Hand Demolition Tools: 5 Must-Have Items For Manual Demo Jobs

Which tool is used for demolition by hand? I’ll be taking a detailed look at hand demolition tools that you will need for any demo job.

Tools For Hand Demolition

When you’re planning to tear down a section of your home to rebuild a new structure, you will need some basic tools to accomplish your mission.

These aren’t the heavy-duty tools that only trained experts can handle. They are simple to hand demolition tools you already have at home or can buy from a hardware store.

So what are these tools?

  1. Pry Bars

All minor demolition jobs require the use of pry bars, so you have to include them in your shopping list when you’re gathering the tools you will need to remodel your home.

A pry bar is excellent for safely removing almost any type of nailed wood, thanks to its claw-like tip. It can also be used to remove tile flooring and deeply sunk nails.

Pry bars come in many sizes, and the size you will use determines the nature of wood or tile work you are trying to rip off. The size and depth of nails are also determinants of the type of pry bar you will use.

Since all the woodwork in your home isn’t built the same, it will be wise to buy different sizes of pry bars when you visit the hardware store.

You can start with an S-shaped crowbar (within the 18 inches and 2 feet range). This is ideal for taking out almost any type of interior framing wood.

You will also need to buy a smaller-sized pry bar (the flat pry bar). Its small size and flat nature will allow you to rip off woodwork that is located in tighter spaces, where a large-sized crowbar will not be able to reach.

A flat pry bar is also lightweight, which allows for better maneuverability and less fatigue.

A claw hammer can also be used alongside a pry bar for pulling out nails.

  1. Hammers

What better hand demolition tool to have than a set of hammers?

A sledgehammer can be used to break up large sections of a concrete wall or patio, while smaller hammers can be used to break up the smaller leftover chunks.

I have already mentioned how a claw hammer can be used alongside a pry bar for pulling out nails from wooden fittings. But that’s not all it can do, as it can also be used to smash tile fittings on the wall and floor.

A claw hammer can also be used to create small holes in your drywall in cases where you need to access plumbing/gas pipes and power cables.

Now there’s the heavy hammer, which is one step below a sledgehammer. It is sized very similar to a claw hammer but is fitted with a heavy sled for more rugged tasks.

You can also use a heavy hammer for working your interior framings and other forms of wood support.

Keep in mind that these smaller hammers aren’t ideal for knocking hard brick masonry, so you have to keep your sledgehammer close by at all times.

  1. San Angelo Bar

This tool is similar to a crowbar, but it also looks like a spear. Thanks to its weight, it can also be used to smash some hard masonry when a sledgehammer is unavailable.

Although not with the same efficiency, but with some extra effort on your part you can get the job done.

A San Angelo bar is about 72 inches in length and weighs about 18 pounds. It is made with high-carbon steel and it takes a hexagonal javelin-shaped form.

Even though its design is semi-complicated, it remains a very basic hand demolition tool.

It is designed with a chisel at one end, and a sharp point at the other. With this design, it can be used to rip up hard floor tiles or chip them off if you wish.

A San Angelo bar can also be used to break away tough concrete. All you have to do is push down the pointed end with adequate force and the concrete surface will crack open.

Remember that this is a hard tool, so it would be bad to use it on any other works besides your flooring.

  1. Screwdrivers

Not all demolition work requires the use of a sledgehammer. Keep in mind that hammers are meant for rugged works like smashing your concrete flooring and the likes.

If you were to handle some more delicate works, then it will be in your best interest to use a lighter tool. And this is where a screwdriver comes in.

A screwdriver can be used to remove electrical switches and outlets from your walls without being destroyed. It is also great for removing small sections of tiles and wood flooring.

A long flat head screwdriver should be on your shopping list, as it will come in handy in most delicate situations.

The good thing about the long flat head screwdriver is the chisel head tip, which can also act as a pry bar for smaller lifting.

  1. Safety Equipment

Home restructuring can be a tedious job, but it can also be dangerous if the tools are not handled responsibly.

This is why safety should be taken into full consideration when working with even the most basic hand demolition tools.

To avoid untold injuries, then you will need to put on some safety gear.

Here’s what you’ll need –

A hard helmet: You may think that domestic remodeling is too safe to have to put a helmet on. However, you are wrong, as domestic accidents can also occur.

With all the hammering, tearing off and drilling comes extra chippings here and there. This means a portion of your ceiling boards or concrete sub-decking can break off and fall.

In a case where you’re standing right beneath the breakage, you would want to have your helmet on to keep your head safe from serious injury.

If you don’t have a hard helmet, then you can buy one from a hardware store around your neighborhood.

Eye goggles: When you’re working with a sledgehammer on concrete floors or tiles, there will surely be bits and pieces of debris flying around. And as tiny as these pieces are, they can pack a punch if they hit you in the eyes.

Besides the solid pieces of debris, there will also be dust floating around the spaces where you are working, and you wouldn’t want them getting into your eyes either.

That being said, it would be in your best interest to put on a pair of eye goggles while you work.

Remember, the human eyes are very delicate, and being hit with flying debris can lead to impaired vision and even blindness.

Face mask: Speaking of dust, it isn’t just a threat to your eyes, as it can also get into your mouth and nostrils.

Keep in mind that some of the chemicals used in a concrete mix are harmful to the human lungs, and must not be inhaled.

A facemask can protect you from inhaling the dust build-up and spare you from unforeseen respiratory issues down the line.

Gloves: Handling tools like pry bars for long hours can take a toll on your palms. Extended work may lead to uncomfortable blisters, which will take some time to heal.

This is why hand gloves are important. They not only protect your palms from blisters, but they can also give you a better grip on the pry bar, which in turn reduces fatigue during the time spent on the job.

Work boots: Broken tiles and concrete breakouts can be dangerous if they get stepped on barefooted. Even if you had a pair of regular sneakers on, their soles will get damaged, as they are not designed to be designed to step on concrete and tile debris.

The ideal footwear for breaking up concrete and tiles are rugged work boots. They are made with hard soles that are designed to step on hard jagged material like broken concrete.

Their bodies are also tough, so they can last you a very long time.

Headphones: If you will be using a power saw to rip up your concrete slabs and steps, then you have to be prepared to deal with all the noise this handheld machine makes.

The good news is, you can block out all the noise by using a pair of headphones. Buy the ones with thick pads around the ears – the thicker the pads are, the more noise it can block out.

Final Words

Minor home remodeling can be done without the use of heavy machinery, as the parts of the building that are going to be worked on are not large or complicated.

When it comes to demolition works of this nature, your best bet will be small hand-held tools that can be used to remove some portions of the flooring and the likes.

If you don’t have these tools at home, you can buy or rent them from pretty much any hardware store around your area.

I hope this has been helpful.

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