How to Remove a Stripped Screw ?


Whether you are trying to repair electronics or trying to build something new, there can be nothing worse than realizing that you are going to remove a stripped screw. If the screwdriver little bit keeps slipping against the screw head then you will need to increase the friction or torque. There are many simple ways to get a better grip on the screw using simple or household material. If you are very badly struck then you will need a specialized tool but most of them are fairly cheap and widely available. Here are the tips to remove a stripped screw.

remove a stripped screw

Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw:

1.) Maximize the Grip Strength to Remove a Stripped Screw

  • If you can still grip the screw head with a screwdriver, then try one last time to remove it by hand. You need to follow this instruction first to maximize your chances.
  • If the screw is fastened to metal then spray on penetrating oil and let it sit at least fifteen minutes.
  • Use the largest manual screwdriver that first on your screw.
  • If possible then grip the screwdriver with a wrench to get more leverage.

2.) Add Material for Extra Grip

If the screwdriver still keeps slipping out of the stripped hold then first cover it with a small piece of material that gives it extra grip. Press this into the hold with the screwdriver and try again.

  • Take a wide rubber band and cut to form one band to remove a stripped screw.
  • You can also use a piece of steel wool.
  • A piece of green abrasive from a kitchen sponge to remove a stripped screw.
  • You can also use a duct tape, with the adhesive side of the screw head.

3.) Push Down Hard as you Rotate

Place your palm against the end of the screwdriver with your arm directly behind it, then press down directly into the screw with your full forearm as you rotate the screwdriver.

  • If the tool you are using is slipping, then stop using immediately. Further slipping will only continue to wear down the screw head and make it harder to remove. Definitely be sure that you are going to the correct direction for removal. Which is usually but not always counterclockwise. Pressing down hard as you are unscrewing will help you to prevent slippage.

4.) Heat the Area to Remove a Stripped Screw

If you can heat the screw without damaging the object on which the screw is attached to, this will often loosen the threads. You can apply a propane torch or heat gun to the screw, moving it constantly to avoid overheating. Once it is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, then let the screw cool then try it again.

  • This works very well if the screw has been set in place with a bonding agent.

5.) Cut a Flat-Head Notch with a Dremel or Hacksaw

If your screw driver still cant get a good grip then you need to cut a notch into the screw head. Insert a flat head screwdriver and attempt to turn the screw. You can combine this with any of the approaches you read above to remove a stripped screw.

6.) Get an Impact Driver to Remove a Stripped Screw

An impact driver is a manual tool that drives a screwdriver bit to further into the screw using a weight and spring. This works very well on the sturdy construction but can damage the electronics or other sensitive equipment. If you are concerned about damage then don’t use cheap models with a stiff spring, since these require forceful hammer blows to work.

  • A powerful impact wrench is not recommended because the excessive force can damage the surrounding material.
  • You will need to set the impact driver to loosen the screws. Some models have a switch. On others, you will need to set the direction of the turn by twisting the handle to remove the stripped screw.
  • Then hold the driver in place and fit a drill bit of the correct size to the end of your driver. Then place it in the screw and hold the driver in place at a 90-degree angle. Grip the driver at its midpoint and keep your hand clear of the end.
  • The bits that came with your impact driver are often extra hard which makes the process easier. Strike the end with a mallet and tap the end of the driver sharply with a heavy mallet. A rubber mallet helps you to avoid scratching the driver.
  • You will need to check the direction of the driver. Some impact drivers jar out of position after each strike. Set it back to loosen if you need to.
  • Repeat the process until the screw get loose. Once the screw comes to get loose, then use a regular screwdriver to remove it from the hole.

7.) Screw extractor to Remove a Stripped Screw

If you not able to remove the screw then you will need to use a screw extractor. A typical extractor is essentially a screwdriver bit made of extra hard metal. Reverse threaded right at the tip. This is one the most consistent ways to remove a stripped screw, but it requires a caution. If the extractor breaks off in the screw, then will require getting a professional to finish the job. To reduce the chances of this happening you will need to choose an extractor not more than 75% of the diameter of the screw shank.

  • For Torx or socket cap screws with an exposed cylindrical body, use a multi-spline extractor. This fits over the head of the screw and engages it will spline it on the inner surface.

8.) Use Screw Extractor to Remove a Stripped Screw

Place a center punch on the extracted center of the screw head. Then strike the end with a hammer to create a dent for your drill.

  • Wear eye protection to protect yourself from flying shards of metal. Then keep on throughout this process.
  • Use a drill designed for hard metal. Drill slowly and stabilize it with a drill press if possible, start with a hole 3 to 6 mm deep, going too far may break the screw. It helps to start the hole with a small drill bit to give the larger one a place to grip.
  • Tap the extractor with a brass hammer. The extra hard metal of the extractor is brittle so steel or iron hammer could break it. tap it until the extractor has a firm grip on the walls of the halls you drilled.
  • If the torque if too forceful or even then the extractor can break and leaving you worse off than before. A tap handle that fits snugly over the head of your extractor is the safest way to remove the extractor and attached screw. A drilling should have loosened the screw so you can often remove it without much force.
  • if the screw doesn’t budge or you are concerned the extractor might break and remove the extractor. You will need to with a torch, then drip paraffin wax or water on it to lubricate the threads. Then try the extractor again when the screw has cooled.
  • You have to take care to not to damage the surrounding material. Even when working with metal it is best to stick to heat guns or propane torches. Then move the torch around the screw constantly to avoid heating any one spot for more than a second at a time.

9.) Attach a Nut to the Screw with Epoxy

In this method, you will need to find a nut that fits snugly around the screw head. Then bind them together using a two part metal to metal epoxy, often sold as weld bond. Wait for the epoxy, then grip the nut with socket wrench and rotate.

  • If you don’t have the right size nut so you can adhere a smaller nut to the top of the screw head. This will also provide much leverage to remove a stripped screw.

10.) Drill out the Screw Head to Remove a Stripped Head

Breaking the screw usually, relieves pressure on the screw half and make it easier to pull out. but if it doesn’t work hen you can eliminate most of the other options. Choose a drill which is bit larger than the shaft of the screw, so that the head detaches completely when you drill through. The start with the center point to make a hole in the extracted center of the screw and take care to drill directly through the center. Once the screw head will break off, then grip the screw shaft with looking pliers and rotate counter clockwise to remove.

  • If the screw head is not flat then file it down or grind it with Dremel and a pointed grinding stone attachment. Center punch and drill once you have a flat surface to work with.


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