Cat’s Paw Tool

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A cat’s paw tool is a woodworking hand tool used for removing nails from wood or other materials, without damaging them. It is also sometimes called a “nail puller” or “nail claw.” Considered a purpose-designed crowbar, the tool got its name from its curved shape, which resembles a cat’s paw.

Cat’s paws come in various sizes and designs, and some may have additional features such as a magnetic tip to help collect and hold removed nails.

Cat’s Paw Tool Key Features

  • Clawed End: The working end of the tool has a curved claw or prong that can grip and extract nails from the material’s surface.
  • Flat Base: The opposite end of the tool has a flat base which can provide leverage when pulling nails. This base may also serve as a striking surface for hammering nails into place.
  • Handle: Cat’s paws often have a handle or grip, making them comfortable to hold and maneuver. 

Using a Cat’s Paw

To use the cat’s paw tool, place its clawed end around the head of a nail. Position it securely and utilize leverage to pull the nail out of the material.

Handling Safety

  • Training and Practice: Newbies should seek guidance from a more experienced woodworker before using the tool. Learn the proper techniques and practice them before attempting more challenging tasks.
  • Wear Protection: Protect your eyes from flying debris using safety goggles. Additionally, woodworkers can also use gloves as needed.
  • Mind the Angle: When inserting the pointed end of the tool under the nail head, be aware of the angle before applying force. Insert the tool as perpendicular to the wood surface as possible to minimize the risk of the tool slipping and causing injury.
  • Use Proper Technique: Use controlled deliberate movements when using the cat’s paw tool. Avoid using excessive force, as it can lead to the tool slipping or the wood splintering. Apply steady pressure while rocking the tool gently to lift the nail.
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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

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