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Survival Pry Bar vs. Prepper Crowbar [6 Urban Bug Out Bag Picks]

This article explores the similarities and differences between survival pry bars and prepper crowbars. We discuss their uses, benefits, drawbacks and the best pry bars and crowbars you can buy today.

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Tools are an invaluable addition to any prepper’s bug out bag because you never know what problems or obstacles will present themselves in a crisis. Space is limited, of course, so you have to choose wisely. Today we focus on two similar, but slightly different hand tools that could prove useful when SHTF.

The following article dives deeper into the similarities and differences between survival pry bars and prepper crowbars. We discuss their uses, benefits, and drawbacks. We also help you identify the best pry bars and crowbars you can get today.

Survival pry bars and prepper crowbars are leverage hand tools that survivalists use to open and separate objects. They are largely similar to each other, but there are some fundamental differences. Pry bars, for example, tend to be flatter and thinner than crowbars, which makes them better suited to more intricate tasks.

In a hurry? If you just want to get to our conclusions, here are our top picks and recommendations!

What is a survival pry bar?

Before we get too far into it, let me just clarify that “pry bars” and “crowbars” ARE different. Most people frequently (and understandably) use the terms interchangeably, and, to be fair, the meaning is hardly lost.

A survival pry bar is a leverage hand tool that is used for a variety of survivalist tasks. In essence, pry bars are the smaller and thinner members of the crowbar family. They are usually made from metal and shaped in the classic crowbar configuration, although shapes may vary.

Pry bars are excellent for tasks that would be too intricate for crowbars. Common uses include the removal of small nails from wood, scraping off paint, and repairing furniture. Pry bars would also be suited to survivalist pursuits such as salvaging, repairs, opening doors, and crates, or even close-quarter self-defense.

Pry bars are also of tremendous benefit to survivalists for one main reason…their small size. In terms of portability in a bug out bag, this is a significant advantage over crowbars. Space in a bug out bag is limited and reserved for the bare essentials.

When SHTF, you will have to be ready for anything, including long and arduous treks to who-knows-where. Mobility is key, and any opportunity to save weight would be most welcome.

Best 3 survival pry bars

There are loads of different pry bars available at your local hardware stores or online. Amazon, in particular, has an excellent range of choices for any prepper.

Head over there today and find the perfect pry bar for your specific survivalist needs. Heck, you might even come across one that satisfies needs you didn’t know you had.

SPEC-D15BAR 15-inch Flat Pry Bar

One brand that is no stranger to going the extra mile for their customers is Spec Ops. A leading light when it comes to tools and hardware, Spec Ops never disappoints. It is no surprise, then, that the company also makes one of the best pry bars around, the SPEC-D15BAR 15-inch Flat Pry Bar.

Durable? Check. Versatile? Check. Ready to help you take on an unforgiving post-apocalyptic dystopia? Check, check, and check. The Spec Ops SPEC-D15BAR is the ultimate survival pry bar for many reasons. Firstly, it is 20% thicker than the average 15-inch pry bar, but still very light (1.6 pounds).

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The SPEC-D15BAR is made from high-carbon steel in the classic crowbar fashion, with a curved rocker at one end and a precision chisel at the other. Both ends feature nail pullers and an additional teardrop nail puller.

The rocker end, in particular, affords the user an extreme level of control and leverage when dealing with tough nails. A great pick for any prepper bug out bag. Lifetime warranty included too.

Ti-Pry Titanium Pocket Pry Bar

Another awesome pry bar you should check out is the Ti-Pry Titanium Pocket Pry Bar. If portability is your chief concern, look no further than this revolutionary little tool.

Weighing in at 0.95 ounces, and with a length of about 4 inches, this cool pry bar doesn’t even need to go in your bug out bag. Your pockets, as the name suggests, will suffice as far as storage.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The multi-purpose tool is made from grade 5 level titanium, which undoubtedly gave Ti-Pry the confidence to offer a lifetime warranty for it.

Highly durable and resistant to corrosion, the Pocket Pry Bar was made for the brutal conditions a survivalist is likely to encounter. In addition to prying, the tool can be used as a screwdriver, a glass breaker, a box opener, and so much more.

SATA 2-Piece 8 and 16-inch Indexing Pry Bar Set

Sometimes, you need a tool that is actively adaptable to certain situations. Adjustable pry bars are an example of this, and, luckily for you, we’ve identified one of the best. Introducing the SATA 2-Piece 8 and 16-inch Indexing Pry Bar Set from Apex Tool Group.

These alloy steel pry bars are very special indeed. Both feature pry heads that can be adjusted at 14 different angles, which enables you to improve leverage if need be.

