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I am new with electronics and I have some issues removing DIP ICs from breadboard after testing something with them. I end up bending their legs if I pull them with bare fingers or pliers.

Is there some recommended way to pull them up nicely?

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    \$\begingroup\$ In Soviet Russia, what you would do is remove the board from the IC. \$\endgroup\$ – fuzzyhair2 Jul 18 '14 at 21:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just cannot believe the above comment had no upvotes until now. \$\endgroup\$ – underscore_d May 2 '16 at 23:10
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On a breadboard, take practically any old pointy thing that will fit in 'the gutter', and nudge it carefully under one end of the chip (that's what the gutter is for!) until it just starts to come up. Then move to the other end, and bring that end up a little more. At that point it should be loose enough to just pluck with your fingers.

Things with short right angles work best. My favorite thing to use is a sort of heavy-duty dental pick I have, that has a right angle with a pointy end about 1/4 inch long. Another article that sometimes works is the corner of blank PC slot covers. In the days of desktops with 8 ISA slot motherboards, these were easier to find, but you can probably still scrounge something.

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I usually try to leave some room at one end, so I can insert a small screwdriver underneath the IC. Then just lift. Will bend the pins ever so slightly that it doesn't cause problems upon reuse.

Alternatively, Wiha seems to have chiplifters, a bit like a small crowbar:

enter image description here

This will need a bit less room.

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    \$\begingroup\$ ^this served me well for many years. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason S Apr 6 '12 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 I do this as well. Get a long thin screw driver that you can place underneath the chip. Try to lift the chip up as even as possible to minimize pin causalities. \$\endgroup\$ – Hans Apr 6 '12 at 21:53
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Personally, I use a small chip lifter or pry bar. Just lifting a little on alternate sides of the chip, until it comes out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The chip puller (first link) is to extract PLCCs from their sockets. You insert the puller at opposite corners. OP asks about DIP \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Apr 6 '12 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh Thanks for the info. I removed the incorrect reference from the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Pablo Maurin Apr 6 '12 at 18:08
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For DIPs, I've seen two basic types of tools. One which grasps the DIP under the long sides and one which grasps the DIP under the shot side and both have their uses.

If the component is close to the board, sometimes the pins of the long extractor won't be able to reach under it and it can be difficult to remove the DIP. In that case the short end extractor is more useful since on the breadboard there us usually a trench under the DIP and there will be enough room to insert the extractor. The downside of the short end extractors is that you can lift one side of the DIP with them and leave the other in the breadboard which usually causes pins to bend. Also sometimes considerable force may be needed to actually operate the extractor which increases the chances of DIP slipping and flying off once it has been removed from the breadboard.

On the other hand, the long side extractors apply force more evenly along the DIP and the change of DIP pins getting bent is lower with them since practically all pins get removed at the same time.

narrow and wide extractors

Unfortunately, Google can't find the long-side extractors such as ones I have, so this blurry image will have to serve as illustration.
EDIT: I managed to find a link to the narrow one.

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I use a chip puller like this: http://www.circuitspecialists.com/ex1.html or a small screwdriver.

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Tweezers I think might work as a good easy to find tool. They would serve as pliers, but I do not believe would allow the transmission of enough force to break any of the components.

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