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How to Remove Stripped Torx Screws

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing a stripped screw can be a challenge, no matter the type that it is. Torx screws utilise a six sided star pattern to help keep the screwdriver from slipping out of the screw head. There are a number of different ways that you can remove a stripped Torx screw. Try out some of these techniques, or a combination, to remove the Torx screw.

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  1. Spray the stripped Torx screw with penetrating lubricant. Allow time to soak in. The longer you let it soak, the better. Insert the head of a Torx screwdriver onto the screw. Hold the bottom part of the screwdriver in the Torx screw with one hand. Turn the handle of the screwdriver with the other. Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to unscrew the Torx screw.

  2. Place the wide part of a rubber band above the Torx screw. Insert the Torx screwdriver over the rubber band and place it into the body of the Torx screw. The rubber band will help the screwdriver grip the screw. Turn counterclockwise.

  3. Apply heat to the stripped Torx screw with a plumbing torch. This causes the screw to expand and make it easier to remove. Insert the Torx screwdriver into the top of the screw and turn counterclockwise to remove.

  4. Clamp a pair of vice grip pliers around the screw and tighten. Unscrew counterclockwise.

  5. Insert a drill bit into your power drill that is narrower than the head and body of the Torx screw. Drill a hole in the centre of the screw to about 1/2-inch in depth. Place a screw extractor over the top of the hole of the screw. Tap this into place gently. Place the screw extractor wrench over the top of the extractor and turn counterclockwise.

  6. Tip

    Purchase a new Torx screwdriver for use in extracting stripped screws. These will grip the screws better than older screwdrivers.

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Things You'll Need

  • Torx screwdriver
  • Penetrating lubricant
  • Plumber's torch
  • Rubber band
  • Screw extractor bit and wrench

About the Author

Nathan McGinty

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.

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