Pulloffs: The Old Standby

This tool will last a career with proper use, cleaning and a drop of oil

Arguably the most dependable tool a farrier has in the shoeing box is a pair of pulloffs.

Unlike most tools of the trade, pulloffs are more rugged and durable than their other riveted, tong-handled brethren. When you buy a pair of pulloffs for the very first time, there’s a good chance it will be the same tool that pulls off the final shoe on the last day of your career.

“I think it’s a one-time purchase,” says Roy Bloom of Bloom Forge in Drummond, Wis. “If you take care of your pulloffs, there’s no reason that tool won’t last forever. They’re built to take a good bit of abuse.

“It’s one of those tools that you’ll find if you’re prowling around flea markets and antique shops,” adds the Farrier Product Distribution clinician. “Generally, you’ll find an old pair of pulloffs, but rarely do you find a pair of nippers or tools like that. So, that has to give a little testament to the durability of this tool.”

What To Look For

There is a wide variety of pulloffs from which to choose. They range in size from 12 to 16 inches. For some farriers, the length of the pulloffs is a personal preference, but there is logic to the difference.

“Lighter, short-footed breeds usually have shoes made from lighter sections of stock, so less leverage is needed,” says Bob Schantz of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop in Foristell, Mo. “Larger breeds, or horses with longer hooves and heavier horseshoes, might have…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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