11 Best Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw

What’s more annoying than a stripped screw? Being a DIY/handyman, you’d most probably know the answer is that there is nothing as frustrating as a stripped screw!

The other day, I was crafting and got in a similar situation where I encountered a stripped screw. I kept on trying to fix it only to see it get worsen. I gave up in no time and started researching how to tackle such situations, and to my surprise, I gathered enough tricks and techniques to get rid of the stripped screw.

The simplest thing you can do to remove the stripped screw is to lay a rubber band over the screw head and, with the help of a screwdriver, turn in the clockwise direction until it is unscrewed. However, steel wool also works just as well as the rubber band. 

1. Use a Screw Extractor Kit

A screw extractor kit is specifically designed for such types of incidents so that you can always count on one of these two-ended drills!

The extractor has two ends, one used to drill into the stripped screw to create a depression. The other end will be inserted in the drilled screw to extract the screw out smoothly. You can find such kits almost anywhere, as they are simple, inexpensive, and easy to use.

If you don’t have a drill, you can check my best drills under $50 list.

Before going ahead with the screw extracting kit, make sure you follow all the safety rules as much as possible. For example, wear those safety glasses to protect your eyeballs, as the drilling might send a few metal shards towards your eyes. Also, put on the gloves if you fear metal shavings cutting you.

There are many options for screw extractor kits you can get, but this one is my favorite as it works for a wide variety of screws, from very small to fairly large ones.

2. Reverse Drill

When the screw is stripped out, and you can’t get it out, a reverse drill comes to the rescue. It is somewhat similar to the screw extractor kit, except it has a special cutting b, a drill bit in a reverse mode.

You will have to put the extraction bit into the drill chuck and secure it up nicely. Keep in mind to put the drill in reverse and then drilling over the screw head. This will build up the required grip to take the screw out, and there you go; you have gotten rid of the stripped screw. These extractors are a really great piece of innovation and are affordable as well. Check out this one.

I have written a complete article on how to use a left-hand drill bit.

3. Rubber Band

Using a rubber band is by far the most simple yet effective technique that you could come across. It is also my personal favorite as it only requires you to have a rubber band that is wide enough to cover the head of the screw. The key for this trick to work is to provide an extra grip on the screwdriver so that the screw is loosened.

Essentially, you have to cut the rubber band and place it over the screw head. The rubber band will act as friction for the driver to be placed on the top of it. Then, turn the driver while exerting a good amount of force. You will be surprised at how amazing this trick is.

However, if you don’t have a rubber band, you can use a bit of steel wool into the stripped screw, providing just as much grip.

4. Use soldering Iron

For this trick to work, you will first have to put the solder over the head of the screw and let it melt for a while. Next, try grabbing a piece of metal as a handle and stick it to the melted solder. Make sure that the length of the handle is appropriate enough to provide a precise torque for the rotation of the screw. Then, use a screwdriver to move the handle in any direction you wish. This will make the screw come off easily, and you will be good to go.

Use soldering iron to remove stripped screws

5. Use Super Glue

Super glue is another efficient way to remove a stripped screw. All you need to do is put the super glue on the screw. You must be careful when applying the super glue as it can drip on the nearby surface. Insert the screwdriver into the wet glue and hold for a few seconds. Let them dry for a while, then turn the driver slowly and pull out the screw. After the screw is removed, clean the surrounding areas of superglue and the screw if there is any glue left.

6. Use a Metal Saw to Make Grooves

This one might be a little tricky, but it works just as fine. You need to get a metal saw, make perfectly round holes with a stripped screw, and then remove the screw effortlessly.

7. Use Pliers

Still stuck with the stripped screw? Here are another one of the techniques I found out to be useful. First, check if the screw is not fully immersed into the surface. If it isn’t, you should try getting it out with the help of pliers, also known as vice-grips. Next, grip the head of the screw and turn it until it loosens and comes out easily. Pliers are one of the most trusted solutions to the removal of stripped screws. However, remember to be careful while using these, as they can damage the surrounding surface around the screw.

8. Use a Larger Screwdriver

When it comes to screwdrivers, you will have enough options to begin removing the stripped screw, as changing the drivers seems an easier approach to solve the problem. However, to save up your time and energy, I suggest you go for the screwdrivers that are large enough to have the required grip. Additionally, you can go for the flat screwdrivers that can pull out the screw with greater strength at the right angle so that it comes out nicely.

9. Use a Nail Puller

Although nail pullers are a little old-fashioned, they can work well for your stripped screws. If you find one of these around, grab them and get the work done in no time. The nail puller is a device with a notched end designed to grip or draw the nail out. You can easily use it to get the stripped screw out as well. Put the jaws of the nail puller over the screw to hold it firmly and then whack it a few times until the screw comes out of the surface and is no more stripped.

10. Use Ice to Supper Cool the Screw

Using ice over the head of the screw can also prove to be effective when removing the stripped screw; the ice will shrink the screw and loosen it enough to be pulled out easily. You can also use penetrating oil during this process that will speed up the procedure. After it is cooled enough, use a warm or heated screwdriver to get the screw out.

11. Punch the Screwdriver to Make Grooves

Now, if none of the above worked for you, this one might! This method will help you gain some friction for your stripped screw by tapping the screwdriver gently with the help of a hammer. You will have to place the screwdriver into the stripped screw and keep on striking it with the hammer until enough friction is produced to let the screw loosen up for the turning. This method will work best if you are using soft metal screws.