How to Remove A Stripped Screw
A stripped screw can transform a simple repair or minor adjustment into a major headache. This condition can occur with any screw and can make removing or tightening it nearly impossible.
You may come across a stripped screw while performing home improvement work or while repairing your vehicle.
They can even be found on small, delicate objects, such as when replacing a laptop battery or repairing your sunglasses.
These are the procedures recommended for removing a stripped screw.
1. The method recommended by experts: Invest in a screw extractor
If none of the more do-it-yourself methods below work, professional contractors remove stripped screws using screw extractor sets.
Extractors are a type of double-sided drill bit that is unique. To begin, scrape the damaged area of the screw with the squared-off end.
Then, remove the screw using the ridged conical end. For both steps of the process, your drill should be reversed.
It is critical to use the correct-sized extractor, as using an incorrect-sized extractor can result in the screw being destroyed.
Select the bit that is just large enough to completely remove the Phillips head and leave a smooth hole for the alternative end to grip
2. Make use of ScrewGrab
ScrewGrab is a gel that, when applied to a screw head, increases friction. Professionals keep a bottle in their toolbox because it is frequently useful.
Add a few drops to the screw opening to aid the screwdriver’s grip. This is also an excellent method for small, delicate screws, such as those found on a computer or phone.
3. Using a hammer, tap the screwdriver
One of the simplest ways to repair a stripped screw is to tap the screwdriver lightly into the screw with a hammer.
This will allow you to seat the tool deeply enough to remove the screw. Pros recommend beginning with a very gentle tap on the screwdriver’s butt.
4. Make use of a rubber band
A rubber band may be able to be used to remove a stripped screw. Place a rubber band the width of the screw head over it, then use a screwdriver or drill driver on top of it. The rubber may fill in voids and provide additional grip for the tool.
According to Professionals, a similar handyman trick involves the use of steel wool in the same manner. Due to the widespread availability of rubber bands and steel wool, this may be the simplest solution for a stripped screw.
5. Experiment with a larger driver bit
If you’re using a drill with a driver bit, try using one that is sized larger than the screw you’re working on.
Occasionally, the larger bit distributes the force more evenly, providing you with additional leverage to remove the screw.
6. Experiment with various screwdrivers
According to Pros, if the drill driver does not work, try using a manual screwdriver; drills occasionally have too much torque and can further strip the screw.
Using a variety of different-sized screwdrivers may provide you with the necessary grip.
Consider one with a different tip or blade size. Remove a stripped Phillips-head screw with a small flat-head screwdriver.
To be prepared, Pros recommend stocking your toolbox with a variety of screwdrivers of varying sizes and types. Additionally, using a brand new screwdriver, as the issue could be with a worn tip or blade.
7. Utilize pliers with a locking mechanism
If any exposed portion of the screw or screw head is visible, you may be able to remove it with locking pliers.
Simply wrap the pliers tightly and securely around the screw head, then twist the pliers counterclockwise to manually remove it.
If the screw is too deep in the wood for pliers to grip, use a flat-head screwdriver to push the wood down around the screw to aid in gripping.
8. Create a brand-new slot
If you have a rotary cutter or a small hacksaw, you can cut a slot across the screw head to accommodate a flat-head screwdriver.
Though Professionals caution that this method is risky and can easily damage the surrounding material, they advise that it should be used as a last resort.
The takeaway from an insider
Stripped screws are a common occurrence when performing home improvements. Several do-it-yourself solutions include hammering the screwdriver deeper into the screw, using a rubber band for added grip, or twisting the screw out with locking pliers.