Tag Archives: safe

How To Disassemble Pallets

More often than not, once you get your pallet, you’re doing to need to disassemble it. Disassembling pallets to use in projects can be a serious pain in the tail, if you’re not doing it right. As an avid pallet DIYer, I’ve tried many methods, but have found one to be the most effective, and the quickest.

Disassemble Pallets 2

Trying to use a hammer and crowbar takes forever, and it’s easy to crack a board using this method. So I like to use my sawzall to disassemble my pallets. It typically takes me less than 5 minutes to take it apart.

You will need:

  • Sawzall (also known as a reciprocating saw) With a Sharp, Heavy Blade.
  • Eye Protection
  • Gloves (optional, but great for preventing blisters if you’re disassembling many pallets)


After putting on gloves and safety goggles, I like to prop my pallet up on something sturdy so I can get to the nails on either side and use gravity to do the majority of the work.

Disassemble The Dang Thing

I put the blade of the sawzall behind the first board and cut through the nails. I then proceed with all the nails on that side, then move to the other side and repeat, until only the center nails are holding the boards together.


Now, because I’m a shorty, I then lay the pallet down and cut through the center nails in order to release the board from the middle baseboard. If you’re taller and can get a better angle on those middle nails, go for it propped. It’s really up to you, DIYer!

I love how the nail heads generally stay in the wood. It creates a beautiful rustic look with a lot of character. If you prefer not to have the nails, it’s easy to pull them out.

In the end, it looks something like this:

IMG_1877*Always pay attention and take care to keep safety a priority. Sawzalls are dangerous and should not be used by inexperienced operators.

What’s Next?

Now that you have your boards free, clean them, sand them, paint them, stain them…whatever you need to do to make your next DIY masterpiece!

Other Useful Pallet-y Posts

How To Find Pallets For Your Projects

How To Build a Pallet Wall

What project are you working on with your pallet wood? Share in the comments!