We first got a chance to check out the new 15″ Stiletto Stainless Steel Flat Bar and 12″ Stiletto Clawbar Nail Puller w/Dimpler at the 2011 International Builders Show. These are beautiful bars that just might be too pretty to actually want to use! They are heavier than Stiletto’s Titanium Pry Bars, but they are also far less expensive. These bars are designed for the serious professional, however and certainly not targeting the rank and file user. These tools are high-end and very much for those who want the very best look for their tools. You know who you are – and for the rest, well, Stiletto probably doesn’t have you in mind, nor will we assume that these pry bars are meant to have mass market appeal.
So are you elite? Well, if you are, or even if you are not, you may want to know why Stiletto chose stainless steel. Stainless Steel is a unique material due to its excellent corrosion resistance and it extremely strong. While not as lightweight as titanium, it also doesn’t cost as much to manufacture. When polished, it looks absolutely stunning – and that’s what gives these bars their incredible “hey, what’s that?” look that you can spot from across the jobsite.
Stiletto Stainless Steel Flat Bars Build Quality
The Stiletto 15″ Pry Bar and 12″ Clawbar Nail Puller arrived wrapped in plastic, but were otherwise ready to be used immediately and not enclosed in any sort of retail packaging. The tools both have a mirror-polished finish with imprinted black lettering and logos on the main flat parts of the bars. They are pristinely sharpened along the edges of the pry bars and there are no mold marks or other blemishes that indicate how the tools were manufactured. We took a closer look at the two different types of pry bars we received.
Stiletto Stainless Steel Flat Bar – 15-inch
The Stiletto 15″ flat bar (and an 11.5″ bar is also available) is a beautiful piece of polished stainless steel that is unmatched in beauty. But don’t let that fool you, because Stiletto made this tool so it could be used by serious framers, roofers, concrete workers, and finish carpenters. Like the Stiletto titanium flat bars, this bar includes front and rear nail pullers, a nail puller on the arch, built in staple puller and the signature bottle opener (which is really just to show off to your friends – as if a stainless steel pry bar wasn’t enough!) With the long thin design, maximum leverage can be exerted even in tight spaces, giving you a lot of flexibility when finding the optimum nail pulling position. We had no trouble pulling nails in a variety of angles and positions and the bars made quick work of pulling loose a series of 16D nails we had sunk into a standard 2×4. The staple puller remains a truly unique features of Stiletto pry bars and it all but eliminates the need to use a flat head screwdriver to pry up staples. Electricians and carpet layers rejoice!
After using the Stiletto Stainless Steel Flat Bars for several weeks (indeed, even after just a few hours) we did notice that the once-beautiful finish of the polished stainless steel quickly took on a less-than-mirror finish. Such is life. If you’re worried about nicking up your flat bars then you bought the wrong product. Besides, it’s stainless steel – if you really want to get them back to ship-shape, you can.
Our uses for the 15″ flat bar included busting out wood and trim to install a larger set of windows into a 1915 bungalow. This job had us beating and manhandling the Stiletto stainless steel flat bar until we had suitably rendered it extremely useful in pulling apart the home and making room for our newer, larger window. We also reached for this same tool when it came time to pull off the old tile (and drywall) for a bathroom renovation we were doing that involved replacing all of the nasty square tile with new retro subway tile purchased from Lowe’s Home Improvement Store.
Stiletto Stainless Steel Clawbar Nail Puller w/Dimpler – 12-inch
This specialty claw bar is one of the coolest-looking pry bars we’ve ever seen. Like the Stiletto titanium clawbar, the network of cross-bracing along the length of the tool reminds us of a steel roof crossbeam. It’s a work of art—and one that came in very handy when we had to pull nails. The dimpler mechanism is also convenient in that it allows you to place the hole over the nail and then whack it with your hammer (we used a Stiletto Titanium Hammer). The result is a “trench” of sorts cut around the nail which then gives you access to pull the nail with either end of the clawbar. It really works well, as you can see in the photos below.
If your number one motivation in tool buying is that you have to have the absolute best, unique and specialized tools, then Stiletto is for you. But how do you know if these pry bars are for you? Well we’ve devised a simple test you can take. Answer “Yes” to just 2 out of 3 of the following questions and you should probably pick up one of these pry bars for your collection, if not one of each:
- Would you skip the effort required to bend over to pick up a $5 bill you saw lying on the ground?
- Do you have to have the very best of anything you buy?
- Do you own a Bose stereo system and/or drive a Lexus?
If you said “Yes” to at least one of the above questions – congratulations, Stiletto stainless steel pry bars are for you! If you answered “yes” to two or more, then you should seriously consider going with their titanium pry bars. In all seriousness, if you can afford them, these pry bars are simply fantastic. They will certainly deliver the performance you really need and have some very innovative features. For our Performance rating we gave these an 8/10 because they definitely offer some great features but we just have some difficulty rating them higher since they are eventually going to be destroyed by striking them with a hammer and prying nails. For our Value rating, judging continues to be difficult. Clearly, these are not really about value – so a low score here should actually be a badge of honor. For that reason, we gave them a solid 6/10. Of course, you’re going to want to lock them up safely as they are likely to walk off the jobsite otherwise.
So how do you get one? Anywhere Stiletto pry bars and hammers are sold. You at least need to go and pick one up to try it out.