Rebar pulling out tips

topic posted Wed, August 22, 2007 - 9:17 AM by  Molly
After years of bending our rebar trying to knock it out with a hammer or bend back and forth, or use a strap to pull out, we have found a good method and have been using it the past few years...check it out.

To get rebar out at the end of the week (we pound it in 1-2 feet), you soak the entire area around the rebar with water (I bet we pour a half gallon of water per rebar) and let it sit for a few minutes...then use a vice grip and attach it very tightly so it won't slip about 6" from the ground. You should be able to twist the rebar and break the seal underground with the vicegrip. If you continue to twist the vicegrip/rebar back and forth while applying upward pressure, they come out with no trouble (and don't bend so you can reuse them).
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • You dont have to bend your rebar. Just take a carport pole put over the top of the rebar and make a circular motion. It will come right out.
    • Half a gallon of water per stake? For most camps that would end up being quite a lot of extra water to haul and then save all week.

      I especially like the candy cane rebar because it's always so easy to remove from the ground. A few satifying whacks with a hammer and then use the claw to yank it out. Maybe I'm using especially thick and shorter pieces but I've never bent my rebar... much.
      • Yeah, our pieces are 5 feet long and we pound them in 1.5 ish feet...we end up usually having extra water in a drum somewhere and use it for rebar removal...
        • Ya know, one of the best rebar tools is the old bumper=hitch style car jack.

          Ya put a hole in the base for the rebar to slip through and a ring on the hitch (just drop it on). Put the jack all the way down, slip the ring over the rebar and hook it on the jack. Carefully pump the jack until tension is formed on the ring, then crank away. rebar out in seconds.
  • The easiest rebar-pulling I ever did was one year when a camp-mate brought a slide hammer with a hook on the end. A few upward jerks and it was out. But yeah - the tried and true method is whack it sideways a few times with a hammer, give it a few twists with some vice grips, then pull up. Soak in water if it won't twist.
  • If you're using candy-caned rebar stakes, I've found that you just need an extra piece of rebar to slide under the bend and pry it up and out of the ground. The first pry bar bends a little, but keep adding other pieces to your pry group as you pull them out and it gets easier. Once you have about 3-5 pieces, you can pretty much just pop the other stakes out with one quick pull. It's all about the leverage. I tried various hammer/twist/water methods before I figured this out and I won't be going back. It probably goes without saying, but a pair of heavy work gloves is highly recommended.
  • I have a custom-made rebar-puller. Stop by my camp to check it out. I'd love to get some pictures of people using it as a gift to the guy that made it for me.
    • A pipe wrench is good for twisting the rebar out. usually, it only takes a few turns to lossen th stake.

      Another way to do it is if you have a very sturdy pole of the 2 inchgren stakes variety that they have at nurseries. Tie a short piece of rope to the heavy greenstake pole and attach the other end to the stuck stake. Use the pole as a lever to yabnk it out of th ground.
  • Rebar was actually easy to pull out of the ground using vice grips and a shaking motion with my shoulders.

    What was a real BITCH was getting my metal tent stakes out. Thank goodness I read this thread, because the water soaking trick was needed. I bent the crap out of my tent stakes, but i got them out at least. :)
    • I know what you are talking about Pyro. My rebar came out without any problems but those damm metal tent stakes were a serious pain in the ass. I destroyed most of them trying to get them out
  • Nothing required other than vice grips. Attach horizontally, spin a few times to loosen, reattach vertically, continue wiggling left and right while pulling using your legs. Voila!

    We had 10 3' straight stakes sunk 18", 16 2' candy caned stakes sunk all the way.

    -- Clown
    • Unsu...
      Worst case is vise grips and a pry bar and a piece of wood under the pry bar. Clamp the vise grips on the rebar just high enough to get the pry bar and wood block under. Pry away.

      Mostly I just twist twice with the vise grips and pull.


      Rig Daddy
    • I agree. Vice grips (large ones) make this actually a pretty easy and fast job. I don't use candy-caned bar, but for unbent rebar or form stakes, I can't imagine anything would work better.
  • The price seems to have gone way up from when I got mine, but this thing:

    if you are doing A LOT of rebar, like for a big camp, makes life so happy you'll start pulling out rebar for OTHER people. Which I did.

    I've done the water and vice grips thing, but this thing is like butter. I suggest a camp go in together and get one. It'll pull straight and candy cane, and if you're careful and go slow, you won't bend it either.
    • This is very similar, but at a fraction of the price:

      Works like a dream on candy canes - I used it on the Playa 07.
      • Awesome.

        Yeah, when I bought mine, it was only around $20, so I have no idea why the price is so high. I've also seen plans somewhere on the net to build your own, which is always my first choice, but I was under a time crunch.

        I really can't express how easy and happy it made me to have it and how well it worked.
  • Unsu...
    Speaking of pulling out ... errr ... uhhh ... anyway!

    I used tent stakes like these to stake down the ropes at the bottom of my monkey hut, which was supported well by rebar.

    These stakes lasted the week really well, but they were a major bitch to get out. We broke them all on their way out, and they were much harder to remove than I expected. I'm still not sure why they were so hard to work with.

    But they were so much easier to put down than rebar, so for 2008, I'd like to find a good replacement. Something easier to put in the ground than rebar (there is already a lot of rebar support, and it's tiring to set up), but easier to take out than these sons o' bitches. I'd love any suggestions! Thanks!
    • Unsu...
      I think you are lucky you got the "V" stakes them INTO the playa. I've never had good luck with those mostly destroying them trying to hammer them in and yes they totally deform when coming out.

      For NON-rebar stakes, primarily for holding down corners of tarps and tents, I use the "nail pegs" or just heavy nails.
      They are stronger than "V" stakes and come out with a twist or side-tap.

      I use ONLY rebar for heavy jobs like stakes that anchor the lines securing to the tops of the tent poles or center mast. Nothing else seems to work. Either its too expensive, too short, too weak or something.


      Rig Daddy
      • Unsu...
        Thank you so much for that tip! That's just the kind of advice I was hoping to get. I saw those "nail pegs" in the store, but had figured they wouldn't work. But for what I need them for, they sound like just the right thing. Thanks!

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