Instructables

One Way to Remove a Stripped Screw or Bolt

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video One Way to Remove a Stripped Screw or Bolt
If you have a stripped screw or bolt and the head is easily accessible, this is the best way I have found in removing it. This method is great when you don't have the specialized tools for removing such things. All you need here is a rotary tool with a cutoff wheel and a flat head screwdriver. A carefully guided hack saw could also accomplish this task.

If your screw or bolt is already free and you're just trying to give it some "tooth", make sure it is secured by a vice or clamp. The important thing to note is not to use your hands to hold it! It will get very hot, not to mention if it catches on the cutoff wheel, you could be injured.

Fasten a fiber-reinforced cutoff wheel onto your small rotary hand tool. In the past, I have used a silicon-carbide disc that did not have fiber reinforcement. It worked okay, but on the smallest catch, those wheels will shatter. It's best to use one with fiber reinforcement.

Now cut a notch dead-center in the screw/bolt head. Take your time with this part. It could be your last chance in removing the screw or bolt, so make sure you get a clean, clearly-defined cut. Go deep enough to give your screwdriver some tooth, but not so deep that your screw or bolt becomes weakened to the point of breaking.

Once it is cut, use a good flat head screwdriver to remove the screw or bolt. You can also give your screwdriver a tap with a hammer to really sink it in before applying torque.

I hope this helps you the next time you have a stripped screw; it has saved me a few times.
Please vote for this Instructable in the Burning Questions Contest. Thanks for following!
MossdaleMakerspace (author) 10 months ago
It appears our entry still hasn't been accepted into the Burning Questions Contest, but as soon as that happens, please vote if you like it!

As we all know, there's more than one way to skin a cat. If we get enough interest, we may be able to make a series of these shorts showing all the different ways we can think of on how to remove a stripped screw.
wilgubeast10 months ago
Nice! I found myself using a similar technique with a hacksaw just a few weeks ago. Rotary tools make it much easier, especially when you have stripped the head while the screw is still affixed to whatever you wanted to detach it from.

Nice video.
Abeytj10 months ago
When the end is below surface it becomes necessary to go for specialised tools. However I have a proven mrthod. Place a nut on top of the broken screw, with a fine electrode weld the inside of the nut to the screw. Use a spanner to remove even the most stubborn screws.
MossdaleMakerspace (author)  Abeytj10 months ago
Good idea. You should make an Instructable for that.