409 Reviews
Crescent 11" Nail Puller Pliers - NP11,Red/Black
  • The functionality of the pliers allows you to easily remove nails from the front or back ot the...
  • Unlimited flexibility allows user to easily extract nails regardless of size or if head of nail is...

Remove Cut Nails Using Simple Center Punch/Nail Setter

Here’s a simple way to Remove Cut Nails using a nail setter/center punch. This means NO expensive power or air tools! All you need is a hammer and the punch.

Remove Cut Nails Using Simple Center Punch/Nail Setter – it’s a great, multi-purpose money-saving tool!

Today I’m going to show you a quick and inexpensive way to remove nails from wood that have been cut during the dismantling process. This most commonly happens when you cut pallets with a reciprocating saw or Sawzall saw. You’ll need a couple of sizes of nail setters/center punches, but they’re very reasonably purchased. The best part is that these tools will do double-duty when you want to recess a nail (such as in pallet blocks) or get a nail head to sit flush without causing hammer dents. You’ll find many uses for these handy tools when woodworking!

What’s the difference between a Nail Setter and a Center Punch when you want to Remove Cut Nails?

There’s not much difference functionally if you’re using a flat-tip punch or setter to remove cut nails. However, it is important to know! Nail setters tend to have either a flat tip or a concave/cupped tip to prevent splitting the nail head.

Punches can range from flat tips to pointed tips. They’re used to create a starting hole for drill bits, screws or to create a hole in wood or sheet metal. Some center punches are automatic – you don’t need a hammer to use them.

Safety tips when you Remove Cut Nails:

  •  NOTE: ALWAYS use safety-rated eye protection when using nail punches/setters. There is the remote possibility of metal fragments chipping from the hammer or the tool.
  • Always strike punches with a ball-peen or sledgehammer.
  • Discard any punch that is bent, cracked, or chipped.
  • Never use a nail set as a punch.
  • Discard any nail set that is bent, cracked, chipped, or shows excessive wear.
  • Never use a nail hammer to strike a cat’s paw. The face of the hammer is too small and could chip. Use a ball-peen or a small sledgehammer instead.
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
You can purchase good-quality sets for under 10 bucks, or you can frequently find them used for as little as 10 cents apiece!
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Color-coded center punch or nail setter sets are handy. You can find them easily in a little container in your toolbox or tool cart.  
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects

Removing Nails From Pallet Blocks

Removing Nails from boards is easy. However, how do you remove pallet nails from those handy wooden spacer blocks? You have no leverage. There is nowhere to actually sit your hammer & crowbar comfortably to get it, either. How do you hold that block down without damaging the wood in a metal vise if you do find a way?

Learn the easy, effortless way to remove nails without damaging the wooden spacer blocks. Watch my DIY Video tutorial to save your hands, your back, and those cool, handy pallet spacer blocks for lots of fun projects!

Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
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Remove Pallet Nails Efficiently Using An Air Punch

Many people ask me how I can remove Pallet Nails from over 50 boards in less than an hour. I don’t cut the nails with a Sawzall or any other tool. My secret is a tool called the air punch. While the tool may not be within reach of everyone, it is good to know that it exists. For those that can afford the tool, it is important to know how to use it properly.

Setting up your workspace for an Air Punch and be able to Remove Pallet Nails easily!

I use a table with a hole and a 5-gallon  bucket that I’ve filled with either snow or water. This catches the nails and prevents nails from bouncing around and doing damage. If you view the video, you will see a perfect example of a nail flying out just out of bad luck.

Use proper safety gear!  You already know about gloves. I add mandatory eye protection.  Again, you will see when a nail flying out of the catch bucket can be dangerous, even if you’re careful!

The benefits of using an Air Punch will speed up pallet dismantling. You’ll be able to Remove Pallet Nails fast!

I can go through a decent pile of wood in just a few minutes. First, I separate the boards with a pallet dismantling tool. The air punch works with an internal hammer that moves inside a metal tube. You insert the nail from the other side (sharp side up) into the tube and press the trigger. The nail will come flying out in many cases. If not, use a hammer or a crowbar (or if you have strong fingers like me, your hand).

This will give you nice, clean pallet wood in no time. The boards will not have a mark on them other than the nail holes. After a careful inspection of old nails, you can use the boards in your table saw, planer, or jointer with confidence.

Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
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meite T50SC 57-100 Psi Pneumatic Nail Puller/Nail Remover
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Easiest Ways to Remove Nails from Pallets Boards & Blocks DIY Pallet Video Tutorials Pallet Projects
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meite AP38 Pneumatic Nail Puller 57-100 Psi Professional Air Nails Remover, Pull nails between 0.097''-0.120''
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Jona Cambier

“The only tool needed is an air gun such as the Air locker ap700 professional Punch Nailer/Nail Remover” What an interesting tutorial. Or is it just an advert ?

HeatherStiletto
Reply to  Jona Cambier

It’s not an advertisement. It’s a post by one of the crafters. No one paid us to build this post. We’re ALWAYS looking for cool tools, techniques, etc., that make working with pallets easier and more accessible for everyone. Personally, I want one of these myself! :P – HS. Happy Palleting!

Rivka Morgan-Sherman

So, I love this crafter. And after watching this video I ran out and bought that tool. It works, however sometimes it’s the equivalent killing an ? with a sledgehammer.
After you have cut the nail with the reciprocating saw, often it will pop right out if you poke it with a hand held nail punch.
Having both tools at hand is a good idea.

HeatherStiletto

Great to hear! Now… when do we get to see what you built? – HS. Happy Palleting!

J.b. Chisholm

So what is the easy way to get the boards apart first??

HeatherStiletto
Reply to  J.b. Chisholm

here’s our handy tutorial (found in the Essentials page) on how to dismantle a pallet. We’ve also got a vid on it under the Essentials page – in the TUTORIALS section. Start here: https://www.1001pallets.com/how-to-dismantle-a-wooden-pallet/ Happy Palleting – HS.

Evan Sätterström

What’s wrong with a $5 pry bar?

For those of us that don’t own a compressor, any idea what pressure is needed for that tool?

Allen Jones

nope doesn’t work like that

1001 Pallets
Reply to  Allen Jones

Could you explain us how it works? the method is well explained on the video, so I’m curious what you mean by it doesn’t work like that?

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