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I’m not going to lie and say it’s a piece of cake to dismantle a pallet. I’m not going to tell you anyone can do it. But, I will say this, the proper tools make a world of difference.
If you have the knowledge and the tools dismantling a pallet isn’t hard. It does take some physical strength and determination.
I would not recommend using a pry bar or a hammer. I’ve tried it and it’s a lot of work. Trust me you will be finished before you even start.
I recommend two ways to dismantle a pallet, one way is to us a reciprocating saw. The second is a pallet tool.
For today, we’re going to focus on the reciprocating saw.
For the last couple years, I’ve used a reciprocating saw to dismantle my pallets. It works really well, but it’s tiresome. The vibration plays havoc on the arms after dismantling a dozen pallets.
You will need a blade made for demolition or a nail embedded wood blades. I prefer the longer blades. You will need the extra length to reach the distance.
You will also need eye protection and gloves.
Take extra care in keeping all body parts away from the area you are cutting and use control when running the saw.
It’s not a toy and cause a lot of pain if you’re not careful.
You will need to place the blade between the stringer and the boards.
It helps if there is a small amount of space between the boards and the stringer. The tighter the pallet is the harder it will be to cut.
Try not to cut into the wood. You want to cut the nails, not the wood where possible. That can be a challenge when the pallet is tight.
I find it easiest to have the pallet standing upward while someone holds it still.
First, remove both outside stringers by cutting the nails on both sides of the pallet leaving the boards on both sides attached to the inside stringer.
Before cutting the inside stringer, wiggle the boards to loosen the boards from the middle stringer. Wiggling the boards loosens the middle boards from the stringer. This makes cutting the middle stringer a lot easier. The more space you have between the boards and the stringers the better off you are.
Continue wiggling and cutting the nails till you’re left with a pile of boards.
Rejoice! You’ve cut your first pallet.
I’ve cut hundreds of pallets using a reciprocating saw. The saw is worth its weight in gold.
Check out the other half of this post, How to Dismantle a Pallet Part Two.
Hope to see you tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!
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