How To Remove A Stripped Screw

stripped screw screws, remove screw dremel tools, screw extractor, how to remove a stripped screw Ryobi Drill drilling out a stripped screw DIY Screw, apartment therapyWe have these crusty support brackets on the stairs which along with their mounting screws are covered in dirt, carpet glue and about 30 years of paint. We all know that equation equals the DIY nightmare which is a stripped screw or in this case, many stripped screws, eventually leading to you having to drill the head out with a metal bit leaving a stud to deal with… Not fun or ideal. I had high hopes that the rubber band trick Andrea saw on Life Hacker  via Apartment Therapy would work but it did not. These simply had too much load and friction on them.

stripped screw screws, remove screw dremel tools, screw extractor, how to remove a stripped screw Ryobi Drill drilling out a stripped screw DIY Screw, apartment therapy

After laboriously drilling out a few stripped heads with my Ryobi drill, I decided the instead of drilling out the head and leaving the post of the screw in the wood for eternity,  I should add a nice deep line in the head of the stripped screws using a Dremel tool, making it a perfect hold for a flat head screw driver. Guess what? It worked!! Made my life a whole lot easier too.

stripped screw screws, remove screw dremel tools, screw extractor, how to remove a stripped screw Ryobi Drill drilling out a stripped screw DIY Screw, apartment therapy

Blurry pic of me cutting a line in stripped screw with Dremel tool.

stripped screw screws, remove screw dremel tools, screw extractor, how to remove a stripped screw Ryobi Drill drilling out a stripped screw DIY Screw, apartment therapy

Unscrewing with flathead screw driver.

stripped screw screws, remove screw dremel tools, screw extractor, how to remove a stripped screw Ryobi Drill drilling out a stripped screw DIY Screw, apartment therapy

And out it came! Andrea is the hand model ;)

So if you find yourself stuck with some mean stripped screws don’t discount the rubber-band method (Full tutorial on Apartment Therapy). If that DIY trick doesn’t work you will probably want to break out the Dremel tool and give them enough of a slice to hand crank out with a flat head screw driver.

Ok back to work I go! Wish me luck on the final stretch of the complete staircase flip.

Cliff Currie, Mr. ManMade, Andrea Currie Crafts, CliffCurrie.com

 

2 Comments

  1. Cool, you figured it out! I used the same method when removing a 2 ton iron rod screen door installed with 1-way screws. None of the commercial screw removers worked so out came the die grinder to cut some slots. They came right out with a flat head screwdriver.

    Incidently, a similar trick can be used to remove broken PVC nipples normally used to attach a bathtub spout. Just jam a pocket knife into the broken end and it twists right out.

    Reply
    • That’s kind of like the potato in the light socket thing.
      I have used my dremel more often than not in this house. The age just lends itself to painted screw heads and stripped threads.
      Thanks for the plumbing tip! Btw your bathroom is coming out awesome!!!

      Reply

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