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How To Remove A Stripped Screw

Have you ever encountered a stripped screw that just won’t budge? It can be incredibly frustrating to be stuck in the middle of a project, unable to move forward because of a single stuck screw. Take the case of Sarah, who was renovating her kitchen and needed to replace some cabinet hardware. After removing all but one of the screws, she found that its head had been stripped by years of use. She tried everything she could think of to remove it – WD-40, pliers, even a hammer – but nothing worked.

It’s an all-too familiar experience for handymen and DIYers alike. A stripped screw can seem like an insurmountable obstacle, but there are actually several solutions that you can try in order to free it from its spot. From using rubber bands to making your own DIY tool, there are plenty of ways to loosen or remove a stripped screw without damaging the surrounding surface.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the various methods available for removing a stripped screw so that you can get back on track with your project as soon as possible. We’ll also provide tips on how to avoid dealing with them in the future and help keep your tools and screws in good condition. So if you’re ready, let’s get started!

Identifying A Stripped Screw

Having the right tools for the job can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to removing a stripped screw. For instance, I remember when I was trying to remove a stripped screw from a doorhandle – I tried every tool I had, but nothing worked until I got my hands on the right one. It was like a miracle!

So, before you begin the process of removing a stripped screw, you must first identify whether or not it is actually stripped. This can be done by examining the head of the screw. If you notice that there are no grooves in the head, then it is likely that your screw is indeed stripped. You may also want to take this time to check for any obstructions such as rust around where the screw meets its base.

Once you have identified that your screw is indeed stripped, your next step is to gather all of the necessary tools that will be needed to complete the job. This includes an appropriate-sized drill bit, a power drill and/or manual screwdriver, lubricant (such as WD-40), and locking pliers or vise-grips. Having these items on hand will help make sure that you have everything you need to get started on successfully removing your stripped screw.

Gathering The Right Tools

Gathering the right tools is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – it can seem daunting at first, but with the right pieces, you’ll have everything you need to get the job done. When it comes to removing a stripped screw, you’ll need some specific gear to make sure it’s done right.

First and foremost, grab yourself a screwdriver that fits into the head of the stripped screw. This can be tricky because there’s not always enough space left on a worn down screw to get a good fit – if that’s the case, try an impact driver instead. You may even need special bits designed for damaged screws – try Phillips double ended or Torx bits.

If those don’t work, you may need to turn to more drastic measures. Grab some penetrating oil and apply it liberally around the head of the screw – this should help loosen up any corrosion that might be stopping you from getting purchase with your tool. With enough patience and perseverance however, you should be able to remove your stubborn fastener without too much trouble…

Applying Penetrating Oil

When it comes to removing a stripped screw, having the right tools is only half the battle. The other half is making sure you’re using them correctly. Applying penetrating oil is essential in getting that pesky screw out of wherever it’s stuck.

It’s like trying to open a jar of your favorite pickles – you can have all the strength in the world, but if you don’t use a little lube, it ain’t gonna happen! Just like with pickles, penetrating oil can help loosen up that stuck screw enough for you to get some traction and turn it out.

So grab yourself some penetrating oil and throw a few drops onto that stripped screw before you start turning away. If there’s any gunk around the head, clean that off so the oil has an easier time doing its job. Give it a couple minutes for the oil to do its thing and then try turning again with your screwdriver or wrench. You’ll find that removing a stripped screw isn’t so hard after all!

Inserting A Screw Extractor

Now that the penetrating oil’s done its job, it’s time to move onto the next step. Inserting a screw extractor into the head of the stripped screw. This is a specialized tool with a reverse thread designed to bite into the head of the screw and allow you to turn it out of its hole in a counter-clockwise direction. It may take a bit of effort, so make sure you’re using the right size extractor for your particular screw.

If you don’t have an extractor on hand, you’ll need to get one from your local hardware store or order one online. Once you’ve got it, use an adjustable wrench or pliers to apply force while turning the extractor in a counter-clockwise direction. Be aware that this may cause some damage to surrounding surfaces, so be sure to protect them with masking tape prior to starting if possible.

