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Crowbar (tool): Wikis


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A crowbar.

A crowbar, a wrecking bar, pry bar, or prybar, or sometimes (in British usage) a prise bar or prisebar more informally a jimmy, jimmy bar[citation needed], jemmy or gooseneck is a tool consisting of a metal bar with a single curved end and flattened points, often with a small fissure on one or both ends for removing nails. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, "crowbar" may occasionally be used loosely for this tool, but is more commonly used to mean a larger straight tool (see spud bar). The term jemmy or jimmy most often refers to the tool when used for burglary.

It is used as a lever either to force apart two objects or to remove nails. Crowbars are commonly used to open nailed wooden crates. Another common use for larger crowbars is general demolition: for removing nails, prying apart boards, and generally smashing things. Crowbars can also be used as improvised weapons for attacking someone or something, or for defense purposes.

Crowbars can be used as any of the three lever classes but the curved end is usually used as a first-class lever, and the flat end as a second class lever.


Materials and construction

Normally made of medium-carbon steel, they can alternatively be made from titanium, which has the advantages of being lighter, nonmagnetic, and spark-resistant.

The least expensive, most common crowbars are forged from hexagonal, or sometimes cylindrical stock. More expensive designs may be forged with an I-shaped cross-section shaft.


The accepted etymology[1][2] identifies the first component of the word crowbar with the bird-name "crow", perhaps due to the crowbar’s resemblance to the feet or beak of a crow. The first attestation of the word is circa 1400. They also were called simply crows, or iron crows; William Shakespeare used the term crow in many places[3], including his play Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, scene ii:

Get me an iron crow and bring it straight.
Unto my cell. ...

Video game culture

The crowbar has become something of a symbol in video game culture, thanks to the success of the Half-Life series developed by Valve Corporation. The crowbar has come to symbolize the series' protagonist, Gordon Freeman, as the first weapon he picks up is a crowbar; he is nearly always pictured with a crowbar in hand. A single image of a crowbar was used as a magazine advertisement when the release of Half-Life 2 was impending in 2004.




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