How to Get the Most Force out of Your Crowbar

What You'll Need

A crowbar is an ideal tool for demolishing objects or prying them apart. It is a tool that’s existed for many years and has earned it's name because one end of it looks like a crow’s leg. Although the crowbar is a tool that relies on force to do the work effectively, there are specific ways that you can use your crowbar to exert the most force. This will make the job much easier.

Step 1 - Your Crowbar

You need a good, strong crowbar to carry out your work. Mostly, crowbars are made from carbon steel, but you can also buy titanium crowbars that have the advantage of being lighter and non-magnetic.

For small jobs such as removing nails, push the “V” on the foot of the crowbar under the head of the nail. You’ll achieve the best force by having the “V” facing towards you, so you’ll be pushing on the crowbar to remove the nail. This safely exerts the force away from you.

If you’re working on a job and your crowbar begins to bend, stop immediately; you are going to need a new, stronger crowbar than the one you are currently using. Cheap crowbars are rarely a good investment. With a steel crowbar, you need to buy one that’s heavy and comes with a large enough diameter to grab and hold easily. This will make working with it much safer. Always wear gloves and safety glasses when you’re working with a crowbar.

Step 2 - Fulcrum

Essentially, your crowbar is a level which means that it pivots on a fulcrum. This is where the power you exert becomes a force to take things apart and could typically be two pieces of wood that have been nailed together. You’re going to achieve the best results by making sure the force you exert is directed away from you. If you’re right-handed, for example, don’t pull the crowbar toward you. Instead, you should have it positioned so you’ll be pushing to your left.

Step 3 - Using Your Legs

Where the objects you’re prying apart are horizontal, you’ll get the most power by bending your knee in a direction that moves away from those objects. Do it slowly, rather than with a snap because this can injure your back. Going slowly allows you to gradually increase force to the level you need.

If you’re working on objects that are vertical, use your shoulders and arms to exert the power. Again, go slowly and gradually increasing the amount of pressure.

Step 4 - Keeping Objects Secure

Unless the objects you’re trying to part are secured so that they can’t move, you’re wasting your time using a crowbar. Make sure they’re immovable before you insert the crowbar and work carefully. A sudden pry can send objects flying and this can cause injury.

Before you start to pry, make sure that the end of the crowbar is firmly wedged between the two objects. This will allow you to exert more force without the wood splintering. Also, you won’t need to exert yourself as much to part the two pieces. Always remember that there are limits to what a crowbar can do.