Content of the material
- What Is A Stripped Screw?
- Tap the Screwdriver With a Hammer
- Use an Abrasive Powder
- 4. Try a Flathead Screwdriver
- How to Fix a Stripped Screw
- Fill the Hole and Redrive the Screw
- Related questions
- Are there screws that don’t strip?
- Step 3: Gluing
- Suggested Tools – Best Cordless Impact Drivers
- 1. Milwaukee M12 Surge Impact driver
- 2. Dewalt Max XR 3-Speed Impact Driver Kit
- 3. PORTER-CABLE PCCK647LB 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit
- 4. Makita XDT131 18V Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit
- 5. Dewalt DCF887B 20V MAX XR Impact Driver
- Matchstick/Toothpick Fix
- 6. Cut In with an Oscillating Tool
- Step 1: Rubber Band
- Reader Success Stories
What Is A Stripped Screw?
When the head of the screw gets so damaged that you can not remove it easily with a screwdriver, then we call that screw a ‘stripped screw.’ In this case, the screw head gets so damaged that you can not fit it accurately into a bit. So, working with the screw becomes a laborious job.
Tap the Screwdriver With a Hammer
Place a manual screwdriver against the stripped screw. Then, with a hammer, lightly tap the handle of the screwdriver. In many cases, this is enough to seat the screwdriver slightly deeper into the stripped screw, providing enough grip for you to turn the screw out.
Use an Abrasive Powder
Similar to the steel wool method, the more friction you can apply to the head of the screw, the better. You can sprinkle a small amount of abrasive cleaning powder or fine sand to the surface of the stripped screw, then apply the drill driver-bit to the screw and try to turn it out. In many cases, the powder or sand is enough to prevent the bit from slipping on the screw.
4. Try a Flathead Screwdriver
Does the stripped screw have a Phillips head? If so, reach for a flathead screwdriver narrow enough to fit (in its entirety) within the Phillips-head hole. Keep in mind that it takes real muscle to pull this off. To facilitate things, it’s smart to combine this clever strategy with the rubber band method described in Option 1.
How to Fix a Stripped Screw
There isn’t much you can do with a stripped screw once you remove it. But you have options to use the hole of the stripped screw still.
- Glue an anchor in the hole.
- Use a larger screw.
- Fill the hole and add another screw.
- Get a screw repair kit.
Fill the Hole and Redrive the Screw
If driving a larger screw is not practical, the next-best fix is to fill the screw hole with small strips of the same type of wood, then re-drive the screw.
Cut some thin strips or shavings from a piece of scrap wood from the same (or similar) species of wood. Dip the tips of the strips into wood glue and tap them lightly into the hole with a hammer until the hole is filled. Let the glue dry for a few hours.
Trim off the strips with a sharp knife or chisel if they're sticking out of the hole, and sand the area, if necessary. Use an awl or drill with small twist bit to bore a very small pilot hole into the filled wood, then drive the original screw into the pilot hole.
It's best to cut the filler strips from the same type of wood because it will look and behave the same as the original wood. If you use hardwood filler strip in a softwood piece, for example, the hardwood might split the softwood as it expands when the screw is driven in. Or, if you use softwood filler in hardwood, the filler may not be durable enough to hold the screw.
Are there screws that don’t strip?
Consider Torx or Pozidriv (often incorrectly spelt Pozidrive) screws. People swear by these as the screw head recess shape almost eliminates screw stripping.
If you’ve ever wondered why Phillips screws strip so easily, it may be due to an intentional design factor of wanting to avoid being able to overtighten fasteners in aluminium aircraft.
Step 3: Gluing
This is pretty much a universal way to remove a pesky little screw. Fill the stripped head of the screw with a glue (such as epoxy, but hot-melt glue is quick and works very well) and stick the screwdriver in. Wait for the glue to dry or cool, and then apply even pressure as you rotate the screw.
Suggested Tools – Best Cordless Impact Drivers
We are discussing how to remove stripped screws with an impact driver. If you have followed the article by this time, you will know how easy it is to remove stripped screws with an impact driver. But, without a good impact driver, you are not going to achieve it. That’s why we have listed some of the finest impact drivers in the market. They are:
1. Milwaukee M12 Surge Impact driver
The M12 Fuel can drive every fastener, the 18- and 20-volt drivers. It comes with 3/8in. X 3-in. lag bolts. It has a LED light to work in the dark and a 2.0Ah battery that can provide power for a long time.
2. Dewalt Max XR 3-Speed Impact Driver Kit
DeWalt’s 20V MAX XR, with 1,825 inch-pounds of torque and big 4.0Ah batteries, is a contractor-quality tool capable of driving large lag bolts. We appreciated using the simple mechanical switch to click between the three power settings to match the job’s power better.
3. PORTER-CABLE PCCK647LB 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit
Porter-Cable is not a well-renowned brand like Dewalt, Milwaukee, or Makita. But, for an efficient drill, the PCCK647LB cordless impact driver is one of the best choices for you. Top class features and a 3-year warranty are definitely an impact driver you should consider.
4. Makita XDT131 18V Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit
As a lithium-ion battery-powered impact driver, this Makita XDT131 is capable of tackling challenging screw driving applications. It comes with a reasonable amount of torque. The driver comes with a brushless motor which provides 50% more runtime over brushed motor and makes the machine more durable. Makita XDT131 comes with a variable speed setting that goes up to 3,400 RPM, and the highest impact rate is up to 3,600 BPM.
5. Dewalt DCF887B 20V MAX XR Impact Driver
The DCF887B is a popular and highly rated cordless impact driver from Dewalt. The driver comes with three LED lights. With an impact driver, you just need to go into tight spaces, and that’s where the lights will become helpful. Besides, the lights stay lit for at least 20 seconds after you release trigger releases. S, you don’t have to go dark when working in tight spaces just after pulling the trigger off.
For a quick fix—particularly in softwoods—tap a few wooden matchsticks (with the heads cut off) or wooden toothpicks into the hole. You can use a few drops of wood glue in the hole before filling it with matchsticks, but gluing isn't absolutely necessary. The matchsticks are consistent widths and are thick enough that they shouldn't snap off when driving them into the hole. Hardwood dowels also can work, depending on the size of the hole you need to fill. Snap off the matchsticks or toothpicks flush with the wood surface, and sand the surface smooth before driving in the screws.
6. Cut In with an Oscillating Tool
If there’s an oscillating tool in your workshop, such as a Dremel (and if you’re a committed DIYer, you probably should own one of these tools)—affix the metal-cutting disc and create a new, deeper slot in the screw head. Follow up with a flathead screwdriver, pressing it firmly into the indentation and twisting it slowly.
Step 1: Rubber Band
In this approach, grab a thick rubber band and, using a screwdriver a size bigger than the screw, push the screwdriver on top of the rubber band, on top of the screw. Apply firm pressure and turn gently. Remember, righty-tighty, lefty-loosey!
Reader Success Stories
Jas Jun 19, 2017“I was disassembling an old phone. It had 5 screws on the back out of which 3 came out without too much trouble. The 2 screws in the sides however, refused to budge. Aiming the screwdriver onto the screw and hitting it with a hammer did the trick and I was able to remove the 2 stupid screws.”…” more
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