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Nail Stuck in a Wall? Here’s How to Get It Out!

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Ever had a nail stuck in a wall, or even worse, a nail that is deeply buried in a wall? If you're planning to pull a nail or two from a wall, how do you determine which one is the best method? What other options are available for you to remove these pesky fasteners? We've done the hard work for you and found the best methods for each nail type.

To pull a nail that is stuck in a wall, follow these basic steps:

  • Pry at the head of the nail using a thin flathead screwdriver.
  • Once the head is out, grasp it tightly with a plier (a vise-grip is preferred).
  • Try to twist and turn until it loosens up. 
  • If unsuccessful, try to claw the head out with a hammer. 
  • Make sure to protect the wall regardless of what material it is made from.

The type of nail and its condition can also determine the difficulty level of the ordeal. We'll discuss further the proven methods to use for each nail type so you can effortlessly pull a stuck nail out relative to its type and condition. Continue reading as we'll also delve into different tools to make this job much easier. 

Removing nail on the wall, Nail Stuck in a Wall? Here's How to Get It Out!

How to Remove Nails Stuck in a Wall

When you have a nail stuck in a wall, you might feel like you're in a bit of a pickle. Fortunately, there are many different options for extracting it.

But in order to choose the right one, you'll need to consider the type of nail so you can choose the appropriate method.

Concrete nail on the wall

How to Remove Common Nails (with Head)

  • First, you want to know the condition of the nail. Is it embedded deeply, or is it sticking out?
  • If it's sticking out, you can simply use a hammer claw to remove it.
  • Protect the wall from damage by using a thin board or anything that can withstand the pressure between the wall surface and the claw. This way you won't chip or damage the wall. 
  • If it's embedded deeply, you may need to use a flathead screwdriver, cat's paw, or a pry bar to pry it out.
  • Depending on how deep it is, you may need to drill it out to loosen it.
  • Once you have it pulled out, you'll need to clean up any damage you've caused to the surrounding area.
  • Cover the damage and let it sit for a while before you plaster over it.

Illustration on how to remove a nail using a hammer

How to Remove Common Nails Without a Head, Brad Nails, and Finishing Nails 

Common nails without heads poking out of a wall are the last things you want to see on your wall especially if you have kids and pets in the house. However, removing them is fairly easy. Since they're already exposed, you won't have to pry them out, unlike buried nails.

Nail holes and concrete nail left on the wall

Here are the steps:

When using a claw hammer:

  • Slide the claw into the nail
  • Use a wide putty knife between the claw and wall surface to protect the wall from damage 
  • Side pull the nail until it is loose enough to be removed

You can watch this video to get the idea:

When using a plier or vise grip:

  • Grip the protruding nail using any of the tools mentioned.
  • Slowly twist and turn until you feel the nail has loosened up.
  • Depending on the length of the nail, you may need a claw hammer to finish the job

A deeply buried nail without a head is a more challenging task. You may be forced to drill a hole into the wall so you can leverage your plier or vise grip. Once the nail protrudes, you can grip it tightly and loosen it by wiggling it out until it is free.

You can also combine the functionality of both a claw hammer and a vise grip for this purpose. Check out the video below for a visual guide:

Best Tools to Use for Pulling Out Nails in a Wall

Nail removal requires the right tools and the right knowledge. Most people aren't prepared for such a challenging task. And if they try to use their tools, it's more likely that the nails will break off and they end up frustrated.

Be careful to use your tools judiciously and safely. While you can get lucky and hit a nail head with an ordinary hammer, you can also hurt yourself or someone else.

To avoid accidents, we have listed the best tools to use for this task:

Top 5 Claw Hammers 

1. Irwin Fiberglass Hammer

Designed with precision, Irwin Fiberglass Hammers feature a full forged steel head and a fiberglass body, providing superior power, strength, balance, and control.

Fiberglass absorbs vibration and dissipates impact, and the hammer handle is ergonomically-shaped to prevent hand strain.

Click here to see this Irwin fiberglass hammer on Amazon.

2. Mr. Pen Hammer

This hammer is designed to withstand any outdoor adventure. This small hammer is made of high-density carbon steel, making it suitable for a variety of different uses.

The non-slip grip makes handling easy, even in the wet. It has anti-rust properties that make it great for everyday use. Definitely a must for all campers!

Click here to see this Mr. Pen hammer on Amazon.

3. Amazon Basics Hammer

The tool features a heavy-duty steel handle with a comfortable non-slip grip. Designed to be a great-fitting grip in any hand, the ergonomic handle provides superior comfort for long periods of use.

The lightweight design is ideal for carrying in a backpack or bag. This hammer is perfect for anyone who loves DIY projects, remodeling, or home improvement.

Click here to see this Amazon Basics hammer on Amazon.

4. Spec Ops Hammer

This is a multi-purpose hammer that is designed to withstand the rigors of everyday use. It is constructed from premium alloy steel. This hammer has a shock-absorbing handle that provides comfort and protection.

The head is engineered to withstand heavy-duty use while remaining balanced, providing for easy, comfortable handling. The Spec Ops Hammer comes complete with a mallet cap.

Click here to see this Spec Ops hammer on Amazon.

5. Craftsman Fiberglass Hammer

A multi-purpose hammer that has everything a homeowner needs to do repairs, this hammer is a great choice for anyone who likes to work with their hands, as it's durable enough to withstand the rigors of DIY.

Craftsman hammers are built to last and designed with innovative features to make every blow easier, cleaner, and more efficient.

It is also ergonomically designed, which makes it comfortable to hold and use. The fiberglass handle of this hammer is reinforced to protect against damage. To increase safety, the handle is equipped with an overstrike protection, which helps prevent injury.

Click here to see this Craftsman fiberglass hammer on Amazon.

Top 3 Vise-Grip

1. Irwin Vise-Grip

Constructed of high-grade alloy steel, providing superior gripping, the vise grip's jaws are designed with a long nose that extends beyond the gripping area to ensure access to hard-to-reach places.

The Irwin Vise-Grip's unique nose design allows you to grip it tight, even in areas where others fail. This tool is an ideal replacement for your existing pliers. 

Click here to see this Irwin vise grip on Amazon.

2. Sata Locking Plier

The Sata Locking Plier has a super-solid feel and will not slip. The curved jawline allows for a superior grip and better control. The jaws have a nickel-plated finish that protects against corrosion.

It also has a spring-loaded opening mechanism to make sure the jaws stay locked tight and strong. These allow you to firmly grip even the thinnest wires or filaments, or the most delicate of materials.

Click here to see this Sata locking plier on Amazon.

3. Workpro Locking Pliers (Set)

This set is an essential tool for any tradesman. The pliers have been designed to withstand the demands of the trade and will provide the ultimate in strength and comfort.

They have a chrome-vanadium steel jaw construction for corrosion resistance and a premium alloy steel body for strength and durability. They also feature a quick lock and release mechanism which means no fiddling around if you want to get the job done fast. 

Click here to see this set of Workpro locking pliers on Amazon.

In Closing

Removing nail on the wall

We hope that this guide has helped you learn how to get a nail out of a wall safely and effectively. If you know of another method to remove nails from a wall, leave us a comment and tell us about it.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts:

How To Put Mirrors On Walls Without Nails

How To Hang Pictures Without Nails [3 Easy Ways]