Coleman is a proficient mechanical engineer with a focus on power tool design. He has an impressive tenure with multiple renowned tool companies and is credited with several innovative patents. His expertise and insights are shared on One Power Tool, your comprehensive guide to everything related to power tools.
Removing a stripped screw can be a frustrating experience, but fear not! I'm here to help you tackle this common DIY problem. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just starting out, I'll guide you through several effective methods to remove a stripped screw.
Method 1: Rubber Band Trick
This simple yet effective method requires only a rubber band. Place the rubber band over the stripped screwhead, ensuring it covers the entire area. Then, insert your screwdriver into the screwhead and apply steady pressure while turning. The rubber band provides extra grip and traction, allowing you to turn the screw and remove it.
Method 2: Hammer and Chisel
For larger screws or those with damaged heads, a hammer and chisel can do the trick. Position the chisel at a slight angle on one side of the screwhead. Gently tap the chisel with a hammer, creating a slight indentation. Once the indentation is made, reposition the chisel on the opposite side and tap again. Continue alternating sides until the screw loosens enough to be removed with pliers or a screwdriver.
Method 3: Drill and Extract
If the above methods fail, it's time to bring out the power tools. Start by selecting a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screwhead. Carefully center the drill bit on the screwhead and drill a shallow hole into the screw. Switch to a screw extractor bit, which is designed to grip into the drilled hole. Insert the extractor bit into the hole and turn it counterclockwise to remove the screw.
Method 4: Pliers or Vice Grips
For screws with partially stripped heads, pliers or vice grips can be a lifesaver. Position the jaws of the pliers or vice grips around the screwhead, ensuring a firm grip. Apply steady pressure while turning counterclockwise to remove the screw. If the screw is too small or inaccessible, needle-nose pliers can be used to grip and turn the screw.
Method 5: Heat and Cold
This method is particularly useful for screws that are stuck due to rust or adhesive. Start by heating the screwhead using a heat gun or a hairdryer set to high heat. After a few minutes, quickly cool the screwhead using a can of compressed air or a cold spray. The rapid change in temperature can cause the metal to contract and loosen the screw, making it easier to remove.
Remember, prevention is key! To avoid stripped screws in the future, use the appropriate screwdriver or bit size, apply steady pressure while turning, and avoid overtightening. Additionally, lubricating the screw with a bit of soap, wax, or a specialized lubricant can make it easier to remove.
I hope these methods help you successfully remove stripped screws and save your DIY projects from frustration. Remember to take your time, be patient, and use the appropriate tools for the job. Happy DIYing!