Once you’ve got the screw loose and removed from its hole, discard it and pick up a new one from your local hardware store. With any luck, you’ll have successfully removed your stripped screw! Now it’s time to move onto using a drill bit if needed…

Using A Drill Bit

One thing’s for sure – if you don’t know how to use a drill, you’re in for an uphill battle when it comes to removing a stripped screw! But all hope is not lost. Believe it or not, drilling out a stripped screw is easier than it sounds.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this task. In order to use a drill bit and remove a stripped screw, you’ll need to have the right tools and materials on hand. First up is the drill bit itself; you’ll want one that’s slightly bigger than the head of your screw. Next, grab some cutting oil or lubricant; this will help keep your drill bit from getting too hot while in use. Finally, make sure you have safety glasses on – things can get messy!

Now comes the fun part – actually using your drill bit! Start by pre-drilling into your screw with the cutting oil or lubricant (this will help keep your drill bit from overheating). Then slowly start increasing the speed of your drill as you continue drilling into it. Keep going until you’ve drilled down deep enough that the head of the screw breaks off completely. Et voila! You should now be able to easily remove what’s left of the screw without having to worry about any further stripping.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to hammering in a screwdriver and taking care of that stubborn stripped screw once and for all!

Hammering A Screwdriver

So you thought it was impossible to remove a stripped screw? You couldn’t be more wrong! If you’ve already tried using a drill bit but still haven’t had any luck, don’t worry. There’s another way: hammering a screwdriver. Aye yi yi! Who’d have thought that the answer to your problems would be something so unorthodox?

Believe it or not, this is actually quite an effective method for getting rid of stripped screws. All you need is a hammer and a flathead screwdriver. First, line up the head of the screw with the tip of the screwdriver and hit it lightly with the hammer several times. This should loosen up the head of the screw enough for you to be able to get it out with your fingers or with some pliers.

If that doesn’t work, try hitting it harder – no more than five times in quick succession – and then give it one last whack before trying again. Don’t overdo it though; too much force might damage whatever surface you’re working on. With a bit of patience (and maybe some elbow grease), this method should do the trick!

Using An Impact Driver

Getting out of a jam can be tough, but with the right tools and a bit of know-how, you can do it. An impact driver is one such tool that can help you remove a stripped screw. This nifty device is the next step up if hammering a screwdriver doesn’t work.

An impact driver is a special type of screwdriver that uses an electric motor to deliver powerful torque to the screw head. It works by striking the end of the bit (which holds the screw) with repetitive taps or “impacts” that rapidly loosen and drive screws into even the most difficult materials.

Using an impact driver is easy – just insert your bit attachment, select your desired setting, and press down on the trigger. You’ll feel vibrations from each strike as it tightens or loosens your fastener. With this tool at hand, you should have no problem dealing with even the most stubborn screws!

Applying Heat

Believe it or not, 8 out of 10 screws are stripped at least once in their lifetime! When this happens, applying heat is one of the last resorts to remove a stripped screw. Heat is an effective way to loosen up the rust and other debris that has built up over time.

First off, using a hot air gun or soldering iron works best when trying this method. Make sure to hold the head of the tool over the screw and keep it steady for about 30 seconds. For stubborn screws, you may need to hold it there for up to a minute, but take caution as too much heat could damage your screwdriver bits or even cause warping of metal parts.

On top of that, if you have a blowtorch handy, you can try lightly heating the area around the screw with a circular motion for about 15-20 seconds. The heat will help break down corrosion and provide extra force through friction so you can unscrew it more easily. Just make sure you don’t get too close to the metal as overheating can deform or discolor it permanently.

Now that you’ve applied heat and hopefully loosened up your stripped screw, you’ll be ready for the next step – using an easy-out!

