Stripped screws are one of the most frustrating problems that any mechanic can have. If they cannot get the screw out, countless hours of labor can be spent on an issue that could have been prevented. There is also a risk in trying to force the screw out by damaging the wood surrounding it.
To get a stripped screw out of wood, you need to use rubber bands for grip. But, there’re also many other methods to do it in an easy way. In this article, I will cover how to remove broken and stripped screws from wood efficiently so you don’t have to spend all day on something like this.
10 Ways To Remove A Stripped Screw Out Of Wood
A stripped screw is a bane to any woodworker, but don’t be afraid! There are many different ways that it can be removed and prevented in the first place. Read on for ten solutions that will help remove your dreaded stripped screw.
Pull Out The Screw With Pliers
The most obvious approach is also one of the most direct: just pluck out the offending screw with your handy-dandy pair of pliers! You may have to twist and pull a lot, but eventually, you will succeed in either popping it through or bending it until you can break off the head below the surface of your wood project’s surface.
Switch To A Flat-head Screwdriver
If the tip of your screwdriver is stripped, too, you can switch to a flat head. Many of the solutions here will have you switching to a flat head. They’re sturdy and unlikely to snap off under pressure, but try not to grip it too tight or use too much force on any one spot; this will only make your situation worse and might damage your wood project even more than before.
Use A Larger Driver Bit
Another easy solution is to get a bigger driver bit simply if you’re dealing with a screw or bolt that refuses to budge. Most woodworkers will always have a set of extra bits and drivers in their toolbox, so you can either stop by the store or just order online.
Tap The Screwdriver With A Hammer
If your screw is, in fact, still jammed after using the previous solutions, it is time to turn to the hammer and chisel. Of course, it may be time to remove it entirely and start over if you’re headed for a full-scale remodel or re-finishing, but for most little jobs, you can simply tap it with a small hammer before taking out your pliers once again.
Use Steel Wool
If you’ve already done a lot of work and don’t want to start over, you can also try using steel wool. Harder materials will usually see through the stripped screw’s head more quickly. In fact, by the time you finish reading this article, it might be all gone! Be careful, though: if you’re using a softwood and it is already pretty old or dried out, it may break right off from the pressure.
Switch To A Manual Screwdriver
For some stripped screws stuck in some tight places where your drill or electric screwdriver just won’t reach, you can always switch to a regular manual screwdriver. You’ll probably have to switch to a smaller screwdriver to keep the head on the table as you work, but it can usually get the job done just as well.
Drill Into The Screw
If you’re dealing with a really thick or particularly stubborn stripped screw, you can also drill into it from one side so that it pops out from the other. If this is your last resort before starting over again, be sure to use a low power setting so that you don’t end up breaking off the inside of your project’s wood, and make sure that your drill has a reverse setting so that you can easily remove the bit if it gets stuck!
Use Rubber Bands For Grip
If you don’t want to spend money on new drill bits or even bother getting out your hammer and pliers, a straightforward solution is also one of the most old-fashioned. Use rubber bands! Simply slip one over your screwdriver bit, and grip it with your pliers as tightly as possible. Your screw should come right out!
Use An Abrasive Powder
Sometimes the quickest solutions are the most obscure, but they’re also some of the easiest. For example, if you have nothing else on hand to remove a stripped screw, just apply an abrasive powder or sandpaper to it and work it in with slow circular movements (or if you’re using sandpaper, in straight lines).
Cut A Slot For A Flat-Head Screwdriver
If none of the solutions persist and your screw is beyond hope, you can always try cutting a slot in your wooden screwdriver bit so that it will fit over the handle of a flat-head screwdriver. Be careful, though: at this point, you’re already pushing more than your weight into the wood project.