How To Remove A Spinning Screw

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

How To Remove A Stripped Screw

Ever run into a spinning or stripped screw?  It’s frustrating to say the least.  There are a few methods to deal with this.  The article below will focus on how to remove a spinning screw.

Spinning Freely

How about a screw where the head or part of the shaft has broken off and now the screw spins freely but doesn’t come out?

How To Remove A Spinning Screw

Here’s a quick tip I learned many moons ago and still use today.  Get the screw started by prying on the screw head a bit.

How To Remove A Spinning Screw

For a prying tool, I like to use a utility blade. Other objects, like a flat blade screw driver, to put a little outward pressure on the screw head.

How To Remove A Spinning Screw

Keeping firm pressure on the shaft. Once the screw comes out a bit but the blade rides in the threads and the screw creating friction that will facilitate backing the screw out.

How To Remove A Spinning Screw

Stripped Screw Head:

When the screw head is stripped you can sometimes use a larger screw driver head.  Sometimes using a Torx or flat heat driver bit can get traction and torque to get the screw moving. If that fails, its best to use a screw extractor. Screw extractors have sharp, rough metal threaded tips. These tip burrow into the softer screw head metal, and allow you to apply torque and loosen the screw.  If the head of the screw is protruding, you can use locking pliers to unscrew it or chuck a drill on it – see video below.

How To Remove A Stripped Screw

Since we are on the topic of how to remove a spinning screw, another method for removing a stripped screw is to use a drill.   Simply chuck the drill over the screw head and back out the screw.

~ concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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