How to loosen a stuck wing nut

Written by kenneth crawford
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Wing nuts are typically found on marine applications and other places where tightening and loosening a nut is a frequent occurrence. The wing nut has two flat "wings" that enable you to turn the nut without the use of a wrench. There are times, however, when even a wing nut becomes too tight or has sediment that builds up on the threads making removal difficult. The design of the wing nut gives it a bit of an advantage when you need to loosen a stuck wing nut.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Spray-penetrating lubricant
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Soak the threads in the centre of the wing nut with spray-penetrating lubricant. Allow the lubricant to work for ten minutes.

  2. 2

    Place the tip of a flathead screwdriver against the right side of one wing. Tap the end of the screwdriver to get the wing nut to start rotating counterclockwise. Once the wing nut begins to turn, twist it counterclockwise by hand until it is off the threaded shaft.

  3. 3

    Lay the shaft of the screwdriver between the threaded shaft and the right side of the wing nut. Pull the screwdriver handle counterclockwise using the threaded stem as leverage. This is usually enough to begin turning the wing nut.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have enough threads sticking up from the centre of the wing nut, place the screwdriver between both wings to loosen it from the threads below.

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