5 Ways To Remove Stripped Screws

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5 Ways To Remove Stripped Screws
image © http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt1vTfGJNp4

Sometimes the heads of screws become worn / damaged, making them too difficult to remove. This can be really frustrating because you know it’s going to be the last screw after you have removed 15 others. 😉 They may be difficult – but they’re not impossible to deal with. This short but informative video shows five simple ways to remove stripped screws.



1. Put a piece of duck tape (also try a rubber band) on top of the screw. The tape will fill the gaps making the screw easier to remove.
2. Use a hammer to tap the screwdriver down, lodging it as firmly as you can into the screw head. Doing so may help provide the extra grip you need to remove the screw.
3. If you can get hold of the screw with a pair of pliers, clamp it down hard and twist. I’ve had great results using this Channellock 369 9-1/2-Inch High Leverage Linesman Plier – which has a lot of ‘bite’ and long handles, enabling a huge amount of grip on the screw.
4. Use a rotary tool or hacksaw blade to “re-cut” seriously stripped screws. Affix the metal-cutting disc and create a new, deeper slot on the screw head.
5. Using a small drill bit, drill a small hole into a stripped screw to allow your screwdriver to reach deeper into the stuck fastener.
6. (Bonus) a great investment for your toolkit would be a stripped screw extractor. This is a special drill bit that allows you to first clean out the old threads and then reverse the bit to use the special extraction bit to undo the screw. We located an inexpensive stripped screw extractor on Amazon that got the best 5-star reviews and numerous people are reporting super results with this tool.

If the screwdriver that you are using is slipping on the screw head while you are twisting, stop using it immediately. Further slipping will only continue to chew up the screw head and make it even harder to remove. Also, it is important to use the right type and size bit. If you fail to do this, you will either strip the screw making it difficult to take out or damage a perfectly good screwdriver. Just remember to go slowly and apply as much pressure downward as is reasonably possible (and safe).



It’s always a good idea to try a handheld manual screwdriver and not the mechanical ones when trying to remove a screw with a stripped head. A power drill spins at a faster speed and unless it has great speed control, could easily hollow out the damaged head some more.

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1 Comment

  • By Methane C., September 17, 2016 @ 9:11 pm

    I have cut the head off a new screw and Super Gluedit onto the stripped head. . Allow to fully drive and use the new head to back out the bad screw.

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