How do I Get Out Tamper-Proof Screws in Deadbolt Door Locks?

Written by jonah morrissey
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How do I Get Out Tamper-Proof Screws in Deadbolt Door Locks?
You may need to remove tamper-proof screws when installing a new deadbolt door lock. (door lock image by inacio pires from

The need to remove a deadbolt door lock from your home to replace it may present a challenge if the lock was secured with tamper-proof screws. Specialised tools designed specifically for the removal of security screws exist, but it can be difficult to locate the manufacturer if you did not install the screws. Even if you can find the correct removal tool, it can be expensive. An affordable and effective option is to drill out the screw head or drill a hole in the centre of the screw head and use a screw extractor.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drill
  • Drill bit, ¼ the diameter of the screw head
  • Screw extractor bit
  • Screw gun
  • Drill bit, diameter of screw head
  • Self-locking pliers

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  1. 1

    Drill a hole in the centre of the screw heads approximately ¼ inch deep.

  2. 2

    Insert the screw extractor bit into the screw gun. Screw the extractor bit into the hole. Maintain pressure on the screw with the screw gun as you attempt to extract the screw. The screw extractor is threaded to twist the screw out.

  3. 3

    Insert a drill bit the size of the diameter of the screw head if the screw extractor is not successful at removing the screws.

  4. 4

    Drill out the head of the screw with the drill bit. Start off slowly and increase the speed of the bit once the hole is started.

  5. 5

    Remove the deadbolt lock once all of the screw heads have been drilled out.

  6. 6

    Clamp onto the shaft of the screw with self-locking pliers. Twist each screw shaft out.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear mechanic gloves when drilling to provide a secure grip on the drill and screw gun.
  • Wear eye protection when operating a drill and screw gun.

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