These may seem like a very strange tool to buy for hardwood floors, but we are using them off-label for a very ingenious purpose: to speed up the removal of stubborn old face-nails and staples from a floor before you sand it.
Obviously, most hardwood floors have their nails hidden – good floors are blind-nailed and you don’t have to worry about those buried nails catching on the sanding drum or edger. But if, sometime in the history of your floor, an unscrupulous person nailed into the tops of your floor boards to stop a squeak or secure a carpet, you have a problem. Nails that stick up even slightly tend to rip paper off sanding machines, and risk damage to the drum or edger pad. So those nails must come out. But more often than not, there is not enough nail protruding to grab hold of to remove it. Tile nippers like these can help because they can get a grip on tiny pieces of metal and they can then pry it out of the floor using rolling leverage. If you dig at an old nail with regular pliers, you can leave all kinds of gouges in the wood. Used responsibly, nippers won’t gouge.