Introduction: 5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw

Picture of 5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw

We've all been there; clumsily fumbling with a screwdriver trying to remove a screw only to notice that it's been stripped, either by your hands in haste or left behind by a previously frustrated repairer. I guess the screw is there for good, right? Nope!

Removing a stripped screw takes a little ingenuity, but is fairly straightforward. We'll look at a 5 surefire methods to remove a stripped screw, starting from least destructive and moving through to more destructive methods. The method you chose will depend on your circumstances and how important it is to remove that stubborn stripped screw.

We're not going to let that screw ruin your day. Screw you!

Step 1: Rubber Band

Picture of Rubber Band

Sometimes all that's needed to get a stubborn screw out is a little extra grip. The rubbery surface of an elastic band can help keep the screwdriver end in the stripped screw head and prevent cam out.

Any rubber band will work, but wide bands work best as they provide the most contact area between the screw head and the driver bit.

Place the elastic band over the driver bit and pull tight enough that there's no slack, then gently insert the driver bit into the stripped screw head and turn the screw loose.

If the screw isn't totally stripped the rubber band will help fill in the areas where the screw has been stripped and provide friction where it's needed, allowing the screw to be removed.

Step 2: Grab With Drill

Picture of Grab With Drill

If the screw is not completely sunk into your material there's a good chance you can grab it with an electric drill and easily back it out.

Open the chuck of the drill and place over the head of the screw, then hand tighten to secure the jaws of the chuck over the screw. Set the drill to reverse and gently back the screw out of the material.

This works on just about any type of threaded screw or bolt stuck provided there is a portion of the head the chuck can grab onto.

Step 3: Screw Extractor

Picture of Screw Extractor

If there is a particularly stubborn screw that just won't come out then it's time to get a little destructive.

Screw extractors are a good choice as they are counter-threaded to how screws are threaded - screws have a right-hand twist and screw extractors have a left-hand twist.

Screw extractors come in a few different sizes, and you'll need to select the right size to fit into the screw head of your stripped screw. Load the extractor into the check of your drill and tighten the chuck to hold the extractor securely.

Set the drill into reverse. Since the extractor is reverse-threaded this means that with the drill in reverse the extractor bit will drill into the stripped screw and bite into the screw head, continue drilling in reverse and the extractor will start turning the screw in reverse and back it out of the material.

Step 4: Cut a Notch

Picture of Cut a Notch

Slightly more destructive than a screw extractor is to cut a notch into the stripped screw head with a rotary tool. Depending on how deep the screw is in the material the notch cut might damage the surrounding surface.

Using a rotary tool with a cutting wheel cut a single slot into the head of the stripped screw. This will make a channel for a flathead screwdriver to seat and allow you to back the screw out.

Step 5: Wood Plug Cutter

Picture of Wood Plug Cutter

If the stripped screw is really deep inside your material and no other options seem to work then it's time to get really destructive. Wood plug cutters can be used to remove material from around the deep set screw and allow you access to an otherwise unreachable screw.

Place the plug cutter in an electric drill and position above the screw. Engage the plug cutter with the wood and remove material from above and around the stripped screw until the plug cutter has reached the screw head depth.

Remove the plug cutter and any debris it created and see if you can get access to the screw head for removal.

Step 6: Leave It?

Picture of Leave It?

Can you live with just leaving it? Sometimes screws are just too buried or difficult to get, and not worth the hassle.

Though not ideal, there may be no other way to deal with a stripped screw and you might be able to work around it. If you're resigned to leaving the screw in situ then maybe you could try and hide the screw with a patch of similar wood.

Step 7: Share Your Tips!

Necessity is the mother of invention, and I'm sure there are plenty more clever ways to remove a screw that people have come up with. Why not share your unique way to remove a screw in the comments below?

Comments with pictures of how to remove a screw get a free Pro Membership!


Mega_Spell (author)2017-10-27

my screw are extreamly small and deep in my 3ds...what do you think i should do because i need ALL the screws out and like, 75% of them are stripped...

the modder (author)2017-08-01

cool ideas =)

profort (author)2017-06-07

Great Job

ndpani (author)2017-02-26

Nice Instructable. What I try first is to spray WD 40 all round the stubborn screw.

Allow to soak for few minutes and the try normal methods. I did not read all the comments. May be someone has already suggested this simple attempt.


