The Timber Tailor | November 21, 2016

YouTube // Windows & Doors

#OldSchool Nail Puller Gets Tough Nails Out


The go-to tool for extracting hard-to-remove nails, and when minimal damage is important.


The slide-hammer nail-puller is a tool that many people own, but few know how to use. After I locate the 'headless' 16d galvanized casing nails in a door frame (tip: rare earth magnet), I demonstrate how to pull them—just watch out for the built-in pincher.


Step by step:

  • First, locate the nail heads either visually or with a magnet. 
  • Spread the pinching jaws a bit wider than the nail head and directly over it.
  • Draw the slide back and drive it in hard to set the pinchers deep enough to engage the nail.  Be extra careful not to pinch your hand in between the slide and stop collar!
  • Once the jaws are set, slide the hammer/handle out for better leverage and pull the nail out.
  • Use a protection block of the wood needs to be salvaged

There is not much to the sequence, really, but it can take a few tries to get the hang of it: place, pound, pull... done.


—Matt Jackson is a master carpenter, remodeler, SketchUp Wiz, YouTuber, and contributing editor to ProTradeCraft. He lives and works in Rapid City, South Dakota. 


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I've seen this tool but never really knew how it worked.  Thanks for showing me how.  Had my 2 boys watch it with me.  Now they know too!


It's most encouraging to me that your boys watched it with you... how cool is that?  My absentee dad had one in some of his tools that got left behind but I never gave the relic much attention... until a guy I worked with showed me how.  His dad had showed him the handful of tricks I shared in the video.  It's great to pass it on!

BTW you might check out my Next Level Carpentry channel  where you might find a few other interesting videos.

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