Removing Stripped or Damaged Screws: What to Use
Patience, and the right tools and supplies make all the difference when removing a stubborn screw that is stripped, seized or broken.
Clean off corrosion, dirt or other paint from the screwhead, then apply penetrating oil to the seized thread. Penetrating oil wicks down into the thread and acts as a solvent to break down corrosion, and as a lubricant to ease the removal of the screw. Leave the penetrating oil on overnight or for at least an hour, adding an additional few drops from time to time. Next, hit the screw squarely on the head with a screwdriver and hammer to shock the threads and break them free.
Use an impact driver, the ideal tool for removing stubborn screws. Impact drivers deliver a strong and abrupt combination of shock and rotation to the screw that breaks the thread free.
Apply heat to the screwhead using a butane torch or soldering iron, then cool down the screw with water. The heating and cooling expands and contracts the screw, which helps loosen up the threads.
NOTE: Heating a screw might not be an option, depending on the location of the screw and the materials around it.
Use a drill bit narrower than the diameter of the screw’s threads, and drill a pilot hole down into the screwhead. Next, use a drill bit that’s the same size as the screwhead, and drill it away so you can remove the part the screwhead was holding. Finally, grip the exposed screw thread with pliers and rotate and extract it.
Drill a hole into the center of the screw, then use a screw extractor to remove it. As you drive the screw extractor into the hole, the extractor will rotate the screw from within and slowly remove it.
These are just five tools and supplies recommended for removing seized, stripped or broken screws. Watch the video below to see for yourself how to remove a stripped screw.