How To Use a Zip Tool

Vinyl siding has interlocking panels, which is how it keeps the elements out of your walls. If you wish to replace your vinyl siding, you will need the use of a vinyl siding removal tool, also known as a zip tool. A zip tool simply has a flat steel hook that is used to peel away the lower edge of a given panel from the panel below. Using a zip tool isn't very difficult and the tool is cheap, coming in at around four dollars at Home Depot.

How to Use a Zip Tool:

  1. At the corner of the panel you wish to remove, slide the hook of the zip tool under the panel using a curving motion. There may be a slightly enlarged hole at the end of the panel which will make it easy for you to slide in the tool, but if there isn't and you are having trouble wedging the zip tool into the panel try to find a loose spot elsewhere along the panel.
  2. Once you have the zip tool inserted under the panel, pull downward with the tool. This should unlock the portion of the panel you wish to remove from the panel below it.
  3. Slide the zip tool along the entire length of the panel, being sure that you are constantly pulling down. When you reach the other side of the panel the entire bottom side of the panel should be unlocked from the panel below it and expose the nail row of the siding you want to remove.


  • Once you have unlocked a portion of the panel you might be able to just unlock the remainder of the panel by sliding your finger along it instead of using the zip tool.
  • You can re-lock the vinyl siding by simply reversing this procedure. In other words, once the an upper panel is put into place, stretch the lower lip of that panel downward and it should lock into place. Just slide the zip tool along the panel while pulling down, like you did to remove it, and push the siding into place with your other hand. When you reach the other end, just pull out the tool.
  • Removing the tool after locking the siding can be difficult, so be careful.


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