There are MANY ways to remove stuck and stubborn nuts/bolts, here are some of the ways that I've found work best.

These methods contain both simple options, and some that use luxurious tools such as an impact gun or welder. Use caution, as some of the methods described can cause damage to your parts and might injure you if you do not take proper safety precaution (read: don’t be stupid).

Let’s begin!

Step 1: Use some muscle

Try a 6-point wrench or socket on your seized nut/bolt. Start by rocking the bolt by tightening then loosing, this may be all you need to break through the rust. Try and avoid 12-point wrenches and sockets as they likely to slip and strip the bolt head.

Another great tool I have found that is made by Irwin Tools is there Original Locking Wrench. Found here


This tool has been a life saver for me! It has removed the worst brake bleeder screws I have seen! It works on rounded fasteners too. This beast can be tightened so much, that it will WARP the nut! These have been in my box now and will not be leaving any time soon! They have a parrot beak shaped jaw allowing 3 sides of contact without marring up the corners of a hex fastener! Neat, Isn't it??

<p>Only other one I could think of that's commonly recommended is beating it with a sledge hammer [i.e. with a socket on it] to loosen up the threads :)</p>
<p>Oops that's supposed to be hitting the end of your wrench (or breaker bar) with a hammer. Also founds on the interwebs: a pipe wrench is the ultimate stuck-bolt remover. if you can get one on there, the more force you put on the lever, the tighter the grip gets. with a pipe wrench, the fastener will fail long before the wrenches grip does.</p><p><br>you will completely mangle the faces of the fastener, though.</p>
<p>Oops again, looks like you *can* gently tap on the socket (that's on the bolt) with a hammer, may help.</p>
<p>Another option: dry ice (apparently quite effective, viz: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1330131-rusted-stuck-part-shootout-dry-ice-vs-crc-freeze-off-vs-acetone-atf-poultice-vs-pb-blaster.html )</p>
<p>CRC Freeze off is apparently similar to dry ice but a bit less effective (probably want to prop the dry ice while you hold it and use gloves LOL)</p>
<p>phillips heads give a problem by gouging when trying to apply torque. Can reform the slot, by good hammer blow on the head, then insert phillips tip and hammer blow on the back of the tip; reinserts/reshapes the slot. Also the vibration enlarges the thread and loosens .....</p>
<p>15 steps. Before opening this, I could only think of 4.. You really know your nuts man. </p>
<p>Thank you for all the great comments and suggestions everybody! I see a lot of great ideas in the comments and find them very informational! I'm glad to see so many different, new, and effective methods that have worked for you all!</p>
<p>Another really good tool for removing rusted bolt/nuts is an air chisel. Just chisel the head or nut off. Works a lot quicker than many of the methods mentioned.</p>
<p>Sometimes ice works where heat does not. Add some salt to lower the melting temp. </p>
<p>I should say lower the freezing temp of the water, either way get the parts cold.</p>
<p>Great tips. Thanks. When I heat nuts and bolts, I go extreme and touch the bolt with an ice cube. This quickly contracts the bolt to loosen it from the nut.</p><p>Also, Lee Valley sells a great product called Evapo-Rust the dissolves all rust but it's not corrosive. Just drop the bolt into it and wait until the rust is gone.</p>
<p>Fantastic accumulation of information, I'll keep it in the back of my head for the next stuck bolt. Thank you, trf!</p>
another great one that we use at work a lot is Tabasco sauce
<p>My all time favorite to use in situations like these is WD-40. It does mircales when it comes to rust in my experience.</p>
<p>very helpful,would adding soup to it help?</p>
<p>soak it with brake fluid remember brake fluid will take paint off</p>
<p>You can use most kinds of lubricants on the bolt and nut, while unscrewing and rescrewing to lube it and hopefully allow it to unscrew better.</p>
<p>What happened to using a hand impact driver? Probably the handiest tool in getting stubborn nuts and bolts loose!</p><p><a href="http://www.beta-tools.com/catalog/articles/view/1295/__lang_en/__catlang_en/__catalog_beta/__filters_" rel="nofollow">http://www.beta-tools.com/catalog/articles/view/12...</a></p><p>Also, nut splitters tend to be awful, unless they are the hydraulic type.</p><p><a href="http://www.beta-tools.com/catalog/articles/view/1710/__lang_en/__catlang_en/__catalog_beta/__filters_" rel="nofollow">http://www.beta-tools.com/catalog/articles/view/17...</a></p><p>Otherwise, this is a fairly good instructable.</p><p>p.s. I don't work for Beta tools, I just have their impact driver and like the quality of it... it has saved me a lot of problems and this is how I repay them :) don't know how good their nut splitter is though... never tried it. Yes, they are pricey tools, but worth it.</p>
<p>Excellent instructable! Nicely done!</p>
The Oops! happens when the bolt extractor breaks off in the bolt and you now have a piece of hardened steel bolt extractor to drill through.
<p>that is extremely unfortunate :c</p>
<p>One that will help tons of folks that I don't believe most are aware of and that is EDM. I would use that prior to drilling/tapping and it's VERY economical and even most machine shops aren't aware of (I know- I called around to ask if they had it and they had no clue as what I was talking about) </p><p><a href="http://www.modelenginenews.org/meng/edm/index.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.modelenginenews.org/meng/edm/index.html</a></p><p>In addition, one place that I found very reasonable to doing the work in the Los Angleles, CA area ( I have no relationship to this company- just good experience on the three times I've taken them work) is here: </p><p><a href="http://jandpdeburring.com/" rel="nofollow">http://jandpdeburring.com/</a></p><p>Again, thanks for your suggestions.</p>
