Best Pry Bar Reviews 2017

(Updated )
Picking the wrong type of pry bar can be risky business, yet it happens frequently as there are plenty of them to choose from. We want your next pry bar to be the best pry bar you’ve owned, which is why we’ve combed the market for the top 5 pry bar makers, showcasing one pry bar from each brand for you to have a look at. If none of the pry bars featured here suits you, feel free to check these brands out for more.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Size
Material
Set Size
Extras
Our Top Choice
Mayhew Dominator Pry Bar Set
Mayhew is the oldest punch and chisel maker in the United States; it grew from a small tool house to the industry leader that it is today.
It has nice, cushiony handle and withstands abuse. The metal bar runs from tip through the handle to the striking cap. The striking cap is a plus too.
Its rubber handle may wear a bit more easily.
Wrecking bar
24x12x6”; 2 pounds
Steel
5-piece
Curved
Best Value
Apex Tool Group 18” Indexing Flat Pry Bar
Apex Tool Group is a major manufacturer of professional-grade hand and power tools in the world, catering to a diverse customer base.
It allows for a wide range of prying applications as its head is adjustable. Its handle is comfortable and the pry is lightweight.
There are a few reports of screws coming off.
Wrecking bar
18x4.1x2.8”; 3 pounds
Black oxide
2-piece
Durable
Vestil Deluxe Steel Pallet Buster
Vestil delivers value to its customers through the creation of a diverse line of technology and products that increase their productivity.
It uses less energy and time than saws and crow bars. Its bent head prevents pallets from breaking as it steadily takes them apart.
It may feel heavy after a while.
Disassembling bar
41x5”; 12 pounds
Steel
5-piece
Rust resistant
Stanley 30-inch FATMAX FuBar Utility Bar
Stanley has built itself into a brand reputed for excellence and one with the widest range of hand tools, measuring tools, pneumatic tools and more.
It is made of heavy-duty steel and is a versatile multi-tool which can find a lot of applications for the pro and homeowner alike.
The head’s beveled edges a little too flat and thick to fit into really tight spaces.
Claw bar
30x6.9x1.6”; 8.2 pounds
Steel
2-piece
Textured Rubber Grip
TEKTON 4-Piece Handled Pry Bar Set
TEKTON makes tools that are classically lean and strong and designed to meet the expectations of the skilled tool user.
It’s an affordable and functional set of pry bars. Its different sizes of pry bars are useful especially for delicate under-the-hood work.
Striking isn’t advised as the metal doesn’t go all the way through the handle.
Crow bar
27x5x1.4”; 2.2 pounds
Black Oxide
4-piece
Angled tip

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How Do I Choose the Best Pry Bar?

Pry bars are useful and versatile tools for the homeowner seeking to improve his/her home and for the professional who wants to do a decent job. It’s known by a lot of names which include prise bar, wrecking bar and crow bar, and comes in a variety of designs, each suited for one set of jobs more than the others. Another popular name for this tool is Jimmy bar, which is used in reference to a pry bar’s use by burglars to forcibly enter buildings, an image bequeathed to it by Hollywood.

They come in several shapes such as hexagonal, flat, cylindrical, oval and I-beam and of all these, the I-beam is the most resistant to bending. The working mechanism of the pry bar is based on the principle of leverage and there are pry bars that can be used as all three classes of levers. There are 3 main types of pry bars:
  • The wrecking bar which is mostly used for demolition and renovation projects.
  • The digging bar which, as the name implies, is used to dig holes; post holes for instance.
  • The crow bar which is most suited for carpentry projects with a wedge on one end and a flattened fork on the other hooked end.
  • The utility bar which does all types of prying and more. An example of such is a Fubar.

Let’s consider the structure of a pry bar: there are four parts of the pry bar namely: the claw or head, the heel, the shaft and the tip. The claw of a pry bar can be bent, straight, beveled, wide, and adjustable and may be with or without a nail slot. The heel is the rounded or flat portion behind the bent claw and most times, it features as a striking surface. The shaft is the length of the bar between the claw and the tip; it features as the handle in some pry bars and is extendable in some others. The tip is on the opposite end of the head and may feature a straight claw in some pry bars.

