I have this type of wire staple in my attic holding wires together in certain places but I need to move the wires. How do I remove these?

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You can use the claw of a hammer, a cat's paw, a small pry bar or a flat blade screwdriver as a prying device. Slip the prying device between the plastic & the cable, or slip it between the wood and plastic and pry. Pry gently if you're between the cable and the staple - you don't want to dig into the cable housing and damage it. You can also twist to gently begin moving it away.

If the wire staple is really tight, you can use vice-grips* to grab the plastic around the nail and pry it out a bit until you get enough room to get under there to pry it out. (Or, just keep bending with the vice-grips until you get the nail out - they're not that long.)

Depending on the amount of effort that goes into removing them, you may be able to reuse the wire staples to resecure the wire in its new location, or you may mangle it far beyond reuse. Have a small bag on hand for replacements. It's easier to return the bag unused, than to be up in the attic when you realize you need a few.

*Using "vice-grip" as a generic term for locking pliers, no specific endorsement of Vice-Grip™ brand locking pliers implied or intended.


I use a cats paw or a claw hammer, a paw has a shorter jaw and less chances to damage the wire. Those plastic straps usually won’t damage the cable if care is used with a claw hammer but don’t go crazy or you may end up skinning the wire.

  • 3
    I use wire cutters and carefully grab one of the nails and pry it (leverage) it up. Sometimes need to take a couple of bites at the nail. Once one side is freed up, pull the cable out carefully. Then if you are OCD like me you can easily remove the entire staple. May 12 '20 at 18:32
  • 1
    Cutters will also work well.
    – Ed Beal
    May 12 '20 at 18:44
  • I'm with George Anderson. Wire cutters (dikes) and carefully pry up one side at a time. They work in places where you can't get the claw of a hammer in.
    – SteveSh
    May 12 '20 at 20:49
  • @steveSh up vote as I have is the best way to agree.
    – Ed Beal
    May 12 '20 at 21:01
  • @GeorgeAnderson that's an excellent idea I'd never thought of! (I've removed far too many wire staples that I've prematurely hammered down tight...)
    – FreeMan
    May 13 '20 at 11:28

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