How to Remove Stripped Screws: A Handy Guide

how to remove stripped screws: Stripped screws are every DIYer’s nightmare. But don’t worry! If you find yourself stuck with a stripped screw, there are a variety of methods to get it out. Let’s dive in!

The Rubber Band Trick

  1. Place a Rubber Band: Put a rubber band over the stripped screw head.
  2. Apply Pressure: Press down hard with a screwdriver.
  3. Turn Slowly: Turn the screw counterclockwise.

It’s a simple and effective method that uses everyday materials.

Popular Methods at a Glance

MethodRequired ToolsLevel of Difficulty
Rubber Band TrickRubber band, ScrewdriverEasy
Flat-head TechniqueFlat-head ScrewdriverEasy
Screw ExtractorScrew extractor kitMedium
DrillingDrill, ScrewdriverHigh

The Flat-head Technique

Sometimes, the rubber band trick might not be enough. This is where the flat-head technique can come to your rescue.

  1. Choose a Flat-head: Choose a flat-head screwdriver that’s as wide as the screw hole.
  2. Tap Gently: Gently tap the screwdriver into the screw hole.
  3. Turn: Carefully turn the screw counterclockwise.

Things to Consider

  • Material of the surface (wood, metal)
  • Type of screw (Phillips, flat-head)
  • Level of stripping (minor or severe)

The Screw Extractor

If the first two methods didn’t work, it’s time to pull out the heavy artillery: screw extractors. These are specialty tools designed to remove stripped screws. Follow the instructions provided with the extractor kit.

  1. Drill a Guide Hole: Use a small drill bit to create a guide hole in the center of the stripped screw.
  2. Insert Extractor: Insert the screw extractor into the hole.
  3. Turn and Remove: Turn the extractor counterclockwise to remove the screw.

Drilling: The Last Resort

As a last resort, you can opt to drill through the screw. It’s a destructive method, so ensure you exercise maximum caution.

  1. Choose a Drill Bit: Choose a drill bit that’s smaller than the screw.
  2. Apply Oil: Apply a few drops of oil on the screw to reduce friction.
  3. Drill: Carefully drill through the screw until it’s weakened enough to be removed.

Pros and Cons of Methods

Rubber Band TrickEasy, no special toolsNot always effective
Flat-head TechniqueSimple, quickCould damage surface
Screw ExtractorEffectiveRequires a special kit
DrillingSurefire wayDestructive, risky


Removing a stripped screw can be a frustrating task, but armed with these tips and tricks, you should be able to tackle it head-on. Always remember, the right method depends on various factors like the material and the severity of the stripping.

For more DIY tips, check out our Home Improvement section.

Happy DIYing!

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