The claw of a pry bar comes in different forms such as:
  • Straight claw: this type of claw is an extension of the shaft.
  • Bent claw: this one offers greater leverage as the inbuilt fulcrum of its rounded heel makes it effective at levering without using a piece of wood as added fulcrum, which isn’t unusual with straight claws.
  • Adjustable claw: it’s a somewhat recent design that lets the user choose and lock their preferred angles between 00 and 1800. It makes prying in awkward spaces easier. There are other claw types such as beveled, wide, chiseled and flat.

Some of them have extra features such as a jaw which can be used to bend or hold boards in place. It can also be used for wrenching things shut when you don’t have a wrench at hand. They also come in various lengths with longer pry bars being best suited for prying weightier objects. The smaller pry bars find use in many professions and are usually found in many tool bags while the larger ones can fit into a professional’s tool box.
Price
Pry bars are sold singly or in sets and can cost anywhere in the neighborhood of $5 to $250. The price of these tools is dependent on the features, the material used in their construction and the brand. As we’ve already noted, they could be sold singly or in a set with those in a set offering price bargains. Some pry bars are designed with more features than others and as such would cost more; for instance, a pry bar with an adjustable head and extendable length would differ greatly in price from a regular, single-piece bar.

The materials used in the construction of pry bars affect the price too. Cheap pry bars are usually forged from square, cylindrical or hexagonal stock. They may be treated, hardened or tempered for extra strength. Higher priced bars usually feature medium-carbon steel or titanium. While some brands are focused on making tools that the guy-next-door can wield with confidence, some other brands make innovative, next generation tools that are often versatile. When these factors are married, it becomes easier to understand the price differences seen in pry bars.
Features
Pry bars are numerous in type and design, so when you’re shopping for one without a particular reason, you might end up with one you won’t get to use much of either because it doesn’t have the features required for the job you had in mind or it wasn’t strong enough.
There are certain features to consider when you go pry bar shopping and they include:
  • Type - Wrecking bar, digging bar, pallet removal bar, crow bar and so on
  • Dimensions -- The length of the bar, width of the claw etc.
  • Material -- Steel, carbon, titanium etc.
  • Set size -- The number of pry bars in a set
  • Extras – Things such as type of handle, shape of the head etc.
Without the extras, a pry bar is pretty much basic tool that does nothing more than separate joined objects. If that’s exactly what you need there are plenty of those on offer.
Construction and Design
The strength of a pry bar is largely dependent on its construction material and design. The effectiveness of this tool is also dependent on these criteria. The materials should be strong enough to withstand the great amount of pressure that’ll be put on it. This is because pry bars work on the principle of leverage and a great deal of force, depending on what’s being pried, will be put on one end of the pry bar and materials that aren’t strong enough might end up broken and, worse still, might cause injury to the user.

The design of a pry bar is determined by what it’s to be used for. If the manufacturer intends that it be a multipurpose pry bar, it’s going to be a feature-full bar. Probably with a claw on both ends, an adjustable head, a striking face, nail slots, jaws for board bending or wrenching and so on. Pry bars with fewer features are useful for specific types of prying activities, especially if you’re a professional.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most tool manufactures design pry bars to have long flat handles that are joined to a forked-end. This end is usually flattened to fit inside fissures and crevices. The forked-end, generally called the claw, can be used to force crates open and to pull out nails and tacks.

Pry bars may feature a textured handle along the body of the bar or have a head that’s curved into a grip end. Another design comes as a plastic or rubber handle on one end of the bar. In whatever form the handle of a pry bar comes, it ought to be comfortable while it’s being held or used. Some pry bars even have striking surfaces integrated in the handles, but be mindful of these particular designs because if the metal bar of the pry doesn’t meet the end of this surface, you end up damaging the handles by striking them. Another striking surface design can be found on the heel of the pry bars behind the head or bent claw.

These tools come in different lengths and some lengths are more suitable for certain tasks than others. So, you may want to bear in mind what you want the pry bar for as that’ll guide you into making the right decision. Also, some pry bars come in a set. This means that, irrespective of the type of pry bar job you want to do, you’ll easily find it in the set.

What is the Best Pry Bar?

