How to get out stripped screws: 10 Easy Techniques to Try

5 Surefire Ways to Remove Stripped Countersunk Screws

Stripped screws are bad enough by themselves, but the countersunk variety adds a whole new dimension of difficulty to this ordeal. Because such fasteners sit flush with their surroundings, there’s nothing left for you to grab onto. This renders pliers and other common screw extraction tools useless.

If a stripped countersunk screw has abruptly halted your repairs, don’t fret: we have some nifty tips and tricks to best this seemingly impossible challenge.

Is the Screw Really Stuck?

While this may sound like an attempt to gaslight you, it still pays to check if you are using the right tool for the job. A hex screwdriver might fit in a Torx screw head, but it will rotate aimlessly inside the improperly matched socket. A smaller Phillips head screwdriver will also easily cam out of a larger Phillips screw head.

If you are unsure of the exact screw type you are dealing with, check your device manufacturer’s support website for a service manual. That’s the easiest way to correctly identify the type and size of the screw standing in your way.

Diamonds last forever, but screwdriver tips are consumables. They tend to wear out and become ineffective over time, so ensure that your screwdriver tip hasn’t worn out. This is easily apparent in a regular Phillips head screwdriver, but worn hex and Torx screwdriver tips aren’t as obvious. The improved grip afforded by a fresh screwdriver just might be enough to get the screw moving.

You might want to refer to our comprehensive stripped screw removal guide, if you are dealing with stubborn fasteners of the button-head or socket-head variety. The screw heads of such fasteners protrude enough to make simple removal strategies viable.

Countersunk screws, however, warrant breaking out the power tools, or employing unusual methods that go beyond simple pliers and hand tools.

A screw extractor is a special hand tool that can deal with any type of stuck fastener you throw at it. Having a set of assorted screw extractors at hand is a good idea to cover fasteners of any size. Most extractor sets come with a T-handle chuck to make the process easier.

Depending on the type of fastener and how stripped it is, you might have to drill a pilot hole into the head. The diameter of the drill bit should be smaller than that of the screw shank to prevent the screw head from being snapped off. Use a center punch to create a divot in the screw head, if you are apprehensive of the drill bit slipping off.

Extracting the fastener is a simple matter of gently tapping an appropriately sized screw extractor tool into the pilot hole, and using the T-handle chuck to twist the screw free. If it doesn’t work the first time, enlarging the pilot hole and retrying with a larger extractor bit is a good idea.

Some screw extractors have left-handed drill bits at the opposite end. These bits cut when the drill is run in reverse, and make a hole that perfectly matches the attached extractor bit. An extractor set is significantly easier to use.

2. Cut a Slot Into the Head

If you’re dealing with a particularly mangled screw, it’s easy to salvage the situation by cutting a brand-new slot into the screw head. While hand tools such as a hacksaw will work on screw heads that protrude out of the screw hole, countersunk fasteners are best tackled with power tools. These include rotary cutting equipment, such as the Dremel tool.

Hardened screws are best slotted using abrasive cutting discs (pictured above) meant for metals. However, these discs only work for large countersunk screws, where the head is big enough to accommodate the cutting tool. Otherwise, you risk damaging the area around the screw head.

Rotary tools can also be used to cut slots into smaller screw heads, but you have to switch to a finer cutting accessory. Fine engraving tips (pictured below) are ideal for cutting slots into stripped fasteners too small for cutting discs.

Be sure to mask off sensitive PCBs or exposed conductors to prevent metal shavings and fragments from shorting them out, as detailed in our computer motherboard safety guide. Don’t forget to wear eye protection, and blast the device clean with compressed air when you are done.

3. Friction Is Your Friend

Power tools might either be overkill or unsafe for small screws. Removing such fasteners is often a simple matter of giving the screwdriver tip something substantial to grab onto. The humble rubber band is known to help in such cases.

Stretch a section of a rubber band and place it flat across the stripped screw head. The compliant material should fill the gap between the mangled screw socket and the screwdriver tip’s profile. Turn the screwdriver anticlockwise to remove the stripped fastener.

If that doesn’t work, replacing the rubber band with a bit of steel wool or abrasive powders, such as sand, might also do the trick. These materials provide enough grip to loosen larger screws that are stuck more firmly.

4. Using Glue for Grip Augmentation

If friction hasn’t worked out for you, you might want to try something more substantial (but messier) like an adhesive. Adding a dab of superglue (cyanoacrylate, or CA) to the screw head prior to inserting the screwdriver also does the trick. This won’t work unless you hold steady until the CA glue has had the opportunity to fuse the tool with the screw.

More stubborn fasteners may benefit from the higher adhesion and toughness of hot glue. It’s safer to dab some on the screwdriver prior to insertion, which should minimize mess on your equipment.

