How to Remove Buried Nails from Wood – Using 6 Tools

How to Remove Buried Nails from Wood

I’m sure you’ve seen it before: a nail driven into a piece of wood sitting around for a while. It’s pretty hard to know where the nail is located. You need to get some tools and try these tips for removing buried nails.

Buried nails are those that go down into the heartwood. These may be there because of old nails that have come loose or from rotten wood that has separated from its support. Sometimes they may even be present as part of a previous repair. They are hidden from view, so you can easily miss them. They are a real pain to try and get out.

Safety Tips for Removing Buried Nails from Wood

Safety Tip # 1: The first thing you should do is to check for the condition of the wood surface. If it has been splintered, you don’t need to remove the nail.

Safety Tip # 2: If you find the hole and it has a nail sticking out, then you can remove the nail. Make sure you know how to use the tools properly. If the hole is in the middle of the wood and other nails are sticking out, you may need a different tool.

Tools and materials:

  1. Claw Hammer
  2. Nail Jack
  3. Pry Bar
  4. Nail Kicker
  5. Cat’s Paw
  6. Safety glasses (goggles)
  7. Heavy-duty gloves

1. Using Claw Hammer

This is a perfect way to remove nails from wooden boards. This method is one of the easiest ways of removing nails from wood boards. With this method, you don’t have to worry about damaging your wood surface. You can remove multiple nails in a short time. You can also remove the nails on a wooden board without having to use a power saw.

To remove the nails from a wooden board, you will need a claw hammer and a piece of wood.

Step 1: The first step is to place the claw hammer under the head of the nail that you want to remove.

Step 2: Next, press down handle of the claw hammer.

Step 3: Hold the claw hammer with both hands and move the nail from side to side. You will notice that the nail will move, and then it will come off the wooden board.

Step4: Repeat this process until all the nails are removed.

2. Using Nail Kicker

The Nail Kicker can be used for removing a buried nail from wood with a minimum of fuss.

Step 1: Simply place the flat side of the Nail Kicker into the hole where the nail is, then pull the handle back to pull the nail out.

Step 2: The Nail Kicker removes the nail from the hole completely, with no risk of splitting or chipping the surrounding wood.

Step 3: With the Nail Kicker, your chances of injuring yourself in the process of removing a buried nail are minimal.

3. Using Nail Jack

Step 1: Hold the head of the nail above the end of the board so that the pointed end is facing up.

Step 2: Insert the nail into a hole in the top of the jack.

Step 3: Move the jack in a straight line away from the nail until you feel the wood give under it.

Step 4: Rotate the jack counterclockwise until you reach the point at which you can pull the nail out without tearing any more wood.

4. Using Pry Bar

Step 1: Drill holes with the right size bit.

Step 2: Remove the drill bits and the Pry Bar from the drill.

Step 3: Hold the Pry Bar at a slight angle to the wood surface, then pull it along.

Step 4: Repeat steps until you reach the nail head.

5. Using Cat’s Paw

If you are using a cat’s paw to remove the nails, you need to make sure that you don’t use the nails to pull out the nails. Otherwise, you could damage your wood.

Step 1: Set up a temporary fence around the area where you want to work. This will keep the cats away while you work.

Step 2: Set up the cat’s paw on the wood and gently move it back and forth to loosen the nail. You can use a hammer to hit the nail head if you need to.

Step 3: Once the nail is loose, take it out and set it aside.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 until all of the nails are removed.

Step 5: If you have any leftover nails, set them aside in a separate container.

Step 6: When you are done, clean the surface of the wood with water. Use a brush to get rid of any dirt or debris.

Step 7: Apply a good quality sealant to the wood to protect it from the elements.

6. Using a Pair of Pliers

Step 1: Grab the top of the nail with the flat side of the pliers.

Step 2: Starting pulling the nail into the upward motion, release and pick the nail.

Step 3: Use diagonal cutting pliers to grab the protruding nail and finally pull it out of the surface.

Step 4: Do not grab the nail too tightly as the cutter might cut it in the middle.

Step 5: Repeat the process until you are finished. Now you’re good to go.


Can I use sandpaper to remove the nail?

Yes, you can use sandpaper to remove the nail. You can use fine or coarse sandpaper, depending on how hard the nail is. Sanding the nail off is the best way to remove it. However, you should only use sandpaper to remove the nail and nothing else.

Can I use a hacksaw to remove the nail?

No, a hacksaw will not be able to cut through the nail. This is because the nails used to secure tiles are made of stainless steel. Therefore, you need to use a tool that has a sharp tip to get through the nail, and a hacksaw won’t have that. Instead, you can use a screwdriver to pry off the tile.

Can I use a drill to remove the buried nails?

Yes, a drill can be used to remove the nail. When removing a nail from a piece of wood, you will need to use a drill. The nail can be removed by drilling through the head of the nail. There are several different ways to remove a nail. One way is to use a hand-held drill. Another option is to use a cordless drill. You can also use a hammer and chisel to remove a nail.

What is the best way to remove a nail from wood?

It’s best to try to remove the nail without damaging the wood, as it can be difficult to get out once it’s set. However, if you must remove it, use a Claw Hammer, which will leave a small hole in the wood. Fill this hole with wood filler and sand it smooth.

Is it possible to remove a nail with a hammer and chisel?

Yes, I have done this myself. It is not easy though, as nails are very strong. The best way to remove a nail is with a hammer and a chisel. You should hold the chisel perpendicular to the head of the nail. You must hit the nail on one side and then turn the chisel to the other side. Keep hitting the nail until you can get most of it out. If you don’t get all of it out, the end will be very sharp and can hurt your hand.


There are many ways how to remove buried nails from wood. The best method is to use a nail puller which is a tool that is used to remove the head of the nail. 

However, if you don’t have a nail puller, you can use a hammer and a flathead screwdriver. You should also ensure that you keep the area around the nail free from moisture. The reason for this is that the moisture can cause the wood to swell up and make it more difficult to remove the nail.

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