Choosing the right puller

Written By Anonymous
Posted On: December 10, 2015, 3:40 pm

You’re working on a customer’s vehicle and once all the nuts and bolts are off, the part’s still stuck. It could be a ball joint, wheel bearing or even a brake drum or rotor. What are your options? You can grab a pry bar, a hammer or whatever else is in the shop. Or you can grab a puller, break the parts loose and get the job done faster.

After reading, find your puller at

To find the right puller:

-What are you trying to pull? Are you trying to pull a shaft out of something, pull something out of a hole or pull something off a shaft? This will help you determine if you need a push-puller, jaw-type puller, slide hammer or one with internal or external-internal adapters.

-Determine the reach and spread you need. This will make sure your puller is long enough and the jaws, if applicable, open wide enough to exert enough force to pull the object.

-Estimate the force required. Normally, if you account for reach and spread, OTC’s pullers will have enough force. When in doubt, always use the next larger size to account for frozen or rusted parts. 

Now that you’ve determined what you’re trying to pull, find a corresponding puller to finish the job. 

-If you’re pulling something off a shaft, you can use a jaw-type, push-puller, slide hammer or bearing puller with attachment. 

oThis includes removing a gear, bearing, wheel or pulley

-If your job includes pulling something out of a hole, look for internal pulling attachments coupled with a slide hammer or a push-puller.

oThis option helps remove internal bearing cups, retainers or oil seals that are press-fitted

-When you need to pull a shaft out of something, look for threaded adapters, internal or external, for use with slide hammers or a push-puller.  

oTypically you need these pullers when removing a transmission shaft or pinion shaft from a bore or housing. 

Regardless of puller selected, always keep the tool clean and frequently lubricate the forcing screw fully to extend the tool’s life. With tons of force, we can’t stress safety enough when using pullers. Before using one of our pullers, we recommend reading the OTC safety puller information sheet, found here.

What’s your favorite puller?