Whether separating wooden floors or smashing concrete, a burke bar or “pry lever bar” is a must-have to get the job done.
Due to the unique fulcrum design, a specialty long pry bar like the burke can lift up to several thousand pounds or create immense force to separate two objects as you do with a pallet buster.
Finding that perfect burke bar for the job is hard because of the varying sizes and usage, so we took it upon ourselves to create this buying guide that will handle all of your questions.
If you want to be able to pry open or lift and demolish even concrete tiles and don’t care too much about the weight, this Marshalltown Premier Line Monster is the burke bar for you.
There are more options of course, even one with wheels to be able to lug it around, so let’s take a quick look at all your top options:
|Best burke bar||Images|
|Best overall burke bar: Marshalltown The Premier Line Monster|
|Best cheap budget burke bar: Estwing Gooseneck Wrecking Bar PRO|
|Best lightweight burke bar: Marshalltown Little Monster|
|Best burke bar for prying wood: Kraft Tool GG631 Little John|
|Best burke bar with wheels: Vestil PLB/S-5|
Best Burke Bars reviewed
Considering some of the key features and work requirements we have selected some of the greatest burke bars available in the market. So, let’s have a look.
Best overall burke bar: Marshalltown The Premier Line Monster
Marshalltown offers a sturdy build and a longtime usage guarantee with their 16595 monster pry bar. All steel construction along with a powder-coated finish makes the bar corrosion and rust-free and ensures long life.
A weight of 14 pounds assures you that you can move heavy loads without breakdown.
The blade of the burke bar is perfectly angled with the handle of the bar that delivers maximum force with minimum effort.
Thus, it will come in handy if your work requires a sturdy tool that requires rough prying and pulling objects.
The overall length of the pry bar is 56 inch that is more than enough to deliver enough leverage to carry out the toughest jobs at ease.
A wide 3-inch blade is fitted at the top of the handle that has a v-shaped hole that can have a tight grasp over nails or pins while removing from any surface.
Here you can see the industrial-strength Marshalltown burke bars in action:
Though Marshalltown advertises their bar to be sturdy enough to withstand anything, some of the consumers reported it to be bent after short usage.
Again, according to some users, the bar feels heavier than other bars as they use it for a long time.
Best cheap budget burke bar: Estwing Gooseneck Wrecking Bar PRO
The word versatile will pop into your mind after examining Estwing’s Gooseneck Wrecking PRO bar as it offers two entirely different ends for prying and pulling.
An angled chisel end is suitable for prying and lifting objects. Again, the other end can be denoted as a slotted nail puller end that offers maximum leverage for extracting any nails and spikes.
All steel construction makes the burke bar durable and at the same time long-lasting. A thin blue layer of paint coating protects the bar from corrosion and makes it easily spottable on the job site.
Only 5.4 pounds of weight means you can easily handle the bar for a long time without any pain.
The burke bar is only 36 inches which makes the bar suitable for congested areas.
The chisel end has an angle of 110 degrees and is v-shaped that is engineered to deliver maximum force and makes prying boards or nail removing works a piece of cake.
Though the backbone of the bar is an inch diameter steel, some users have unexpectedly faced the issue of a bent heel with a small load.
Best lightweight burke bar: Marshalltown Little Monster
Marshalltown manufactures their ‘Little Monster’ with high-quality material and for work scenarios where the workspace is more congested.
Full body steel construction along with powder-coated finish ensures high durability and protects the bar from any kind of corrosion or rust.
The burke bar is 46 inches in total. A wide 3-inch V-shaped claw or teeth sits at the top of the bar with a precise angle that maximizes the force and makes prying or pulling jobs effortless.
The handle of the bar has a rectangular shape with a comfortable grip and has a cap on top for preventing any form of debris from getting in the bar.
A good weight distribution makes this bar incredibly easy to work with. Such a durable pry bar only weighs around 6.6 pounds.
So, you will be pretty much comfortable carrying it or using it for a long time without any type of wrist pain.
Though the company claims that Little Monster can handle heavy-duty jobs at ease, it stumbles a lot. The blade of the bar is found to be bent when heavyweight is applied due to low leverage caused by short handle length.
Check prices and availability here
Marshalltown monster vs little monster
The little monster has a lot less weight to it (6.6 pounds as opposed to 14 pounds) but can do a great job of exercising a lot of force using the sturdy grip as leverage.
It isn’t the lightest on the list though, which is the cheaper Estwing. I wouldn’t recommend that one for most jobs though, making the little monster the best lightweight option.
A lot of people say they have more than enough weight with the little monster. I think it’s a great tool for the right type of job though, and the Premier Line monster is still the undefeated champion of burke bars.
Best burke bar for prying wood: Kraft Tool GG631 Little John
‘Little John’ of the company Kraft Tool is visibly long enough for prying and other construction jobs.
The advantage comes from its unique fulcrum designed structure that facilitates increased leverage along with additional strength.
The burke bar is completely made out of steel and has a blue color coated finish. So, you will not face any corrosion issue.
Moreover, the sturdy build can withstand a bit of harsh work environment also. Again, the bright blue coating is easily spottable in any job site.
Only seven pounds of weight makes it really easy to handle and work with.
The main ornament of the Little John is a 10-inch long and 3-inch wide blade that has a v-shaped claw and has been specifically designed to deliver maximum force with a minimum strength while pulling nails and pins out of any boards.
Moreover, a long 41-inch tubular handle provides extra strength and leverage. A stopper at the top prevents the formation of dirt and debris inside the handle.
The bar seems to be pretty lightweight according to the specs but some of the users reported the bar to be too heavy for long time usage.
Best burke bar with wheels: Vestil PLB/S-5
This steel burke bar is just massive and can lift over 5000 pounds with its 13-inch steel frame.
That’s why those heavy-duty wheels can come in handy lugging the thing around, but it’s also used a lot for prying under objects like machinery and crates to move them to and from your truck.
If you need to move things or need to be able to pry open even the heaviest of things, the wheel Vestil PLB/S-5 is your best bet to get the job done without hurting your back.
Check prices and availability here
What is the burke bar used for?
Burke bars or pry bars are mostly used in deconstruction sites where the quality of the material needs to be preserved. This multipurpose tool is specially crafted to separate pins from a wooden surface or to force apart two objects.
So it’s a great tool to have in your tool chest (well it doesn’t actually fit in your tool chest) and an essential craftsman’s tool for those who work with larger pieces of wood.
Their steel-constructed bodies can even break apart rocks allowing them to be suitable to be used as a ball peen hammer for hammering too!
Considering the key features and work scenarios Marshalltown’s Monster bar and Estwing’s Gooseneck bar are the contenders for the crown.
If your job site is congested and requires a compact pry bar that is at the same time lightweight also then Estwing’s Gooseneck bar is the best for you.
Again, if your job site requires lifting some heavy objects like removing toe flooring or massive equipment, then the monster bar is perfect for you.
The extra length of the bar gives it much more leverage than other bars making your heavy lifting much easier and hustle-free.
It is necessary for you to choose the perfect burke bar that will increase your work efficiency and make your prying or pulling job trouble-free.
Thus, choosing the best burke bar will end up providing you effortless and enjoyable work hours.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.