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17 Different Types of Carpet Removal Tools

Photo collage of different types of carpet removal tools.

Are you feeling itchy to replace that old carpet in your room? If it looks damaged or the room itself looks like it could do with a new spread, then laying a new carpet or refinishing on your walls or flooring might be in order. Whatever you decide to do to update a room or an entire home, you’ll still need to pull out any carpet to make room for a fresh look.

The good news is that carpet removal is something any DIY enthusiast can undertake and successfully accomplish. Removing carpet yourself is also an easy way to save money, and all you need is a bit of muscle and the right carpet tools to work with. So before you get right down to it, be sure to have the essential carpet removal tools you’ll need to get the job done.

We’ve put together a list of the 17 different types of carpet removal tools you’ll need below, so read on!

Utility Knife

Utility knife for cutting drywall

The utility knife is the tool that most people think of first when the topic of carpet removal is brought up. Although this isn’t the tool that is most commonly used by professionals, it is one that most people have sitting around the house. A utility knife is capable of cutting through carpet rather easily.

You can cut along the edges of your wall and remove carpet without too much of a hassle. Admittedly, it can be a bit cumbersome to try to get every last bit of carpeting up if a utility knife is your primary tool. It can take some patience and precision cutting to get all of the carpeting that is close to the wall.

Even so, you will be able to cut it all away if you just take your time. The sharpness of the knives will always make it as easy as possible to cut the carpeting. Utility knives are very sharp, so you will want to be careful while using them.

Don’t forget to wear protective gear to help keep yourself as safe as possible. Once you have made all of your cuts, you will also be able to use the knife to remove some of the carpet padding if you wish. This may not be the most efficient way to handle this, but it should work well enough.

You can often buy utility knives in packs, so you can have more than one. This pack being shown here contains two separate utility knives. This will be really handy if you are going to be removing carpet with one other person.

It will allow you both to have access to a blade so that you can work simultaneously.

Pry Bar

Pry barYou’ll want to have a pry bar to help you pull up tack strips. This should be relatively easy to use and will allow you to pull up large tack strips up in one piece. Some people might find that removing tack strips with a pry bar isn’t optimal, but it will work well enough for most homeowners.

Whatever your situation is, you will be able to get a quality pry bar at a very affordable price. Generally, you will be using the pry bar in conjunction with a traditional claw hammer. You can strike the pry bar with the claw hammer lightly to help pull up the tack strips.

This method is going to work very nicely, and you should be able to get the job done in a timely fashion. Professionals typically used tools that are more tailored to the purpose of tack removal, but this will work well enough for you if all you have is a pry bar.

Claw Hammer

Straight rip claw hammer with smooth face and shock reduction grip.Of course, you will also want to have a claw hammer available for you to use. This is going to be important for when you want to pull things up using your pry bar or a chisel. Any type of traditional claw hammer should work just fine for this purpose.

You want to have a claw hammer specifically in case you need to use the claw to remove any nails that you find. Luckily, you almost certainly already have a claw hammer in your toolbox. If you don’t, then you will be able to purchase one at a very reasonable price.

You can find claw hammers at just about any major department store and any hardware store. This will be an important tool to own for carpet removal, so be sure to have one around.


Electronic pliersThere will be specific situations where you might need pliers while removing carpeting. If any of the carpet staples have loosened up on one side but won’t come all the way out, then you’ll need to grab the pliers. You’ll be able to use the pliers to quickly pull out the rest of the staple and can then move on with the rest of the job.

If you’re lucky, you won’t have to make use of your pliers too often during a carpet removal job. It is possible that you might need to use it frequently, though. Trying to do a carpet removal job without a good pair of pliers would be frustrating.

You’d wind up finding removing staples to be more of a chore than it would otherwise be. Go ahead and purchase a pair of pliers before you get started to ensure your success.

Knee Pads

NoCry Professional Knee Pads with Heavy Duty Foam Padding and Comfortable Gel Cushion, Strong Double Straps and Adjustable Easy-Fix Clips

Source: Amazon

It is also very important to think about your own comfort and well-being while you are removing the carpeting. You will need to get on the floor to do a lot of the carpet removal work. This means that you should consider purchasing some knee pads to make the process easier.

You’ll have a much more comfortable time getting on the floor if your knees have some padding. This can help you to avoid bruises and scrapes while you’re doing the job. A simple pair of knee pads won’t cost you too much money, so it’s a sensible investment.

Anything that can make the carpet removal job a bit easier is going to be a welcome thing. Buy some before you get started, and your knees will surely thank you.

Safety Gloves

Safety glovesIt would also be smart for you to wear safety gloves while you’re removing the carpet. Some people may scoff at needing to wear gloves, but you’re going to be removing a lot of staples and other potentially sharp objects. Depending on how old the carpeting is, the staples could even be rusty.

