One of the major challenges of working with metals and screws is the tendency of screws getting stuck. This can happen in our Smartphone’s, electronics, utensils in the kitchen, our garage and so on.
There is no hard and soft rule for removing one but in this piece, I will be discussing the various proven strategies used in the past.
Hopefully, you will find the best screw extractor for your devices at home or in the office.
1. Using a Rubber Band
In this method, you are expected to put a rubber band over the screw head firmly tied in position. Then, you place your screwdriver over the head of the screw (which now has a rubber band on it). Apply a little force and turn the screwdriver gently to unscrew.
2. The Hammer Method
In this removal process, you will require a hammer. All you need do is to place the screw driver on top of the stripped screw. You then hit the head of the screwdriver from the top. This is to force the screwdriver to enter the soft metal where the screw is stuck, so you can remove it with the added grip.
3. With an Epoxy Glue
This will require you to glue a nut on the screw head. Any good adhesive can be used to achieve this. After application and gluing, you leave it to dry and set. With a wrench, you can hit the nut to screw it hoping that it will unscrew the stripped screw.
4. A Screw Extractor
Screw Extractor is a special tool made purposefully for the removal of stuck and stripped screws. It can come in the following names, shapes and sizes; easy out’s, grabit’s, left twist’s, reverse bits, and vampliers. However, it is better they are purchased and kept handy in your toolbox.
5. Drilling Hole in Screw
With this method, you will need a drill bit with a head that is smaller than the stripped screw head. Then you drill a hole into the screw. This is to enable you go deep enough so as to be able to unscrew it.
6. Bigger Screw Driver
This requires you looking for a bigger screwdriver than the one that is stripped. It is advisable to use the same brand of screwdriver which is most likely to fit. The idea is to give you a better and firmer grip to be able to unscrew it.
7. Using Manual Screwdriver
Use the largest manual screwdriver which fits your screw to remove the screw. It works when you can grip the screw head with a screwdriver. You can also use penetrating oil if the screw is fastened to metal. If necessary use a wrench on the screwdriver handle to get more leverage.
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8. Add Material For More Grip
If you want more grip or the screwdriver still keeps slipping out of the stripped hole you can use abrasive material. This abrasive or gripping material may be a small piece of rubber band, apiece of steel wool, a duct tape with adhesive side, apiece of abrasive kitchen sponge etc. Keep this material against the screw head and press this into the hole with the screwdriver and try again.
9. Push Down As You Rotate
As you rotate the screwdriver press down into the screw with your forearm. Stop immediately if the tool is still slipping. Because continuous slippage will wear down the screw head and make it harder to remove. Be careful about the direction for removal as it is not always the counterclockwise.
10. A Plier Grip
This involves grabbing the screw that is slipped with a plier and turning it to unscrew. It can be your best screw extractor if the head of the screw is shooting out and can be gripped by the plier.
11. Using a Grinding Tool
This method is done by using a cutting machine device to cut into the screw head. It works easier if you can get to the notch of the screw. Any of these can be used for it, Ryobi or Dremel too.
With welding, you can heat up the screw for a moment, which softens it making it easy for you to easily unscrew. You must understand welding and be sure that it will not destroy the entire device where the screw is embedded.
13. Drilling the Head off
All you need to do here is to drill into the head alone. The drill bit must be smaller than the shaft of the screw. This is to avoid destroying the thread. When the head is removed with the shaft soften, you can grab it with a plier and unscrew it.
14. Flat Screwdriver option
This works best for a cross Phllips screw head. You will use the flat screwdriver, pushed hard on the screw head and attempt to turn or unscrew it. This option is easy due to the good grip that is associated with flat faced screwdriver. Interestingly, this can be combined with the first option of using a rubber band.
15. Heat The Area
You can even try by heating the screw. This technique is good especially when the screw has been set in place with a bonding agent. But you should be careful about overheating, this may cause damage to the object where the screw is attached. A heat gun or propane torch is best for this purpose.
16. Tap The Screwdriver
Tap it on the head of the screw with a hammer to avoid slippage. Tap gently to avoid the damage. Skip this step, if you are working with a fragile object.
17. Cut a Flat Head Notch with a Hacksaw
Cut a notch into the screw head, if your screwdriver can’t still get a good grip. You can also use a Dremel to cut a flat-head notch.
How To Remove a Screw with no Head
For the ones we treated initially, we dealt with a stripped screw with the head still in place. Here we would be citing suggestions on how you can remove a stripped screw without any head.
This means that the head has fallen off, maybe in the process of trying to unscrew or it broke off. What you have left is a shaft that is inside the device and must be removed.
1. Using a Screw Extractor
With a stripped that has no head, it is almost impossible to remove it without having this tool. This tool comes in various sizes and can equally work for bolts. It has the following parts;
Square Head: which is fastened to another device called a T- handle. The head can also be used on the screw directly using an adjustable wrench.
Shaft: This is the connection between the head and the tapered cutting screw.
Reverse Tapered Cutting Screw Threads: This is major part of the tool that does the major work. It is tapered to bore into the screw in an anti-clockwise direction. This goes deep enough to grip the damaged screwed and then makes it easy to be pulled out or removed.
Create A Temporary Head For Gripping
If you are facing so much problems without the head, then there is a solution for you. Heat a flat screwdriver and push it at the top of the screw. Apply the process several times, these will create a create a grip on the top of the screw. Then you can use the other tools comfortably to remove the screw from the pocket.
Using this tool involves a T-handle which is shaped like a T as the name implies. It is used to drill into the extractor so that it can be firmly held to enter inside the damaged screw. The T-shape makes it easier for rotation and eventual removal of screw.
Using a Drilling Bit
This particular tool is used to prepare the damaged screw to receive the screw extractor. One must ensure that it does not drill to the point of breaking off the shaft or damage the host equipment. The diameter must be small simply to drill a hole for the extractor to fit and bore inside.
The extractor can be used with a hammer in the case of where it is difficult to simply turn the T-handle. This, of course, needs to be done gently to fit, after which the screw can be pulled out.
Heat The Screw And The Surrounding
Heat the area by a heat gun or propane torch and let it cool for fifteen minutes. Apply these process for several times. These will cause the enlargement of the screw pocket and help you to remove it. Move the torch constantly for avoid overheating that may harm the screw pocket.
Hammer On The Opposite Side
If possible hit the object on the opposite side of the screw head. Hit gently so that the object may not be damaged. You should skip the process, if other process is possible.
Apply Penetrating Oil
You can use penetrating oil such as WD40 if the screw ids fastened with a metal. These will allow the screw to move more smoothly in the screw pocket and thus help to remove it.
The following stated procedures are important and depending on the device and equipment involved, anyone can serve as your best screw extractor per time. It simply requires you to understand which could work perfectly, easily and without much complication particularly to the host device.