Here is a back to basics tutorial, but one which might throw up something you’ve not tried before…
9 ways to clear a Stiletto Heel pin.
1. Twist & pull
Perhaps the traditional method we all associate with pin extraction, when I do this I hold the old heel very low, using small left to right movements until the heel begins to rise, at the soonest possible time I slip my pinchers between the heel and the block to avoid doing any damage to the visible heel block.
2. Hammer shock
This method relies on shocking the pin into movement by holding the pin with your pinchers and hammering the pinchers jaws together against the last, not one of my favourite techniques.
3. Knife and pull
This method is used when some pin remains but there isnâ€™t enough to quite get a grip on. Simple remove a small amount of block with a knife to allow the grip to be made.
4. Scour each side & pull
A personal favourite of mine similar to the knife technique this one is fast and doesnâ€™t risk damaging your knife! Simply scour a tramline each side of the pin on your machine and extract with pliers as normal.
5. Drill out
I always centre punch and drill out old heels if I cannot clear the tube, I always use a pilot hole of 3/32 before running either a 7/64 or 1/8 drill down depending on the tube size. I have found that running a pilot hole results in less broken drills!
6. Punch down
scour ready for the new heel then using a parallel punch knock down the old heel pin into the tube, fast and easy but remember the tube is sprung steel so this can at times hold the tube open so the grip on the heel isnâ€™t as strong & the heel may turn during wear.
7. Replace tube
Using electric pliers remove & replace the tube, note a couple of points when I do this one is I heat the plier tips up red hot before starting, secondly I use long nose pliers when starting of and removing the old tube, this minimises the damage and swelling to plastic heel blocks and secondly I scour a V shape on the new tube to stop it twisting in the heel block next time I heel the shoes.
8. Centre punch & hammer
Not a pretty technique, but if when you centre punch the old pin for a drill out (5) and the pin sinks into the tube it is possible with steel replacement heels to simply hammer them straight in, once again take note of reduced grip (6)
9. Vice grip
I don’t have particularly strong hands and have found that on occasions simply gripping the old pin in the vice and using this as my pinchers saves a lot of work.
So there you go the 9 ways I have seen being used over the years to remove stiletto heel pins, but are there other ways? Why not add your technique to this topic.