To avoid injury and potential bodily harm, it’s smart to wear a pair of safety gloves while working. You can purchase high-quality gloves that are very easy to work in. There are gloves on the market that don’t limit the dexterity in your hands.

You’ll be able to feel what you’re doing easily and won’t have to worry about getting scraped or cut by staples. It’s smart to buy the gloves ahead of time, so find yourself a quality pair that will be comfortable for you.

Dust Mask

Safety mask

Removing carpet is going to kick out a lot of dust, dirt, and grime that was trapped underneath the carpeting. This will actually be pretty gross if you aren’t expecting it. Breathing in this dust is not going to be good for your respiratory system.

You should save yourself from having a coughing fit by purchasing a quality dust mask ahead of time. The dust mask won’t feel cumbersome to wear at all. You’ll be able to wear it while you’re pulling up the carpet without having any problems.

When you do get the carpeting and the carpet padding up, you’ll see the dust and grime that was mentioned above. Depending on how old the carpeting you’re removing is, it may be pretty bad. You’ll be very glad that you decided to purchase a dust mask once you see all of that dust and dirt.

It will be a lot more pleasant to get it cleaned up when you don’t have to worry about breathing it in. You can get everything taken care of pretty quickly when you have a good mask. The mask will prove useful for many purposes aside from carpet removal, as well.

Protective Eyewear

Protective eyewear

The last bit of protective gear that you should purchase for your carpet removal job is protective eyewear. These protective goggles will definitely keep you working steadily because you won’t need to worry about getting dust or debris in your eyes. Aside from dust, it can also be beneficial to have goggles to protect you from staples.

It isn’t unusual to try to pull out a staple and have it fly up at you, so you should try to avoid getting hit in the eyes as much as possible. Protective goggles like this are a convenient way to keep yourself from having any unfortunate accidents. Carpet removal may seem like a relatively simple job at first, but it is still possible to have mishaps.

You don’t want to get injured because you neglected to purchase some inexpensive goggles. Make the small investment that is necessary for you to fully protect yourself on the job.

Garbage Bags

Garbage bagIn all likelihood, you will already have some garbage bags at home that you can use. Regardless, it is important to have several garbage bags available when you’re pulling up carpeting. If the carpet that you’re removing is old and nasty, then you’re going to want to get it out of the house quickly.

You should buy large garbage bags that can house the old carpeting and the padding. You’ll also be disposing of a significant amount of dust and dirt once the padding has been pulled up. You’ll likely go through several garbage bags while removing carpeting.

This is going to be a process that will take some time, but you’ll be happy that you bought the right garbage bags ahead of time. It’ll save you a bit of frustration and allow you to keep moving forward towards completion of the project.

Carpet Puller

Bon 24-844 Carpet Pulling Tool

Source: Amazon

If you want to make pulling up carpet really easy, then you should go ahead and purchase a carpet puller. Carpet pullers are what the professionals use to pull up large carpets all at once. It is really simple to use, as it just clamps onto the carpet and you pull it up.

The clamp is very strong, and it is simple to get a grip on the handle so that you can pull with all of your might. You won’t need to purchase this tool in order to remove your carpeting, but it can be beneficial. If you have a lot of carpeting to pull up, then having this tool available should allow you to get it done more expediently.

Being able to save a bit of time is always appealing, so it’s worth thinking about buying this tool. It isn’t overly expensive, so it won’t be difficult to get yourself one.

Staple Remover

Staple remover

Removing staples is a big part of the carpet removal process. If you purchase a good staple remover tool, then you shouldn’t have to use tools such as pliers. The staple remover will be able to make short work of any staples that you need to pull up. It is designed to get underneath the staples and help you remove them with as little effort as possible.

It’s also worth noting that the staple remover being shown here is very cost-effective. You won’t have to spend too much money at all to get one of these. If you know that you’re going to be removing a lot of staples, then it makes sense to purchase.

You can get by with just your pliers, but a specific staple remover will work even better if you want to buy one.



A chisel is a good multi-purpose tool that you can use for many different jobs. When it comes to carpet removal, you will be using the chisel to help you remove stubborn pieces of carpeting that get stuck. In some situations, a chisel is going to be preferable to a pry bar. It is shorter and this makes it easier to maneuver it into certain spots.

If you are having trouble removing carpeting from a closet where you don’t have a lot of space, then using a chisel to get to the edges might be your best bet. It depends on the situation that you are in. It would be smart to keep a chisel in your toolkit just in case.