Since you have gone through our buying guide, you now know that the ease with which two boards or joined parts are separated is simply dependent on the type of pry bar you’re using. Only the best pry bar for that job will make the task easy and do the job without breaking. The material and design are things to consider when looking for the best pry bar and the information you’ve gained from our buying guide should make this easier as we consider these pry bars individually.
Our Top Choice
The Mayhew Pry Bar Set is a collection of 5 professional-grade pry bars with metal-capped striking ends. Constructed with heavy-duty tempered steel, they have curved ends and patented ergonomic handles. For a single, large pry bar, check out the Mayhew 58-C Dominator Pry Bar, which has a 58-inch OAL.
Mayhew Dominator Curved 5-Piece Pry Bar Set

Mayhew Pry Bar Set 61366


Features
Established in the year 1856, Mayhew is the United States’ oldest punch and chisel maker. Renowned for its true American methods, this Massachusetts-based company creates tools that mirror the American spirit of dependability, ruggedness and an unparalleled positioning to stand the test of time. Mayhew uses only the finest materials to make the best tools, a tradition it intends to uphold. As the demand for Mayhew’s high quality tools grows, the company continues to re-invest in American manufacturing and has purchased plant equipment, new production facilities and 2 new U.S. plastics company. This company refuses to compromise on quality and promises to continue manufacturing goods its customers can trust.

The Mayhew Pry Bar Set is a set of 5 heavy-duty pry bars which include the following: 24-C (31 inch-OAL), 18-C (25-inch OAL), 12-C (17-inch OAL), 7-C (12-inch OAL) and 5-C (10-inch OAL). The different-sized tools means that for whatever task you have at hand, you’ll have a pry bar at hand and ready. The ends of all the bars are curved; this will provide an increased leverage when you’re working in tight areas. The Dominator – another name for this set of pry bars - is designed to withstand all the abuse a tool in its line of work is expected to receive without chipping, bending or breaking. It has a heavy-duty hardened, tempered steel construction that runs the length of the bars, from the end through the handles. At the end of the handle, there is a metal striking cap, which means you can hit it (on the cap) without causing damage to the handle. The bars have comfortable, patented, 2-composite, user-friendly handles that allow them to be securely gripped. The bars are coated with black oxide finish which gives it an extra rust protection.

Mayhew boasts a good selection of pry bars, some of which include:
  • The Mayhew Dominator Screwdriver Pry Bar Set which is a 3-Piece set with 12-inch, 17-inch and 25-inch OAL
  • The Mayhew Pro Line-Up Pry Bar Set which includes 40101 Regular 16" rolling head pry bar , 40002 Regular 20" line-up pry bar and 40000 Regular 14" line-up pry bar each with hex body
  • The Mayhew Big Boy Length Dominator Value Pack with lengths of 36 and 42 inches
These pry bars are made in the U.S.A. and are backed by a Lifetime Warranty.
Best Value
The Apex Tool Group 18 inch Indexing Flat Pry Bar has a 900 flat head for prying access. Its head indexes over 1800 and locks into 16 positions for more uses. It features a comfortable, two-tone handle for secure grip. If you’re interested in an extendable pry bar, the GearWrench Extendable Pry Bar is available for your perusal.
Apex Tool Group 18” Indexing Red/Black Flat Pry Bar – Available in 2 Sizes

Apex Tool Group 18” Indexing Flat Pry Bar DB18X – 18-Inch


Features
Apex Tool Group (ATG) prides itself as being one of the world’s largest manufacturers of professional-grade power and hand tools and, with as many as 36 leading brands in its portfolio, that’s a well-earned bragging right. Crescent, GearWrench, SATA, Cleco and Weller are just a few of these brands. ATG utilizes innovation and high quality materials to create products that add value to its end users; it also considers end user feedback as a necessary ingredient in its inventory, promotion and display decisions. The final result of all these are tools that are intuitive, simple to use and indispensable.

The Apex Tool Group 18 inch Indexing Flat Pry Bar is one of a robust line of groundbreaking demolition, renovation and construction tools from one of ATG’s popular brand, Crescent. This pry bar features a 900 flattened head which gives improved access and broader support when you’re prying against surfaces. This means the pry maximizes leverage from many different positions, gains greater admittance into tiny cracks and spaces with more support from the flat area of its head, allowing you to pry boards apart easily. It also features a nail slot for prying nails away from walls, boards etc.