JohnR245 (author)ndpani2017-02-27

(with metal) WD-40 & Liquid Wrench have been my go-to for years but never been impressed. The I discovered PB-Blaster - WOW! Stuff smells strongly but works incredibly!

If you can get a grip on the head I'd suggest Genuine Vise-Grips & would not suggest a drill chuck.

Second the manual impact drivers - even cheap ones work well but suggest good tips (Craftsman)

DB.Cooper (author)JohnR2452017-03-23

well done! i love that stuff. stinks forever though! almost as bad as old gasoline.

nice way to offer a suggestion of an alternate lubricant

tamias47 (author)JohnR2452017-03-10

PB Blaster is the best for rusted-in situations. I still have a can from -- believe it or not -- the 1970s, and it still works. (Was driving a 1959 GMC moving van back then.)

You need to try Kroil, in either AeroKroil or KanoKroil form. It's fantastic!

Across the net the word is that a 50/50 mix of dextron/mercon ATF and acetone works even better and at fractional cost. I haven't tried it "yet". Fwiw. I have used kroil. It's hard to quantify if better than PB Blaster shrugs.

hmm, never heard of it? Thanks! Have you used noth AeroKroil & PB Blaster & like Kroil better or just know Kroil rocks!

I've tried WD, PB, Kroil. Kroil is thinner, and wicks better over time. When removing a rusted exhaust manifold, Kroil works like this: Spray, wrench, drink a beer, spray, wrench drink a beer, spray, wrench, bolt comes loose. I haven't had that increase over time with PB. I own old Subarus in New England, so all I do is work on rusted bolts =)

WOW - yea, got to give Kroil a try!

I feel your pain. - I lived in New England for years and owned / wrenched a BUNCH of 'field bombs' NEVER would dream of removing an exhaust manifold - would sell/junk the car before that!

Curvecrazy (author)JohnR2452017-03-03

Notice to "all". WD40 stands for Water Displacement 40. WD40 does not lube effectively at all and as a penetrant well? Give me a break. But...that's the one everybody reaches for. PB Blaster or similar much much better for penetrant but still I believe banging the item with a metal object helps the penetrant get in.

JohnR245 (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-03

yes, good trivia & yes, WD-40 has no discernable penetrating properties.. However (big) IF I'm not mistaken WD-40 contains silicone which is awesome ad repelling water and some offers some lubricity but not long-term.

You are also right, shock & heat can do wonders. Guess one good think about living in SC is I seldom have to use either - PB does suffice

Curvecrazy (author)JohnR2452017-03-06

I think it has like 15% mineral oil content. I don't believe there's silicone but I may be wrong and frankly I don't care. WD40 works for instance to dry a soaking wet Drive chain. Silicone is, in the grand scheme, a pretty poor lubricant. I wouldn't use silicone on anything and it contaminates everything in your shop.....

blazin_mtl (author)JohnR2452017-02-27

I basically did the same and used Jigaloo silicone spray, Genuine Vise-Grips and a hammer on a 1/4"x2" hex screw. The head was way too large for a drill chuck and the screw was way too tight. First I tried Husky brand grips but they didn't bite as well as the genuine ones. I used the hammer to help loosen the screw - hammer, spray, repeat. I was going to use a small torch to heat the screw but with the spray I didn't want to start a fire.

bobbyes30 (author)2017-02-26

i used this oil for stripped screw. i'ts MAGIC!!!

Nikiniku (author)bobbyes302017-02-26

I have to assume that it's some sort of lubricant like WD40, and that being so, is not for extracting screws from wood? Am I right?

Curvecrazy (author)Nikiniku2017-03-03

WD40 is NOT a lubricant. It's a water displacent. If the engine runs rough in damp weather spray it on your plug wires!!!! Spray it on a soaking wet chain before actually luring to remove the water? Not a lubricant!

fxsvelo (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-06

Actually, that's a myth. WD40 is a lubricant. See:

I use LiquidWrench and patience. Failing that, lots of heat.

Nikiniku (author)fxsvelo2017-03-06


Actually, I think Curvecrazy is the only one who has ever said that WD40 is not a lubricant, It's amazing how often the "debunkers" get things wrong, and I think that that claim is usually more of an attempt to mislead and deceive rather than of just being mistaken. Whenever I hear someone claim that something is untrue because it has been debunked, I give him almost zero consideration. As far as I'm concerned, "it's been debunked" usually just means that the person who says that doesn't agree with whatever has been "debunked." They say, "it's been debunked" rather than saying, "I don't agree with that."

fxsvelo (author)Nikiniku2017-03-06

I think that if you're making a claim, you should cite your sources. (Hence my link to the WD40 website.) You'll help everyone learn and you might even learn that you were wrong, so lucky you, you're learned something new today yourself.

