Introduction: How to Take Apart a Pallet

About: We're Mother Daughter Projects, sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

Projects involving pallets seem to be everywhere these days. And why not? Pallets are free, have a great rustic look, and can be used in many different ways.

Well, the first time we fished a pallet out of the trash, we realized we had no idea how to take it apart. After some research, we found that a sawzall, or reciprocating saw would do the trick! We bought one and found out it is the perfect tool for this task! We made a video to show you how this process works.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Gather Materials


  • Pallet (these can be found behind businesses, by dumpsters. Craigslist is a great way to find them)
  • DeWalt Sawzall
  • 12" Blade
  • Gloves, eye & ear & feet protection

Step 3: Cut the Pallet

Make sure you read the manufacture's instructions before you get started. Once you have all your safety gear on, hold the tool steady and let it do the work.

The long blade really helps when getting into the middle sections.

Step 4: Clean the Boards

Once you're done, a steel bristle brush works well to clean any dirt off the pallet slats. Pallets are a neat material to work with, but just note, that most pallet wood is not straight and level. There are tools that will help take care of that but they are pricey and kind of defeat the purpose of free wood. When we use pallet wood in a project, we embrace the imperfections!

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