How to Remove Stripped Screw: Easy & Effective Tips

To remove a stripped screw, use a rubber band or a screw extractor tool. Place the rubber band over the screw head and use a screwdriver to grip and turn the screw.

Alternatively, use a screw extractor tool designed to grip and remove stripped screws. These methods can help you effectively remove a stripped screw without causing further damage to the surface. Dealing with a stripped screw can be frustrating, but with the right tools and techniques, you can easily tackle this common issue.

Whether you’re working on a DIY project or dealing with a household repair, knowing how to handle a stripped screw can save you time and effort.

The Struggle With Stripped Screws

Struggling with stripped screws? Remove them easily with these tips: use a rubber band, try a screw extractor, or create a new slot with a Dremel tool. These methods can save you time and frustration.

The Common Culprits

Screws can get stripped due to several reasons:

  • Using the wrong-sized screwdriver
  • Applying too much force
  • Low-quality screws

Why It’s A Big Deal

Stripped screws can lead to:

  1. Difficulty in removing
  2. Damage to the screw head
  3. Time-consuming repairs

Preparation: Before You Begin

Preparation is key before attempting to remove a stripped screw. Follow these steps to increase your chances of success: gather the necessary tools, apply lubrication, use the right screwdriver or drill bit, apply pressure while turning, and if needed, resort to alternative methods like using pliers or a rubber band.

Gather Your Tools

Before attempting to remove a stripped screw, it’s essential to gather the necessary tools. You will need:

  • Screwdriver or power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Flathead or Phillips head bits
  • Pliers or locking pliers
  • Rubber band or steel wool
  • Hammer

Safety First

Prioritize safety before starting the removal process. Remember to:

  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes
  • Use gloves to avoid injury
  • Work in a well-lit area
  • Avoid applying excessive force to prevent accidents

Method 1: Rubber Band Trick

One effective method for removing a stripped screw is the rubber band trick. Simply place a rubber band over the screw head and use a screwdriver to turn it. The rubber band provides extra grip and helps the screwdriver catch onto the screw.

Step-by-step Guide

To remove a stripped screw using the rubber band trick, follow these simple steps:
  1. First, gather the necessary tools: a rubber band and a screwdriver that fits the screw head.
  2. Stretch the rubber band over the stripped screw head, ensuring it covers the entire surface.
  3. Insert the screwdriver into the screw head, pressing firmly against the rubber band.
  4. Slowly turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to loosen the screw.
  5. If the rubber band slips, readjust it and continue turning until the screw is completely removed.

Why It Works

The rubber band trick is a simple yet effective method for removing stripped screws. The rubber band acts as a grip-enhancing material, allowing the screwdriver to gain traction on the damaged screw head. As you turn the screwdriver, the rubber band fills in the gaps caused by the stripped grooves, creating enough friction to loosen the screw. This technique works particularly well with small to medium-sized screws. By using the rubber band trick, you can save time and frustration that often comes with dealing with stripped screws. It is a handy DIY solution that requires minimal effort and resources. Give it a try next time you encounter a stripped screw and see how easily it can be removed using this method.

Method 2: Flathead Screwdriver Technique

The Flathead Screwdriver Technique is an effective method for removing stripped screws. By inserting a flathead screwdriver into the stripped screw head and applying downward pressure while turning counterclockwise, you can often loosen the screw and remove it easily. This technique is a simple and handy solution for dealing with stubborn stripped screws.

If you have a stripped screw that’s protruding slightly above the surface, you can use a flathead screwdriver to remove it. This method requires a little bit of elbow grease, but it’s effective and doesn’t require any special tools. Here’s how to do it:

Choosing The Right Size

Before you begin, you need to make sure you have the right size flathead screwdriver. Using the wrong size can damage the screw even further, making it even more difficult to remove. To choose the right size, hold the screwdriver blade against the screw head. The blade should be wide enough to cover the entire head of the screw.

The Proper Technique

Once you have the right size screwdriver, it’s time to start removing the stripped screw. Follow these steps:
  1. Hold the screwdriver firmly in your dominant hand, and position the blade in the slot on the top of the screw head.
  2. Press down firmly on the screwdriver, and turn it counterclockwise. Use as much force as you can without slipping.
  3. If the screw turns, keep turning it until it’s completely removed. If it doesn’t turn, try applying a little bit of pressure in the opposite direction (clockwise) to loosen the screw. Then try turning it counterclockwise again.
  4. Once the screw is removed, clean up any debris left behind, and inspect the hole to see if it’s still usable. If the hole is damaged, you may need to use a wood filler or other material to repair it.
Using a flathead screwdriver to remove a stripped screw can be a bit tricky, but with the right technique and a little bit of patience, you can get the job done. Just be sure to choose the right size screwdriver, and use as much force as you can without damaging the screw or the surrounding material.

