Buying and Effectively Using Pry Bars

A man uses a pry bar.

Pry bars are a basic tool that can be used around the home and for many home improvement projects. This tool works off leverage, where the steel of the bar is used to pull against objects that are being removed as part of demolition work.

Pry Bar Sizes

Pry bars can be purchased at most home improvement centers and hardware stores. If you are buying a pry bar, look for a set that has several different sizes available. However, if you only need one or two bars, then choose a pry bar that will be effective for your project.

Small Pry Bars

Small pry bars are approximately one foot long and are used to pull out nails and screws from walls or lumber. This type of bar is commonly referred to as a “cat’s paw,” because it has a split end that is usually used to wedge the nail or screw free.

Medium Pry Bars

Medium pry bars are approximately 2 to 3 feet long. They are used to pull large nails and screws from wood. Also, medium pry bars are used to pull pieces of lumber apart or to pull wood boards closer together for a tight fit.

Large Pry Bars

Large pry bars are approximately 5 to 6 feet long and are used for heavy-duty demolition projects. This length of the bar is used primarily as leverage to move large objects – for example pulling a wood wall frame from a finished concrete floor.