5. Gluing a Nut Onto the Screw Head

Regular CA and hot glues just don’t cut it for stripped screws that are stuck firmly in the bosses. This job is better suited to a socket wrench, which generates enough torque to wrench loose practically anything. Although a socket wrench doesn’t work on countersunk screws, there’s nothing stopping you from gluing a nut onto the exposed screw head.

Two-part epoxy glues are the only viable adhesives that can withstand the tremendous torque required by this endeavor. Avoid getting epoxy glue on the rest of the equipment at all costs. Once cured, you can use a socket wrench to apply a substantially larger amount of torque on the nut glued onto the offending screw. This method should loosen the most stubborn of stripped screws.

Screw Removal Tips to Tame All Screws

Stripped countersunk screws are the stuff of nightmares for most makers, but these specialized tips should work on practically all fasteners irrespective of their type or severity.

However, it is smarter to prevent screws from stripping altogether by using higher-quality stainless steel fasteners, and upgrading your toolkit with precision machined hardened screwdriver bits. The former are resistant to stripping, whereas the latter minimize the risk of stripping fasteners.

8 Ways To Remove A Stripped Allen Screw

by Pip’s Island Home

The Allen screw is one of the best screws for holding components firmly together, and using it but what happens when they get stripped? These screws, otherwise called, Socket heads, have hexagonal sockets and, at first, may seem complicated to be removed should they get stripped. They might prove a bit problematic if you do not use the right tools.

Have you struggled to remove a stripped Allen screw? It isn’t out of the ordinary, and it’s safe to say this has happened to most handy householders or workshop repairers. However, in this article, you’ll find out how to remove a stripped Allen screw and save yourself hours of trouble using tools that are readily in your pack. Read more to learn about all the tips and tools needed to get out that peeving stripped screw.

Tools Needed To Remove A Stripped Allen Screw

Luckily, there are different methods to remove a stripped Allen screw. And one of them is sure to work for you should you encounter this problem. While you plan to pick the most appropriate removal method, here are some of the tools you should have:

  • Torx wrench
  • Rubber/Elastic band
  • Channel-lock pliers
  • Lubricator
  • Screw extractor kit
  • Hammer and screwdriver
  • A cutting tool like a hacksaw or a rotary tool
  • Propane torch
  • Safety gear such as gloves and goggles

How To Remove A Stripped Allen Screw

An Allen screw gets stripped due to incorrect handling and using improper tools. When stripped, it’s almost impossible to have it out with screwdrivers or an Allen wrench when stripped. However, there are other techniques to use that guarantee getting the screw out and saving you a load of energy and time. The following are the different methods to remove a stripped Allen screw:

1. Use a Torx Wrench

An Allen screw fits most with a hex key or Allen wrench, as it is called, a driver with a similarly shaped internal recess used in removing such screws as the Allen screw. However, chances are the hex key can no longer grip the screw since it is stripped and will, thus, be fruitless in removing it. In this case, you may switch the hex key with a Torx wrench with a six-pointed star shape that promises more grip than the hex key. You should have one in your toolbox at home, or you may purchase one online or in any local hardware store near you.

The Torx wrench should be just a bit bigger than the hole of the screw. Fit it firmly in the hole and turn it anti-clockwise until the screw has been successfully loosened.

2. Place A Rubber Band Over The Screw Head

A rubber or an elastic band can assist the Allen wrench in attaining more grip on the screw. First, search for rubber or elastic band that can completely go over the screw head. Then, insert the Allen wrench into the screw hole and try to unscrew it as you would normally. If the Allen wrench has gained enough grip, it would be easier to get the screw out.

Pro tip: if you can’t get hold of a rubber band, you may use a rubber glove in its stead.

3. Lubricate The Screw Hole With Friction Drops

One more solution to your Allen wrench having a loose fit is applying friction drops to the screw hole to fill in the extra gaps that make grasping the screw impossible. Friction drops comprise a solution of metal powder that covers loose parts between the wrench and screw hole and helps their easy contact.

Apply one or two friction drops into the screw hole and insert the Allen wrench. Wriggle the Allen wrench around the hole a bit to ensure the circulation and the grasp of the friction drops onto the wrench. Then, you may begin unscrewing the screw.

4. Use Channel-Lock Pliers  

A pair of pliers is a priceless tool for removing a stripped screw with a raised head. The pliers must grasp the screw head firmly to keep it from slipping away. Luckily, channel-lock pliers are an excellent tool for grabbing things due to their tightly gripping pliers’ jaws. Once you’ve fastened the pliers around the screw head, turn the screw with the plier anti-clockwise until it loosens up.

