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How to remove broken stainless steel screws

Updated February 21, 2017

Screws are useful devices with threaded posts that are inserted into materials to hold them securely together. Although the threads on a screw are very effective at gripping various materials, these threads become problematic if the screw is damaged. Occasionally, a screw will break or the head will become stripped, making it impossible to remove using a traditional screwdriver. It is possible to remove the screw through the use of several tools

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  1. Insert a 1/8- to 1/4-inch size drill bit into a drill. The size of the bit will depend on the size of the screw that is broken. The drill bit should be approximately 1/3 the size of the screw head, or the screw body if the head is broken off.

  2. Place the tip of the drill bit into the centre top of the exposed screw. Turn on the drill and press the trigger to insert the drill bit into the metal screw until it is 1/8- to 1/4-inch deep. Stop drilling and set the drill aside.

  3. Insert the screw extractor onto the top of the screw in the hole created by the drill. Grip the top of the screw extractor with pliers and turn the extractor counterclockwise so that it digs into the screw. Continue twisting the screw extractor until the surface of the broken screw is raised above the surface into which it is inserted.

  4. Set aside the screw extractor and grasp the raised tip of the broken screw with the pliers. Twist the screw counterclockwise until it is removed from the surface.

  5. Tip

    Screw extractors are available in various sizes at home improvement and hardware stores. Choose a screw extractor that is less than 75 per cent of the size of the screw. If you have another screw that is the same size, take it to the store with you and have a salesperson assist with selecting the proper size.

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Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • 1/8- to 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Screw extractor
  • Pliers

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

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