How to Remove a Stripped Screw

As a DIYer, you might have come across a situation where you’ve accidentally stripped a screw and if you need it removed, no matter how hard you try, it just simply won’t budge. Though you may seem to believe otherwise, removing a stripped screw is a lot simpler than you may think and that’s why we bring you this guide on how to remove a stripped screw.

So, essentially, to remove a stripped screw, you are going to require a tool or some sort of relevant supply. There are plenty of such tools and supplies, such as a flat-head screwdriver, manual screwdriver, rubber bands, and more.

In this guide, we will get you up to speed with all the methods that you can employ to remove a stripped screw. So, let’s get started!

Using a Larger Driver Bit

How to Remove a Stripped Screw

Equip a driver bit, designed for a screw with a larger head, to your drill. With the drill attached to the head of the screw, turn it on.

You will notice that with a larger screwdriver bit, the screw will more easily come out as it can spread the pressure across the screw head.

Using a Manual Screwdriver

If you are finding it hard to pull out the screw with the drill, switching to a manual screwdriver, suited to that particular screw, should get you over the line.

Also, the manual screwdriver comes with the added advantage of being controllable, in terms of torque, as compared to a drill, that can often get out of control.

Using a Flat-Head Screwdriver

For a Philips head screw, a flat-head screwdriver will get the job done.

Angle the screwdriver in the direction of the stripped head of the screw and press it hard. It is highly likely that you will be able to grasp the screw with the tip of the screwdriver.

Using Pliers

This is probably the best method of removing a stripped crew. However, it requires the pliers to grasp the head of the screw.

For this task, locking pliers are recommended as with them at your disposal, all you need to do is grip the rim of the screw and it should begin to twist.

Using Steel Wool

Oftentimes, whether you use a screwdriver or a drill, you will find that the bit keeps rotating around the screw head.

To counter this, you can place steel wool between the bit and the screw head. The steel wool will provide you with the desired grip on the screw head so that you can easily unscrew it.

Using a Hammer to Tap the Screwdriver

For this method, start by placing a manual screwdriver against the stripped screw. Now, use a hammer and gently tap on the handle of the screwdriver.

Doing so will allow your screwdriver to dig into the head of the screw and then, you can easily turn it out.

Cutting a Slot

How to Remove a Stripped Screw

Choose an oscillating tool, equipped with a metal-cutting disc, and create a slot on the screw head. Make sure that you cut the slot straight across for the screwdriver.

Press the screwdriver firmly into the slot and twist it gradually.

Using Abrasive Powder

As the steel wool, abrasive powder serves to provide friction to the head of the screw.

Sprinkle a small amount of it on the surface of the stripped crew and dig the driver-bit of the drill into the screw and twist it out.

The abrasive powder should be enough to keep the bit from slipping.

Drilling into the Screw

For this method, you are going to need a drill and a combination of drill bits, suited to drilling into metal.

Choose a bit that is smaller than the screw head and place it in the center of the screw head to drill a hole of around 1/8-1/16’’ deep.

Now, replace the drill bit with a driver bit. The driver bit should go deep enough to grip the screw properly.

Using Rubber Bands

With wide rubber bands, you will be able to provide enough friction between the driver bit and the stripped screw.

So, accordingly, place the rubber bands atop the screw head and firmly press the point of your screwdriver on the screw while turning it anti-clockwise.

Welding a Nut to the Head of the Screw

If you have exhausted all the aforementioned methods, then you can resort to this method. However, you must be experienced with welding and have some nuts at hand.

Weld a nut to the top of the screw’s head, allow it to set in place, and then, remove both the nut and the screw using a socket wrench.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Remove a Stripped Screw

Can You Drill Out a Broken Screw?

Yes, use a bit to pull out the screw head and then, take out the shank using pliers.

Else, choose a large drill bit, equip it with your drill and use it to demolish the screw.

How Do You Remove a Stripped Screw with Duct Tape?

If the screw you are dealing with is barely scraped, you may be able to use duct tape to remove it. Here’s how:

  • Cover the head of the screw with duct tape.
  • Dig your screwdriver into the depression on the top of the tape.
  • Press firmly and move it counterclockwise.
  • The tape will fill in this depression, making it easier to remove.


So, there you have – a comprehensive guide to get rid of those pesky, little stripped screws.

Depending on the condition of your stripped screw, if you don’t have access to a screw extractor, any of the methods mentioned in this guide can work for you. However, be sure not to use a method involving drill or a rotary tool on wood so that its surface remains preserved.

Liam Weissman

Hello and welcome to PowerToolGenius! My name is Liam and for the last 9 years, I have worked extensively with various power tools and accessories. I have tested hundreds of different brands and models and understand the industry extensively and have been working with tools my entire life!

Recent Posts