The heads can rotate up to 180 degrees, with the 14 locking positions dotted along the arc. The best part? There's a quick-release button that controls the entire adjustment.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The beak-like head has a sharp grip on almost any nook or gap it encounters. Even in sharp confines, the adjustable pry bars sustain absurd levels of leverage.

Using them together, the fork and knife style feels very satisfying, and the number of survivalist applications is endless. If you are in the aftermath of an earthquake or landslide, for example, the SATA pry bars could help with the removal of small debris.

Storage is as easy as tucking the head in. The 8 and 16-inch bars have a combined weight of 2.55 pounds, a solid addition to your survival pack. Apex offers a standard limited lifetime warranty, which underlines a fabulous deal for a set of fabulous survival pry bars. Must. Have.

What is a prepper crowbar?

A crowbar is also a leverage-based hand tool that is used for…er, prying things open. It has also played pivotal (no pun) roles in countless Hollywood blockbusters. Despite their violent reputations, crowbars are very safe to use in most situations.

Typically, crowbars have two leveraged ends which make each side useful. One end usually has a less pronounced angle of leverage leading to a chisel. The other end tends to feature a gooseneck angle. Both ends may feature nail pullers.

Again, we know that “crowbar” and “pry bar” are used interchangeably in everyday talk. However, the main determinant is size. Anything north of 16 inches in length should be considered a crowbar, while anything shorter is a pry bar.

Crowbars are the ideal tool for opening up crates and paneling. They are also great for burglaries (anything goes when SHTF), smashing sheetrock, and self-defense. Naturally, the inventive survivalist will come up with more uses when the time comes.  

Best 3 prepper crowbars

When it comes to crowbars, Amazon has you covered as well. Head over there today and find the ultimate crowbar for your bug out bag. To streamline your search, we’ve provided a few excellent choices that you should have a look at.

Steelhead 24-inch Gooseneck Crowbar

Let's start with the classic looking Steelhead 24-inch Gooseneck Crowbar. Made from high-quality carbon steel, this excellent crowbar could survive several apocalypses without so much as breaking a sweat.

It is a fairly standard crowbar, with a nail puller on the gooseneck end and a steel chisel tip on the other end. It has a very solid feel to it, and you can expect it to breeze through any challenge you put it through.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Steelhead Gooseneck is 24 inches in length and weighs 4.9 pounds. The orange enamel coating is both eye-catching and corrosion-proof, a big plus for any prepper item. The crowbar also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, no doubt reassurance for those who would doubt its durability.

Fiskars Pro 18-inch Crowbar

Our next crowbar is virtually the opposite of the first, thanks to its futuristic design. Words cannot effectively describe this magnificent tool. When it comes to blending functionality, style, ergonomics, and durability, few crowbars even come close to the Fiskars Pro 18-inch Crowbar.

Fiskars' number one objective with this crowbar was user safety and comfort. The starring feature in this pursuit is the fantastic “IsoCore” shock absorption system.

This system makes use of an insulation sleeve within the handle that intercepts vibrations before they reach the user’s hand. The handle itself also helps with shock absorption and features a soft textured grip.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As far as traditional crowbar work, the Fiskars Pro is capable of demolitions, wood board bending and straightening, as well as prying and chiseling tiles.

The main end of the crowbar features the board bender and straightener, while the tail end features the chisel. Carbon steel all around, of course.

The Fiskars Pro Crowbar is 18 inches in length and weighs a little over 3 pounds. The build quality is stupendous, and every part of the crowbar feels weighty and solid. No wonder the manufacturer offers a full lifetime warranty. A fine choice for any urban prepper.

SPEC-D30PRY 30-inch Crowbar

No surprise that Spec Ops makes another appearance, but this time on the crowbar side. The brand's SPEC-D30PRY 30-inch Crowbar expertly combines sleek style and sublime substance. The value-for-money to be had here is through the roof, and a good share of proceeds goes to a noble cause.

The crowbar is made from high-quality heat-treated steel with multiple leverage points, particularly at the gooseneck end. The SPEC-D30PRY also features a shock-absorbing grip along the entirety of its stem.

Take on any challenge without fearing for your hands. FYI, Spec Ops has also completed over 100 drop-tests with the crowbar to verify its toughness…above and beyond.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Design-wise, the SPEC-D30PRY is as sharp as they come, and everything is neat and concise. The lines, grip, and integrity of the ends and nail pullers typify the kind of attention to detail we have come to expect from this brand. Speaking of nail pullers, this bad boy has three!

