I generally use a small 2-arm puller for balljoints.
Some folks here swear by their big hammers.
Pickle forks damage the boots. Sometimes this is not desirable.
There are so many special tools devised for this. C-frame presses, lever-type removers, pitman arm pullers...
I pretty much have them all at this point.
Still have good luck with my basic 2-arm puller from Sears 90% of the time.
If it is really stuck, I generally use a heavy duty adjustable pitman arm puller from Harbor Freight. Say what you like about HF, but this one is a quality tool! (I do have other pullers from them that are weak.)
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.