How to Remove a Stripped Screw – Whether flat, cruciform, star, stainless steel, aluminum or steel, the screws can oxidize over time and become too difficult to unscrew with a conventional screwdriver.
In this case, it is useless to force, you could damage the screw head. Several methods are available to you to overcome a recalcitrant screw.
This sheet explains how to unscrew a blocked screw.
How to Remove a Stripped Screw
Try the “grandmother” tips to unscrew a locked screw
Here are some tips to unscrew a screw-locked with the means of the edge:
- If the screw head protrudes, use pliers. Pinch the screw head and turn counterclockwise.
- Heat the stem of a screwdriver whose handle is not plastic with a small torch or stove. Apply the screwdriver to the screw head. The heat will expand the metal and facilitate the loosening of the screw.
- Put a rubber band on the screw and then the screwdriver over it. Unscrew. The elastic will act as a mold that will adapt to the screw head and allow unscrewing.
- Create a saw cut in the screw head with a hacksaw until you get a flat screw head and unscrew with a flat screwdriver.
- Place a fine chisel under the screw head and hit the chisel with a hammer. When the screw head is loose, finish loosening it with pliers.
- With a drill and a metal drill the size of the screw head, drill on the screw head until it is removed. Release the retainer by the screw and loosen the screw shank with pliers.
- To unscrew a screw in a metal structure, spray on the screw and then, after letting it work for a few minutes, unscrew. If this solution does not work, the second option is to heat the metal structure at the same time as the screw to expand before loosening the screw with a screwdriver.
Opt for the use of a specific tool to unscrew a locked screw
The screwdriver to hit
The screwdriver is a big screwdriver whose rear face is reinforced to be able to hit with a small mass. You can buy it at any DIY store or auto parts store. Sold in a box, it is presented with very resistant ends. Here’s how to proceed:
- Place the appropriate tip in the screw head.
- Position the screwdriver in the loosened position.
- Place the hitting screwdriver on the bit.
- Hold the screwdriver firmly by pressing the screw to prevent kickback.
- Hit a small mass on the tip of the hitting screwdriver.
Note: With each hit on the back of the screwdriver, the screw turns a few millimeters. Thus, several mass shots will be needed to unlock the screw entirely.
The broken screw extractor
This system sold in all DIY stores is suitable for unscrewing screws whose heads are damaged. Presented as drills, the extractors have an inverted screw pitch which is anchored in the screw head by loosening. Here’s how to proceed:
- Choose a tip sized for the screw head.
- Insert the tip into a screwdriver.
- Set the screwdriver to the unscrewing position, at a slow speed.
- Position the extractor on the screw by exerting pressure.
- Operate the screwdriver.
Hardware needed to unscrew a blocked screw
- Flat Chisel
- Metal saw
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flat screwdriver
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