It isn’t a tool that is imperative for carpet removal, but it is useful, nonetheless. Some people also use chisels to help remove carpet padding. Sometimes this padding can get stuck to your sub-floor.

This is really annoying, and old carpet padding might even flake off instead of coming up in one piece. You may need to use your chisel to remove the padding from the sub-flooring, so be ready for that when the time comes.

Related: 55 Types of Tools

Tack Puller

Tack pullerYou might want to consider purchasing a proper tack puller when you’re going on a carpet removal job. It can be a little bit annoying to remove tacks from carpeting if you don’t have the right tool. These are very tiny, and you won’t be able to fit the claw of your hammer around them properly to pull them up in some cases.

If you want to have an easy time, then buying a tack puller can make things a bit simpler. The tack puller should help you to pull up tack strips a lot easier than you would otherwise be able to. You don’t necessarily need this tool, though.

It is definitely possible to remove carpeting with nothing other than a utility knife and a pry bar. It is simply going to come down to how easy you want the process to be. Most of these tools are making the process of carpet removal easier than it would otherwise be.

Tack pullers certainly fall into that category. If you need to remove a lot of carpeting in your home, then it might be worthwhile to purchase one. They aren’t all that expensive, and it will definitely come in handy.

Carpet Cutter

Utility knifeCarpet cutters are most often used by professionals when they are removing carpeting from homes or businesses. These carpet cutters are specifically designed for slicing through carpeting, and it can make the process as easy as it can possibly be. If you need to remove a lot of carpeting, then it can be beneficial to purchase one of these carpet cutters.

This is going to be more expensive than simply buying some utility knives, but the carpet cutter is perfect for cutting up against walls. If you want the process of completely removing all traces of the old carpeting to go more quickly, then there is some merit to purchasing this tool. A utility knife can serve the same purpose as a carpet cutter. You should be able to work faster using this carpet cutter than you would be able to with a utility knife, though.

This will partially depend on your familiarity with the carpet cutter and how adept you are with a utility knife. One big advantage that a carpet cutter has over utility knives is that it can cut through thick carpeting. Even if a carpet is looped, it should be able to cut through it without having any issues.

This will allow you to cut carpet down to size more easily, making the disposal of the carpet less bothersome. Think about whether or not this tool is going to be necessary for your carpet removal job, and then make the decision about whether you should buy it.


A pneumatic screwdriver with pistol grip.

A screwdriver isn’t a tool that you would normally think of when the topic of carpet removal comes up. It’s actually going to be important to have one around in certain situations, though. You will want to be able to remove any doors that are getting in your way.

Carpeting will need to be removed from closet areas, and this may not be possible unless you remove the door. In order for the carpet removal process to go as smoothly as it possibly can, it is smart to ensure that you have a screwdriver around before starting. This way, if you need to remove any doors, you will be able to pop them off quickly.

A screwdriver is a tool that you should always keep around. It’s almost always useful, and you should own many of them in multiple sizes.


Push broom

Once the carpeting has been completely pulled up, and you have removed the padding, it’s going to be messy. Depending on how old the carpeting was, you might find out that it is pretty nasty underneath. Years of dust and grime may have built up underneath the carpet, and you will need to clean things up before installing new flooring.

For this reason, it is imperative that you purchase a quality broom. A good broom will be able to make short work of any dust and dirt that you find underneath the carpet. The cleanup process is really important, so you want to make sure that you have the proper tools at your disposal.

You should clean up the sub-flooring really well before you install anything new. This is going to give you the best experience possible and will ensure that you can lay the flooring right. Pretty much any type of broom will work fine for this job.

You can purchase a very common broom and use it in conjunction with a dustpan. It won’t take long to get the floor looking nice again, and you will be all done. It’ll be a big relief to eliminate all of that dirt and dust.

Shop Vacuum

Bagless cyclone vacuum cleanerIf you want to make cleaning up go even more quickly than it would with a broom, then you should think about purchasing a shop vacuum. These handy vacuums are going to be useful for many different purposes. You’ll be able to use them to help clean out your car, and they’re great to have around when you need to remove standing water.

For the purposes of carpet removal, they’ll be able to remove dirt and dust from your sub-floor once the carpet has been taken up. You don’t necessarily need a shop vacuum, of course. It is up to you whether or not this is going to be useful enough to warrant a purchase. Having a shop vacuum is going to allow you to save yourself a little time when cleaning up.

This can definitely be handy, as you will likely be somewhat tired after pulling up all of that carpeting and padding. The real value of purchasing a shop vacuum will present itself later on. You’ll find it useful for many different projects.

If you happen to have one of these around, then it will be excellent for cleaning up after carpet removal. If you need to save some money because you needed to purchase other tools, then just using a good old-fashioned broom will suffice.

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