Their are all different kinds of pry bars. Each one does a specific job. The larger the pry bar is the more leverage you will get. The more leverage, the easier it is to pry. Never force a tool. If you are trying to pull a nail with your pry bar and can't. Get a larger bar or different create more leverage. Using excessive force will only increase your chances of injury. Remember, "work smarter, not harder." Here will will talk a few different types of pry bar and what their main uses are. Just remember this tool is particularly good at crushing fingers. Make sure to never pull towards anything you don't want to pinch. Your bar can slip or break and come down pretty hard.
- The Flat Bar is the finish pry bar. The flat bar is in fact, flat. Pretty easy to remember. This style is most commonly used for finish work because it has the lowest chance of creating giant impressions in your finish work. To further avoid dents put a piece of scrap on your contact point. Mainly this is for pulling nails but as a pry bar it can be used for all types of demo or prying. Just don't apply too much force, these bars are prone to bending. I also want to mention the Wonderbar. There are a few different styles of this modified flat bar. Some have a curve to them, making them sturdy. The other style has a big dip in the handle, making it easier to get leverage.
- The Crow Bar is probably the most well known pry bar. Mainly due to movies depiction of thieves. The crow bar has either a circular or hexagonal (6 sided) shape to it. This bar is not for finish work and will definitely imprint your contact point without a decent, protective block. This bar is great for demo and nice and sturdy. You can use it like a rip claw on a framing Hammer and do some pretty efficient work. Larger ones also make for decent rock bars.
- The Cat's Paw is a less common pry bar for removing imbedded nails. These bars are usually not as long as typical pry bar. There are different ends on cat's paws, but they are all aimed at digging into your material to pull out nail heads. With this tool you will put the teeth into your material, at an angle, aimed at the head of the nail. Once you get under the edge of the head, you can pry it up above the surface. From there us the back of a hammer or another pry bar to remove the nail. While you don't hear much about cat's paws, they are an essential part of any tool collection.
- The Trim Bar is another shorter bar. This has one straight side, with a wide flat edge. And one side that is a bent 90 degree version of that wide edge. This bar is meant for careful removal of small materials. For example - if you replace an interior door you may want to replace the existing trim. Using a blade to cut caulk and a trim bar you can carefully, but easily remove trim without damaging it. The same can be said for baseboard or crown moulding.