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How To Remove A Spinning Screw

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?

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.

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.

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.

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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