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This wicked-looking tool is used by Slaters — people who put slate on buildings — to replace damaged slates. You slip the ripper under the slate tile and shear the nails holding the tile so you can remove it.

You can find the Ripper for about 14 Euros or $20. Most of the sites that sell this tool, whether they sell the pictured Faithfull Tool or some other brand, sell them across the pond in Europe. It’s not like they have a monopoly in slate roofs over there, as I’ve see at least a few here in the States. Anybody have another good source to buy one of these tools?

Slaters Ripper (PDF) [Faithfull Tools]
Staters Ripper

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12 Responses to Slater’s Ripper

  1. fred says:

    Most full service roofing supply houses will sell rippers – and I think you might even find one in a big box store. But online there is Jenkins:


  2. David Bryan says:

    Dasco #640. These used to be a project in every home blacksmithing book.

  3. fred says:

    BTW this is a useful tool for cutting through other shingle and shake nails – not only on roofs.

    We have a roofing sub-contractor who does slate roofs and standing seam roofs too. I’ve seen his crews with lots of oddball (for an old plumber anyway) tools.

    here is another link:


  4. Kris says:

    Looks like that tool AAA uses when I’ve locked my keys in the car.

  5. bidwell says:

    What Kris said… Looks like a slim jim.

  6. fred says:

    Here is another supply house that we have bought from :


    They also sell slate shears – sort of like the Pearson slate cutter that we use for gauged flooring slate.

  7. David Bryan says:

    There’s a gazillion places that sell that Dasco #640 for under $20.

  8. Erik says:

    You can find this type of tool (pictured) lots of places, but they’ll typically be called a shingle ripper. Amazon has a few ranging from $18-$48. If you’re looking for a true slate ripper, don’t go cheap. Slate work requires almost constant use of this tool and it will need to be able to take a beating (literally). I agree with Fred, go to http://josephjenkins.com/store/home.php . Jenkins has every tool imaginable for slate work, they only sell quality equipment and supplies and they know their stuff.

  9. browndog77 says:

    Living in the Slate Belt of eastern PA, I see plenty of these in use, as well as at many a garage sale. I worked for a roofer way back when, and these do a great job. If you use one, tie a strong string to the thin part if the handle and loop it around your wrist. A good shot w/ a shingle hammer coupled with a flimsy nail will cause you a trip down the ladder!

  10. Sonya Cheetham-Costello says:

    Hi, can you tell me why the handle on a slater’s (or shingle) ripper is offset, please? Thanks

    • Dan Thompson says:

      Sonya, it is offset to provide leverage when you slide it under the shingle. if it was a straight handle, there would be nowhere to push down.

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