How to Remove a Stripped Screw

January 21, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

There are few things more frustrating when working on a project at home than when you strip a screw. At a certain point, your drill bit will no longer get the screw to turn because the head indents have been completely bored out. While you might be able to get a screw extractor kit at low cost to take care of the job, that doesn’t help you if you’re in a hurry and don’t have an extractor on hand.

With this in mind, here are some of the most effective ways to remove a stripped screw when you’re doing DIY work at your home in Midland, MI.

  • Use a flathead: Phillips head screws are more likely to have problems with stripping than flathead screws. In some cases, you may be able to switch to a manual flathead screwdriver and press down real hard to dig into the stripped head, so long as you get it at the proper angle. This can be a difficult task if it’s still too far in, but it’s worth a shot.
  • Use pliers: If the screw is far enough out that you can get it with pliers, this is probably going to be the most reliable method of removing the screw. If you can use locking pliers, this will be especially helpful, as it will require less force. It will likely take you a bit of time, but it should work.
  • Use larger driver bits: In some cases, you might be able to switch out the driver bit in your electric drill for one that was designed for screws with larger heads. This larger bit will be able to more evenly distribute pressure across the screw head, which could make it easier for you to turn the screw out.
  • Use a hammer: You might be able to seat the screwdriver into the screw by tapping it with a hammer. Place the manual screwdriver against the stripped screw, then begin tapping. This should hopefully give you enough grip to be able to turn the screw to get it out.
  • Use steel wool for more grip: One of the biggest problems with stripped screws is an inability to get a proper grip. The driver bit will likely keep rotating around the head, which has been fully bored out. You might be able to get more grip by inserting steel wool between the driver bit and the screw head, allowing you to keep using your drill to get the screw out.
  • Cut a flathead slot: If you don’t have an area where a flathead screwdriver can easily get into the head of the screw, you might consider using a rotary tool or multitool with a metal blade to cut out a slot on the screw, which will allow you to fit in a flathead screwdriver.
  • Use rubber bands: Rubber bands can help give the driver bit enough traction on a stripped screw. Cut the band with scissors, lay it across the screw head, set the driver bit on the rubber band and press down hard while you turn counter clockwise.

For more tips on how to remove a stripped screw in Midland, MI, contact the team at Tri City Remodeling.

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