The one-way security screw is perfect for folks who need to secure furnishings and fixtures in public areas. For those who need to remove, remodel or repair, their presence can lead to some head scratching. A security screw looks like a normal slot-head screw with the back-out side ground smoothly off from the slot. You can buy a special tool to remove these screws, but if the screws have been driven in tightly, the tool may not work. If that happens, consider three alternate methods of removal.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Flat metal file
- Locking pliers
- Center punch
- Electric drill
- Drill bit
- Safety glasses
- Dremel or other rotary tool
- Flat blade screwdriver
File opposite sides of the exposed screw head flat.
Attach locking pliers to the flattened sides of the screw head. Adjust for tight fit and lock.
Rotate pliers counterclockwise to remove the screw.
Removal With Locking Pliers
Attach metal grinding head to the rotary tool.
Grind existing slot in screw head to a depth sufficient for a screwdriver to get a counterclockwise grip.
Insert screwdriver in slot, and twist counterclockwise until removed.
Removal With Rotary Tool
Place a starting notch in the centre of the screw head with centre punch.
Select appropriate size drill bit for the screw.
Place tip of drill bit in notch, and drill hole to at least 1/4 inch in depth.
Insert easy-out, rotating counterclockwise until it is firmly seated. Continue rotating counterclockwise until the screw is removed.
Removal With Easy-out
Tips and warnings
- If the head of the screw is exposed and you choose to use the locking pliers method, use care when filing the head. It will be very easy to damage the adjoining surfaces.
- If the head of the screw is recessed, an easy-out or appropriate removal tool may be your only options.
- An Internet search for "One-way removal tool" will deliver several companies carrying these tools.
- Filing, grinding or drilling the screw head will produce very small metal shavings. Always use safety glasses.
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