Pro tip: a vice grip is also effective for this technique

5. Try Using Shock To Loosen The Screw

If the screw head is not overly damaged, then it is likely that shock can make the screw loosen out. However, this doesn’t mean you should apply electrical forces to the screw; a hammer and a screwdriver will do the trick. First, insert a screwdriver that fits into the screw hole and start by striking a hammer on the bottom of the screw lightly while the screwdriver is at the center of the screw head. Then increase the intensity of the hit as you go on from medium to high forces.

Pro tip: wear safety glasses to avoid metal bits getting in your high. Also, do not use this method if the screw is fastened to a delicate material that may break from the impact.

6. Unscrew With A Screw Extractor

Using a screw extractor is a cheap way out of your trouble should you find removing the Allen screw tasking. A screw extractor has a drill bit and a removal bit on two ends. First, attach the extractor to the drill and into the screw hole deeply, then drill a hole in the screw head. After creating a shallow hole in the screw, remove the drill bit from the extractor and insert the removal part in the hole you have formed. Then, unscrew the screw by drilling backward.

Pro tip: if you don’t have a screw extractor, you can get one from any hardware store near you. It will come in handy after use.

7. Cut The Screw Head Into A Flat-Screw Slot

You can cut a slot in the screw head to enable you to use a flat-head screwdriver to unscrew it. To do this, get the cutting tool; an angle grinder with a rotary blade or a hacksaw can work. You may mark out the part of the screw head you want to cut, then carefully cut the slot with the cutting tool without damaging other parts of the screw or material to which it is attached. Once a slot is nicely cut, use a flathead screwdriver that appropriately fits in the slot and unscrew the screw.

Pro tip: use safety goggles and gloves while performing this technique. Also, do not cut the slot too deep in the screw head.

8. Use Heat To Loosen The Screw

Heating the metal is another effective technique for loosening out stripped Allen screws, and this can be done with flame. Before doing this, put on safety goggles; then light up a propane torch and hold it over the screw hole for five to ten seconds. Then, insert the Allen wrench and try to get the screw out.

Pro tip: don’t use the method to remove screws from inflammable and delicate materials.

How To Prevent Allen Screw From Stripping

After getting out the stripped Allen bolt, you must avoid getting into future such situations to avoid going through the trouble all over again. These few tips will keep your Allen screw from getting stripped:

  • Use the appropriate hex key for your screw: using a key that is either too big or too small for your screw is one of the primary reasons it gets stripped. Use the proper size to ensure your screw is appropriately screwed in. Also, do not use old or worn-out hex keys, as it is capable of getting the screw stripped.
  • Maintain even pressure while screwing: when driving the screw, whether in or out, you’ll need to apply some pressure to either get it out or ensure it’s properly locked in. However, if you go too hard on driving the screw that it becomes too tight and the driver skips out of the screw head, you’ll be helping the screw to get stripped. Also, do not apply light pressure while screwing. So, maintain an even pressure while using torque to drive the screw.
  • Use a liquid grip: You should apply a drop of liquid grip on the screw head as soon as you notice any signs of stripping or slipping. The liquid grip improves the grip of your wrench in the screw head. After use, you can wipe away the liquid grip from the screw head with a wet rag. Alternatively, you can add a piece of tape over the head of the wrench before inserting it into the screw head. It saves the screw from stripping and also helps grip the screw head.


Getting a stripped Allen screw out is easy if you are armed with the right tools and tips. So you need not get a professional or spend hours trying to remove a stripped Allen screw. Instead, if you have some or all of the required tools, you can use one of the recommended techniques to remove the disturbing screw.

Meanwhile, as much as it may be normal to get your screw stripped, it is easily preventable by using the right tools and handling the screws with appropriate torque and pressure. The right tools are always the solution to a household anomaly.


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How to unscrew a screw with stripped slots: 4 methods there is no way you can take pliers and pull it out.

It is not permissible to damage the surface to which the screw is screwed – it is not at all an option to choose material from under the head so that it can be fixed with pliers. Moreover, it is not allowed to use a crowbar, as in the case of nails.

Now we will look at some solutions for removing a broken screw.

What to do first

When your screwdriver slipped over the edges for the first time, you need to stop and not try to unscrew it again. Usually in such cases the situation is aggravated and leads to great difficulties. The first priority is to preserve the head in which the screw is located.

You can try another screwdriver first. It may happen that the screwdriver just does not match the screw you have chosen. Using other screwdrivers, you need to make sure that the tip of the screwdriver clearly entered the hat. If there is no sense in changing tools, then you need to move on to other, more effective methods.

How to easily remove a screw that has been licked

All you need to prepare for this is a small piece of rubber or rubberized material. You can use a medical tourniquet, rubber from a bicycle or car inner tube, a rubber ball, etc.

Take what you have at hand and cut out a small rectangle. You need to put it on the licked screw, then rest it with a screwdriver and carefully, slowly start to unscrew it.

