If you have any experience of workmanship, you must be familiar with a stripped screw. A stripped screw is a common problem faced by all, be it a skilled professional or an amateur handyman. For those of you who don’t know, a stripped screw is a screw with a worn-out head. So how to remove stripped screws? Follow this simple guide.
How To Remove Stripped Screws – Step By Step Guide
It is impossible to get a good grip over it with your screwdriver. So, it is challenging to remove/change it. In this article, we are going to discuss ways to remove stripped screws.
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Step 1: Pliers
Pliers are one of the best tools to solve the problem of stripped screw removal. It is a straightforward process.
1. You need to hold the screw head with vise-grip pliers properly.
2. Make sure that your grip is tight and secure.
3. Once you are all set, start turning the plier until the screw comes out.
However, this process is helpful only if the plier is not deeply plunged into the surface.
Step 2: Rubber Band/Steel Wool
One of the old school methods is the use of rubber bands or steel wool to remove a stripped screw. The rubber band technique is straightforward and effective.
1. You need a rubber band. Place it over the stripped screw.
2. Now, firmly put the driver into the screw head.
3. Apply constant pressure to remove the screw.
One of the most important things to keep in mind while practicing this process is speed. You need to maintain a very slow pace; otherwise, the rubber band will be damaged.
Steel Wool also serves the same purpose as a Rubber Band. If you have steel wool, then you can use it as well.
1. Take one stripe of steel wool.
2. Insert it into the stripped screw head.
3. It provides the desired grip to help you extract the screw.
Step 3: Oscillating Tool
An Oscillating Tool can be beneficial in extracting a damaged screw.
You need to cut a notch into the head of the stripped screw. Then insert a flathead screwdriver into the notch and extract the screw.
Step 4: Liquid Friction
It is time to put some science into perspective. Do not worry! It is a very reliable and easy method to solve the problem of stripped screws. There are several products available in the market, to specially address the issue of stripped screws.
Many competent brands sell a liquid to help you with this particular crisis. The liquid increases the friction between the screw and the driver. As a result, the screw comes off easily.
Step 5: Screw Extractor Kit
A screw extractor kit is a tool kit that specializes in removing stripped screws. There are two ends in this drill bit. Use one of the two ends to create a depression. Run the drill at a slow speed and apply pressure from downward. When the impression is created, you need to flip the bit in a manner that the extraction end is visible. Then you need to run the drill in reverse and apply downward pressure till the screw is removed. It is a bit of a tricky process. It is advisable to be cautious while using it.
Step 6: Drill
Another method to remove a damaged screw is by using a drill. All you need to do is to drill a small hole into the screw. This allows the screwdriver to go deeper into the screw and form a firm grip. The better the grip, the easier the removal.
However, you need to be careful of not digging too deep, or the head of the screw will come off ultimately, making it impossible to be removed.
Step 7: Hammer
The good old hammer is one of the tools which you can use to extract a stripped screw. Take the hammer and gently tap on the screwdriver. You need to tap until the screwdriver is logged into the head of the screw. Make sure that the screwdriver is firmly lodged into the screw. This will provide you the required grip to twist the fastener. Keep in mind that this process works best if the screw is made of soft metal.
Step 8: Nut
This is a pro tip. This tip is for those who are well versed with the art of welding and possess the necessary tools and equipment. You need to weld a nut on top of a screw head. Now, wait for some time, and then use a socket wrench to remove the welded nut. Since the nut is now attached to the stripped screw, the removal of the nut will automatically remove the screw.
Causes Behind A Stripped Screw
Before we plunge into the mechanism of removing a stripped screw, let us first understand why this happens. There are various reasons for a screw to be stripped. Some of the most common ones are as follows:
- Using a wrong screw bit while screwing. If the screw bit of your screwdriver is not of the correct size, it might damage the head of the screw.
- Working too fast is another possible reason behind a severed head of a screw.
- Inserting a screw bit into a screw head at a wrong angle. It puts a lot of pressure on the screw, which results in a damaged head.
Things You Would Need
Pliers are one of the most common tools. Pliers are hand tools that are used to hold an object firmly. It is also helpful in tightening, losing, and cutting some metal objects. There are five types of pliers:
- Locking and
2. Rubber Band
Rubber Band needs no introduction. Rubber Band is a thin, circular piece of rubber with excellent elasticity. It is one of the most easily found household items. It has multiple benefits and uses.
3. Steel Wool
A bunch of super fine steel filaments is called Steel Wool. It is quite flexible and has very sharp edges. It is also known as:
4. Oscillating Tool
An oscillating tool is a multi-utility power tool that oscillates. It is used in sawing, grinding, sanding, cutting, polishing, etc.
5. Liquid Friction
A liquid grip provides liquid friction. The liquid grip is a fluid made of an inert liquid and metallic grit. It is used to create friction between the surfaces.
6. Screw Extractor Kit
Screw Extractor Kit is a particular type of two-ended drill bit. It is designed to remove stripped screws. It is a readily available tool that is quite useful and affordable.
The drill is must-have equipment for our tool kit. It is a machine with a rotating tip. It is used primarily for making holes.
A hammer is a tool with a head made of metal. It is quite heavy. It is used for breaking and driving nails.
A nut is a standard hardware tool available in abundance. It is a type of fastener. It has a hole in the middle.
- You must keep in mind to use an appropriate tool for the job. Do not use just any sharp or pointed tool or object. You might risk the whole purpose by doing so.
- You must use the right screwdriver. The bit of the screwdriver must fit precisely into the screw head. There should be no space left once the driver is inserted into the head.
- You must not mismatch the screwdriver and the head of the screw.
- For example: If you have stuck a Phillips Head Screw. Then you should use a Phillips Head screwdriver.
- Make sure that you are using an appropriate drill. The Drills designed for creating holes are not much suited for this purpose. These drills do not provide the required amount of torque.
- It is highly advisable to use drills at a very slow speed.
- Another tip to remember is that you should be cautious with drills as they may damage the screw entirely.
- You should also keep in mind that you must work on the correct axis of the screw.
1. The object I am currently working on is quite delicate, and it has the stripped screw issue. Which of the methods will be best for me?
You can use any of the methods mentioned above except drilling, welding, and hammering. The best-suited one for a delicate object will be using a steel wool or rubber band.
2. I want to buy a Screw Extractor Kit. Can you suggest a good one that I can purchase?
There are many great products on the market. One of the most popular brands of Screw Extractor Kit is Werkzeug. It is available on Amazon also.
3. Which plier will be best suited for removing the stripped screw?
The needle nose pliers are the best for this job.
With all these tips at hand, you are now ready to face the problem of a broken screw. However, it is highly recommended to take all the necessary precautions and be very careful while performing the task. If the item is delicate and valuable, then seek professional help.