Curvecrazy (author)fxsvelo2017-03-06

LOL? SERIOUSLY? With all due respect. Here is one link that confirms what I'm saying:

Now.... you guys can use whatever you want to lube whatever you want and that is fine with me, cause it's presumably your stuff and you not lubricating it "properly" is your problem not mine. In my world, I lube things with "real lube" and I try hard to use the right lube for the right purpose. I stick to what I posted earlier based on ~ EXTENSIVE RESEARCH ~ that I myself have done with WD40 myself personally on motorcycle chains to name one application. WD40 used to have a place on my lubricant shelf before I learned better. Yes it removes water from mechanical things and the stuff is great for removing decals(+++), I'll give it the credit it's due there. Lubricant? Hardly.

The thing that bothers me about folks like you is you spread bad information and the problem with that is that people who don't know better will read your comment and believe you to their detriment. There is much information around the net verifying what I'm saying.

The real myth is that WD40 is any degree of credible lubricant. Do your own real experiments or let Popular Mechanics et al do research for you but please educate yourself before simply spreading bad information to unsuspecteds.

You chose to link WD40's website. Nice. Do you really think they'd say it's not a lubricant when the world at large has mistakenly assumed the belief that it is? Of course not. The manufacturer profits greatly -be assured- from "joe know nothing every guy home owner" etc using WD40 to lubricate whatever he can point a can of it at...while actually doing almost no lubricating at all!

Let me clear you up on something basic... you can use water as a lubricant and it will lubricate for a very short time. Truth. Now...would you now tell people to use that to lubricate stuff! Well, that's a rhetorical question. You probably would.

DB.Cooper (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-23

not sure where the document is but my dad and grandpa would keep old oil cans with spouts to "routinely" lubricate joints and motors. Search google for information on hit and miss engines - they have a spot for daily oil filling meant to lubricate.

the instructions on my bobcat say to grease all the joints for lubrication purposes prior to use.

additionally careful pilots of smaller airplanes, many boats, and other things of a similar nature are required by the manual to routinely lubricate different parts. (often before each use)

in my shop I have a metal brake that comes with instructions to lubricate weekly with wd40. there is no water to displace.

despite being a water displacement - my question to all is this:

if it lubricates, is it not a lubricant?

why would the effectiveness relate to the use? for the average diyer, or even a beginner wd40 often solves the problem that needs solved.

as someone acquires knowledge they learn about other products, in that sense would the comments section not be a good place to offer more instructive and help comments such as: have you tried using.."marvel's mystery oil" (ex..)

fxsvelo (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-06

Thanks for the link. It confirms that WD40 is a lubricant. Probably not the best lubricant for many applications, but a lubricant nonetheless.

To be honest, I have many, many lubricants in my shop and while I often use WD40, if what I'm needing is lubrication, I'll probably reach for something else. Right tool for the job and all that.

That said, WD40 is useful for lots of applications and some of those might actually include lubrication. I saved a pair of non-functional Shimano SIS (bicycle) gear shifters by repeated application of WD40 to flush out the solidified grease and got them working again, and has kept them working for 8 years (and still going) precluding an expensive replacement. The combination of solvent and light oil was perfect for that job.

So, yes, right tool for the job. It just takes some wisdom and experience to know what the tool is. I'm certainly not tossing my cans of WD40.

Curvecrazy (author)fxsvelo2017-03-06

I cited Popular Mechanics testing link and there's various other testing and confirming of their findings having been done, so why not look for the information yourself before making claims that I'm wrong? It was formulated and intended to be a water displacent not a lubricant and they also make claims to its ability as a rust prohibitive but let me assure you that you can do better and not needing to try hard......

Do you have a financial interest in WD40 to promote their product?

Curvecrazy (author)Nikiniku2017-03-06

Are you saying I was trying to mislead people with my comments? I speak from my own sad experience in everyday and harsh environments fwiw. Silicone spray is also pretty useless and as a bonus when silicone is applied by aerosol it will go airborne and contaminate your space! Btw, I am hardly "the only one who ever said WD40 is not a lubricant". Google is your friend check it out for yourself... the information is out there. I don't appreciate you implying I'm trying to mislead others with my comments and in the future you might actually provide evidence that I'm wrong or politely ask for evidence of what I'm saying or? Well.... google. Duh.

