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#207214 - 09/03/10 12:45 AM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Dagny]
nurit Offline

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 191
Loc: NYC
" like to also get a smaller Tove -- 12" or so -- but am looking for a cheaper and still quality alternative.

Any recommendations?"

Dagny, you might want to look at the Vaughan 15" Superbar. It's about $12 on Amazon. The the 21" Superbar I have is not as heavy as the Stanley version, and the ends seem more finely ground.

Vaughan (Vaughan & Bushnell) make all sorts of hand tools. I have several Vaughan hammers, and like them very much. Traditional design and materials; good quality; not unreasonably expensive.

Harder to find these days, in my area at least -- the hardware stores that used to carry them have switched to the cheaper imports -- but still available online.

(No affiliation, etc.)

#207216 - 09/03/10 01:08 AM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Dagny]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
You are clearly over-thinking this.

Any hardware store has a selection of pry bars that will do the job. Avoid the discount bin $5 numbers and you will have something to work with. If you need further reassurance buy one with a brand name on it for a few dollars more. Stanley, Eswing, Plumb are all solid brands but be aware that many store brands are made by the same companies without the label and paint job.

You could select a decent one purely by price. Average the prices and select the one closest to average price or slightly above.

You could do it by sound. High quality tempered steel will ring clear and bright. Softer steels will have a dull tone. Take off your belt, hang the unit up, tap with a hammer. Listen.

You could check it by ordeal. Check for over hardness and tempering by smacking the thin tip into the concrete floor gently but firmly. If it chips it isn't properly tempered. If it dulls it isn't properly hardened. How this goes over with the store owner is up for grabs.

Don't get hung up on the ends being sharp or the smooth paint job. If you want sharp you grind or file them. Most people who use them don't need or want them sharp. If you want that a minute with a side grinder will get you a better edge than spending more money.

It is, in vernacular, a crowbar, a wrecking bar (Yes, technically there are differences), an implement of destruction, a club, a crude hunk of steel you pound and pry walls apart and doors open with. A good pry bar should mobilize your inner barbarian, make you want to tear something up. Holding one your vocabulary should shift toward the monosyllabic, possibly the profane. Shakespeare would grunt unintelligibly and flex hi muscles while holding a good bar. You're not buying a piano.




Even at less than $16 I've had good luck with the Mayhew 36" on both construction and demolition projects. I didn't recognize the name so much as the paper label. The yellow and black logo is distinctive on a new tool. I've got a 3' of the same make and model in my truck and another in my tool kit at home. Not the most refined tool but solid and capable.

The Stanley version of a plain goose neck is very similar and may be the same thing with a bit of yellow paint added. The Stanley Fatmax is a step up with an oblong cross-section that gives it a little more stiffness but there are look-alikes off-brands that are on sale with a similar section and performance. Often similar right down to the forge marks.

For man-pack survival and rescue use I prefer a good quality spring-steel flat-bar. Cheap and lighter a flat bar doesn't roll so much used one-handed, can be used as a hoe to rake out debris and dig. The ninety degree bent end is easily hammered into any gap, with a hammer if necessary, with the sides of the blade working as both resistance arm and fulcrum. Used that way the blade is less likely to slip out.

As for any insult ... if I was working on being insulting there would be no doubt. If there is any doubt; there is no insult intended.

#207219 - 09/03/10 01:47 AM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Dagny]
xbanker Offline

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
You might take a look at some of the pry tools used by firefighters, like these (seller and manufacturer selected at random). Would assume high quality.
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

#207224 - 09/03/10 03:25 AM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: xbanker]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Wonder Bars are probably the Best Prybars Ever invented!Cheap & Very Effective for their Purpose!I own Many of them,Some are More than 25yrs. old,& Not Rusty,though they have a certain Patina,to be sure.I Have broken one,Only at the nail slot,behind the wedge end,The bar is still intact & Useable!I have wrecker bars,construction bars,pit bars,various catpaws,& The Wonder Bars,of which I have used the most,& are in various parts of my house for emergency evac!A 28oz. Estwing Hammer pairs with one in my bdrm.

#207227 - 09/03/10 04:37 AM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Richlacal]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2201
Loc: Colorado
eek For the price of that wrecking bar, I think I'd buy half a dozen cheaper ones in various sizes. Or better yet, not buy one at all until I actually needed one, which I haven't so far in over 50 years of life. I must live a sheltered life ... nothing around here needs wrecking.

#207241 - 09/03/10 02:48 PM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: haertig]
Compugeek Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
But isn't the entire point of this forum about having [whatever] on hand before you need it? smile
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

#207247 - 09/03/10 05:27 PM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Compugeek]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2201
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Compugeek
But isn't the entire point of this forum about having [whatever] on hand before you need it? smile

I don't have enough money to buy one of everything I *might* need. Boy, I sure wish that were the case though! frown

#207250 - 09/03/10 07:10 PM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Compugeek]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: Compugeek
But isn't the entire point of this forum about having [whatever] on hand before you need it? smile

LOL -- great point. I hope never to need a lot of what is discussed on this forum -- like my First Aid kits.

Wish I'd been interested in tools when my father and grandfather were alive. They both had tons of stuff, especially Papa who was an avid woodworker. When they died nearly all that stuff was sold off because no one in the family wanted it.

All I have to hand things down to one day are my nieces. Need to mention to them not to let the Tove wrecking bar go for $3 at an estate sale.

Maybe should list the Tove, Bark River Knives and the Ritter collection under "heirlooms" in my will.

#207353 - 09/05/10 10:16 PM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Dagny]
MarkO Offline

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 137
Loc: Oregon
I found the Fubars to be very unbalanced when I played with them at the store. Just my 2c; I thought I would like them but the business end seems overly heavy and I imagined getting very tired when using them.

#207359 - 09/06/10 01:41 AM Re: Wrecking (Pry) Bars [Re: Dagny]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Prybars falls into the category of good to have on hand, being prepared to help yourself or others out from the rubble and collapsed structures. I live in PNW earthquake country, a couple hundred yards North of the Seattle Fault - if that lets loose and I survive, we'll have possibly an hour or less to get everyone out from under structures before fires, after shocks, injuries and collapse finish the job. So I have a few prybars of the common kind, one by my bed, one in my office, even one in my car, to pry open whatever door gets stuck - whatever brand you can buy at Ace Hardware. And I have a couple long 6 foot prybars, one in the corner of the garage, one in my back yard storage room, waiting next to a garbage can on wheels, full of 2x4 and 4x4 scrap lumber for cribbling and blocking. If I never have to use them, no worries - the 6 footers are $28 at Ace, the scrap lumber is scrap. Give me a lever and I'll move the world - 6 feet of leverage is better than 3, or 2.

I like to shop the local Ace Hardware - I have bought two of the 6 foot prybars, and have a feeling the next time I'm in they'll have restocked with another one, and I'll feel $28 burning a hole in my pocket. Although 2 should be enough. You can never have enough leverage...

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