Using An Easy-Out

Getting a stuck screw out of a surface can be like pulling teeth. From the frustration of trying to remove it, to the relief of finally succeeding, it’s a long road that requires patience and the right tools. One effective method for getting rid of a stripped screw is using an easy-out. An easy-out is like an extra-strong drill bit that has reverse threads cut into its tip.

When using an easy-out, there are some key steps to follow:

  • Preparing the Easy-Out: Make sure you select an easy-out that matches the size and shape of your stripped screw head. Carefully insert it into the head of the screw and gently turn in an anti-clockwise direction until it is firmly seated in place.
  • Drilling Out the Screw: With a firm grip on both your power drill and easy-out, slowly begin to drill out the stripped screw in an anti-clockwise direction. As you do this, make sure you keep pressure applied directly downwards onto the easy out as you work, so as not to damage or break off its tip.
  • Removing the Stripped Screw: Once you have drilled through enough of the screw’s head, you should be able to pull out what remains with pliers. If not, then continue drilling until all of it has been removed from its housing.

Using an easy-out is often a great way to remove a stripped screw without damaging its surrounding area or having to use more extreme solutions such as sawing or hammering away at it. It may take some trial and error but when done properly can save time and energy while ensuring success – allowing handymen everywhere get back on their feet in no time!

Re-Threading The Screw

When it comes to fixing things around the house, nothing is worse than a stripped screw. It’s like being lost in a maze without any way out. But don’t worry, because there’s still hope! Re-threading the screw is a great way to get it back in shape.

Let’s get started on re-threading that pesky stripped screw. First, you’ll need a thread file, which looks like a metal comb with grooves of different sizes. Insert the tool into the grooves of the screw and twist it back and forth until you’ve created new threads. Once finished, test it out by inserting the screwdriver back into the groove to make sure it fits securely.

Now that your stripped screw has been re-threaded and secured, you can move onto replacing the screw so that your project is complete. With just a few simple steps, you’ve saved yourself from having to buy another one altogether and are now ready to tackle any other projects around the house!

Replacing The Screw

Once you’ve re-threaded the screw, it’s time to replace it. The best way to do this is to find a replacement that’s slightly larger than the original size. This will help fill any gaps that may have been created by the stripped screw and make sure the new one stays in place for longer. Plus, if you use a higher quality screw, like stainless steel or brass, this should also help prevent it from stripping in future.

When replacing a stripped screw, you’ll need to make sure you drill a pilot hole first. This will make sure everything fits properly and reduce any friction that could occur when driving the new screw into place. To do this correctly, use a bit that’s slightly smaller than the diameter of your replacement screw and carefully drill until it reaches the desired depth.

Once everything is set up correctly, all that’s left to do is drive in your replacement screw and tighten it up with a suitable tool such as an electric or manual driver. Just be sure not to over-tighten it; otherwise you may end up with another stripped screw on your hands! With this job done right, you can move onto preventing further stripped screws in future.

Preventing Stripped Screws

It’s time to nip this problem in the bud and prevent stripped screws from occurring in the first place. In this section, I’ll show you some handy tips for avoiding those pesky stripped screws.

First off, it’s important to make sure that your drill bit is the correct size for the screw head. If your drill bit is too small, it won’t fit securely in the screw head and will create a shallow slot, which can easily get stripped. Also, if you’re dealing with an old screw, be sure to use a lubricant like WD-40 or penetrating oil to reduce friction and make removal easier.

Next up, when driving the screw into place, make sure that you don’t apply too much torque! Over-tightening can strip out even the most robust of screws. Instead, gently tighten until the screw seats properly; this should be more than enough to keep it secure without causing any damage. Finally, if you’re using a power tool like a cordless drill or impact driver then use low speed and light pressure to avoid over-torquing – trust me on this one!

So now you know how to prevent any future issues with stripped screws – let’s move on to some troubleshooting tips for those already stuck fast…

Troubleshooting Tips

Trying to fix something can be like a game of chess. You have to make all the right moves in order to successfully remove that stripped screw, no matter how difficult it may seem. But don’t worry! We’re here to help you through this tricky task and teach you some troubleshooting tips so you can take on the challenge with confidence.

