Choosing the Proper Pry Bar for Your Residential Demolition
If your residential demolition job is smaller, such as a home remodel or small-building teardown, you may have to use pry bars, also called wrecking bars. Pry bars come in all shapes and sizes, and there is also a wide assortment of specialty bars for specific jobs, such as trim pulling and floorboard lifting. Using the right pry bar for your needs makes the work go faster and easier.
A crowbar is the most popular wrecking bar, and one no self-respecting carpenter or demolition man would be without. Crowbars have a wedge on one end and a flattened fork on the other for pulling nails. They are normally no longer than 2 feet, but some specialty crowbars may be longer. They have a myriad of uses, such as safely prying up trim that is to be reused or to pull warped wood tight for nailing in place.
This is generally a 3- to 5-foot long heavy duty bar used for more leverage in heavier demolition. Wrecking bars, as the name implies, are used when you aren’t trying to save anything, just tear it out or down. They are used to tear out structures such as sheetrock, concrete, plaster lathe and floors. A standard wrecking bar has a flattened fork on one end and a rounded hook on the other. They also come with multiple points on one end.
These bars do exactly what they say — they dig. They are often used in landscape demolition to remove large pieces of concrete or large boulders. They are generally 5- to 6-feet long with a flat spade at one end and a point on the other.
Specialty Pry and Wrecking Bars
There is a pry bar for every purpose, and the variety is astounding. There are pry bars made exclusively for certain tasks, such as pulling nails, pulling molding and trim, removing decking and more. There is literally a pry bar for just about any job you want to do, including a specialty bar for deconstructing pallets. Most of these specialty bars are sold in sets particular to the occupation of the user, such as carpenters, remodeling contractors or even car mechanics.
Cost of Pry Bars and Wrecking Bars
Depending on the size and quality of the bar you need, prices range from less than $10 to over $100. If you are buying a bar for a home project you will likely only be doing once, a less expensive tool will probably do a good enough job. On the other hand, if you are a professional remodel or demolition expert, it’s a safe bet you will want to spend money on quality tools. If your budget is limited, check out online forums such as Craigslist, auction sites, flea markets and yard sales for second-hand quality tools at a much-reduced cost.
At the very least, every homeowner should own a crowbar. It would surprise you how often you will use it around the house and yard. For large-scale demolition, it’s best to consult a professional. Your local builder’s association can provide you with a list of demolition contractors in your area.
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