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What are the parts of a wrecking bar?

What are the parts of a wrecking bar?

Shop for Wrecking Bars


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Typically wrecking bars all have the same standard parts os a bent claw, round heel, shaft and a second end. The biggest difference is on the second end where a varying number of features from a straight claw, chisel edge, conical tip, blunt tip or simply a handle. Read our full guide to the parts of a wrecking bar.

Types of end on wrecking bars

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Claw with nail slot

Either a straight or a bent claw can incorporate a nail slot, but not all do.

A nail slot is used to engage the head of a nail, before pulling it free by applying force to the opposite end of the bar. (See: How to pull nails using a wrecking bar).

Wonkee Donkee says: "Most claws can take nails from 0.5-1.5cm diameter."
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Claw with nail puller

Wrecking bars often incorporate a nail puller; a small hole in the claw or in the shaft of a bar, usually pear or tear-shaped, which can be placed over the head of a nail and used, in the same way as a nail slot, to pull it free.

The benefit of a nail puller is its ability to surround the head of the nail on all sides, so that it can’t slip out during levering. This also means that nails can be pulled straight upwards, preventing damage.

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Bent claw

A bent claw offers increased leverage.

The inbuilt fulcrum of the rounded heel makes using the bar in levering applications easier by increasing leverage; this means the bar is more effective at levering on its own, negating the need for an added fulcrum such as a block of wood, which may be required with straight claws.

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Adjustable claw

This is a relatively new claw design which can be adjusted and locked at the preferred angle, from 0 to 180 degrees. This makes it extremely versatile for use in awkward spaces, and for a range of varied tasks.

To find out how to use an adjustable wrecking bar, see: How to adjust the claw on an adjustable wrecking bar.

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Straight claw

A straight claw is forged without a bent heel, but may incorporate a slight curve for leverage (providing a small inbuilt fulcrum).

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Conical point

This type of end tapers to a conical (cone-shaped) point. It is most commonly used for aligning or locating ‘mating’ holes and workpieces in construction, engineering and carpentry.

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Chisel edge

A wrecking bar may feature a chisel edge at one or both ends; a chisel edge resembles a claw without the central nail slot, and is usually polished and bevelled.

This can be used to lift and lever objects where no nail-pulling is required.

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Double claw

Found on a T type wrecking bar, a double claw is shaped like a capital T, featuring two claws at 90 degrees from the heel of the bar.

A double claw is designed to offer more power by enabling the user to lift with two claws at once. It also provides two separate angles of leverage when the claws are used separately, as each sits at a different angle to the main shank of the bar.

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Some wrecking bars have a handle at one end, rather than another working point. A handle can provide comfortable grip for the user, making a bar easier to use.

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Blunt tip

A blunt tip, as found on the straight ripping chisel, can be used to apply vertical downward force to an object or surface.

Wrecking bar shaft types

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The most common type of shaft, a round shaft is comfortable to hold, cheap to produce, and allows the bar to be twisted and turned beneath the edge of an object being lifted or moved with little trouble.

Because metal stock often comes in round or hexagonal bars, bars with round shafts require less forging and are therefore some of the cheapest available.

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Hexagonal shaft

A six-sided shaft aids grip in wet or otherwise slippery conditions, and makes it easier to apply force to the end of the bar when levering, by providing a flat side (or six!) for the hand to rest on.

Hexagonal bars are among the cheapest available, for the same reason as is explained above for round bars.

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A flat shaft may be thin or thick, depending on the bar.

This type of shaft distributes force evenly across its width, decreasing the risk of damage to the object being lifted. A shaft which is thin and flat may also make it easier to penetrate into tight spaces.

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This type of shaft benefits from the comfort of a round shaft, and the narrow edges and wide force distribution of a flat shaft.

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Octagonal shaft

An octagonal shaft offers similar benefits to the hexagonal shaft above, but has eight sides rather than six.

Though metal stock is available in octagonal bars, these are less widespread and may be more expensive to source than round or hexagonal bars, increasing the cost of manufacture and, as a result, the price of the tool.

Wrecking bar heel types

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Rounded heel

A rounded heel makes use during prying applications easier on the user because it allows the claw to ‘rock’ backwards on the heel, through the full angle of leverage available.

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Flat heel

A flat heel has the benefit of providing a flat striking face, allowing the user to strike the heel with a hammer when penetrating tight spaces.

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