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Stripped Screws


bvgas's Avatar
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05-17-17, 06:23 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Stripped Screws

Does anyone know of a good way to remove screws whose heads are mangled or stripped?

I have NEVER, NEVER had any success with those screw extractors - all they end up doing is putting a bigger hole in the screw's head.

Tried the rubberband trick with no success. These particular screws are too small to grip with visegrips, etc which I have used with some success depending on the scenario.

Totally cutting the heads off would leave the thread still in there and then I'd have to drill it out messing up the hole.

Any other ideas? Thanks

 
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05-17-17, 06:54 AM   #2 (permalink)  
Screw extractors work just fine. Main thing is using the right size and following the directions.

 
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05-17-17, 07:34 AM   #3 (permalink)  
I've used at least four different brands without success. I have read the instructions repeatedly and followed them. They have never worked. They never bite into the metal. They just make a bigger hole.

I was finally able to remove the stripped screws I'm talking about using the hacksaw method - cutting enough of a slot in the head to grip with a screwdriver.

Is there a particular brand of extractor you've used successfully?

 
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05-17-17, 07:37 AM   #4 (permalink)  
for slotting but being lazy I use a Dremel to make the slot.


I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

 
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05-17-17, 09:25 AM   #5 (permalink)  
What type of screw do you need to remove? What is it screwed into? Can you post a picture of the problem screw?

 
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05-17-17, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)  
I cant recall ever having one NOT work. My set is either a Kobalt from Lowe's or whatever brand Ace Hardware sells. I forget which... but its a set of 3... #1, #2, #3.

It has a self tapping reamer on one end (drill set on forward) and an easy out on the opposite end. (Drill set on reverse) I will generally start small and if it doesnt grab then I try the next size larger. Drilling the pilot hole as deep as possible is the key, I think.

 
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05-17-17, 10:55 AM   #7 (permalink)  
Screw extractors work, but they have their place, so I always like to know why I am using one before I use it. If the head was slotted and the wrong size screwdriver was used, the wrench didn't quite fit and rounded it off, the head snapped off due to vibration between two parts, etc., an extractor may very well do it. It's when heat or corrosion are involved though that I pay particular attention. Say you're removing something like a shroud on a small engine, with the bolts tapped into the cylinder assembly, and you twist the head off of a bolt. Did the head snap because it has been subjected to a lot of vibration so was already wearing thin, or because the bolt is more-or-less "welded" in. A case like this I might try an extractor, but am only going to apply so much pressure before I take the path of drilling the center of it out and removing the threads with a small punch. The latter is slower than just putting more pressure on the extractor, but removing a broken extractor can be even slower.

 
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05-17-17, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)  
The screws were philip head 8-32 - holding the burner tubes down to my grill.

I heard people say Dremel many times - is there different types of dremels or is it one type with many attachments? How exactly do you use it to get screws out - cut the heads off?

Thanks for the feedback - I guess it must be me regarding the extractors - I must be "extractorly challenged"

 
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05-17-17, 12:50 PM   #9 (permalink)  
There is a wide range of 'bits' you can use on a dremel. One of them is a little mandrel [?] with a small cut off wheel. You'd use it to cut a slot [or recut] so you can get a better bite with a screwdriver.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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05-17-17, 01:48 PM   #10 (permalink)  
Screw extractor = screws, probably not bolts.

 
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05-17-17, 02:00 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Dremel is a brand name, and because they have been around for more than a couple of years and became popular with a lot of hobbyists their name is equated to their rotary tool in particular, just like adjustable wrenches are often called Crescent wrenches. And, while probably not going to hold up for a lot of tradespersons, I think they are a good and reliable choice for many homeowners. They make several types of tools, but the rotary one is what you would be looking for in this case. Assuming that you are a DIYer, it's definitely something that you will find uses for in the future. Your local hardware or big box will have the tools themselves and then you buy the accessories individually, and they will probably have sets that include quite a few accessories. Anyway, that said, I agree with Mark in getting in there with something like this and take the heads off. But I don't think an extractor is going to do you any good after that because I'm not sure they make them that small. I don;t know though. Without seeing exactly what you have, just envisioning it, I think that I would cut the heads off, then drill and retap the holes. Being inside the grill, my thought is that the grill and those screws have become one.

 
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05-17-17, 03:53 PM   #12 (permalink)  
I had to rebuild my grill a few years ago. While much of it is made from stainless steel the screws were not and had rusted into place. I only spent a minute or two on each screw. If it didn't come out I used a Dremel to grind the head off. When it came time for reassembly drilled a new hole a 1/4" away from the screws I abandoned in place and of course reassembled with stainless steel screws.

 
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