How to Remove a Broken Thread Tap

Written by damon koch | 13/05/2017
How to Remove a Broken Thread Tap
An electric drill should be used to remove a broken tap. (electric drill image by terex from

A threaded tap is a tool used to make new threads on screws when the old threads are worn or damaged. When threads become worn or damaged, a screw will not thread into them. Taps come in different sizes to accommodate a variety of screw sizes. The tap is turned with a wrench and twists into the screw receptacle, making new threads. Sometimes the tap can break off in the receptacle and must be removed, which can be done by following a simple procedure.

Secure the screw receptacle in a vice or with a C-clamp if it is not attached to anything. If you do not have a vice available, use a C-clamp to secure the receptacle to a flat, solid surface.

Open the chuck on the end of the drill to accommodate the drill bit. The chuck is the end of the drill where the bit is installed. Some drills have a tool to loosen and tighten the chuck. Some chucks can be operated by hand. Install the drill bit into the chuck and tighten it.

Drill into the screw receptacle where the broken tap is located. Drill at a 90-degree angle directly into the receptacle. Apply downward pressure on the drill. As you drill, move the drill bit in a circular motion. The drill bit will rip apart the metal of the tap. Keep drilling until the entire tap has been broken apart.

Vacuum out any pieces of the tap that may be inside the receptacle with a shop vacuum.

Things you need

  • Vice or C-clamp
  • Electric drill
  • Steel drill bit, sized to the tap
  • Shop vacuum

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