Nikiniku (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-06

I had a reply, but then I saw the cautionary note about being nice, so I'll content myself with this: lubricate-- apply a substance such as oil or grease to (an engine or component) to minimize friction and allow smooth movement. Yes, that's what WD40 does for me. Maybe the word "lubricate" has a different meaning for you. That's the only way that your words could have any meaning. However, WD40 does for me what I want it to do, so I'm happy with it. I'm sorry that it doesn't do for you what you think "lubricate" means.

Curvecrazy (author)Nikiniku2017-03-13

More comedy here. OK.

Yes we seem to disagree on what lubrication means or what lubrication is. You're arguing symantics. I suppose your thought process is that you sprayed WD40 on something and the squeaks went away! OK, great...So WD40 IS A LUBRICANT!!! Yes!!! Now, if you pay close attention, very shortly, the squeaks will come right back. So, seeing as you're a true believer, you spray it with WD40 again. Same. Same. Same. Rinse. Repeat forever. And that's not even addressing the continued damage to the mechanism due to the lack of a real metal to metal barrier to minimize wear. Now... I think at the very least we're wanting to minimize wear are we not? Well, I am wanting no wear and hence we are headed in the direction of my definition of lubrication.

My definition of lubrication is a substance that applies effectively for a given application, a substance that penetrates where it's needed into substrate on substrate contact areas that forms a barrier against wear while being as effective and long lasting as possible, while definitely not washing out at the first sign of moisture.

To be clear, there's no perfect lubricant. Although... humor intended here.... I can see you continuously spraying WD40 on a mechanism for indeterminate time attempting to achieve that state with that near useless "lubricant". There'd be a pile of empty spray cans there and if the mechanism involved locomotion the item of interest would have long since failed but there you are still, dutifully spraying and believing!!!! And most of the product is running right out of the mechanism right before your eyes while the rest will do likewise shortly. Once your god supply of WD40 runs out the remainder residual will also "leave the mechanism" leaving behind the thinnest least effective lubrication you could ask for somewhat better than? Water.

Nobody but a simpleton would be happy with lubricant that doesn't last, point 1, and lubricant that doesn't effectively prevent further wear, point 2. WD40 was designed to displace water. It is a petroleum based product and as such, it can be argued that it's a lubricant. Like? There's mineral oils in it or very lite equivalent. This lite petroleum base will not create an effective boundary layer between wear parts.... IT IS NOT DESIGNED TO!

To put it nicely, it's a lubricant in name only!

Simply put....Why would you lubricate anything with that when much better lubricants are available that not only offer many times superior protection to your stuff but also will continue to so for extended time?

For some of you WD40 seems to shine so brightly that a can of it could "double" as a lantern and light the dark......

Anyways. Hopefully some people's misconceptions about WD40 are cleared up by the time I wasted here.

Curvecrazy (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-03


Curvecrazy (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-06

For a little amusing trivia and relevant to the linked WD40 website above, and their idea of reality(or lack thereof) WD40 the product description itself claims WD40 to be a "HEAVY DUTY LUBRICANT". So this verifies my point. A company that would make that claim of that product is clearly "very unclear" about what exactly a heavy duty lubricant is! LOL. Let's see here, it provides little to no proper lubrication in ideal conditions and it completely washes away and disperses in tough climate...hmmmm, let's call it HEAVY DUTY LUBRICANT!!!!!!! Ba ha ha

Nikiniku (author)Curvecrazy2017-03-07

I have to wonder what is wrong with you.You certainly are weird and have been going to extraordinary lengths to prove that. Well, I'm done here. There's no use in arguing with...whoops, I almost forget this sites's dictum on "niceness." I'll just say that I actually understated my good experiences with WD40 in order to avoid exaggeration. The truth is, it has never failed me, and it was even sometimes successful in doing things that I hadn't thought possible. Of curse, such effectiveness has no impact on someone who KNOWS that a product is no good. Such people are impervious to reality checks. As True Believers, NOTHING, especially the real world, can shake their opinions. Have a good day. Never mind the reality. If you will it to be a good day, it had better be a good day if it knows what's good for it.

bobbyes30 (author)Nikiniku2017-02-26

no, no i'ts a thick oil to fill in the blanks ruined by screwdriver, sorry me, I use google translator....