The first step is to determine the type of screw so that you can use the most effective tool for removal. If it’s a flathead screw, try using a flathead screwdriver or an adjustable wrench; if it’s a Phillips head screw, try using either a Phillips head screwdriver or a pair of needle-nose pliers. If those tools don’t work, then get yourself a rubber band and wrap it around the head of the stripped screw before inserting your chosen tool into it. This will give you more grip and prevent further damage to the head.

Another option is to use some lubricant such as WD-40 onto the surface of the stripped screw and let it sit for several minutes before attempting removal. This will help loosen up any rust or debris that might be holding the screws in place, making them easier to turn and remove without damaging them further. Finally, if all else fails, break out your drill and drill out the stripped screws – just make sure that you start slowly and take extra care not to overheat your drill bit!

These troubleshooting tips are designed to help make removing stripped screws as painless as possible, so don’t give up yet! With just a little effort on your part, we know you’ll be able to figure out how best to tackle this task – good luck!

Benefits Of Removing A Stripped Screw

Much like a broken bridge, a stripped screw can be a huge obstacle to overcome while on your repair tasks. And much like fixing the broken bridge, there are many benefits to removing the stripped screw. From improving access to getting materials replaced, there are several reasons why it’s important to remove this troublesome item.

First and foremost, removing a stripped screw gives you better access to whatever is beneath it. Whether you’re replacing a light switch or installing new cabinets, having the ability to get in and out quickly is essential — but not if you can’t remove the screws! Taking out the stripped screw gives you the freedom and space you need to do any repair work without hassle.

In addition, removing a stripped screw allows for easier replacement of any materials that may have been damaged by corrosion or rust. It also eliminates any potential safety hazards caused by an improperly installed or worn-out fastener. Plus, when you do get around to replacing the fastener, it will be much easier with a fresh start!

Removing that pesky stripped screw is definitely worth your time and effort — especially once all of its benefits become clear. The next section will cover some safety considerations when dealing with these types of repairs; so read on and learn how to keep yourself safe while tackling this job!

Safety Considerations

Removing a stripped screw may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty simple when you know what to do. Let’s be honest here – we’ve all been in the situation where we’ve encountered a rusted, stuck or stripped screw. But this shouldn’t stop us from getting the job done! That said, safety should always be a priority when dealing with a potentially dangerous project like this.

Before tackling the removal of the stripped screw, it is essential to make sure that you have all of the necessary safety equipment and tools before starting any project. Wear gloves and protective eyewear to protect your hands and eyes from any flying debris that could occur as you are attempting to remove the screw. It’s also important to have some type of ventilation system in place if you’re working around chemicals or other hazardous materials.

When dealing with power tools and other machinery, make sure that they are properly maintained and operated according to their instructions – it could save your life! Lastly, use caution when drilling into objects – take your time and keep an eye on each step as you go. By doing so, you will be able to minimize any potential risks associated with removing a stripped screw.

Removing a stripped screw may seem intimidating at first glance but with some patience, proper safety precautions and the right tools for the job – anyone can do it! So don’t let those pesky screws get in your way of completing projects around your home – just take the necessary steps towards removing them safely and efficiently!


The job of removing a stripped screw is not an easy one, but it is certainly possible with the right knowledge and tools. By following the instructions outlined in this article, you can take care of this pesky problem like a pro handyman. The satisfaction of finally getting that old stripped screw out is unbeatable – it feels like you’ve conquered a mountain!

It’s important to remember that preventing screws from stripping in the first place is much easier than dealing with them after they have already been stripped. Pay attention to what type of screws and drill bits you are using and make sure to use the right screws for the job. This will save you time and frustration in the long run.

In conclusion, tackling a stripped screw can be daunting at first, but knowing how to do it correctly can make all the difference. With patience and practice, removing a stripped screw can become second nature – no matter how difficult it may seem!

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