We’ve all faced a stripped or rusty screw that just won’t budge and wondered: What now?
It’s a hopeless situation. There’s the screw. Here is the screwdriver – but, the two won’t fit together and your patience is waning.If only there were some kind of affordable tool or machine designed specifically for this purpose!Well, get ready to be happy, because such a thing exists and it’s entirely possible that no one told you about it.Screw Extractor TypesScrew extractors
come in a few different types and the kind you want may depend on the kinds of tools you already do (or do not) have. Extractors may work in combination with a drill
or socket wrench
, or may come with their own tap and die set.You can choose the type that fits your tool set, but keep in mind that you’ll probably need a drill either way to make the pilot hole in the screw you’re extracting.Using a Screw ExtractorStep 1:
Choose a drill bit
smaller than the diameter of the screw you’re removing. (NOTE: Bits that come with screw extractor sets are hardened for the purpose; if you're not using one of these, be sure your bit is designed for metalwork.)Step 2:
Drill into the center of the screw to a depth of at least 1/8 inch; you don’t have to go far for the extractor to work.Step 3: Insert the extractor and turn counterclockwise to remove the screw. (NOTE: How you insert the extractor will depend on the type you have. If you have a tap and die type, first tap in the extractor with a hammer to make sure it seats well. If using a drill or socket type, simply insert the extractor bit into your tool to use it.Ta da! Now you have a foolproof way of fixing those stripped screws. Also, keep in mind that screw extractors also work for stripped and stubborn bolts, too.