Without the right tool, tearing pallets requires the kind of brute force that could easily result in injury. A pallet buster has been designed to spare your body the trouble and help you salvage as much wood as possible. But how do you choose the best pallet buster tool when they all appear similar?
The trick is to find an optimal combination of handle length, weight, and durable finish. In this article, we’ve done all the hard work for you, by selecting the 5 best pallet buster tool options. To help you make an educated choice, there’s also a comprehensive buyer’s guide at the end.
Best Pallet Buster Tool
Best Pallet Buster Tool Reviews
1. BISupply Pallet Buster Tool
This pallet buster comes with an integrated handle and reinforced foot to provide years of reliable service. It also belongs to the pivot-fork category, which makes it easier to use, with less likelihood of the slats breaking. But there’s more to this tool, so read on.
To start, the BISupply tool measures 7.7” x 8.2” x 46.2” and weighs 14.2 pounds. The weight doesn’t put it among the most lightweight models, but this is not a deal-breaker by any means. You’re getting a buster that’s made of high-grade steel and performs well with big and small pallets.
At 41”, the handle itself is quite long, with a plastic grip at the end. This allows you to maximize leverage and reduce the strain on your hands when dismantling large pallets. The buster foot is designed for slats that are up to 3.6” wide. If you need to navigate tight spaces between slats, the pivoting forks are there to help.
The tool comes with a yellow powder-coated finish to keep rust and corrosion away. The flashy color also makes it easy to spot and reduces the risk of trampling.
Build quality and durability are surely the main highlights, but the BISupply pallet buster also comes at a reasonable price.
Rugged design, stainless steel, and a long handle make this tool a good choice for novices and professionals alike. The pallet buster foot looks and feels well-built. The forks are narrow enough to fit tight spaces, and the articulating section prevents splits and breaks. In addition, the BISupply can help you remove dock boards as well.
The thing you might find discomforting is the weight; 14.2 pounds might not sound like too much, but a few hours into a job, and you’re bound to feel the strain, especially if you’re not used to manual work. If you were to be nitpicky, you might find the grip a bit too short, but this is no more than a minor consideration.
2. U.S. Solid Pallet Buster
Albeit a relative newcomer to the industry, U.S. Solid has quickly made its name due to superior engineering and quality. The company’s pallet buster is no different – a tool that has earned a place on the best pallet buster tool list.
With a deep-blue protective finish, this pallet buster is hard to miss, and there’s no need to worry about exposing it to the elements. The entire unit is made of iron steel, with reinforcements and industrial rivets at the base to keep the forks in place.
Speaking of forks, they pivot, and there is a bit more traction compared to some other models. This allows you to get better leverage in awkward places and remove slats without damage. Dimensions-wise, the U.S. Solid buster measures 7.48” x 7.87” x 47.24” and weighs around 14 pounds.
As such, this tool is on par with the competition and even a bit lighter. In fact, a 14-pound iron steel unit of this size can even be considered lightweight. Use this tool for a few hours, and you’ll be glad U.S. Solid managed to remove those extra ounces.
The handle is 41” long and 1.3” in diameter, which adds to the overall ease of use and handling. There is a 5.5” padded grip at the end of the handle, so you shouldn’t struggle to get a secure hold.
Great ergonomic grip and pivoting forks are among the main highlights featured on a tool engineered from iron steel. And don’t forget the weight, 14 pounds won’t make you feel as if you’re doing a CrossFit workout!
You’d be hard-pressed to find unfavorable features on this tool. For that reason, the manufacturer backs it with a warranty. However, you’ll need to be careful when dismantling smaller pallets to avoid cracks or breaks since the unit transfers a lot of force to the wood.
3. Pallet Buster Deck Wrecker
Want a reliable pallet buster for your DIY projects? This model might just be the tool you’re looking for. It’s lightweight, yet sizable, and the deck wrecker completely disassembles for easier storage. This makes it a great addition to your home arsenal of woodworking tools.
First of all, this buster comes in four pieces: a foot and three-piece handle. Attach the foot with a secure pin, and there are two bolts that hold the handle sections. By design, there shouldn’t be any wobble between the sections, but this model might not withstand heavy professional use.
Don’t get me wrong, the foot features durable welds and large forks that can take on big pallets and slats. To be exact, the forks when flat are 1.5” wide with a 2.75” gap between each one. This allows you to get a good hold on the wood and apply even pressure. That said, this model doesn’t have pivoting forks.
