hultafors wrecking bars

Hultafors’ unbeatable wrecking bars with Ovako boron steel 

Can you think of anything more disheartening than falling into a pile of crates behind you when the wrecking bar you were using snaps in half under pressure? Well, lucky for us all, Hulfators’ wrecking bars have made that nightmare a thing of the past. 

We all know wrecking bars are invaluable tools in any trade for prying apart objects and pulling out nails. Yet, despite its sturdy appearance, a poor-quality bar made from inferior materials can break unexpectedly under pressure – and they do, as Hulfators, the Swedish hand toolmaker has demonstrated.  

That’s why Hultafors uses high-strength Ovako boron steel for its wrecking bars. The benefit is not only in increased safety but also in the company’s ability to produce wrecking bars with claws that are thin enough for great access on any profile but still really strong. 

Typically, a wrecking bar features a claw with a slot for prying up nails, a rounded heel to help drive the claw into position, along the shaft for leverage and a straight end. Despite being a seemingly simple instrument, production can be challenging and time-consuming, as it requires forging and treating steel with heat.  

Hultafors has invested a great deal of time and effort in mastering the process. It produces well over 100,000 wrecking bars each year in a range of sizes, including an adjustable wrecking bar, and most of them are distributed to the Nordic countries, though the brand is rapidly developing a footprint in the rest of Europe. 

As a company that places a premium on quality and end-user safety, Hultafors has been using Ovako’s high-alloy boron steel for the past 25 years to manufacture its wrecking bars.  

Lennart Jansson, Product Manager at Hultafors, says: “The claw of our wrecking bars is the thinnest on the market to enable easy access to narrow spaces. But because of boron steel’s ultra-high-strength and durability, it will never break when over-stressed, making it much safer than other bars. It might bend slightly. In contrast, our competitors’ bars have much thicker claws but can snap without warning, as revealed in our stress-testing program. 

hultafors wrecking bars with ovako boron steel

“In the past, we’ve tried other boron steels as well. They appeared to be identical but we weren’t happy with the results. The consistent quality of Ovako’s steel, tight process controls, and good repeatability convinced us to stick with them. 

“Likewise, Ovako’s technical input has been invaluable, not only for the wrecking bars, but also when we started using another of their steels for our axes, especially regarding material checks, metallurgical investigations, and discussions around material content.” 

Why boron steel is ideal for hard-wearing applications 

Boron is an interstitial element that is added in small amounts to steel to replace expensive alloying additions. It gives the steel a stable, predictable behaviour during heat treatment, and Ovako has pioneered the use of boron steel to help companies like Hultafors produce superior products. 

Boron steel grades can be hardened either by heat treatment after workshop processing or by a direct hot forming and quenching process to achieve a high-strength component. Even when quenched in water, there is minimal distortion, which reduces the amount of grinding required to the final dimension.  

The beauty of boron steel is that customers can easily shape the hot-rolled round and flat bar to their needs and then double the hardness when it is later quenched and tempered. 

Lennart Jansson concludes: “Many companies have tried to copy our wrecking bars but without success. We believe Ovako’s superior boron steel, together with the hardening method, gives us the edge. That is why we are now also using the same boron steel grade for the pinch points of our aluminium pry bars.”  

If you’re curious to see how the Hultafors’ wrecking bars compare to their competitors’ under test, you can watch this video

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