Removing Stripped Screws: Handy Techniques for Every DIYer

Stripped screws can be a frustrating obstacle, whether you’re working on a DIY project or attempting a simple repair job. We’ve all encountered this maddening situation, where a screw head becomes worn or damaged, making it nearly impossible to grip with a screwdriver or drill. However, don’t let a stripped screw ruin your day or delay your project any further. In this article, we’ll explore some effective techniques to help you remove stripped screws with ease. Armed with these handy tips, you’ll be back on track in no time!


Assess the situation: Before you attempt to remove a stripped screw, take a moment to assess the situation. Understanding the type of screw and the surrounding materials will help you determine the best approach. Consider the size, material, and condition of the screw head, along with the type of surface it’s embedded in.

Rubber Band Trick: One simple yet effective technique for removing stripped screws involves a rubber band. Start by placing a rubber band flat over the stripped screw head. Then, press your screwdriver or drill bit onto the rubber band and apply steady downward pressure while turning. The rubber band acts as a cushion and provides the extra grip needed to turn the screw.

Use a Manual Impact Driver: An impact driver is a tool specifically designed to remove stubborn screws. It works by delivering rotational force combined with downward impact. To use a manual impact driver, attach the appropriate bit to the tool, place it on the stripped screw head, and strike the impact driver with a hammer in a counter clockwise motion. The impact force helps break the screw’s grip and facilitates easy removal.

Create a New Groove: When a stripped screw head lacks any gripping surfaces, you can try creating a new groove using a small rotary tool or a file. Carefully grind or cut a new slot across the damaged head, allowing a standard screwdriver to engage and remove it. This method requires patience and precision, so take your time to avoid damaging the surrounding materials.

Drill and Extract: For severely stripped screws or when all else fails, drilling might be the only option. Start by selecting a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw’s shaft and drill straight into the centre of the stripped screw. Apply gentle pressure, making sure not to damage the surrounding area. After drilling out the screw, you can grip the remaining screw fragment with a screw extractor tool or pliers and carefully remove it.

Seek Professional Help: In some cases, a stripped screw can prove extremely stubborn, especially if it’s embedded in delicate or expensive materials. If your attempts to remove the screw are unsuccessful or risk causing further damage, it’s wise to seek professional help. A skilled handyman or technician will have the necessary tools and expertise to extract the stripped screw without compromising the integrity of the surrounding materials.



Dealing with stripped screws can be exasperating, but armed with the right techniques, you can overcome this common DIY hurdle. Remember to assess the situation, choose the appropriate method, and exercise patience and caution throughout the process. Applying the techniques mentioned above will equip you to efficiently remove stripped screws and continue your projects with confidence. Happy fixing!


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