<p>You can grind a nut until it is very thin, but not damaging the thread. And then hit it with a chisel. It will make a dent in the nut, therefor expanding it and allowing it to be undone.</p>
<p>Great article, I need to buy a nut splitter.</p><p>Two words: Kano Kroil.</p><p>It always beats PB Blaster for me!</p>
<p>Thank you for an excellent 'ible.</p><p>Personally, I've found out that having an uncle with BOTH oxy acetylene and air impact wrenches, which can be used in tandem obviously, has great effect. Talk to your aunts about this. </p><p>BTW I've sometimes found this neat trick to be handy, too, to increase leverage and usefulness of your own force: The &quot;two-wrench trick&quot;. Google it.</p><p>If it seems like your wrenches are about to break (or if they actually break), well then you know muscle power isn't going to cut it. Kind of a lakmus test, really.</p>
<p>I wouldn't recommend using a socket wrench with a lot of force. Especially not a 1/4 or 3/8 drive. The ratchet mechanism really isn't designed to be doing muscle work. Always 'crack it' as they say with a good quality ring spanner then if it comes loose put your socket over it to do the repetitive work. If the ring spanner makes your hand hurt or simply won't budge the bolt or nut then carry on with suggestions made here. Overall this is a very good post. I never heard of a nut splitter before. Looks legit!</p>
<p>I searched for busting a nut, not quite what I was looking for but great write up all the same!</p>
Nice list and very helpful. <br> <br>I can only think of one thing that's missing and that is the impact driver. Manual ones aren't expensive and can free up many stuck nuts, bolts and screws. They are particularly useful in places where there is only limited access. I would probably use one after cautiously trying a breaker bar or cheater handle but before the heat treatment. <br> <br>Compared to a breaker bar they are less likely to mangle heads or break bolts but if the bolt is rusted along it's length then you may also need a breaker bar once the impact driver has started things going and overcome the initial &quot;rust seal&quot; <br> <br>Powered ones are also available which could be used to spin the nut right off.
Heat cycling is pretty effective for breaking frozen hardware free. Heat the hardware up then rapidly cool it with some more penetrating oil. If the hardware is that rusted odds are I'm going to have to change it anyways. But sometimes I still clean it up, and it is OK. Rust itself is harder and more brittle than parent metal so I try to keep that characteristic in mind as I work on rusted items. My basic method is to shatter the rust. Because I know that once the rust is shattered to dust things should start going more smoothly for me.
Ive seen those before. Ive never been able to find one unfortunately! Would you happen to know where to find one? They are a nice tool to have! Thank you for the idea!
Any good auto parts store.
In the UK, they are easily available from Halfords among other places, in the US I am not so sure. <br> <br>I would imagine that somewhere like Sears would stock one, but hopefully a friendly US instructables user will take up the challenge and recommend a local auto store with a helpful owner near you? <br> <br>There's always Amazon as well if you have time to wait for delivery, just search for manual impact driver.
A great way to remove a screw broke below the surface is to keep a nut on top of the broken screw, weld with a thin guage welding rod inserted through the hole of the nut. Now you can turn it out with a wrench. I have used this method frequently with success, especially in cases of stubborn screws made of allow steel. With some practice we learn how to weld the nut to the screw avoiding parent block
You missed my favorite method. I prefer impacts to free up frozen hardware. Either using a pneumatic impact driver, or just hitting a wrench with a hammer repeatedly. Just torque usually leads to shearing hardware off but tapping it can free stuck parts from each other. The most important thing is to have patience. Stuff didn't get stuck overnight so you can hardly expect it to move again right away either. I've actually worked some really stubborn hardware for months before freeing it up. Stuff usually sees things my way eventually though.
I prefer the complete destruction method. That happens when you get so angry that you completely destroy your piece in a fit of rage.
I recently heard that (providing you have one) you can hold an electric engraver tool against the bolt for a few seconds and it will work the surfaces against eachother and it will come right off. <br> <br>I haven't had a chance to confirm this, but it could be one more option in your bag of tricks.
I have an engraver I'll have to give it a try someday. Although I doubt it will work. The engraver hardly shakes the whole world when it runs. I've a fairly decent one too I think. It is a Burgess Vibrocrafter.
Those are nice! I have the VibroMarker. The tip is the hardest material known to man. (well, this man anyway)
That is a very interesting idea! I have never heard of that myself to be honest! I Would love to hear how that works out if you or anyone else gets a chance to try this!
Thanks for the bag of tricks you added to my bag of tricks. <br>
You can always use a nut splitter too. They come as manual and hydraulic versions. The manual version has a bolt you tighten that forces a chisel point into the side of the nut till it splts. Just google nut splitter and you will see images of it.
Very useful! Thanks for sharing.
Nice list!

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