How to Remove a Broken Thread Tap

Written by damon koch
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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.

Skill level:

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Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

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

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