Hot Topics: Screw Stuck In a Deck

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Original Post: Suggestions for removing stripped 2" deck screws?

AshleyQuick - Member

Seven of these are stripped. Should I buy a specialty extractor or do you have any tricks?

a screw embedded in a deck

PJmax - Group Moderator

There really isn't an extractor for that application.

Usually you just wedge a small flat screwdriver under the head and lift the head up while turning.

There are several other tools like a mini wrecking bar and cat's paw that can be helpful but can damage the surrounding wood a bit.

a diagram of a cat's paw tool

AshleyQuick - Thread Starter

I have a cat's paw and they're still a pain. The 3" screws are really embedded in the joists.

XSleeper - Group Moderator

You could try these, but no guarantee they will work.

PJmax - Group Moderator

I have a pair of wire cutters (dykes) with a sharp edge that I also use to get under the head. Usually with a slight lift/wedging you can turn the screw out. You can't pull the screw directly out. It needs to be turned out.

Tumble - Member

Dremel, cut a slot for a flat blade screwdriver might work...

AshleyQuick - Thread Starter

Good ideas, thanks guys!!

aka pedro - Member

Why are you removing them? If you're replacing boards just rip the old ones out then cut the screws off.

beelzebob - Member

If you are replacing the deck boards, chisel/cut board around stuck screw to remove deck board and then use vice-grips (gripping on threaded portion of screw) to rotate out, If not replacing deck boards, suggest cutting parallel faces on screw head (using a metal cutting disc on a dremel like tool). Grab screw head by flats ( using vise grips in a vertical position) and try to unscrew.

AshleyQuick - Thread Starter

The board was rotten enough to yank it out, which of course exposed the remaining screws. At that point, I used vice grips to remove them.