How to Remove Stripped Screws

guide_featured_photo

Table of contents

  1. Empty
  2. Method 1: Switch to Manual Screwdrivers
  3. Method 2: Using Pliers
  4. Method 3: Screw Extractor Kits
  5. Method 4: Use a Rubber Band
  6. Method 5: Press a Piece of Steel Wool Between Them
  7. Method 6: Turn it into a Flat-Headed Screw
  8. Method 7: Drill into the Stripped Screw
  9. Conclusion

Empty

{"blocks":[{"key":"6ccfd","text":"We’ve all run into the problem of having a stubborn screw that doesn’t want to come off easily. The problem is, as we keep trying, we might end up digging into the hole and competently wear off its head texture, making it extremely difficult to remove.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":252,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":252,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":252,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":252,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"1lohf","text":"Since this problem is quite common, a lot of people came up with brilliant ideas to work them out. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":99,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":99,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":99,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":99,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Method 1: Switch to Manual Screwdrivers

{"blocks":[{"key":"4sdkd","text":"If you’re using an electric drill with a screwdriver bit, there’s a good chance that switching to a manual one will solve the problem.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"fie76","text":"The problem with electric screwdrivers is that you don’t get enough control over the torque as much as you do with a manual one. By applying the right amount of pressure and rotation, a screwdriver might eventually come off.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":224,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":224,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":224,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":224,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Method 2: Using Pliers

{"blocks":[{"key":"dom7d","text":"In some cases, the screw head starts jamming after being detached from the surface. Lucky for you, this means that you can grab on the screw’s head with specific kinds of pliers.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":178,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"8emo7","text":"What’s great about this method is that you’ll be able to remove just about any type of screw no matter how stripped and worn they are.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":134,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"at44q","text":"Ideally, you should use locking pliers for the job because they provide optimal performance. To do it, simply lock the plier’s jaws onto the head of the screw and apply enough pressure to start turning the screw around.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":219,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":219,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":219,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":219,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"t73m","text":"If you’re working with a screw that is stuck in the wood and is giving you a hard time, you might want to consider creating a very shallow groove around the screw head to make it easier to hold on to by the pliers.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":214,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":214,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":214,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":214,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Method 3: Screw Extractor Kits

{"blocks":[{"key":"47g6t","text":"Screw extractor kits are a sure-fire way to solve any stripped screw problem you can come across. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":98,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":98,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":98,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":98,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"9n6ri","text":"These are commercial screwdriver-friendly kits that are designed to drill through the screw’s head and push it out of place.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":124,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":124,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":124,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":124,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"3bagr","text":"To use the, simply choose a suitable bit size, which is similar to the size of the stubborn screw. Remember to set the screwdriver to work in reverse for the extractor to work.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":176,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":176,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":176,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":176,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Method 4: Use a Rubber Band

{"blocks":[{"key":"5oj59","text":"The main problem with a stripped screw is that the drill bit doesn’t have enough grip to rotate the screw. If the screw isn’t completely worn away and still has some of the ridge left, you can create extra grip by throwing in a rubber band. Here’s how to do it:","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":261,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":261,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":261,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":261,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"81fto","text":"Cut a piece of a 1/2 inch thick rubber band that is about 1 inch","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":64,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":64,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":64,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":64,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"93sjt","text":"Press the piece of the rubber band over the screw’s head, then secure it with the screwdriver head, whether manual or electric.","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":127,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":127,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":127,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":127,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"brqtn","text":"Push the rubber band down by applying enough pressure with the screwdriver, then start rotating the head counter-clockwise slowly as it grips on. The screw should come off little by little. ","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":189,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":189,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":189,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":189,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Method 5: Press a Piece of Steel Wool Between Them

