Credit: Photo: David Sharpe

Opening the Artillery Pry Bar System case on the job, I felt like a secret agent. My target: horse-hair plaster, two layers of linoleum, hardboard siding, a section of roof framing, and a bunch of studs.

But first, a little back story: Joe Skach wasn't satisfied with the tools he had available to remove siding, so he put his 25 years of experience as a toolmaker to work and came up with his own pry bar system that is like nothing else out there. Instead of a single tool that's adequate for a number of tasks or a bunch of job-specific tools, the Artillery Pry Bar System is a collection of handles, extensions, fulcrums, and blades that you can arrange to target each demolition task with pinpoint focus, including 3/4-inch, 1-3/4-inch, 3-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch, and spike-puller blades –more than enough to meet the needs of most users.

I tried the 8-inch-wide blade mounted to the standard fulcrum, regular 27-inch handle, and the 15-inch extension to rip roof shingles. The regular handle and fulcrum with 6-inch blade worked great on sidewall shingles and exterior trim. The mini fulcrum and the short handle popped out doorframes and pulled nails out of rafters and studs quickly. And with the 90-degree decking fulcrum and fulcrum extensions, I ripped off decking without bending over. The only thing lacking here is a cat's paw–like nail-pulling blade, but that's one of the additions to the system Skach is thinking about. I don't think it will be long before he has a blade, fulcrum, and handle for every possible deconstruction task in the book.

–Mike Guertin

Sources of Supply

Artillery Tool
Artillery Pry Bar System: $295–$350, depending on options

4420 (24"): $30
Tri-Claw 4000: $25

Demo Dawg
Big Dawg (30"): $60

ProClaw PryMaster RSC: $21
ProClaw PC 300: $18

Forrester Mfg.
Duckbill Deck Wrecker
(DW-1): $60

Fulton Corp.
The Wrecker (36", TW36WB): $30

Great Neck Saw Mfrs.
WR30 Wrecking Bar (30"): $12

Innovative Products of America
Indexing Pry Bar (20", 007879): $55

Fubar: $40

Stiletto Tool Co.
Clawbar With Dimpler: $84

The Gutster
Gutster Demo-Bar: $70

Vaughan & Bushnell
Superbar (15", B215): $10
Ripping Bar (18", RB18): $15
Superbar XL (21", B215L): $12
Bear Claw Scraper Bar
(9-3/4", BC/SB10): $13
Mini Bar (5-1/2", 222): $4