How to extract a broken bit from a phillips head screw?

Anyone have a good way to extract a broken phillips bit from a screw head? It's the common #2 phillips head. The screw is a #10, stainless steel. When I was driving it in the bit snapped off so that it fills the slots in the screw head. I've tried picks and punches but it's still stuck in there. The screw is countersunk and it's in cosmetic wood (can't dig it out). I can't drill it and use an easy out because the bit is too hard to drill. To make things more difficult, the screw is inserted upward and the piece is a railing so it isn't movable. If there is a better forum for this question please let me know.

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ValricoJoe6 years ago
The dilemma I had was on an Al sliding glass door roller, the head broke off using a hand held drill. I used heat then ice, WD 40, tapped with awl, cold chisel, used magnet, then I used the broken bit and drill to back out the screw, seemed to easy to be true, however, the heat, tapping and lubricant loosened the rusted screw, and the head of the broken bit had enough to catch and back it out.
8bit8 years ago
I'm having a hard time imagining how something could get stuck like that, but here's something that might work: If you have a dremel, you could use a small cutting wheel (one that has been ground down a bit already) to put a notch in the screw head, unscrew it with a flathead and try again. . . then again, I'm having a hard time visualizing it from the description so I might be way off.
Goodhart9 years ago
Have you tried a tiny squirt of WD-40, before trying to pry, or tap it out?
jc-smith (author)  Goodhart9 years ago
I haven't figured out how to do that without getting oil all over the place. A tiny squire would be easy if the screw were not upside down.
Some of the cans come with a tiny straw to attach to the nozzle, but yeah, it can come out pretty fast; maybe wrap a rag around the end of the straw and press that end against the edge of where you wanted to squirt.
jc-smith (author)  Goodhart9 years ago
Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to try a couple things today and will post the results. If all else fails I can dig out the bit (which will ruin the screw head) and then use some sort of drill & extract method.
If you find yourself a pointed tool or even a nail and put the point in at the edge of one of the stars "points" and give it a tap with a hammer, a light one it should pop it out, also try a magnet, sometimes it turns out they're just stuck in an awkward way to get at it with a tool...
jc-smith (author)  killerjackalope9 years ago
Thanks, I've tried that. I've had this problem in the past and your suggestion (sharp point and tap) is what usually works. Not always, but most of the time. In the past, however, it hasn't been a problem to just leave the broken bit in the head. This time it is.
As caitlinsdad said heat might help... You could also try a small chisel or some other hardened steel object and a good whack, something that fits in to the size of the head itself, if it was a magnetic one it'll definitely shatter. Soldering on a wire could well do the job aswell... If you're really stuck a small drill bit could remove enough of the bit to get a grip using an easy out, if you get a reasonably powerful drill and a metal drilling bit (as in for drilling in metal) and get it bogged in you might pop it out by catching it on the threads. If you can get at the other end of the screw any way then you could file a flat side on it and unscrew it with pliers. or just hammer it out and put another in... you could try hitting the stuck head with the head of another philips #2 using a hammer, it could work. If it's really important you could get a pick or something under the counter sunk head an use an eraser underneath the pick as a lever to wrench the screw out, you might risk some exterior damage but it could enough to get it out. If you have a small stone grinding bit like those on dremels a cone shaped one could remove it enough to use the easy out but it would be pretty slow to do.
One more thing, was this on a drill or by hand? It's just I can imagine a hammer drill breaking it but using one would be overkill. As for by hand it'd be a fair surprise, I've twisted the heads and ground them by hand but the metal would have to be incredibly fatigue to break off in it.
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