How To Remove Deck Nails

How To Remove Deck Nails

Deck nails can be a pain to remove, but with the right tools and techniques they can be a breeze. Here are five tips for removing deck nails.

How to remove nails and reuse deck boards

Tools You Need

The following tools are necessary for removing deck nails:



Pry bar

Socket set

Wooden mallet

Safety glasses

Work gloves


First, identify the type of nail:

For nails that are head-sized, use a hammer to drive them out from the side of the board.

For nails that are toe-sized, use a chisel to cut off the end of the nail, and then use a pry bar to pull the nail out from the side of the board.

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For nails that are round, use a socket set to remove them. First, determine the size of the socket: if the nail is head-sized, use a 3/8-inch socket; if the nail is toe-sized, use a 1/2-inch socket. Second, use the appropriate sized wrench to tighten the socket.

Safety First

When removing deck nails, always use a hammer and a nails puller. Never use a chisel or a knife to remove nails. This could cause serious injury. Always wear eye, ear and respiratory protection when removing nails.

Step One: Use A Screwdriver

The first step is to use a screwdriver to remove the deck nails. Heed the following safety tips when removing nails with a screwdriver:

1. Wear gloves and use a heavy-duty screwdriver to avoid cuts.

2. Place a piece of wood or other sturdy surface behind the nail to avoid damaging the deck.

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3. Place the screwdriver at a slight angle to the nail so that the blade grabs onto the head of the nail.

4. Apply pressure with the screwdriver to unscrew the nail. Be sure to use a light hand so that you don’tstrip the screwhead.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 until all the nails are removed.

Step Two: Cut The Nails

Remove the deck nails using a pneumatic hammer and a chisel. Cut the nails at an angle so that they will pull out relatively easily. You can also use a reciprocating saw or a jigsaw to do the job.

Step Three: Use A Claw Hammer

If you have a clawhammer, you can use it to remove the nails more quickly. First, mark the spot where the nail is so you don’t accidentally hit it while you’re trying to remove it. Next, use the clawhammer to hit the nail just below the head. As the nail pops out, use the clawhammer to remove the rest of the nail.

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Step Four: Use A Nail Puller

If you absolutely cannot get your hands on a proper nail puller, then you can attempt to use a pair of pliers. First, place the pliers around the top of the nail, just below the head. Second, twist the pliers in a counterclockwise motion until the nail pops out.

Step Five: Use A Wire Brush

If the nails are embedded deeply into the wood, a wire brush may be necessary to remove them completely. Be gentle when using the wire brush as you could damage the wood if you are not careful.


If you need to remove deck nails, use a hammer and chisel. Start by cutting off the head of the nail with the hammer. Then use the chisel to remove the rest of the nail.

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