What's your suggested technique for reliably removing Arduino Due and Mega shields while minimizing the chance of bending the strip header pins?

For example, there's a similar discussion here where the asker ended up building a jig to keep everything parallel, but the main PCB was screwed down into the jig (a disadvantage). There is a heap of PCB Pullers/Extractors on the web, but they all seem to relate to edge connected cards.

I'm hoping for multiple answers / techniques. Interested to hear how you do it, or for you to upvote an answer you like. Maybe everybody is just doing the best they can with finger wriggling and manual pin straightening?

  • 2
    I use the handle of one of the toothbrushes I use to clean PCBs. Anything long, solid, and above all non-metallic, makes a good lever.
    – Majenko
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 11:55
  • A non-conductive pair of reverse pliers might be useful, but I'm not sure they exist. expandingpliers.com
    – RowanP
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 12:10
  • 1
    slowly. one corner a little, second corner a little, ... and repeat
    – Juraj
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 12:20
  • Thanks @Juraj, yes I suspect that's the most common approach and certainly what I have been doing, but I always seem to need to straighten pins afterwards.
    – RowanP
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 12:30

5 Answers 5


You could modify a couple of wooden clothes pegs to act as reverse pliers.

enter image description here
(source: niceshops.com)


Here's the easiest solution. Spend $10 on Amazon and buy one of these "hose pliers". Put the tips on the double pin end. Gently squeeze. Simple!


enter image description here


It's an indirect answer to my original question, but having made a number of Due/Mega shields over the year or so since then, I've started making the side pins ~3mm longer than the double row end pins. This helps.

Pin Heights


@Majenko's comment suggesting using a toothbrush handle as a lever reminded me of auto trim levers. I remembered I had some, and have done some quick testing. They give a little more strength I would say, but not much (if any) more control than using fingers.


I think I've found a nearly perfect tool in Knipex 45 10 170 reverse pliers. The only downside I can currently see is that they're conductive. The (unmodified) wooden clothes peg idea I found did not have enough grip or leverage.

Reverse pliers in use

  • To make them non-conductive (and add some protection for the boards as well), you might try a couple of plier-tip sleeves cut from plastic- or surgical rubber- tubing. Thanks for the tip on the pliers!
    – JRobert
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:51

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