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Removal of a Stripped Screw

There are a number of alternatives available when removing a stripped screw, each of which will have a distinct effect on the screw.


1. Start clamping the pliers as near as possible to the wood or other substance.

2. Turn the screw counterclockwise with care to prevent snapping off the head.

3. For screws of size #12 and bigger, a screw extractor is required. Follow the instructions below:

  • Select the biggest screw extractor that can accommodate the stripped screw.

  • Drill a hole in the middle of the screw of approximately 3,175mm deep.

  • Insert the tip of the extractor into the hole and turn it counterclockwise until you feel the threads bite into the screw.

  • Turn the screw counterclockwise until it begins to peel away from the wood.

  • Once the screw has been loosened enough, grasp it with locking pliers and turn it out the rest of the way.


No-head and broken-off-head screws create distinct issues since there is nothing for your pliers or screw extractor to grip or bite into. Your extraction procedure will depend on the location of the screw:

  • When the shank remains protruding: If enough of the shank is visible to hold with pliers, the shank may be clamped and turned slowly counterclockwise.

  • When the screw is flush with the surface: Use a utility knife to remove part of the wood surrounding the shank so that your pliers can latch on and pull it out. A wooden dowel may then be used to fill up the gap. You may use a wood plug instead if you require the wood grain to be exactly the same as the rest. You may then screw your new fastener into the dowel or wood plug.

  • When the screw's head is submerged: When this occurs, try to keep the screw in place as much as possible. A hollow screw extractor bit is required if you must maintain the fastener in this exact location. First, drill a hole in a scrap piece of wood and center it around the stripped screw to use as a drill guide. Once you've inserted your hollow extractor's drill into your template, set it in reverse and begin drilling around the shaft. With needle-nose pliers, remove the screw and use a wooden dowel to fill in the hole left by it.

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