{"blocks":[{"key":"1fnkm","text":"Similar to the previous method, this one relies on adding enough traction and grip to the stripped screw, which makes it easier to rotate and come off. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":152,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":152,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":152,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":152,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"6mvg2","text":"This method is great for those who use electric screwdrivers but it can also work with a manual one. Here’s how to do it:","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":121,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":121,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":121,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":121,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"a67ql","text":"Start by cutting a piece of steel wool that is enough to cover the head of the stripped screw.","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":94,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":94,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":94,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":94,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"327vu","text":"Using your screwdriver head to stuff the steel wool deeper into the stripped screw, then apply firm pressure over the head.","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":123,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":123,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":123,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":123,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"cs2rk","text":"Start increasing your pressure on the steel wool as you rotate the screw. The steel wool will create enough friction to move the stripper screw.","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":144,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":144,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":144,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":144,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"81lup","text":"Once the screw’s head starts to separate from the surface, grip on them with pliers and rotate them in a counter-clockwise motion until they come off. ","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":150,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":150,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":150,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":150,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Method 6: Turn it into a Flat-Headed Screw

{"blocks":[{"key":"8uko7","text":"If you’re working with a Philips-type screw that’s completely stripped away, you can turn it into a flat-headed screw and try to remove it with your flat-headed screwdriver.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":173,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":173,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":173,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":173,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"818ts","text":"Luckily, there are various ways to do that. In fact, some screws are made of metal so soft that you can do that simply by pushing down a flat-headed screwdriver over the screw’s head.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":183,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":183,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":183,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":183,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"2ejk7","text":"However, if the screw is a bit tough, you can use a hammer and tap the screwdriver in to dig the indentations of flat-headed screws.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":132,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":132,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":132,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":132,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"3mk05","text":"For the most stubborn screws, you can use a rotary tool instead. Once you’ve created a straight-line slot deep enough in the screw’s head, try to remove it with a flat-headed screw-driver.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":188,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":188,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":188,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":188,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Method 7: Drill into the Stripped Screw

{"blocks":[{"key":"84dg5","text":"The screw extractor kit is one of the most reliable methods to remove any stubborn screws out there. However, they can be a bit pricey and some people may find them cost-ineffective.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":182,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":182,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":182,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":182,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"86muf","text":"Lucky for you, there is an alternative method that uses the same mechanism but won’t require you to buy additional equipment. Here’s how you can remove a stripped screw with this method:","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":186,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"3chj8","text":"Start by choosing a suitable drill bit that is slightly smaller than the circumference of the screw’s head. Also, make sure that the bit is suitable for drilling into different types of metal","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":191,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":191,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":191,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":191,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"4ltep","text":"Attach the bit to the electric drill and place it exactly at the center of the stripped screw","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":93,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":93,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":93,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":93,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"dsmu8","text":"Start the drill and slowly dig into the screw to create a hole that’s anywhere between 1/8 to 1/16 inches deep.","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":111,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":111,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":111,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":111,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"9192h","text":"Take the drill bit out and replace it with the driver bit, then try to remove the screw. The created hole will help it sink deeper, creating new points of grip. ","type":"ordered-list-item","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":160,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":160,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":160,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":160,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}

Conclusion

{"blocks":[{"key":"e3io2","text":"There you have it. A complete guide that shows you how to remove stripped screws in a wide variety of methods that are tested and proven to work.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":145,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":145,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":145,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":145,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"3crql","text":"One thing you should know is that not all screws are created equal, which is why some of these methods are simply more effective than others while removing different screws. ","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":174,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":174,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":174,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":174,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}},{"key":"2hfge","text":"For that reason, make sure that you try several other methods if your preferred option doesn’t work.","type":"unstyled","depth":0,"inlineStyleRanges":[{"offset":0,"length":100,"style":"color-rgb(0,0,0)"},{"offset":0,"length":100,"style":"bgcolor-transparent"},{"offset":0,"length":100,"style":"fontsize-11pt"},{"offset":0,"length":100,"style":"fontfamily-Arial"}],"entityRanges":[],"data":{}}],"entityMap":{}}