How To Remove Stripped Screws
Stripped screws happen. Old screws, over tightening screws, screws that have been installed for a long time - even the best screws can have their head stripped, and then you’re stuck. So, what to do next? All of these methods use basic tools or materials that you may already have on hand around the home or shop—drill bits, pliers, steel wool, and even rubber bands.
How to remove stripped screws?
If there’s enough of the screw still above the surface, you can try using a pair of locking pliers or vise grip pliers.
- You’ll need to use a bit more muscle power than usual to remove a stripped screw this way.
- Pliers will allow you to get a firm enough grip on the screw to pull it out.
- Grip the screw on the sides.
- Twist the screw gently right and left until you’ve loosened it enough to unscrew or pull it out.
2) Rubber band
Knowing how to remove a stripped screw can be as easy as using a common household rubber band.
- The rubber band must be wider than the head of the stripped screw you’re trying to remove.
- Place a section of the rubber band over the head of the screw.
- Insert your screwdriver into the rubber band.
- Turn the screwdriver clockwise to remove the stripped screw.
- Alternatively can use a piece of steel wool in the stripped head of a screw instead of a rubber band.
Use a drill remove a stripped screw by drilling a hole into the head of the screw.
- Place a drill bit designed for metal in your drill, note it must be smaller than the screw head.
- Use a low speed so you don’t split or break the screw.
- Drill down into the screw until you just feel the drill bit catch.
- Remove the drill bit from the drill and switch back to your driver bit.
- Often, the hole helps your driver bit sink just far enough into the screw so that it can grip better.
4) Cut a slot
The head on a stripped screw can still have one or two groves that are still usable.
- See if a different type of screwdriver or size of screwdriver will work.
- If your stripped screw has a Phillip’s head, use a flat screwdriver.
- If neither of those way work, you can try a using a rotary cutting tool or a multi-tool fitted with a metal blade to cut a slot on the screw.
- Cut the slot straight across to create a groove for the blade of a flat-head screwdriver.
- If the new screwdriver doesn't work right away, don’t force it. The last thing you want to do is strip the screw further.
5) Use a different screw driver
Knowing how to unscrew a stripped screw can depend on if it is made of a soft metal, such as Stainless Steel. If it is, you can create a new slot.
- Stick a flat head screwdriver into the screw.
- Use a hammer to gently drive the screwdriver down.
- Drive the screwdriver in deep enough to catch.
- Next, twist the screwdriver to remove the screw.
Once you've removed the stripped screw, you can purchase some new screws here.
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The Scrooz Fasteners Team