• The 18-inch bar costs $24, and the 30-inch bar costs $30. 800-688-8949, apexhandtools.com

    Credit: Doug Mahoney

    The 18-inch bar costs $24, and the 30-inch bar costs $30. 800-688-8949, apexhandtools.com

I recently tested Crescent’s new 18-inch Indexing Flat Bar to see how it compares with traditional demo tools.

The curved head of the Crescent — which is made of forged steel — can pivot and lock into 16 different positions. A small notch at the end pulls nails, and a flat spot at the back is designed for hammer strikes. The tool has a rubber grip for comfort, and a button at the pivot point that lets you adjust the bar.

I used the tool to remove parts of an old fieldstone foundation and found that the pivoting head could easily wedge in spaces where a traditional flat bar could not. And because I could position the handle where I wanted it, I could always get the leverage I needed. For interior work, the tool gave me full control over the prying motion, and the articulating end let me work comfortably over my head or at my feet. The Crescent was great for removing crown and baseboard.

My only complaint about this tool is that the small size of the adjustment button (which is at the pivot) makes it hard to change angles when you are wearing heavy work gloves.

Overall, though, it’s a very nice item. The ability to pivot is very handy, and I often found myself reaching past my old flat bars to use the Crescent. It’s also available in a 30-inch version.

Doug Mahoney is a carpenter and freelance writer in Harvard, Mass.