▷ Choosing the Best Tick Removal Tool (2018 Update)

Tick Removal Tool Reviews

Tick removal tool

There are good ways and bad ways to remove a tick. 

The worst is using your fingers; don't do that unless you're stranded on a deserted island.

Ticks are wicked active sign

We have serious tick problems where I live...which is obviously Massachusetts.

There are all kinds of home remedies that people claim will make ticks extract themselves from the skin like petroleum jelly, nail polish and essential oils. There are also all kinds of methods people use like twisting as you pull. I've even heard of people putting a match to their skin. (Ouch!)

The experts at the CDC say that the best way to remove a tick is to pull it straight out as soon as you find it, using a fine-tipped instrument. Don't mess around trying to get it to back out, don't leave any mouth parts in the wound, and NEVER squeeze the tick's body while it's attached. That's like injecting yourself with Lyme disease.

You may not know this, but there are a wondrous variety of tick removal tools on the market. So we've set out to find the pros and cons of each to help you decide which ones to include in your kit whenever you decide to head outdoors. ​

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Tick Removal Tools

​I'll start off by saying that these are all highly-rated tools. They are all capable of doing the job and every one of them has raving fans that swear they'll never use anything else. They are also all very affordable and often come in multi-packs. However, there are differences in form and function that may matter to you. Those are the differences we've focused on here. 

All of these devices work for people and pets. Some of them are more commonly used for pets or have one end for people and one end for pets. I would personally use a separate device for my dog or cat. Some users cite this as necessary because some tools are easier to use on dogs than others because many dogs can't sit still while you remove the tick.  ​

There are a couple general types of removal tools and a couple of unusual devices. Most of these tools are either a form of tweezer or have a V-shaped slot that grabs the tick, or both.​

V-shaped Slot Tools
Ticked Off

Ticked Off is a very simple device and it’s the one I most commonly see in stores. It looks like a measuring spoon with a V cut in it so you can grab a tick by the head and use the bottom of the spoon as a fulcrum to pull the tick out. This tool comes in multiple colors but some people have complained about the darker colors because that makes it harder to see the tick. I really don’t know why they make tick tools in colors other than white.

Simple operation
Pulls tick straight out
Holds the tick in the scoop after removal

Not for hard-to-reach areas like ears
Difficult to use for deeply embedded ticks
May be hard to use on pets with dense fur Some report that it’s hard to use on tiny ticks and that it leaves mouth parts behind

ZenPet Tick Tornado

The Tick Tornado is one of the two devices here that is intended to be twisted. The usual advice is to pull ticks straight out, but loads of people use these twisting devices and love them, in fact the best-selling tool for pets on Amazon is of this type. It has a slot that lies flat against the skin and you put the tick in the slot and twist it several times to remove the tick. This type of tool seems particularly popular for use on dogs.

Simple to use
Designed to catch the tick after removal

Not for hard-to-reach areas like ears
Difficult to use for deeply embedded ticks
May be hard to use on pets with dense fur Some report difficulty getting the tick into the slot
Some report that it pulls the body off the tick and leaves the head

Tick Twister

The Tick Twister is the best-selling dog tick removal tool on Amazon. It looks and functions very similar to the Tick Tornado but lacks the scoop to catch the removed tick. Each package comes with two sizes of the tool, one for small ticks and one for large ticks. As with all the “twisting” tools, you’re better off just prying the tick off than actually twisting it and the shape of the tool makes that easy to do.

Very compact tool
Comes in 2 sizes
Very popular tool with many fans

Not for hard-to-reach areas like ears
Some report that it is TOO small to use easily
Some report that it does not fit the Lone Star tick in particular

The Tick Key

The same V-slot idea applied to a metal tag. These come in a 3-pack so you can attach them to a pet’s collar or otherwise keep them wherever they are handy. They come in a multi-color pack and again, some people complain about the darker colors. They can even come in black, which is a dumb color for a tick removal tool. Generally speaking though, there are very few complaints about this tool.

Made of metal
Comes in a 3-pack
Very popular tool

Not for hard-to-reach areas like ears
Some find it hard to use on smaller ticks
Darker colors can be harder to use

Tweezer Tools
Carson MagniGrip Tweezers

There are many good pairs of tweezers on the market that all fit the bill here. However, there are some tweezers that are designed for tick removal. This one looks like something McGyver would have cobbled together. It’s a pair of tweezers fitted with an LED light and a magnifying glass. A lot of people report problems with the LED light not lasting long. The Mighty Bright is a better-looking (but who cares?) tool with all the same features and fewer reported problems with the light, although the magnifier is slightly less powerful.

Built-in light and magnifying lens
Great for removing splinters and doing embroidery as well

LED light may not be durable
Some users report issues getting the light, lens and tweezers to all line up


This tool contains both the features of tweezers and the V-slot scoop. It’s made of stainless steel and can grab any size tick regardless of where it is located on the body.

Stainless steel construction
Contains both types of tools
Can remove ticks in any body location

A few complaints of the V-slot end breaking off

Tick Remover Tool Set

This set contains 3 distinct metal tools, the V-slot tool plus a double sided set of tweezers. Compared to the other tick removal tools above, this set is very sturdy in its construction and is often described as a “professional grade” set of tick removers.

High quality stainless steel construction
Contains 3 tools
Can remove ticks in any body location

Lacks a scoop for catching removed ticks

Other Tools
Tick Nipper

Functioning a bit like a nail clipper or pair of scissors, this tool grabs ticks close to the skin and squeezes them in a scoop for removal. It comes in a 2-pack at a very affordable price and is a well-loved tool that many people swear by.

Easy to use
Comes in a 2-pack
Popular tool

Not for hard-to-reach areas like ears

TRIX Tick Lasso

This is an unusual device that functions like a retractable pen with a tiny lasso on the end. Seems like a bit of a pain but it works well to grab ticks both large and small on any area of the body and holds them until you release the tool to dispose of the tick. Pretty clever.

Grabs ticks of any size
Works on any area of the body
Effective at pulling the whole head of the tick out

Some users report poor construction
Tool can get stuck in open position
Some find the tiny lasso difficult to position over the tick

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Lyme disease info on our site. See our Lyme disease topic page for more.

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About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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