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Old 10-17-2011, 03:28 PM
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Default How to remove stripped/stuck screws

Guys, WHat is the best way to remove a stuck or stripped screw? I have tried drilling the screw head, but with Stainless Screws even the titanium bits burn out. Is there a small drill bit grinder or some such?
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:36 PM
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How large of a screw and what is it stuck in? You can try center punching the remaining part of the screw (to pierce the workhardened region) and then drilling it with a short (stub length) drill or machinists's center drill. After center drilling (or drilling with the stub drill) you can try a bolt or tap extractor.
Sometimes, screws will come out when drilled with a left handed drill bit.
Regretably, there is no really "easy" method..
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhendric View Post
Guys, WHat is the best way to remove a stuck or stripped screw? I have tried drilling the screw head, but with Stainless Screws even the titanium bits burn out. Is there a small drill bit grinder or some such?
If you want an answer that will help, you will need to provide a lot more information than what you have provided. I know it's perfectly clear to you, but not that clear to anyone else by reading your post.

Is it "stuck" or is it "stripped"?

Does it turn but not come out or are you unable to turn it?

Is part of it sticking up above the surface it is screwed into?

Is it a machine screw or a wood or sheet metal screw?

How large a screw are we talking about? #6, 1/4", or somewhere in between?

What material is it threaded in to?

Is the head still on the screw, is the head damaged, or is the head broken off the screw?

How important is it to not damage the surface area around the screw?

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Old 10-17-2011, 05:20 PM
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Sorry guys, this happens from time to time, but most recently it was with a 1/4 inch stales bolt that attaches the "toothed" elbow joint on my outrigger to the outrigger receiver. The bolt was stuck and I stripped the screw head when trying to get it loose.

The time before that it was the machine screws which mount the mooring bit on my whaler...they were stuck in the backing plate....nothing would budge them....

In all my past history with this I managed to make it work with titanium drill bits...but in the process I ruined at least one bit per screw/bolt.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:21 PM
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Generally I don't want to scratch up the surfacevaround the head very much.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:29 PM
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I have a set of these http://www.smarthome.com/89090/GRABI...PR-5823/p.aspx
Sears has their own version and there are others out there as well. I bought it for the soft SS decking screws and it has been very good so far
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubettcha13 View Post
I have a set of these http://www.smarthome.com/89090/GRABI...PR-5823/p.aspx
Sears has their own version and there are others out there as well. I bought it for the soft SS decking screws and it has been very good so far
I've also had good luck with these but from what the O/P has posted "In all my past history with this I managed to make it work with titanium drill bits...but in the process I ruined at least one bit per screw/bolt." and " I have tried drilling the screw head, but with Stainless Screws even the titanium bits burn out." a little help in understanding drilling stainless steel would be helpful, once you've burned ( gotten the surface of the screw to glow), you have worked harded the stainless and it's nearly impossible to drill. Stainless steel is a very poor conductor of heat and because of that, the drill bit and screw are prone to overheating. Your best using a very sharp drill bit, low drill speeds, and a coolant. Don't let it get hot!
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:47 PM
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If the head is there and you have some time use repeated applications of PBBlaster or AeroKroil to gradually reduce corrosion fusion, and strike the head repeatedly with a hammer to also break a corrosion bond. Patience is the key with the strong solvents. Depending on the material the fastener is in , application of torch heat and/or "Freeze-Off" may work wonders.

As long as a stripped head is still there one often can either attach a regular or needle nose Vise-Grip pliers to it or use a metal hacksaw or dremel grinder to make a deep slot in the head for a large flat blade screwdriver with square shaft for an open end wrench handle, or impact driver.

Drilling out & using an easy-out, Grabit or similar tool is only for last resort 'cause if you break the hardened tool off, as often happens , you will likely need a machine$t to maybe save the situation.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:02 PM
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I've had good luck with the grab-it bits, but used them mostly with wood/concrete. Just yesterday pulled a half dozen screws out with one. The 3 size bit kit cost me twenty bucks or so.

Last edited by Flot; 10-18-2011 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:17 PM
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Use a very slow speed drill on stainless and a cutting oil. High speed will heat up very fast and ruin your bit.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:40 PM
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I come across stripped screws all the time while repairing doors, usually stuck hinge screws. I've found different methods, without making it a major event. These days I like tapping the bolt with a Phillips driver, just to loosen up, and drill in a panhead tek screw until it takes a bite, it will usually reverse right out, with the tek stuck in there. They do have stainless panhead teks, and they cut better. Hardened screws are the toughest, with stainless next.

I would like to see a reverse thread panhead tek screw. The ultimate disposable extractor!
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:29 PM
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aviation cobalt drill bits,they ain't cheap; it what was used by the USAF aviation machinist's on the old F4 phantom.
They would sand a dimple dish shape first. Then a series of smaller drill bits increasing in
diameter.They would wind up something pretty thin ,like wire. Then they would pry it out.
It was a skill . They were kept busy on that bucket of bolts.

what you learn is use a high quality screw to begin with;then seal it when you install it.

The real aviation cobalt drills are generally black with "CO" on the bit.
a 2 x4 in box on lettered,fractional,etc with about 60-70 bits is ~ $75.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:47 PM
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Add another one to the list that I use

I forgot what it's called but its a impact screw remover you hit with a hammer turning the bit about a 1/4 turn. You can get one at sears for around $20. 8" long black cylinder that comes with a bunch of different bits.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:07 PM
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Had a swing-arm once with a busted-off stainless bolt. Had to take it to a machinist who burned it out with EDM (Electrical-Discharge machining). Worked perfect.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:11 PM
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One way to prevent stripping a screw head in the first place is to use valve grinding compound, dip the bit of the driver or the socket into the compound, it greatly increases the grip of the bit or driver.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjm9818 View Post
Add another one to the list that I use

I forgot what it's called but its a impact screw remover you hit with a hammer turning the bit about a 1/4 turn. You can get one at sears for around $20. 8" long black cylinder that comes with a bunch of different bits.
It's an "impact screw driver" and it works well but you have to use it first, before you mess up the screw head. And it doesn't help if the screw is stuck so bad that the head breaks off. I've had one for 30 -40 years.

The advantage is, you're driving the driver into the slot or cross in the screw head at the same time as you're turning it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:46 PM
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Do you think a Dremel with a grinder attahment...

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessor...l.aspx?pid=945
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