The Spec Ops SPEC-D30PRY Crowbar weighs 5.3 pounds and measures 31 inches in length. The crowbar certainly feels weightier than it looks, which could be a problem for a prepper who wants to travel light.

However, it also feels indestructible and it would almost certainly be a help when bugging out. The weatherproof grip alone has to be among the finest to ever grace a crowbar. All that quality is wrapped in a lovely limited lifetime warranty. As if that was ever in doubt.


Advantages of a survival pry bar

There are several benefits to including a survival pry bar in your bug out bag. The first is the size. Pry bars are smaller and (usually) lighter than crowbars. We have already touched on the importance of mobility for survivalists.

Saving weight and packing light will enhance one’s chances of covering as much ground as possible. Pry bars are great for this because they are easier to store in a survival backpack than crowbars. Some, like the Ti-Pry Pocket pry bar, can even fit in your pocket!

Pry bars are also good for intricate pryings, such as when you are removing paneling with tiny gaps or scraping off paint. If you are doing repairs on a wall outlet, for instance, you probably want to use the more surgical pry bar.

Disadvantages of a survival pry bar

Unfortunately, the attribute that makes pry bars so great can also be a hindrance. While their small size is good for small and delicate tasks, they may prove to be ineffective or time-consuming when it comes to some bigger tasks.

For, example, if a family member or friend is stuck in a burning house, a pry bar might not be the best tool for prying the door open quickly.

How to use a survival pry bar

A survival pry bar can be used in a variety of ways, depending on its shape and the task at hand. For prying, you will want to work one of the pry bar's edges into a gap to gain leverage. Once in position, raise or lower the handle to start separating the objects.

A lot of pry bars also feature nail pullers. These are small gaps or holes that are found on one or both edges of the pry bar. Or anywhere along its length really. Combined with a bit of that trusty leverage, nail pullers make it easy for you to remove stubborn nails from planks.

Advantages of a prepper crowbar

Prepper crowbars bring a lot to the table, and the number of their uses is only limited by the imagination of the user.

Their main advantage is with their large size. Crowbars are excellent for opening nailed crates, separating large boards and paneling during demolitions and salvages, as well as shifting debris.

Crowbars are also effective for opening jammed doors and windows, which could be a lifesaver for you or someone you love. Crowbars are also great for breaking stuff too! You can use them to break a window in case your car veers off into a water body. You can also rip through sheetrock quickly as you renovate your bug out home.

Self-defense is also an important consideration where crowbars are concerned. A lot of them are fairly long and weighty, which makes them handy makeshift non lethal weapons against robbers and bandits.

Depending on your location, you may also have wild animals to contend with.  A crowbar might not be enough to save you from a bear or a mountain lion, but it's better than being empty-handed.

Disadvantages of a prepper crowbar

On the flipside, size is also a crowbar’s main source of problems. Firstly, while they are meant for opening and separating things, crowbars are not generally known for opening and separating things NEATLY. Most of the objects you will use a crowbar on will be left bludgeoned or, otherwise, permanently damaged.

Crowbars are quite long, especially when compared to pry bars. This is a significant problem because space in a bug out bag is at a premium. Your crowbar could take up too much space and force you to leave other essential items behind.

Weight-saving is another area where crowbars will let you down. These tools have a bit of weight about them, which makes mobility just a little more difficult.

A prepper could be locked in the horns of a dilemma for hours as he or she weighs the merits of a crowbar against the problems its weight may bring. With pocket and even keychain pry bars on the market these days, the horns could lock even tighter.

How to use a prepper crowbar

Crowbars, like pry bars, can be used in various ways. Prying and nail removal are the most common uses. Again, it’s all about how you apply the leverage. Try to use a crowbar only if you won’t need to put anything back together. If the task is delicate, it may be better to use a smaller and nimbler pry bar.

You can also use a crowbar to break things like glass. Just ensure you wear the appropriate protective wear (eye covers, safety gloves, et) before you do so.

When should you carry a bug out pry bar or crowbar?

You should always have a prying tool on your person or in your backpack because you never know when disaster will strike.

If possible try to carry a strong crowbar AND  a trusty little pry bar in your bug out bag wherever you go. It's better to have them and not need them…

Bug Out Crowbars & Pry Bars Conclusions

We’ve briefly touched on the many uses, positives, negatives, and examples of survival pry bars and prepper crowbars, and, hopefully, you are now ready to make an informed decision.

It is up to you to assess your individual needs for when SHTF. Mobility or a ready-made weapon? Surgical precision or ruthless ripping?

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Hi, I'm Russ!

I've been prepping for a long time, but 2020 convinced me that I need to take it to the next level.

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