10 Best Ways to Remove Staples from Wood: Handy Methods

Staples are an essential multipurpose tool we use to combine two products. Woodworkers use them for fence posts, wooden furniture, wood floors, wooden picture frames, and so many others, but removing them from wood is sometimes stressful. When removing staples from woodworking equipment, you must follow some techniques to make the process less tiring and less time-consuming. This complete guide will help you explore the best ways to remove staples from wood in ten excellent techniques. 

What are the Best Ways to Remove Staples from Wood?

Using Staple Removers 

Since staples are a widespread material we use for many reasons, staple removers are as commonly found as staplers. Therefore, you can buy a good-quality staple remover from a store near your house and remove the staple from your wood. This tool is like a snake’s mouth with a hinge with double sharp teeth that hook under the staple. 

After buying or collecting a heavy-duty staple puller, try to use it effectively to remove the staple by following the instructions written on the labeling. The good side of using this tool is it doesn’t affect or damage the surface. You can move to another option if this tool doesn’t work for you, having your wood protected from damage. A staple remover is not a piece of costly equipment. So, you should invest in this tool to get a more effortless experience. 

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Using a Cat’s Paw Tool

This is a short metal rod with two claws bent at the end, which looks like a cat’s paw. This is an effective metallic tool to remove staples from wood. The staples used for the carpets mess up the wooden floor. So, take a cat’s paw tool and put the forked end of it around the nail. Then, gently rock the paw back and forth to pull out the staple. 

The end of the cat’s paw tool that you reserved for the nail needs to be tapped under the area of the staple. Then, firmly pull the tool up to pull up the staple. You might not be successful on the first attempt. Several practices of the slide and pull method will help you to do the process effectively. The cat’s paw tool is a fantastic tool to get any rough staple out of the wood easily.  

Using Needle-Nose Pliers 

You can use needle-nose pliers to pull out the tiny staples from wood. This is the best equipment to get out the staples from wood. Sometimes, you may find it challenging to work with the handles of needle-nose pliers, but using proper grabbing tactics will ease the work for you. Before starting to work with this tool, you should use safety goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from any harmful incident during the removal action. 

Grasp the tool very gently in one hand and slide the nose of it under the staple. Next, start wiggling it around until you successfully pull the staple out of the wood. You may repeat the process several times if one motion doesn’t help to come to the staple out of the wood. Needle-nose pliers are very powerful tools to work well with tiny staples. 

Trying Diagonal Pliers

There are many pliers to remove staples from wood, but diagonal pliers are specially designed to work on staple removal tasks. We usually use this tool for cutting wires, screws, or nails. It is also an excellent alternative to a staple remover. Open the diagonal plier and slide one end of the tool under that staple’s exposed area. Push the device until its bend finds a grip. Once it has the grip, wiggle it around until you can see the nail come up. 

Use less force while working with a diagonal plier. Besides, be careful about pulling the staple sparingly, as this tool is used for cutting things. Too much pressure can break the staple and get stuck in the wood, which will be very difficult to remove. Use an adequate grip to get an effective result. Using a diagonal plier helps to avoid damaging your surface. It is a widespread way to get staples out of the floor quickly and effectively. 

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Using Nail Puller Pliers

Nail pliers are used for pulling nails and removing staples from wood. Its parallel serrated jaws and handles help to give gripping power. The jaws of nail pliers can bite any size staple, as there is a curved roll bar behind the well-machined jaw. 

Open the jaws of the nail plier by pulling its long handles apart and grip the staple stuck on the wood. Next, squeeze the handles tightly to bite the staples. You can avoid any damage by putting a piece of steel plate or cardboard under the roll bar. Finally, roll the nail plier carefully to pull the staple from your wood surface. 

Utilizing Standard Pliers

We use standard pliers in our belts. Using it is an excellent way to remove staples from wood. You must help the staple to be exposed adequately to allow a certain grip underneath while using a standard plier. Take some protective measures to keep your eyes safe before starting the project. Slide one jaw of the tool underneath the staple until it reaches a good grip. Then, wiggle it firmly to pull it out from the wood. Go for the process multiple times if you need more than one attempt. Standard pliers are great tools to remove the staples stuck on the wood, but they might only sometimes work on all kinds of wood surfaces. 

Using Shovels

DIY enthusiasts are familiar with shovels’ benefits for removing the staples hidden under the carpet. However, to let you know, this steel-made tool can work very finely to remove staples from wood, even with its short handle on one end. Unfortunately, the other end of the shovel is a flat surface that can rip up the corners of a carpet. 

You might need help to successfully use a shovel to remove staples from wood for the first time. Take some time to master the technique. Before starting the project, you should wear protective goggles to keep your eyes safe. Place your shovel at a 45-degree angle from the surface and push along the surface with adequate pressure. Make sure the end of the shovel is grabbing onto the staples. After that, rip the staples out of the surface easily. 

Trying Knives and Screwdrivers

Knives and screwdrivers are great tools to pry up the staples from wood. This process is the hardest because we all have knives and screwdrivers at home. Please choose a short, blunt pocket knife to get the best result. Similarly, you can use a short, sturdy, thin screwdriver as an alternative to a knife. Slide a few inches under the staple and wiggle the tool around until the staple comes out. While doing the task, wear safety goggles in case anything goes wrong. 

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Using Chisels

We don’t recommend using a chisel to remove staples from wood on the first try because it might damage the surface noticeably. You may choose only when the other methods discussed above fail to give you the desired result. When you need help with handy options and the staples are too tightly stuck on the wood surface, choose using a chisel as the last option. 

Take a chisel and carve it around the staple. Try to give adequate pressure to pull out the metal. Do the process repeated until the staples come out of the wood. It would help if you tried to be careful about not damaging the wood surface as much as possible. If using a chisel helps you in one way but depresses you in another, there is no point in using such a tool. 

Burying the Staples

Burying the staples is the least recommended and a backup way to remove staples from wood when no other methods work. Before attempting these methods, ensure your hands and eyes are safe. Use a goggle, gloves, or anything to protect your hands and eyes. 

You must use a nail set to push the staples under the wood surface. When they are hidden, fill up the hole created by the staples with putty. Then, let them dry for a few minutes. You will see that the staples become unnoticeable though hidden. We don’t recommend this method as it will leave the holes in the wood filled with putty looking attractive. You will get a bad-looking wood surface after applying this process. Still, note the method of burying staples in the wood when all other attempts fail. 

Read: How To Fix A Stripped Screw Hole In Wood: 7 Alternative Ways


Which is the best method to remove staples from wood?

There are many effective ways to remove staples from wood, but a cat’s paw is the handiest and best among all for standard-sized staples. A cat’s paw is easy to use and comparatively more sturdy than other tools. Removing staples from your wood will take only a few minutes if you follow the steps correctly. 

What do we call a staple remover? 

A staple remover is alternatively called a staple. This device has been made mainly to remove any size staple from any material very quickly without causing any damage to the material.   

What happens if the staples are left in a material too long?

If you leave staples in a material for too long, it can leave some scarring and skin marks on the material that can sometimes be difficult to remove. So, you should always try to get the staple stitches at the correct time if you want to avoid dealing with the mark of the stitches. 

Concluding Thoughts

There is no doubt that removing staples from any woodworking equipment is always frustrating. You need to have the proper tools and know the accurate techniques to ensure the time you spend is worthwhile. Using the above tools is the best way to remove staples from wood. Unfortunately, only some can do practical work in all kinds of wood conditions. However, depending on the wood quality, the above ways will reduce the time spent removing staples.

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Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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