Screws that tighten or come out easily are so pleasing because they do their job right.

However, there are times that they become stubborn and transform into stripped head screws.

They are a nightmare–no matter how much force you exert and how many times you turn your screwdriver, they just won’t move how you want them to.

The friction is lost, and so is the precious time you need to build or deconstruct something.

image - How Do You Remove a Screw with A Stripped Head Easily

How Do You Remove a Screw with A Stripped Head Easily

If you want some tips on how you can remove a screw with a stripped head easily, here are some ways and tools you can use when your screws refuse to act right.

Make sure to read through this article and take note of how to get stripped screw out easily.

What Causes a Stripped Screw Head?

Before giving you the possible solutions to your screw dilemma, here are some reasons why your screws get messed up.

Make sure that you do not do these next time to prevent the hassle brought by stripped screw heads.

You Used an Unsuitable Screwdriver Bit for The Screw

Ensure that the size of your screwdriver bit matches exactly with the screw you are going to work on.

You Used Low-Quality Products

Expensive tools are not necessary but do not just settle for the cheap ones. You need to look more into the quality of both the screw and screwdriver when buying, instead of their price.

You inserted the screw head inappropriately.


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4 Ways to Remove Stripped Screws

Now that you know what causes your screws to have stripped heads, here are some methods to help you remove them. Read the directions carefully and keep the supplies you’ll need in mind.

1. A Manual Screwdriver Can Do the Trick

You can try this simple method when your screwdriver bit keeps slipping every time you insert it in the screw.

Right before you start doing this tip, make sure that you have a screwdriver, a hammer, a rubber band or duct tape, and your stripped head screw.

First, point the screwdriver into the screw head and tap it with the hammer. Because of the force, the screwdriver will have a better grip on the screw.

Now, if that does not do the trick, get a rubber band or a small part of duct tape. Stick the material against the screw head, and this will give you the extra grip you need.

You can now use all your might to drive out the stripped head screw.

2. Another Option You Have Is to Use a Flathead Screwdriver.

This can work well in a Philipps head hole using the rubber band trick.

If it does not work, try an Impact Driver. If you have stripped head threaded screws, this is the best option for you.

Before starting, make sure that you have a high-quality screwdriver bit that matches your screw.

Also, it is better to ensure that the screw head does not have any dirt or debris attached to it as it may get in the way.

Lastly, remember that your screwdriver bit should always be in the correct direction!

With your safety glasses on, insert the Phillips or flathead screwdriver bit into the screw head tightly.

Use anything heavy, preferably a hammer, to strike the end of the impact driver to set the screwdriver bit into the screw head firmly.

Once done, you can rotate the impact driver head to put the stripped head screw-free finally. The final step is using either a drill or screwdriver to remove the screw entirely.

3. Another Great Choice Is the Screw Extractor

This tool is counter-threaded to screws, hence making them extremely useful for getting those stubborn screws out.

Screw extractors are available in various sizes, making sure that you choose the correct size that fits your stripped head screw.

Once you have all the needed materials, start extracting the stubborn screw.

Attach your screw extractor to the drill check, then tighten the chuck to hold it in place. Take note that the drill should be set into reverse.

The extractor can easily bite into the screw head because of its counter-thread and reverse motion.

You only have to drill in reverse, and the extractor will do its magic of loosening the stripped screw head.

Vice-grips and pliers are also a choice.

If you don’t have the equipment indicated above, particularly the latter two, you can rely on your handy pliers or vice-grips for assistance.

This is effective for screws that are not buried thoroughly into the surface. It is as easy as clamping down on the screw head, then use your power and anger to turn it until it comes off!

Do take note that using vice-grips or pliers can damage the surrounding surface of the screw.

Only do this if you are fine with sacrificing a little bit of surface to get scraped. Either way, these tools can do the job of removing those uncooperative screws.

4. Is It Still Stuck? Try the Rotary Tool

If the stripped head screw just won’t come out, it’s time to injure them a bit using the rotary tool. Attach a thin cutting disk to the tool, then cut a small, narrow slot in the screw.

This is done to deepen the space inside the screw to fit a flathead screwdriver. You can keep cutting small slits into the screw to make the screwdriver fit deeper.

Remember not to cut off too much as this might get too loose for the screwdriver. Beware of loose metal shavings whole using the rotary tool.

Getting those stripped head screws out can become such a hassle. You can try out any of those solutions above to solve your problem.

Along with securing the right ways and materials to put those screws out efficiently, do not forget your safety gear.

Gloves and safety glasses are a must, especially when you deal with complex and sharp tools. It is best to practice safety while working to become more productive.