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I have hundreds of 2x2 Tiles that I use to create LEGO City scale footpaths and floors. They are arranged in a grid on baseplates in a similar way as shown below:

enter image description here

Recently I had decided to rebuild the entire city and I've struggled to find a way to easily remove all the tiles. For some of the larger baseplates, I can make it easier to remove tiles by slightly bending the plate so that they pop out.

I have been using the chiseled end of the orange brick separators to remove the pieces. They work perfectly when new, unfortunately the chiselled edge is quite soft and it bends quite easily, becoming almost useless over time.

enter image description here

The other end of the brick separator is even harder to use and I have tried the old grey brick separator also.

Do you have any recommendations for tools (LEGO, 3rd part or non-brick based) for removing these pieces?

I would prefer not to use anything metal or that may damage the bricks.

The tool should also be comfortable to use for removing many pieces.

  • 3
    I suspect that anything that doesn't damage the bricks would need to take damage itself. – Alexander O'Mara Dec 16 '17 at 19:02
  • If that is the case, I wouldn't have a problem with a disposable tool that could do the job. – Ambo100 Dec 16 '17 at 19:04
  • 2
    I would consider brick separators disposable. – Henrik - stop hurting Monica Dec 16 '17 at 19:09
  • At the rate I've gone through them already, I would prefer not to use them. – Ambo100 Dec 16 '17 at 19:10
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    I have fairly short fingernails, I do use my nails if all else fails but I always come across tiles which border tiles on two sides such as this tile with the blue cross. – Ambo100 Dec 16 '17 at 21:12
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Try using the orange brick separator upside down. This is a trick I learned from someone who professionally works with LEGO. The lower angle makes it easier to go under the lip of the tiles and it is much less damaging on the brick separator, as you are more pushing and sliding rather than digging and prying.

To be clear, instead of holding the brick separator with the LEGO logo and the Technic pin on top, turn the brick separator upside down. You will notice that this transforms the angle of the tip into a little ramp that you can slide under the lip of the tiles.

For flat tiled surfaces, like the one on your picture, the upside down brick separator works very well, with very little (if any) damage to the brick separator. However, notice that this method also requires more space, as the brick separator needs to lie more flatly against the surface. For tighter spaces, like when you have a wall around the tiled surface, you would still use the brick separator right side up, as the different angle of the tip requires less space for removing tiles. Once you freed up enough space to lie the brick separator more flat, you may turn it upside down to work on the rest of the tiles.

The brick separator really is a well thought out tool that works for almost all scenarios when you need to separate LEGO elements. If you find it not performing so well one way, try from another angle, or upside down, or two brick separators together, and you will likely find it working much more efficiently.

EXTRA TIP: For very tight spaces, the LEGO minifigure accessory crow bar works very well for removing tiles. The tips on the two ends are different, and can be used at different angles. The only issue is that the tool is quite small, and for people with large hands it can be a bit difficult to maneuver.

  • That's the way I've been doing it so far, I agree it works much better than the other way. If there are two adjacent tiles I will always try to place the tool under both of them to be more efficient and avoid wearing the tool. I have also used the minifigure crowbar and I've tried it again to see how it works but it's a bit slower than the separator. – Ambo100 Dec 16 '17 at 21:14
  • I sometimes use the other side of the separator (top side) to pry out the tiles once they have been loosened. – Ambo100 Dec 16 '17 at 21:20
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I haven't tried these myself, but in the computer repair world there exist tools with similar purposes.

Spudger:

Flat edge (the right-size comes to a flat point):

Spudger 1

Knife-shaped edge:

Spudger 2

Opening Pick/Guitar Pick:

Opening Pick

NOTE: A number of companies manufacture these, but you would need to make sure you get ones that are sharp-enough to catch the lip on the tile.

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