This is a very simple manipulation, but here it is important to direct the pressure on the screw from above.

After a few turns, edges can be printed in a piece of rubber, after which the screwdriver will scroll. We shift the gum to a new surface and continue to unscrew the screw further.

I did this operation using a tourniquet and a bicycle inner tube folded in half. As a result, everything gets out without question.

Video of how to do it :

Using an extractor

An improved way to remove a stripped screw can be used – using an extractor. They resort to his help mainly when it is necessary to unscrew a broken screw. In this case, when unscrewing it, it will not break.

The extractor is the same screwdriver, only with a difference in the form of strong and coarse metal threads located on the tip. They allow you to easily get into the head of the screw and eventually unscrew it.

Extreme measures and maximum results

It may happen that the above methods did not give any effect. In this case, the screw can be drilled out completely to the base. This method can also be used when the screw cannot be unscrewed through the stripped thread. In such a situation, when drilling, the thread is completely destroyed, and the screw is easily removed from the workpiece. Then a new screw can be used instead, only with a larger diameter.

How to unscrew a licked screw? |

📅 | 👁 2061

When using low-quality fasteners and violating the installation technology, problems often arise in the form of their breakage. If insufficient force is applied when tightening, the screwdriver may slip, resulting in damage to the slots on the head. If the angle is incorrect, the thread edges may be deformed. Therefore, today we will consider the recommendations of the masters on how to unscrew a licked screw or hardware with a damaged threaded part. When dismantling, it is important to take into account the type of material, the modification and size of fasteners, and the nature of the damage.

How to remove different types of screws?

Threaded fasteners differ in head configuration and spline feature. The method of dismantling directly depends on this:

  • Straight slot. With such a deepening, hardware is presented in an extensive size range. To remove such fasteners, you need to use a flat screwdriver of the appropriate size. The main thing is to firmly seat its tip in the recess. Even the smallest gap can lead to a breakdown.
  • Cruciform. Designed for a Phillips screwdriver. A feature of the hardware is its ejection from the material when twisting, which significantly increases the risk of failure. Therefore, in this case, it is better to under-twist.
  • Hex. It is a recess in the head with six faces. To work with a hexagon, a special key is used, which must fit tightly into the hole. If there are gaps, the tool will rotate and erase the edges.
  • TORX screw. Fasteners with an internal “asterisk” are used as a modern replacement for the hexagon. Such a hardware is centered and can withstand increased loads. If you choose the right bit, then the risk of a breakdown will be equal to zero.
  • Anti-vandal TORX+. The slot has the form of a five-pointed star with a pin in the center. It is mounted with a special nozzle, which is not included in the standard kit. It is impossible to dismantle such fasteners in other ways.
  • Anti-vandal triangle. The screw can be turned with a special tool, with a hexagon or a screwdriver with a small diameter.
  • With external recesses. For dismantling, a tool is used, the shape and size of the recess of which must correspond to the parameters of the head. It can be square or polygonal.

How to remove problem screws?

Damaged fasteners, especially those made of dense material, are difficult to remove. But there are several effective ways to unscrew a screw with a stripped thread or a deformed head. In this case, you need to choose the right tool, technology, take into account the type of fasteners and the direction of the thread.


Common disassembly methods:

  • Correct tool. The tip of the screwdriver should fit snugly against the surface of the slot. It is better to use a new fixture that has not worn out the working part. If the head is above the surface of the base, you can try to grab it with pliers and try to turn it gently.
  • Use of power tools. It will help to cope when the hardware is not unscrewed manually. The head is fixed in the chuck of a drill or screwdriver and unscrewed in reverse mode.
  • Gasket. If the cap is recessed deep into the material, a piece of rubber or leather is placed between it and the surface, fixed and a screwdriver is used.

Broken head

Damaged or broken head hardware can be removed in the following ways:

  • Dismantling with an extractor. This method works when others fail. The tool is wedged in the hardware and turned out with it. The adjacent material is not damaged. The method is suitable for fasteners made of any material except hardened steel.
  • Welding. The torn off head can be welded on or cold welding can be used. The restored hardware is removed using a screwdriver or an electric drill.
  • Drilling. It is used on a wooden surface in which the screw is recessed or does not have a top. The hardware is drilled out, and the same fastener of a larger diameter or a bolt is installed in the vacated cavity.

Expert advice

Home craftsmen who do their own repair and installation work should stock up on high-quality hardware and a set of tools in advance. In many cases, an extractor will be useful.

To minimize the risk of damage to thread faces or splines, we recommend:

  • Use high quality hardened steel fasteners for mounting.
  • Follow the technology and use a suitable tool, the screwdriver must not slip and slip, which can lead to damage to the edges.