The head of this pry bar indexes over 1800 and can be locked into 16 different positions, which translates into access into an unlimited range of pry-able spaces, irrespective of where they’re located and whatever angles you have to approach them from. On the head of this pry bar, there’s a raised wedge that’s reinforced; this makes for a solid striking surface for you to hit when you want to drive this pry bar into tiny spaces. Its handle has a long-lasting two-tone rubber grip which enables you to comfortably and securely carry this pry bar around and during the application of force during various tasks. Its surface is coated with black oxide finish.

There are plenty of other pry bars from Apex Group Tools; here are a few more:
  • The Crescent CODE RED Molding Nail Removal Pry Bar, with red enamel finish, for removing molding and nals
  • The Crescent Nail Pulling Pliers for pulling nails even in situations where the head of the nail is not accessible
  • The Armstrong Aligning Pry Bar, a 5/8 x 16-inch aligning pry bar from another ATG brand: Armstrong
Apex Tool Group has stood the test of time; a result of its commitment to quality.
Vestil’s Deluxe Pallet Buster features a dual prying action and articulating head that’s unique and easy to use. A 41inch bar and sturdy construction takes apart more pallets in less time. If you’d like a shorter pry bar with a 5,000 pound capacity, the Vestil Prylever Bar is an equally good pry bar that’s worth a look.
Vestil Deluxe Steel Pallet Buster with Handle and 41-Inch Bar

Vestil Pry Bar SKB-DLX


Features
Established in 1958, Vestil Manufacturing Corporation boasts a total of four facilities with more than a million square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space. With over 415 employees which include fifteen full-time engineers, seventeen sales representatives and ten support staff, this brand is set to maintain its tradition of satisfying customers with the best experience possible. It also takes pride in being at the vanguard in the provision of quality product information, professing the belief that the continual introduction and improvement of innovative products is the key to growth. It also offers custom-manufactured products to suit your unique needs.

The Vestil Deluxe Pallet Buster is a pry bar that’s designed with ergonomics in mind. Its 41-inch-long bar provides enough leverage for safe pallet prying activities. This means that, without having to exert so much pressure, one is able to disassemble more pallets than with a saw, hammer and crow bar combined; plus, it saves your back from all that straining that accompanies pallet removal with those tools. Its articulating head is engineered to prevent breakage to pallets, but you should note that if the pallets already have cracks, they’ll naturally expand and some of them might lead to the pallets breaking. When the two parts that swivel are put in the “up” position, the head of the pry bar will be at right angle with the bar; then they swivel (i.e. the two swiveling parts) down to about 700. This pry bar has a durable steel construction for long-lasting use and is covered by a 30-day limited warranty.

Other Vestil pry bars include:
  • The Vestil Prylever Bar - 5-inch bar length, 4,250-pound capacity and steel construction
  • The Vestil Prylever Bar - 7-inch bar length, a 5,000-pound capacity and steel construction
  • The Vestil Prylever Bar - a 7-inch bar length, 4,250-pound capacity and a wooden bar with steel head construction
The Stanley 30 in FATMAX FuBar Utility Bar is a 4-in-1 tool that can be used for prying, striking jobs, splitting and board bending. It’s a one-piece pry bar with nail slot and textured grip. For a wrecking bar at less cost, check out the Stanley FatMax Wrecking Bar, which is 36 inches long.
Stanley 30-inch FATMAX FuBar Utility Bar With 4-N-1 Applications

Stanley FATMAX FuBar Utility Bar 55-120


Features
When you’ve been around for over a century and a half, you pretty much become the standard; this is the lot of Stanley brand. Since its creation in 1843, Stanley has been synonymous with quality, dependability and value and, whether you’re a professional contractor making frames for buildings or a D-I-Y enthusiast, this company has got the right tool to make the task at hand a breeze. It’s committed to the continual testing, improving and redesigning of its merchandise to ensure quality and optimal functionality. Maintaining the standard it has set over the years and meeting the expectations of its customers are important to it, and it strives to do so every day.

