What can I use instead of a crank puller?
You can also pry the threads out or remove them by slowly threading the bolt, depending on the crank arm type of your bicycle. Use a bolt or a spanner tool to remove and loosen the washers.
Almost anything can be taken apart without proper tools, including bottom brackets. it, but it can be done. The right tool for the job(any job) makes life much easier and will lower your frustration level by leaps and bounds. If it is a Square taper, isis or octalink then no.
What does a crank puller do?
Crank pullers are used for the removal of basic three-piece crank types: square-type spindle arms, and splined-type spindle arms. When the spindle end is no longer recessed inside the hole, the crank bolt can not apply pressure to hold the arm tight on the spindle. A worn crank will need to be replaced.
Are crank pullers universal?
The universal design of the CWP-7 has a rotating tip pressed into each end of the tool (11.3mm and 16.3mm) so it will remove both square taper and splined (ISIS Drive™, Octalink®) crank arms.