How to Remove Concrete Nails

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Things You'll Need

  • masonry chisel

  • hammer


If you ever find yourself installing concrete nails, consider a duplex nail. It is a lighter duty concrete nail that has two heads on it. One head is for pulling the nail and the other to keep the nail from being driven too deep.

Removing concrete nails can be a frustrating task. There are two types of nails that can be hard to remove: the concrete nail and the masonry nail. Concrete nails are heavy-duty, rigid and wedge-shaped. Often when the board is removed that a concrete nail is in, the nail will strip through the board and remain behind in the concrete. There is usually much of the nail shank exposed. Masonry nails are round nails that are driven into masonry. These nails are shorter and have less of the shank exposed. With a couple of tips, they can be removed much easier.

Removing Concrete Nails

Step 1

First loosen the concrete nail by bending the nail from side to side until it lets go. To do this, use the hammer to strike the nail from the right side until it bends just a little, and then strike from the left side until it bends.

Step 2

Repeat striking the nail a little at a time, alternating sides, until the concrete lets go of the nail or the nail is snapped off.

Step 3

There is another option that will ensure the nail will not snap off and leave a piece sticking out past the concrete. With this technique, loosen the nail as described above, and then pull it using a claw hammer before the nail snaps. Place a 2x4 piece of wood between the head of the hammer and the floor to gain leverage if needed.

Removing Masonry Nails

Step 1

You will have to use a masonry chisel to remove masonry nails. The first option for removing a masonry nail is to loosen the nail. First place the chisel against the nail and strike the head of the chisel with the hammer. Striking the nail from the right side and then the left side, but be sure to stop before it snaps off.

Step 2

Next, pull the nail with the claw of a hammer. If the nail does not pull out, that only leaves you with one other option.

Step 3

Place the sharp end of the chisel against the nail where the nail meets the concrete. Next, strike the chisel with the hammer until either the nail is cut or gets knocked loose. Be sure to change the direction of the force often.


Tara Hornor

Tara Hornor has a B.S.E. in secondary English with an emphasis in composition. After college, she taught in a private school but found her passion as a homeschool teacher. Two years ago, she decided to make writing her career and be a stay-at-home mom.