Asked on Nov 2, 2014

Is there a video on how to disassemble pallets?

Jean OuelletteLeon Perniciaro Jr.Miriam Illions


I have wooden pallets I wish to take apart so as to reclaim and reuse. I do not know how. Have a video? That would help me greatly.
5 answers
  • Jill Feigelman
    Jill Feigelman
    on Nov 3, 2014

    We don't have a video on pallets, but @Andrea Fogleman would have great suggestions. I also found this video on YouTube:

  • I doubt you will find any videos on taking these apart, but although they are simple to construct they can be quite hard to take apart. When they are built the pallet company uses special screw style nails that have a special adhesive made of rosin. This rosin heats up as the nail is power hammered (nail gun) into the wood. When this happens the glue is activated and holds them in really well. So much so you may break the nails off before you pull them out. There is a tool called a cats claw that is used to remove nails. It is placed against the nail head and using a hammer is pushed into and below the nail, a simple rotation of the cats claw should pull the nail up and out. But do not be discouraged if the nail head breaks off. Often they do. If that is the case a simple hammering behind the wood will allow the wood to slip off of the remaining nail sticking out. There is one other method that will work well. Using a Sawzall tool, which is a reciprocating saw you would install a long metal/nail saw blade in it and work it between the top boards and the main pallet boards cutting the nails off in the process. Bit of a job and the nails will remain in the wood and will never be able to pull out but it will take the pallets apart.

    video disassemble pallets, diy, pallet, repurposing upcycling, This is a sample of many of the different types of cat claw tools available Cost can range from 5 to 55 depending upon size and quality
    • Kare4
      on Nov 5, 2014

      Thank you I read your sites information, the tool suggestion Ty.

  • Miriam Illions
    Miriam Illions
    on Nov 4, 2014

    Great tips from Woodbridge and Jill! Also, @Old World Garden Farms wrote a great post with easy tips:

  • Leon Perniciaro Jr.
    Leon Perniciaro Jr.
    on Nov 7, 2014

    Haven't tried this but it looks interesting....

  • Jean Ouellette
    Jean Ouellette
    on Nov 18, 2014

    I too thought it would be easy to tear apart... wasn't as easy as I thought. After lots of prying and pounding... I gave up! Then was later given the suggestion of cutting through the nails with a saws all .... haven't tried it, but makes sense.

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