Method 3: Using A Screw Extractor

When it comes to removing a stripped screw, one effective method is using a screw extractor. This tool is specifically designed to grip onto the stripped screw, allowing you to twist it out with ease. In this section, we will discuss how to select a screw extractor and the extraction process.

Selecting A Screw Extractor

Before you begin the extraction process, it’s important to select the right screw extractor for the job. Screw extractors come in various sizes, so make sure to choose one that matches the size of the stripped screw. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you select the appropriate screw extractor:

  1. Inspect the stripped screw and determine its size.
  2. Find a screw extractor set that includes the desired size.
  3. Ensure the screw extractor has a reverse spiral design, as this will help grip onto the screw.
  4. Check if the screw extractor is compatible with your drill or wrench.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you have the right screw extractor for the job.

The Extraction Process

Now that you have selected the appropriate screw extractor, it’s time to proceed with the extraction process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you remove the stripped screw using a screw extractor:

  1. Attach the screw extractor to your drill or wrench, ensuring a secure fit.
  2. Place the screw extractor’s tip onto the center of the stripped screw.
  3. Apply steady pressure and begin drilling in a counterclockwise direction.
  4. Continue drilling until the screw extractor bites into the screw.
  5. Once the screw extractor has a firm grip, slowly turn it counterclockwise to remove the screw.
  6. If the screw extractor loses its grip, stop and try a larger size or consult a professional for assistance.

Remember to take your time during the extraction process and apply steady pressure to avoid any further damage. With the right screw extractor and careful execution, you can successfully remove a stripped screw.

Method 4: Drilling It Out

When all else fails, drilling out a stripped screw can be an effective last resort. This method involves using a power drill to create a hole in the center of the screw head, allowing you to then use a screw extractor to remove the damaged screw.

Precautions And Preparations

Before you begin, it’s important to take certain precautions and make necessary preparations to ensure safety and efficiency.

  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from any metal shavings or debris.
  • Use a sharp drill bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw.
  • Secure the workpiece in a vice or with clamps to prevent it from moving during drilling.

Drilling: A Step-by-step Approach

Follow these steps to drill out a stripped screw:

  1. Step 1: Attach the appropriate-sized drill bit to your power drill.
  2. Step 2: Position the drill bit at the center of the stripped screw head.
  3. Step 3: Apply firm, steady pressure as you begin drilling into the screw head.
  4. Step 4: Drill until you reach the depth of the screw head, creating a clean hole.
  5. Step 5: Use a screw extractor to grip the edges of the hole and carefully back out the damaged screw.

Tips For Avoiding Future Stripped Screws

To avoid future stripped screws, use the right size screwdriver, apply firm pressure, and turn slowly. If the screw is already stripped, try using a rubber band or a specialized screw extractor tool. Another tip is to use a rotary tool to create a new groove for the screwdriver.

Choosing Quality Tools

Use high-quality screwdrivers with properly sized tips.

Inspect tools for any signs of wear before use.

Proper Screw Handling Techniques

Align the screwdriver correctly with the screw head.

Apply firm pressure while turning to prevent stripping.

Final Thoughts: The Art Of Patience

Patience is crucial when dealing with stripped screws. Taking your time and being calm can make all the difference in successfully removing a stubborn screw.

Learning From Mistakes

Learning from mistakes is part of the process. Trying different methods can help you develop new skills and strategies.

When To Seek Professional Help

If all else fails and you can’t remove the stripped screw, consider seeking help from a professional. Experts have the tools and experience to tackle challenging situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Remove A Stripped Screw?

To remove a stripped screw, you can try using a rubber band or a piece of duct tape to get a better grip. Alternatively, you can use a screw extractor tool or drill a small hole in the center of the screw and use a screwdriver to remove it.

What Is The Best Tool To Remove A Stripped Screw?

A screw extractor is the best tool to remove a stripped screw. It is a specialized tool designed to grip and remove stripped screws without causing any damage to the surrounding material. It is easy to use and can be found at most hardware stores.

Can You Use Pliers To Remove A Stripped Screw?

Yes, pliers can be used to remove a stripped screw. However, it is not the most effective method and can cause damage to the screw and surrounding material. It is best to use a screw extractor or other specialized tool for the job.

How Do You Prevent Screws From Getting Stripped?

To prevent screws from getting stripped, make sure to use the right size and type of screwdriver for the job. Apply steady pressure and avoid using too much force. Lubricating the screw with a little bit of soap or wax can also make it easier to turn and prevent stripping.


Removing stripped screws can be frustrating but with the right techniques, it’s manageable. Remember to use the proper tools and methods to avoid further damage. Patience and precision are key in successfully extracting a stripped screw. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed.

Md Meraj

This is Meraj. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Wood Working Advisor is a blog where I share wood working tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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