How to Remove Staples From Wood | Covered Furniture, Frame & More

Whether you want to renovate your house or redo the carpets, having a staple remover is just as important as having a staple gun. To remove staples from wood with pliers, just open the plier’s jaw, hook through your pin, and close it. Now roll your pliers to pull the fastener. Lastly, pull the staples out with the pointed end of the pliers.

How to Remove Staples from Wood

How to Remove Staples From Wood

While you are renovating your home or remodeling your furniture, staples, and nails will be everywhere. It will not be efficient if you keep pulling them out one by one with a random tool. To remove them perfectly while causing them no damage, you must have the right tool.

Now, what is the best tool for removing staplers for you? It depends on what kind of job you are having. If you don’t have many staples to pry out, just use the regular hand tools. But if there are tons of nails and you have to pull them out quickly, go with the professional staple pullers.

Staple Pullers

When you are planning to get a tool for removing nails or staples, staple pullers might come to your mind first because these are the most prominent tool for you to rip off staples. Primarily they are designed for upholstery works, but they work on any sort of staples.

Mostly there are two kinds of nail pullers when you are talking about a dedicated and professional tool. One of them is the Cat’s Paw, and the other one is the nippers. Let’s what each of them is offering.

Cat’s Paw

Among hundreds of solutions for this staple removing task, a cat’s paw might be the most popular one. Cat’s paw is considered to be a dedicated tool for eliminating tough buried nails. This tool is pretty short. It might be only 6 inches in length with a bent and sharp end. 

And usually, the sharp end has a small notch, which may seem like a fork to you. Now, if you want to pull the nails or staples out from the wood, just tap one, or if it requires, both ends of the tool right under the nail or staple and pull it out.

Usually, pulling out nails or staples with such a tool requires a good amount of force. And this tool might be preferred when a pleasant appearance is not essential. Also, this tool might cause damage to the wood if you are not cautious enough.


Now, if you are up for getting a dedicated nail puller, nipper might be an excellent option for you. When you are using a cat’s paw, the finishing will not be top-notch. Besides, the wood might get damaged. So if you are looking for a professional tool that will be best for finish work, you should go with the nippers.

This tool can provide a clean appearance to your job while requiring less effort. Still, your wood would be safe from any damage. These tools can pull out the staples from the backside of the wood, keeping the front side fresh and clean.

Depending on what kind of job you have got, you can choose the type of nail pullers.

Shovel or Floor Scrapper

Now, if you are renovating your old house and want to remove staples after removing the old carpet, you just can’t rely on the cat’s paw or the nippers because you have to pry out the nails or staples one by one. But you might have millions of pins on your floor. 

To tackle that situation, renovation experts consider shovel or floor scrapper a more advanced, quicker, and more efficient option. To remove staples with these tools, you have to hold the shovel at a 45-degree angle and slide it along the floor with force. When the shovel hits the staple’s edge, it will just simply rip them out.

Now, this method is more suitable when there are lots of staples. But this might not make the best appearance for the wood. Also, the wood might get damaged a little bit. But if you want your job done quickly, this might be the ideal option for you.

Hand tools

Remodeling your furniture or renovating your house requires a lot of tools. So you might not be up for buying a new tool that can only remove nails or staples. And that’s alright. You can just do your job with the most common tools every DIY user or a regular homeowner has.

And we are talking about the hand tools like pliers of different kinds, screwdrivers, pocket knives, etc. These are all reliable tools that might require some extra effort. But still, they can provide a pretty great outcome if you have good knowledge about the tools.

Diagonal Pliers

Like any standard pliers, you can use diagonal pliers for multiple purposes with a very efficient result. And you can use it for removing nails as well. And to some experts, this particular tool is the most efficient hand tool for pulling out nails and staples. Because this tool requires less effort, works efficiently, takes less time.

First of all, you have to get a grip with the bent and sharp claw of the pliers by driving it under the staples. And when you are pulling out the nails, the bent end can help you create enough force for the task. 

The diagonal pliers are also known as side cutters, can also be used for cutting the staples. It will not require much force with its sharp end and will just cut the pins in a moment.

Standard Pliers

Even though the professional prefers the diagonal pliers to remove staples if they have to work with pliers. But if you do not have one, do not worry. Your standard pliers can do the job too, as it is exposed enough to have enough grip. Also, the round nose helps the tool to create enough force.

Needle Nose

If your staples are small and delicate, you can not use the hand tools mentioned above. Well, you can. But the result might not be satisfying for you. So, we would recommend the needle nose. To get a grip on the tiny staples, the pointy nips in the needle nose are the perfect match.

Screwdrivers and Knives

Sometimes there are not a lot of staples to remove when you are stapling with your staple gun. Besides, you might make a mistake while pinning. So if you want to remove that staple instantly, you can just use tools like screwdrivers or pocket knives that might be around you.

But the disadvantage of using these tools is they require more effort and might cause damage to the wood as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut the nails instead of pulling them out?

Yes, you can. If you have a sharp tool like the side cutter or the diagonal pliers, just cut the staples deep and bury the rest.

Can I use the hammer back to remove the staples?

To pull out your staples quickly while working, using the hammer back can be very convenient. Even though this might provide a very rough result, you can still rely on this if you do not focus on appearance.


Removing staples often requires lots of effort. But if you are not careful enough, that might cause severe damage to you and your working equipment. And remember, removing staples will not be time-consuming or aggravating, only if you can choose the right tool for your job.

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