When fully assembled, the model measures 6” x 7.5” x 46” and weighs 12.6 pounds. The low weight is impressive for its size; this mostly comes from the hollow handle and clever pallet buster foot engineering.
However, the manufacturer doesn’t provide any information about the materials. Judging by the weight and construction, it’s safe to assume that it’s steel.
Hobbyists and woodworking enthusiasts will love this buster. When disassembled, it doesn’t take up too much space in the garage, and it might even fit a bigger toolbox. The rugged no-trills-no-frills foot design will last you for years, and it might even outlive the handle.
The main assets of this tool are also its downsides. In all frankness, this isn’t a tool you’d find on a construction site, if it does perform like a charm at home. Plus, the price is a bit hefty for a hobbyist tool.
4. Vestil SKB-7 Pallet Buster
This pallet buster comes from Vestil, a company that’s at the forefront of industrial tool manufacturing. If your job requires wielding a buster day in, day out, the SKV-7 is there to make the work easier. Why? Read on to find out.
Unlike most tools on this list, the Vestil is made of high-quality aluminum at half the weight of some steel counterparts (8 pounds, to be exact). You won’t be making any compromises in terms of durability because the buster is engineered for daily professional use.
As for the foot, it features slim forks with groves to provide a better grip. You get two nail pullers, and the back of the foot has an extension to pry under stubborn slats. It’s worth noting that the forks don’t pivot at a specific angle. Therefore, you’ll need to be careful not to break the wood.
The SKB-7 measures 4” x 5.75” x 44” and the handle is around 41”. It’s interesting that the handle isn’t welded or soldered, but screwed in. If you manage to break or bend it, there’s a nut and bolt included for quick replacement.
The handle has a nonslip grip with ergonomic groves so you can hold it better, making it a model you can use without gloves.
The SKB-7 is ideally suited for warehouses as well as construction and demolition companies. The aluminum construction offers a good balance between durability and weight. In addition, the streamlined buster foot can squeeze into any nook or cranny. In addition, it all comes at a price that won’t break the bank.
True to its name, the SKB-7 is very good at busting old or broken pallets. However, if you aim to preserve the wood, it will take some trial and error before you find the right approach. As indicated, the forks are almost perpendicular to the handle, and you need to be careful not to exert too much force.
5. Pallet Buster Breaker 1
Do you need a great pallet buster but operate on a tight budget? If so, the Breaker 1 might be right up your alley. Mind you, this one doesn’t come with a handle, but it’s American-made and stands up well to the competition. Don’t take our word for it, check out the specs for yourself.
The Breaker 1 measures 5” x 6” x 7x, and the distance between the forks is 3”. The handle insert is 1.25 inches in diameter, and there’s a set screw to secure the handle. A 1” steel pipe works fine as a handle, and the important thing is to fit it with no room to wiggle.
If you’re wondering about the handle length, it’s best to go for between 40” and 44”. As long as you’re able to use the pallet buster while standing, you’ve got the right handle length. You may also want to consider adding a plastic grip to make it all more forgiving for your hands.
This model weighs only 5 pounds, on account of there being no handle. Add 5 to 7 more pounds for the handle, and you still get a super-lightweight breaker. Combine that with steel construction and heavy-duty welds, and this buster might last you a lifetime.
The breaker also features a black protective coating, but it hasn’t been powder-coated. Nevertheless, you can still use it for large and small pallets as well as deck and dock boards.
Aside from the attractive price, this buster offers great build quality. It looks and feels rugged and performs accordingly, which makes it a good choice for DIY enthusiasts and professional construction workers alike. Lastly, the forks fit even the smallest space between the slats, and they are properly angled.
If you look beyond the fact that the Breaker 1 doesn’t come with a handle, there’s nothing to complain about. It would be cool to have to pivot forks, but that would make the tool much more expensive.
Characteristics such as weight, handle length, and finish, affect the usability and durability of a pallet buster. Plus, the pivot option can be a real lifesaver to pull apart a really stubborn pallet and help preserve the wood. Check out the following sections to get a better understanding of the desirable features.
At the lower end, a pallet buster weighs about 4 or 5 pounds, if there are some models that come in at more than 15 pounds. But just looking at the numbers won’t give you a clear picture. The lightweight units usually come without a handle, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Adding a quality steel pipe handle makes the tool easy to wield. In addition, you can replace the handle if it breaks. On the other hand, heavier pallet busters tend to be sturdier, with no stress on the handle insert. With this in mind, you should also consider the material.
Steel offers great durability and solid construction, but it makes the tool quite heavy. This might become an issue if you use it on a daily basis. The catch is to assess your needs and find a good combination of reasonable weight and great durability.
