How to Remove Buried Nails from Wood without damaging wood

Removing flush nails without damaging wood is one of the most painful tasks. We all know that.

Unlike screws, nails do not have any large grooved heads. As a result, it becomes tougher to remove nails. But you must do it to repair, refurbish, and repair wooden furniture, floors, walls, and other surfaces.

Then how to remove buried nails from wood without damaging wood, floor, wall, or surface.

You can remove sunken nails by using hammers, bars, paws, kickers, or even jacks. But each process requires different steps to follow. Without that, you may damage the wood even if you are successful in removing the nails.

How to Remove Buried Nails From wood Without Damaging Woods- Step by Step

We will follow these ways of removing flush nails without damaging wood. These are the best way to remove nails.

  • Remove nails with a Claw hammer
  • Remove nails with Pry bars: 
  • Remove nails with Cat’s paw
  • Remove nails with Nail kickers
  • Remove nails with Nail Jack.

Safety Tips While Removing Flush Nails

You know, safety is always first. So make sure you have all the safety measures with you. Maybe you know that the US government spends more than $38 million yearly for nails related injuries. So make sure you have followed the safety tips.

  • Always wear safety glasses. During the removal of nails, any nail can hit your eyes. And that can lead you to some severe injuries. 
  • Make sure you wear high-quality, heavy-duty safety gloves. Since you have to push your hand to generate pressure, gloves will surely help and also, it will save you from any unwanted injuries.
  • Check around and make sure no one is near you. 
  • When using any tools for removing nails, always put a block under the tools so that the wood remains safe and you get more strength. 
  • And lastly, wear a pair of work boots. 

How To Remove Nail Gun nails with a hammer

You can use the best nail gun instead of hammer to drive nails. But you cannot use a nailer to remove nails at all. A hammer is the best tool to remove nails from wood you will find in the house.

Almost everyone who does basic home improvement tasks has a hammer. But not all hammers are suitable for removing nails. Some hammers have both sides blunt. On the other hand, some hammers have one side blunt and another side claw. Pick a claw hammer for this task.

What to do:

  • Take your hammer and find out the nail you want to remove.
  • Set your claw side of the hammer to the head of the nail and then pry it. Keep prying until the head rises from wood or other surfaces. 
  • When the head rises, make a secure and tight hold on the head of the nail and create a sideway with a little bit of pressure. It should not take much pressure. Repeat it until the nail comes out. You are done.

You need to remember one thing. With this method, you cannot remove nails that are buried deeply. You have to follow other methods to do that.

How to remove nails from wood with Pry bars

Some people want to know how to get nails out of wood without a hammer. For them, pry bars can be a good option. As you know, pry bars are used for heavy-duty nail removal tasks. It is easier to remove nails with pry bars.

What to do 

  • It is similar to the hammer method. Prepare your pry bar, and then find the nail you want to remove.
  • Set your pry bar on the position
  • If you do not see the head, use a hammer to knock out two or three-pound bury the bar onto the nail side head.
  • You will see the nail’s head. Then by using the pry bar, pull out the nail.

This is the way how to remove framing nails.

How to get nails out of Wood without hammer – using Cat’s paw

A cat’s paw is similar to a pry bar. But it is smaller and gentler. As a result, there is a low chance of ruining your woods. But you have to use it properly to save your wood. Otherwise, you might end up destroying your woods. 

What to do

  • Set your cat’s paw and find out the location of the nails on the wall.
  • Set your Cat’s paw above the nail head at 45-degree angle
  • Now similar to the previous method, hit the paw with a hammer to get a solid hold on the nail head.
  • Pull your paw backward to remove nails from the surface if you see the head.

How to remove nails with Nail kickers from wood

Nail kickers are automated tools for removing countersunk nails. Though setting up nail kickers is time-consuming, you can quickly and smoothly remove nails once you set it up. But you should use the best nail kicker to follow this process. With the right nail kickers, you can remove nails very fast. And the best part about it is you can remove nails without damaging your wood. I am providing a video so that you can easily understand how it works and what you need to do.

What to do

  • Prepare the wood from where you want to remove the nail
  • Prepare your nail kicker as well
  • Set the nail kicker on the head nail and then push it gently through the surface.
  • The tool will do the rest of the things and remove nails.
  • If the nail is not entirely removed, you can repeat the method, and also, you can also use other methods and techniques to remove the rest part.

If you want to know how to remove headless nails from the wall, this is the way.


How to Remove nails with Nail Jack from your wooden surface.

And the last tool you can use is nail jack. It is a small but handy tool. Here are the process and videos so that you can easily understand the method.

What to do

  • Set the nail jack on the right position
  • Drive it into the nail head
  • Hold the head
  • Squeeze and blend the tool. Nails will come out quickly unless it is buried deeply.

These are some common tools you can use to remove buried nails from wood or other surfaces. Now we will talk about some techniques on how to remove buried nails from wood or other surfaces.

Other techniques you can follow

Here are some techniques. But these methods work only on a thin surface. You cannot use these methods on a thick surface.

Pull nails from the back

  • If you find out that the nails are deeply driven, you can remove it from the back. To do that, use a nipper tool.
  • Find out the nail on the back of the surface and grab it with a nipper.
  • Lever it out. As simple as that.

But the problem with this is during the levering, the nail will come out with head, and it will damage your wood for sure. We know finished wood or surface is expensive. In that case, you can follow the next step.


Push from the back

This one is similar to the previous one. But it is reverse engineering.

  • Find out the nail and go to the backside.
  • You will see the back of the nail. Use a hammer and push it.
  • On the front side, you will see the head.
  • Now follow any tool from the above and remove the nail.



Now you have some techniques and tools to remove buried nails from wood, floors, or other surfaces. But make sure you have followed proper technique. The best thing you can do is to hire a professional. I know for a small task, it is not possible to spend money, but trust me, if your surface is expensive and you want to keep it as it is now, you have to hire a professional.

But for small tasks, these methods are perfect. So follow these methods and do your job. If you do not know how to use a nail gun or hammer to drive a nail into target then you should learn it as well — best of luck.

Leave a Comment