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How to Loosen Stubborn Nuts And Bolts

How to Loosen Stubborn Nuts And Bolts

Loosen Rusty Bolts

Ever go crazy trying to get a rusted nut or bolt loose? I have.

A simple tip for dealing with how to loosen stubborn nuts and bolts that have rusted solid bolts is to employ heat, penetrating oil and tapping with a hammer. These tips will un-stick most nuts and bolts in metal.

Heat It Up

Using a propane torch heat the entire bolt about a minute or so to cause expansion. When the bolt cools to the touch, apply penetrating oil on and around it—and on the the nut if accessible. Tap the end of the bolt a half-dozen times with a hammer to help loosen the threads and allow the oil to penetrate. Wait another minute or so for the oil to work, and then try to loosen.

It’s Ok To Cheat

Use a cheater bar – a short length of pipe— over the end of your tool handle. The extra length gives you incredible leverage.

When a bolt head has become so rounded over try using a locking pliers. With a real tight grip attempt to remove the nut. Be careful, you may have only two or three chances before the head gets too rounded over and you will be unable to get the pliers to lock on.

Cut Your Losses

As a last resort cut off the bolt heads or nut with a hacksaw, reciprocating saw or a cold chisel. Some fasteners, especially rivets and flat head bolts, may be easier to drill out than to cut. Hopefully these tips gave you some insight on how to loosen stubborn nuts and bolts.


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