The Stanley 30 in FATMAX FuBar Utility Bar is a one-piece steel-forged bar with a textured rubber grip for greater control of the tool. Its heat-treated tempered steel construction gives it a durable quality and the ability to break down walls and just about anything else. It has a 2.5-inch-wide jaw for grabbing 2x4 lumber making it suitable for tearing and separating wood boards and ripping out flooring. In spite of its heavy duty construction, this pry bar has a lightweight feel and can be used for extended periods of time. On the other side of the jaw, there’s a striking face which has been treated to take all the pounding you’re able to deliver to this bad boy with your hammer without any chipping or breakage whatsoever.

At the other end of this pry bar, there’s a beveled nail slot so that when you come across nails that need to be pulled out, all you have to do is turn it around and pry the nails out; pretty versatile, right? What’s more, it comes with a high visibility powder-coated finish. It can also serve as a hydrant wrench and gas shut off wrench; another use for this can be as an emergency responder’s tool to break down doors.

Stanley has more pry bars on offer and they include:
  • The Stanley 7-1/2-Inch Wonder Bar II Pry Bar features a tempered steel construction that withstands a bending momentum of 310 pounds and is designed for strength and durability
  • The Stanley15-inch Super Wonder Bar Pry Bar with an arched center for greater prying leverage
  • The Stanley 8-inch Nail Puller - Chisel Scraper is forged with high-carbon steel with polished, beveled claws for prying and pulling nails
Stanley’s Limited Lifetime Warranty does not cover improperly used or altered products.
The TEKTON 4-piece Handled Pry Bar Set is forged with hardened square bar stock and has angled and chiseled tips for extra leverage. It fits into tighter spaces and has a comfortable handle and a durable finish. For a less expensive pry bar with chiseled tips on both ends and multiple nail slots, check out another TEKTON masterpiece, the 15-Inch Utility Pry Bar.
TEKTON 4-Piece Handled Pry Bar Set with 8, 12, 18 and 24 Inch Bars

TEKTON Pry Bar 3352


Features
The TEKTON company is a family-owned business. It boasts a full line of hand tools that are crafted with careful attention to detail and are consistently lean and strong. This company focuses on the designing and manufacturing of tools that constantly exceed the expectations of the passionate and skilled builder and ‘do-it-yourselfer’. TEKTON is an ancient Greek word for a builder, an artisan or a doer and this company provides serious tektons with whatever tools they need to create solutions to life’s problems.

TEKTON’s 4-Pc. Handled Pry Bar Set is a set of four pry bars that include 8-inch, 12-inch, 18-inch and 24-inch pry bars. Each pry bar features a mechanic-style square shaft cut and are forged from hardened square bar stock. The angled tip means that you get extra leverage even when working in tight spaces. The prying tips are flattened and chiseled so that they slide easily into tight cracks, openings and crevices to pull apart the joined parts. The handles on this pry bars are large and contoured for firmly grip the pry bar, even when it’s being used under high stress. The pry bars are competitively-priced and give good value for money spent as the different sizes of the bars can be used for a wide variety of prying tasks. The black oxide finish on these bars ensures that they’re dust resistant and aren’t lost to corrosion.

Here are some other pry bars from TEKTON for your consideration:
  • The TEKTON Tack Puller is a 4-inch pry bar with large comfortable handle and a slot for taking out tacks with ease
  • The TEKTON Wrecking Bar - available in 12 inches and 18 inches for demolition and renovations
  • The TEKTON Jumbo Bent Tip Pry Bar with a 36-inch length for extra leverage and taking apart the big stuff
TEKTON’s tools are always guaranteed and backed by responsive customer support.

Get the Best Pry Bar of 2017!

Finally, the end has come! Now that you’re familiar with some of the best pry bars on the market today, and now that you know what to look for in a great tool, go on and order your chosen pry bar.

Our Top Choice
Mayhew Dominator Pry Bar Set
Best Value
Apex Tool Group 18” Indexing Flat Pry Bar
Vestil Deluxe Steel Pallet Buster
Stanley 30-inch FATMAX FuBar Utility Bar
TEKTON 4-Piece Handled Pry Bar Set