11 Ways To Remove A Stripped Screw

If you’ve ever tried to remove a stripped screw, then you know how difficult it can be. Especially when the screws are in hard-to-reach areas of your vehicle or appliance, this task could take hours and still not yield any results.

But there are plenty of ways that will help you remove those stubborn stripped screws quickly. In this blog post, we’ll cover 11 methods for removing a stripped screw that range from simple to complex. So if you’re looking for how to get rid of stripped screws fast, then read on!

What Is A Stripped Screw?

When someone strips a screw, they’ve done one or more of the following:

  • Over-tightened it with too much torque
  • Cross-threaded it by putting it in at an angle rather than straight
  • Used the wrong screwdriver for its head type. This causes damage to the screws’ threads, which is what allows us to turn it.

When you over-tighten a fastener with too much torque – enough force that usually exceeds normal limits of friction between metal surfaces in contact and shears off some material from the fastener threads – the screw will often wind up stripped.

If you use a Phillips driver when working with hex screws, or vice versa, it’s likely that your work will turn out just as poorly.

Method 1: Use Penetrating Oil

Use penetrating oil to loosen stubborn screws, and it’s also the easiest. Just apply some of this oil on top of the screw and let it sit for a few minutes before trying again. This should help break up any rust that may be present as well as lubricate your screwdriver so you can get better leverage when turning.

Method 2: Use A Plier

Another convenient way to remove a stripped screw is with pliers. You can use any type of plier, but needle-nose pliers are usually best for getting into tight spaces.

To do this method, you need to insert one jaw of the plier onto each side of the screw head. Once it’s in place, turn one jaw clockwise while you keep the other jaw stationary and unscrew your stripped screw.

Method 3: Use A Vice Grip

A vice grip is another easy way to remove a stripped screw that will take no time at all. If you don’t have any pliers on hand, but you have a vice grip, then you’re in luck.

Just take your stripped screw and clamp it into the vice grip as tight as possible. Then turn one of the handles clockwise until the head pops off.

Method 4: Use A Screw Extractor

Use a screw extractor, also known as a stud extractor, to remove the screw. Screw extractors are easy to use and can get rid of stripped screws easily, but you’ll need some experience with power tools so that you don’t risk damaging what’s underneath.

To use the screw extractor, you need to drill a hole into the screw head. Make sure that your drill bit is smaller than the threaded end of the stripped screw, so it doesn’t go through and damage whatever material you’re working on

Once you have drilled a hole in then just use pliers or vice grips to unscrew the head from inside. A screw extractor can be used on any type of stripped screws to loosen them up as well as remove the head completely when done properly.

Method 5: Use A Heat Gun

If you have a stripped screw in an area that can be heated, this method may work for you. Instead of drilling into the threads, heat up your drill bit using a heat gun against the screw head. This will cause the metal to loosen and you can unscrew it with a pair of pliers.

When using the heat gun, ensure it is set as low as possible so there isn’t any risk of overheating or melting what’s underneath.

Method 6: Use An Electric Drill

Use an electric drill to widen the hole. If you have access, use an electric drill instead of a hand tool because they’re more powerful than the latter.

Start by drilling two holes on opposite sides of the head of the stripped screw. Finish by drilling the third hole in the middle to create a new, wider opening where you can remove it with pliers or turn it out using an Allen wrench.

Method 7: Use A Dremel

A Dremel will last much longer than any other tool and won’t cause damage because they’re often used for drilling through materials like metal or hardwood. You may need someone’s help if you’re not familiar with Dremels.

Method 8: Use Liquid Wrench

Apply Liquid Wrench to the bolt. If you have access to this product, it can be used as an alternative way of removing stripped screws with little effort.

It should take around five minutes for these methods to work and because it’s oil-based, use caution.

Method 9: Use A Blow Dryer

Heat the screw with a blow dryer. This might seem unlikely, but it’s been known to work in some cases where other methods do not. The heat loosens up metal and allows for easy removal of stripped screws that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to remove without tools.

It can take anywhere from five seconds to a minute or more depending on how much heat is applied.

Method 10: Use A Chisel And Hammer

Using a chisel and hammer is a dangerous method for removing stripped screws that should only be used as an emergency. Make sure you use washers around the head so it’s stronger, and use oil or soap as lubrication.

Use a hammer or rubber mallet to tap on the head of the screws gently, which should loosen it up enough so that you can unscrew it with your hands or by using pliers. Just make sure not to hit too hard and damage what’s underneath.

The important thing with this method is to make sure that the chisel and hammer don’t slip off of the head.

Method 11: Use A Hacksaw

Cut off the head of the screw with a hacksaw. This is one of the most dangerous methods for removing stripped screws, so it should only be used if you have experience using power tools and are confident in your abilities!


There are plenty of ways to get rid of a stripped screw. Whether you’re trying to remove one from the engine block in your car, or just want something that will help with those pesky screws on your desk, there’s an option for you here.

So if you’ve ever had trouble removing a stubborn screw and need some tips, read this blog post now. Let us know what was helpful so we can add more solutions to our list!