New York Hook Vs Pike Pole: Which One Is Better?

Pike poles and new york hooks are essential firefighting tools. They can sometimes be used as an alternate option to each other as the build is quite similar. 

That’s why it’s not necessary to own both a NY hook and a pike pole together. You can choose just one of them. 

So, which one would be better between New York Hook Vs Pike Pole?

New York hooks are specifically made for prying and pulling while pike poles can only pry. New York hooks have angled sharp edges that help to pry open walls, ceilings, floors, etc. Pike poles have a straight sharp edge that can be used for prying but it’s not as effective as a NY hook.

That’s the highlighting point of today’s discussion. Read in detail to find more similarities and their usage.

Let’s start!

New York Hook Vs Pike Pole: Quick Comparison

Before we go on to the long discussions, here’s a shortened summary.

Aspect New York Hook Pike Pole
Shape  90-degree upper chisel, 45-degree lower chisel Sharp and straight upper edge, a lower closet pike
Building material  Fiberglass, steel  Wood, fiberglass, steel
Opening hardwood floor Applicable  Partially useful 
Opening plaster and lath wall Applicable  Partially useful 
Opening solid wood roof Applicable  Not applicable
Scale and 8-foot wall Applicable  Not applicable
Forcible entry hook & halligan  Applicable  Not applicable
Picking up objects  Not applicable Applicable
Price Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Find the details in the next section.

New York Hook Vs Pike Pole: Detailed Comparison

In this segment, we’ll talk about how pike poles and NY hooks are different and how to use them.



The new work hook has two flat sides that are sharp and pointy at the end. The pike pole has two pointy ends, one is straight and another is bent at the side.

The shape of the NY hook somewhat resembles the letter “z”. The chisel tip at the lower end is about 1 ½” and at 45 degrees angle. This makes it easier to slide it behind sheeting materials.

The upper end of the hook is about the same size but at a 90-degree angle. While the lower end is slightly bent the upper end is straight to one side. It looks like a hook and a hammer combined.

Both ends can be used to remove security bars or any building materials. It can be used for both pry and pull. Pike pole, on the other hand, has a sharp and straight upper end. 

The upper chisel is like a spike on the shaft. The lower chisel is sharp but slightly bent. It’s like a D-ring handle and is often called a closet pike.

D-ring handle

It is intended for use in closets and other enclosed spaces where a lengthy pole won’t fit. Unlike the NY hook, you can only pull with a pike pole. It’s not that handy to pry on building materials.

Although it can be used for prying, it’s not suitable for all kinds of prying applications. This is the biggest disadvantage of a pike pole.


The shafts of the new work hooks are made from tube steel. So, even though they’re rigid and strong, they’re lightweight. They weigh about 85g-113g. 

It is heavier than a fiberglass hook made of the same length. Tube steel is better in comparison to fiberglass. Although they bend significantly, they tend to break or snap uncontrollably.

The steel shaft is more rigid and gives smooth pry. The pike pole, on the other hand, has options like fiberglass, aluminum, and steel. Wooden ones are the weakest option as they break easily.

Fiberglass pike poles are quite strong. However, they tend to get brittle in cold weather. Aluminum pike poles are rigid but the best option is to go for steel pike poles.

The shaft of both NY hook and pike pole is usually about 6 or 8 feet in length. But you can find pike poles that measure about 12 feet long. The shaft is usually wooden-made.


Both NY hook and pike poles have multiple uses. Firefighters alone use these for many applications. These are one of the most basic tools used for fire hazards and fire prevention.

Now let’s see some applications of them.

Opening Hardwood Floor:

When breaking a hardwood floor, you can utilize the lower chisel of the NY hook. Its sharp end can easily tear through the wooden floor and make an opening.

Once you find an opening, you can use the upper edge of the hook to pry and pull timbers. A Pike pole wouldn’t be a very suitable option for opening a hardwood floor.

Its straight sharp edge can be used to tear through the wooden floor. But it wouldn’t be too handy in prying the timbers out of the floor.

Opening Plaster & Lath Wall:

Opening Plaster & Lath Wall

For opening a plaster and lath wall, you’d have to hit the wall with the back of the shaft. This can be done by both a NY hook and a pike pole. But the shaft has to be rigid enough so it can break the wall.

It’s better to use a metal shaft. Once you find an opening, use the hook to pry open the wall. Once again, NY Hooks will have a greater advantage in this aspect.

Opening Solid Wood Roof:

Finding an opening in the roof is tricky and needs to be done with caution even in an emergency. A pike pole won’t be of much help in opening a ceiling since it can only be used to stab.

Whether the closet pike will fit into the opening can’t be determined either. But the angled edges of the NY hook will fit.

Scale an 8-foot Wall:

In fire hazard situations, firefighters have to pass through many obstructions. They often need to climb walls for rescuing people. If they don’t have access to a fire escape ladder at the moment, they can use a NY hook.

NY hooks can be used to climb over an 8 feet tall wall. Usually, firefighters use the 6 feet NY hooks. Using the safety rope they can make a knot in the mid-length of the shaft.

The knot works as the first stair to support climbing. The climber can take another step on the flat head of the hook and climb over the wall easily.

Now, this is something that you can’t do with a pike pole unless you’re very skilled. And even if you can, there will be a high chance of injury. Unlike the NY hook, the pike pole’s head isn’t flat.

Neither is the closet pike. So you won’t be able to balance your footing on it. It’s better to you don’t take the risk.

Forcible Entry Hook & Halligan:

Forcible Entry Hook & Halligan

You can open almost all kinds of doors using the NY hook. It can be used even for unlocking push-bar emergency doors. It doesn’t need much space to fit in to find an opening.

A pike pole can’t be used for opening a door. Neither the sharp upper edge nor the closet ring will fit.

Picking Up Objects:

If the main job for the new york hook is to pry then the pike pole’s main job is pulling. The sharp head can be used for pulling objects. Since the head is sharp, it easily pierces objects like wood.

It can be used to pick up heavy objects. That’s why many people use pike poles to move timbers. A NY hook won’t be much helpful for this application.

New York Hook Vs Pike Pole: Final Verdict

The winner would be the new york hook as it can be used for both prying and pulling. For firefighters, a NY hook would be a better option. Because it can be used in many situations.

Pike poles’ applications are limited. However, it’s also a good tool to have in your collection. Both have their advantages. It’s not a bad idea to own both.

So, when the fire alarm flashes with a whooping sound you can at least have tools to overcome obstructions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is a Boston Fireman Hook?

Boston Fireman Hooks are a rake tool that’s used for ripping shingle and tiled roofs. The metal hook is round in shape with a sharp edge at the bottom. It can easily break on hard objects.

What is a Sounding Ball Fire Hook?

The sounding ball fire hook is the same as a new work hook. The only exception is the bottom of the chisel. A sounding ball is installed at the bottom end. Firefighters use it by tapping on a wall. It is to evaluate whether the walls are getting too weak in the fire.

What is a Fire Hook Pro Bar?

Fire hook pro bar is a halligan-style entry tool. But unlike NY hooks, the head of the hook has two parted sides. It almost looks like a two-edged hammer. The bottom of the chisel has a fork.


That’s it from us about New York Hook Vs Pike Pole. Hopefully, now you know which emergency tool you’re going to need. Owning both isn’t a bad idea either.

However, be careful with handling them. They are sharp objects. So, it should be stored safely. Make sure to keep them away from children.

Good luck!