Building With Pallets – How to Easily Disassemble A Pallet In Minutes

2nd 12 hours ago
As most of you know – we love to build with pallet wood. If you spend some time looking - it is usually pretty easy to find a source to get them for free – and if you find the right kind – the building potential is limitless. I thought for today's DIY post I would show how we go about taking a pallet from its current state to great usable wood in just a few minutes

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.

2nd Tip – forget about the little 5″ blade that comes with your sawzall. That will only frustrate you. Buy a couple of 12″

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  • Sherry brady
    Sherry brady Owings, MD
    I just made a headboard using the saws all technique and the nails are staying put!

    I like the nails.

  • Christine
    Christine Upper Marlboro, MD
    If you're using the boards as is, this is absolutely the way to go. (Frankly, I'm surprised it warranted an entire post about it, since it seems common sense. Work smarter, not harder!) You can still pop the remaining nails out with a nail set, using
    • Dee
      Dee Canada
      Christine I love your comment. My friend told me that common sense is learned behaviour, and not all that common! LOL I have built a couple sheds using 'found'
  • Jerry Dawes
    When building with pallet lumber, be sure to pre-drill your holes for the new nails or screws. The wood is tough, but it can still split when you try to hammer a nail or put a screw in it. And most nails will bend anyway, unless you're using a nail gun.
    • Beth
      Beth North Port, FL
      Jerry, you just saved me tons of aggravation!
  • Danielle Marceaux
    Danielle Marceaux Lakewood, WA
    I am going to try to rip the pallet to make a small green house for my seeds and make a blue berry change so these dam squrels quit steling my blue berry's think I will put some wire mesh on the bottom and then tule around the sides and top to
  • Calleen
    Calleen Fort Worth, TX
    there is an awesome tool on that is for tearing down pallets. they give you option if you want one with a nail puller or without - it works great and is a lot more cost effective than buying one of these tools if you don't already have one.
  • Kat
    Kat Ballwin, MO
    Thank you for this information that helps us novices out here. I truly appreciate the information and the comments that provide me with further ideas.
  • Danielle Marceaux
    Danielle Marceaux Lakewood, WA
    Thanks calleen never heard of this page
  • Crystal Sifton
    Yes getting those things apart is BRUTAL….good advice on the 12" blade! Thanks
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young Britt, IA
    I found a really handy tool made by Pallet Paw. I was able to salvage most boards without spliting them and it was quick and easy on my back. Check it out at
  • John Vogel
    John Vogel New Lenox, IL
    I'm afraid I have to hang my head in shame also. A neighbor threw away an old wooden wheelbarrow last year. I salvaged it and found that although most of the wood was rotted, the wheel was still in pretty good shape and all the hardware was intact. I
    • Danielle Marceaux
      Danielle Marceaux Lakewood, WA
      Cool pic like that idea and i like the wheelbarow will have to keep my eye out for one to
    • Ali Marshall Kay
      Ali Marshall Kay Choctaw, OK
      That is really cool. A piece of days gone by. :)
  • Danielle Marceaux
    Danielle Marceaux Lakewood, WA
    Well since these squrels steel just about every thing i am going to make a cage for my blue berrys so this year they cant steel any more of my blue berry's
  • MarcioWilges
    MarcioWilges Australia
    That's a really cool chicken coop! Not that I'd have space for chickens where I stay in Sydney, but I think reusing packing materials like pallet wood to construct things is awesome!
  • Sarian3
    Soy de Chile, y no se a que se refieren dejar las "unas en las patines". Me pregunto sawsall (aaqui se llama sierra ) corta la madera pero no los clavos, entonces como saco los clavos??? si pueden darme alguna sugerencia lo agradecería. saludos.
  • Silv
    Silv Dunellen, NJ
    Why use a 12" blade when working on a 4" area at a time? I found the 12" blade to be too flexible as I was only using the part of the blade closest to me....
  • Lori
    Lori Gramercy, LA
    Using the 12" blade makes things easier on even 4" boards
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