Extract a Broken Screw
Remove a mangled screw will a drill and special extractor
IntroductionIf you have a stuck screw or bolt and have mangled the head, try removing it with a special screw extractor. It usually does the job quickly and easily.
- Drill bit set
- Drill/driver - cordless
- Locking pliers
- Screw extractor
Project step-by-step (3)
Drill the Stuck Screw
Start by drilling a hole in the center of the broken screw using the drill bit size specified by the extractor manufacturer. If your drill bit won’t stay centered on the jagged, broken surface, switch to a smaller bit (1/16 in. or smaller). A smaller bit is easier to control and creates a shallow starter hole for the larger bit. Drill cautiously and apply only light pressure. The worst thing you can do is break off the drill bit inside the broken screw because removing a broken bit is almost impossible.
Engage the Extractor
Next, insert the extractor into the broken screw hole and give it a firm tap with a hammer. Then push down on the extractor as you twist it counterclockwisewith locking pliers or a tap wrench to remove the screw. If the extractor threads won’t grab and turn the screw, try these other suggestions:
- Tap the extractor into the screw with a bit more force. Heat from a heat gun may also loosen stuck threads.
- In metal, apply a penetrating lubricant and let it soak in for 30 minutes.
- Enlarge the hole with a slightly larger drill bit and try again.
Close-Up of Extractor
Extractors are available in several sizes to fit the approximate screw size.
For such a simple task, it’s surprising how many things can go wrong when you drive screws. We’ll show you how to perfectly drive screws so you can avoid all the frustration just by using the right screws and a few special tools.