Pallet busters are often exposed to the elements which can lead to oxidation. To prevent corrosion and rust, iron and steel pallet busters get a protective coat, which makes them more resilient to wear and tear. This protective finish usually consists of a heavy-duty powder coat and/or other chemical agents that keep the tool’s forks and handle intact.
Aluminum pallet buster tools don’t rust or corrode, so there’s no need for a protective coat. However, some of them may have a protective coating to prevent scratches and make the tools more durable. Again, the final decision boils down to your needs.
If you need a pallet buster at a construction site, the steel models with a protective finish outperform others. That said, woodworking hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts will do just fine with a well-engineered aluminum tool that has little or no protective coating.
Handle length is one of the key design elements for any buster tool. Even if you get a model without a handle, you need to determine the correct length to make your job easier. After all, it’s about getting the most leverage with the least amount of force.
The rule of thumb is to aim for a long handle because it gives you more room to maneuver and control the tool. The sweet spot is between 40” and 44” long, allowing you to use the tool in a standing position. Remember, if you need to lean and use extra power, one pallet is enough to wear you down.
In addition, the handle should feature a comfortable grip that won’t hurt if it covers the length of both hands. Plastic or durable foam grips improve handling and reduce the chance of sore hands and blisters. There are good pallet busters without a grip, but then you’d probably need to wear gloves to get a better hold.
Pivot vs. No Pivot
A lot of pallet busters don’t have articulating forks and rely on basic leverage to transmit the pulling force. This design works well, but there are certain limitations. Without pivoting forks, all the pressure goes to the front edge of the board, which may split or crack the wood.
The articulating forks move as you pull and cover the entire width of the slat to evenly distribute the force. Since the forks sit flat against the slat underside, there’s less risk of cracks and splits. What’s more, pivot pallet busters might be more durable because other elements suffer less strain.
For example, the area where the handle meets the foot is usually the weak point. Most units are thicker in this section or they have welded inserts for reinforcement. Add a pivoting fork to that, and you get a model that takes some serious beating.
From pallet buster weight to pivoting forks, each feature ensures reliable service for the foreseeable future. Needless to say, materials and overall construction also play a vital role. A steel model may outlive others, but you need to pay close attention to its weight and the foot size.
As indicated, the heavier the tool, the faster you feel fatigued. A hefty pallet buster foot and fork can last you a lifetime, but can you squeeze them between smaller slats? The answer is likely to be negative. However, larger tools allow you to tear apart bigger pallets much faster.
When all is said and done, the most durable tools are made of steel or iron and come with a protective coat. Plus, the foot and fork need to be reinforced to minimize strain and properly distribute force.
What to use as a handle for pallet tool?
Reinforced steel rods make the best pallet tool handles because they’re strong, durable, and won’t flex when you apply a lot of pressure. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you might get away with using a wooden handle. But be careful, with wood flexes you may end up applying more pressure than needed.
Another important thing to check is the handle insert size and securing mechanism. The insert is usually 1.25” in diameter, and there is a screw to fasten the handle to the foot. The handle needs to fit like a glove without any room to wiggle.
Is a pallet buster tool worth it?
Have you ever tried to dismantle a pallet with a regular crowbar or a crow hammer? If so, you already know the answer to this question. Grab a pallet buster tool, run it through its paces for a few minutes, and you’ll see it’s worth every penny.
First of all, a pallet buster puts you in a comfortable standing position. The handle is quite long, which allows you to use less force and move the tool around with ease. More importantly, the foot and forks are designed to maximize leverage and fit between slats without too much hassle.
Do pallet buster tools break the boards?
Yes, pallet buster tools can break the boards, especially if they don’t have pivoting/articulating forks. But it’s not only about the tool itself, and breaks are sometimes inevitable. It might take some time before you master the technique and remember, some slats are nailed in too hard, so the wood might be prone to movement.
To avoid breaks, it’s advisable to go for a tool with pivot forks and carefully work your way around the slats. Position the pallet buster foot and make sure both forks evenly touch the wood. Push the handle firmly a few times to release the nails and then go all the way to push out the slat.
Choosing the best pallet buster tool from this list is not an easy task. Each one is built like a tank and allows you to reclaim wood without too much damage. However, the BISupply buster stands out from the crowd because it offers an optimal combination of features.
You get a steel foot with articulating forks and a solid long handle, plus this model has a protective coating for greater durability. The only thing that doesn’t go in its favor is the weight, but it’s a small price to pay for a tool that might last you a lifetime.