A brick separator
is a wedge shaped LEGO element
specially designed for use in separating other LEGO bricks
. It is one of the few LEGO elements that is not inherently designed to be built with. The original Brick Separator had 2 studs
on top and space for 2 studs to fit on the bottom of the functional end. The main body of the piece is flat with ridges for grip. The original style of the Brick Separator was usually dark gray, but it also came in sets in red and green.
The function is quite simple. The user places the bottom side of the end over 2 studs along the edge of the piece to be removed. This placement puts a small lip behind the 2 studs. Using the lip as a fulcrum, the user rotates the handle part of the Brick Separator down, and the top piece (hopefully) comes free. An inverse method is used when separating pieces using the top studs of the separator. Due to its ability to speed up the process of separating hard to remove pieces, the Brick Separator has been known as the fingernail saver
. Some users also employ the back/handle end of the Brick Separator to pry up tiles
A new style of brick separator was introduced by LEGO in late 2011. To the satisfaction of many AFOL's, the new style comes in orange. (Many AFOL's had wished for brick separators to be made in orange for years, so that they could be spotted easily when needed.) The new style is the same basic shape as the original, only smaller. One major difference between the old and new styles is that the new style has a short segment of Technic axle on the top that can be used to push Technic axles out of tight spaces. Another difference is the inclusion of a thin wedge shaped section to assist in prying up tiles. The other major difference is that the female underside has a third, offset stud hole in the center. This middle hole can be used for removing jumper plates (a 1X2 plate with a single center stud) . However, this development in Brick Separator functionality is odd, because within a year of the introduction of the new style, TLC created a new mold for "jumper" plates that gives them a groove around their base, similar to the groove around a tile.