How To Remove Brad Nails And Save The Lumber?

If you are remodeling, you want to save the wood so you can minimize the replacement cost. First and foremost, you need to extract the nails. Rather than hammering back the brad nails, there are various methods you can use to pull them out. You want a technique that prevents the busting of nails through the wood to create visible holes.

What Are Brad Nails?

Brad nails are small nails with narrow heads while some have no heads at all. They are applied in the finishing of wood constructions. They are normally embedded in lumber with a brad nailer and their heads protrude on one side.

3 Essential Tools For Remove Brad Nails

Find out the 3 most effective tools for pulling out brad nails without damaging the wood.


Firmly grip the nail with the hammer’s claw end. Before you apply the hammer, move the nail back and forth to loosen it using pliers. Place the hammer’s claw between the wood and pliers. As you pull it out, be very gentle. Note that a hammer is only applicable when the nail head is visible.


You have probably seen this technique before where carpenters yank out brad nails that have been bent over or nailed in the wrong places. Whether the nail head is flush against the wood or countersunk, a pair of pliers is the best tool to remove brad nails. The method is very simple: grip the nail with pliers and pull it out. For the headless nail, take a wooden block to protect the workpiece. Use self-locking pliers and slip the pliers’ claw over the nail shaft. Clamp-on the tool and yank the nail out.


The pry bar offers the much-needed leverage. Note that at some point, the pressure will be applied to the wooden surface. For this matter, a buffer material should be used to protect the wood. Before extracting the brad nail, the wood needs to be sanded properly to protect the finished surface from which the nail is plucked out.

Removing brad nails is quite challenging particularly when you want to save the wood for future use. If you apply excess pressure, the nail shank may bend or break thereby damaging your trim. Furthermore, when the nail is countersunk and hidden, you will need to be extra careful and find a way of reaching it from the other side.

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