Working with pallets – the first thing we realized early on is it is nearly impossible and too time consuming to worry yourselves with pulling out the nails. It is too easy to damage the wood with the claw and hammer or pry bar.
Instead, we opt for our sawzall method – which can disassemble a pallet in less than two minutes into 10 or more pieces of great usable wood. Besides – the left over embedded nail fragments actually add a ton of character to pieces when either stained or painted.
So – 1st Tip – Invest in a sawzall. They are the key to quickly destructing a pallet – and without damaging or splintering the wood. Yes, it's an expense – but the inexpensive ones will work just fine with pallets.