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What is a standard wrecking bar?

What is a standard wrecking bar?

Shop for Wrecking Bars


wrecking bar, types of wrecking bar, crowbar, red crowbar, The standard wrecking bar is the most recognisable and widespread type, and uses a traditional design incorporating one bent claw, which provides an inbuilt fulcrum, and a straight end featuring either a chisel edge or second claw.
gooseneck bar, gooseneck wrecking bar, swan neck bar, goose, wrecking bar, canada goose, Because of its bent or ‘hooked’ profile, this type of wrecking bar is sometimes called a ‘gooseneck’ or ‘swan neck’ bar.
chisel edge, wrecking bar, chisel, nail pulling, A standard wrecking bar always features a bent claw with a nail slot, but does not always feature a nail slot at the straight end. A chisel edge does not feature a nail slot, and is therefore unsuitable for lifting nails – a straight end with a chisel edge is better suited to lifting, levering and breaking.
nail puller, nail puller hole, wrecking bar, Where a straight claw is featured, a nail puller is usually incorporated in addition to the extra nail slot, making the bar more versatile as de-nailing tool.

What standard wrecking bar sizes are available?

scales, weighing scales, Standard wrecking bars are available in a wide range of lengths from 300-900mm (12-36in), and weights from 380-3000g (13-105oz).
lemonade, can of lemonade, For comparison, this means that the lightest standard wrecking bar available weighs slightly more than an ordinary can of lemonade …
5L bottle, lemonade, bottle of lemonade, … while the heaviest weighs as much as a 3 litre (5 pint) bottle of lemonade.
archimedes, law of the lever, leverage, Following Archimedes’ ‘Law of the Lever’, we know that the longer the bar, the better the leverage. Therefore, a longer bar is best suited to lifting heavier and larger objects, while a shorter bar will offer the user more control and precision.

What standard wrecking bar shafts are available?

which one?, choices, decisions, question marks, indecision, The shaft of a standard wrecking bar may be round, hexagonal, octagonal or flat. When choosing which shaft is right for you, these are some of the points you might want to consider:
flat shaft, wrecking bar, flat,

What task will you be using your bar for?

Heavy-duty tasks

For heavy-duty lifting, breaking and demolition tasks, the best type of shaft is one which is thick and flat.

ruler, bending ruler, bending ruler along narrow edge, A thick, flat bar has greater structural strength than other shafts when force is applied along the narrow edge – similarly to the way that a ruler resists bending when force is applied to the edge, rather than the top or underside.
thin shaft, shaft, wrecking bar, crowbar shaft, The weakest of the shafts available is the thin version of the flat shaft, which should not be used for heavy-duty tasks under any circumstances; thin, flat wrecking bars are designed for light lifting, prying and nail pulling only.
tight gap, narrow space,

Tight spaces

A flat shaft is also best if your task will require you to penetrate tight spaces with your bar.

A round, hexagonal or octagonal bar is thicker than a flat bar; therefore, it is easier to penetrate tight spaces, such as the gaps between tightly fastened objects, with a flat bar.

reclaimed wood, reclaiming,

Precision or care required

If it is important that the materials you are lifting or prying with your wrecking bar are not damaged in the process (such as if you will be reclaiming them), the best shaft to opt for is one which distributes the force input over as wide an area as possible.

force distribution, distribution of force, In simple terms, this is because the weight of the ‘load’ (the object being worked) will be distributed across the entire surface width of the bar, meaning that the force required to lift or move it is not concentrated on one point. The same principle allows a person to lie on a bed of nails without being hurt, whereas sitting on just one nail would be very painful!
flat shaft, crowbar shaft, wrecking bar, shaft, Due to its width, the flat shaft is best for distributing force over a wide surface area, and carries the least risk of damage to the materials being worked.
holding wrecking bar, wrecking bar, holding crowbar,

Which type of shaft is most comfortable to hold?

Comfort may vary depending on user preference. The only way to guarantee that you pick the shaft which you find the most comfortable to hold is to pick one up and try it for yourself!

holding round shaft, round shaft, crowbar, hold tool handle, If you don’t have this option, however, it is likely that the most comfortable to hold will be the round, hexagonal and octagonal shafts, with hexagonal and octagonal shafts being easier to grip in wet and slippery conditions. As a general rule, rounded objects fit more comfortably in the hand than square or rectangular objects will.
flat shaft, crowbar, The least comfortable to hold is likely to be the flat shaft.
steel stock, metal stock, round bars,

Which type of shaft is the cheapest?

As the metal stock that bars are made of usually comes in round or hexagonal bars, tools with round or hexagonal shafts are inexpensive to produce; and therefore cheaper to buy!

octagonal steel stock, octagonal bars, 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.
forging, forging steel, forging tools, Flat shafts are the most expensive available, as they must be forged into the correct shape, increasing production time and cost, and, therefore, the price.
the choice is yours!

What are standard wrecking bars made of?

alloy steel, steel, Alloy steel
high carbon, high carbon steel, tool steel, High quality carbon steel
boron, boron steel, High alloy boron steel
spring steel, Spring steel
wonkee website, our guides, wonkee donkee, tool guides, diy guides, For more information on each of these materials, refer to our earlier page: What are bars made of?

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