I think it has grit in it.

SherylinRM (author)2017-03-17

WD40 = Water Displacement formula number 40.

Anyhow, thanks for this article and the comedy routine in the comments :)

JuanC335 (author)2017-03-14

I got THIS!

greener1 (author)2017-03-13

Similar to step 4, but if it's in a tight spot where the rotary cutter won't fit, you can file two sides of the screw head flat with a metal file, then grab & turn it with pliers.

tamias47 (author)2017-03-10

Sorta obvious, but if it's a Philips like in article, lotsa pressure and turn screwdriver w pliers. For round-head screws, bolts, vise grips (sometimes needle-nose vgrips) set really tight on head.

And then there's carefully drilling out the screw, starting with a smallish bit and working your way up. Important: DON'T break the drill bit, that makes things worse. To drill steel, always use lube (ATF works great) and low RPM. And make sure your first hole you drill is right on center, which gets tricky. You don't have to go very deep with your first slender bit.

LeifM6 (author)2017-03-07

Actually, there is a system for this:

those plug cutters you show are huge, they make ones that conform to
just the screw so you can just pull the whole thing out:

And the screw extractor you show typically needs a hole to be drilled in the head of the screw or bolt first for it to work.

expedientSentient5 (author)2017-03-07

comment just posted laboriously.please retrieve and post.

Howard Bamber (author)2017-03-04

Noticed these were all wood. Dealing with metal needs a totally different approach, apart from the cut groove and extract methods. With metal heating and cooling works. For the cooling lighter gas is good. It's the expansion and contraction that works. Shock also works, hitting the top with an old screwdriver and hammer. As for rounded bolt heads.....

Kevanf1 (author)2017-02-26

Two things I use. I have a set of 'hammer through' screwdrivers. The shaft has a cap that enables the screwdriver to be hammered without damaging it and one of these usually gets me out of trouble. Alternatively, if I am trying to remove a seized nut, bolt or screw out of metal then I pop a small nut over the top of the screw head. Then I run a quick bean of weld inside that nut. Let it cool then get a spanner or socket on the nut and the underlying screw etc should unscrew very easily.

OllieMollusc (author)Kevanf12017-02-26

Impact screwdriver

Kevanf1 (author)OllieMollusc2017-03-03

Owned one for over 30 years but sometimes they can be a bit unwieldy (arthritis in my hands) so I opt for the lighter hammer through screwdriver. It does the same job :)

OllieMollusc (author)Kevanf12017-02-26

buy a crummy cheap screwdriver and some super glue.

bryanbdp (author)2017-02-26

This is a critical thread because we all run into stuck fasteners from time to time, some critical. From a lifetime of frustration, I offer a few more tips.

First, forget regular screwdrivers most of the time, and use hardened screw bits. You can buy these at any hardware store, name brand bits like Lutz and DeWalt are better than the cheap ones. They are cheap, and much harder than normal screw driver tips.

Second, if you examine the fit between a phillips bit and the screw, you will find that the bit typically doesn't go all the way in, so it strips much too easily. If you find the bit seems loose, or doesn't go all the way in, use a grinder to remove just a little bit of the pointy tip and try the fit again. Be careful not to overheat the tip, remove small amounts and dip in water or oil to keep it cool. Excessive heat will soften the metal and ruin the tip. This simple tip will often double the removing power of the bit, by fully engaging the entire width of the slots. Once you've modified your tip, it will last for a long time and will become your first choice for stubborn fasteners.

Learn about nutserts, tineserts, helicoils and other thread repair methods. Typically used on metals, you drill the hole oversize, tap it to a larger thread, then use a special insert to make stronger threads in the original size. Just make sure you have enough material to support a larger hole. Nutserts are especially good for sheet metal and other thin materials. They work alot like a pop rivet, but leave a durable thread behind. See part number

96349A305 for the tool (other sizes available), and search for rivet nuts to look at the different types available. mcmaster will have most varieties of thread repair systems available, and do a good job of explaining how and when they work.

Take care to drill out a fastener both centered and straight. Use a mill or drill press if possible. If the end of the fastener is irregular, grind or sand it flat so you can start a perfectly centered hole. Use a starter bit to start the hole. These are very short drills attached to a much larger shank. The are commonly used on lathes. They don't allow the drill to deflect when starting the hole, then switch to a normal drill bit.

Most hardware stores have thread inserts for wood as well. Typically brass, you drill a larger hole, use a bit or even a bolt to screw the insert into the wood, and now you have a durable thread in your wooden item, much less likely to strip out or fail. Also look at barrel nuts, which insert from the rear of the hole, and have either prongs to dig into the wood to prevent turning, or holes which can be riveted or welded.

Use good drill bits, lubricate with oil, DO NOT overhead bit by going to fast, or applying too much pressure. Once a bit looses it's sharpness or temper, it's junk, resharpen or throw it away. For a critical repair, do not use a cheapo drill bit. Most local hardware stores sell quality bits, often cobalt HSS or the like. Carbide drills are not generally for metals except in industrial machining.

Use GOOD oil. WD40 isn't very good for drilling, machining, or even loosening stuck bolts. PBblaster and Kroil are probably a couple of the best loosening oils available. I find Breakfree to be a life saver many times, if you can get a fastener to move, it will generally keep the nut or bolt from locking up again and snapping the fastener. You can get it at gun and sporting stores. LOVE this stuff.

Often, when you have a stuck or rusted fastener, you can drill off or even grind off the head to get the part disassembled. Often you can use a punch to remove the fastener if it's a through bolt. This works well for rivets also.

There is a tool called a nut splitter. If you have good access to the nut, it fits over the nut and actually splits it, it you do it twice the nut will fall off. A great tool to have.

Knowledge is power - there are different kinds of "ez-outs".

The traditional ones require predrilling, selecting the largest size that will work, and carefully use hand tools to try and back the fastener out. Be carefull, not all fasteners will come out. If you break the ez-out in the hole, it is almost impossible to remove, as it is highly hardened steel. They are also brittle, which makes them easy to snap. If you don't think the ez out is going to work, stop, and consider another method.

There are other types of "ez out" type removers. Some of them are designed to work with the hole left from the screw slots. Others require a little predrilling. Some are self drilling. Some are designed for use with power tools, others are not. Your best bet is to buy a quality tool and follow the directions carefully.

There are two styles of traditional "ezouts" available, spiral fluted (like a screw thread) and straight fluted. The spiral fluted ones are useful for most applications, unless the fastener is thin-walled. The spiral flutes tend to drill into and expand into the fastener for a better grip. However, when removing something delicate, like a spark plug shell/threads, the straight flutes work better.

Speaking of spark plugs, there are a number of techniques and tools to remove stuck or broken spark plugs. Many methods use lots of grease to capture the chips so they don't get into the motor. If you are faced with this problem, search youtube for this problem, examine your options, and choose the best one. Too lengthy to talk about here.

Lastly, a simple tip. Impact drivers, especially the hammer activated ones, work well. But a name brand tool, not a cheapie. The bits they use are especially good fit for fasteners, and sometimes I just use these bits alone to remove a questionable fastener. These tools actually drive the bit into the fastener as they shock it loose, and work better than a electric or pneumatic tool which just "hammers" in a twisting motion.

Hope these tips help someone, they were all learned the hard way.


DonaldE14 (author)bryanbdp2017-02-26

I make my own lubricating oil for drilling. It is lard and kerosene. This tip came from an old machinist handbook .

Curvecrazy (author)DonaldE142017-03-03

???? And? Like what proportions already? Or is it your little secret? Humor intended but seriously?

Nikiniku (author)bryanbdp2017-02-26

An excellent post, Brianbdp. After reading up on the subject and splurging on a variety of screw removal tools, I finally succeeded in removing about 40 stubborn screws from my kitchen floor. I did use a special tool, but the main lesson I learned is that you have to exert plenty of pressure. The impact drivers work well but not if the screw is not seated in something solid and firm. If it's not, your pounding won't work. In my case, the floor just bounced, so the bit couldn't be driven into the screw. Oh, one last thing: screw extractors are worthless, at least in my experience. I kept being seduced by advertisements and videos on Youtube, but they never--almost never--worked for me.

bryanbdp (author)Nikiniku2017-02-26

I agree about screw extractors, the ones that predrill and then extract are probably better, but ez outs are probably about the best, but they need a deep hole, careful use, and still won't remove really stuck bolts or screws. Plus you run the risk of snapping the super hard tool in your fastener. Left hand drills are a great place to start.
Unfortunately, every situation is different, and that's where having access to many different techniques is helpful!

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