The Final Technique For Removing Stripped Screws

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How-To: Remove Stripped Scre

Few endeavors can lead to more frustration than combatting a stripped screw, especially for those in the tech or electronics industry where the screws tend to be…well…very small. Successfully braving the situation requires determination, luck, or the proper method!

Below you can learn how to execute our sure-fire method that, when we’ve performed it, has worked 100% of the time.

We call it the ‘Grind and Grip’ technique, a name you’ll soon find to be quite fitting.
 

What You Will Need

  • Screwdriver set for computer/electronics maintenance
  • Torx screwdriver bit ranging from T1 to T10
  • Flat head screwdriver bit ranging from 0.25x1.5 to 0.5x3.0

Step 1: Grinding Phase

  • Place the component with the stripped screw on an appropriate surface - you need space & the ability to use pressure for this solution
  • Next, you will need a flat head screwdriver. A good guideline to follow is that the driver bit should be around 1/2 to 2/3 the diameter of the screw's surface
  • Take the flat head and bore a hole in the center of the screw. The results should look something like what you see in the picture below in Step 2

Step 2: Dispose of Metal Shavings

  • Now that there is a nice round hole in your screw, you might be thinking that it's even more stripped (and you'd be right!)
  • Properly dispose of any metal shavings resulting from the prior destruction, and grab your Torx driver bit. Play with the bit sizes until you find one that just barely fits in the freshly bored hole
  • Once a suitable Torx bit has been found, grab the screwdriver and prepare for the "Grip Phase". Here the stripped screw will finally be expunged

Step 3: Grip Phase

  • After placing the right size Torx bit in the hole, apply pressure and begin twisting counter-clockwise
If the bit slips and it is not working, there are a few things that could be the culprit:
1. Pressure - be sure to apply enough pressure while twisting so that the bit can grip the screw
2. Bit size - it's also possible that the chosen bit is too small for the hole, so double-check that as well

Now that the stripped screw is gone, you’ve successfully performed the ‘Grind and Grip’  technique!

We hope this solution can be of some use for future endeavors and would appreciate any feedback, concerns, or comments to be posted below.

About The Author

Jase Fasiano

Jase is into all things tech, but some might say he's a bit of an Apple fanboy. He also comes up with the best answers when the beetstech staff plays Quiplash.

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Johannes De Vries

Holy crap, this actually worked to get a stripped screw out. I wasted €40 on special stripped screw tools that didn’t work before I found this blog post. Amazing.

Member
Ryan Jacobs

Hmmm, solid technique. Took me a few tries on different screws but now its working every time for me. How does one discover this strategy in the first place?

Guest
Angelique

Wow – worked perfectly. Thank you!

Guest
John

Got a stripped screw out of three required to remove the DVD drive. Since I was planning to put my HDD, which doesn’t require a screw at all to keep it in place, I decided to jerk the DVD drive away after removing the other two screws, resulting in broken metal lol. The stripped screw? Still there. Feck it. Wish I’d read this article so I could properly unscrew it.

Guest
Anup Gurung

Why do you need this process? Is it really important?

Guest
Yestertech

It’s unclear in this description why someone would choose to use a slotted screwdriver bit as a drill, if that’s what is being suggested. Are you drilling by hand? How do you keep the “bit” centered on the screw head? I’m NOT saying your method does not work. There just should be more description about how you accomplish what you’re describing here. I’m a machinist by trade, and have dealt with hundreds of “stripped screws” and damaged and stuck fasteners of all sizes. The term “stripped screw” is usually applied to a screw or bolt who’s threads are damaged by… Read more »

Guest
John

WOW!!!! Thanks for this! I used literally everything: rubber band, screw extraction bit, cut a vertical line. This technique worked!

Guest
Alan Good

You write so well–a perfect mix of humor and specificity. I deeply appreciate your suggestions and background descriptions of cause, eg. those for the adhesive tape insulation for the hard drive cable replacement.

Articles for repair pros, by repair pros.

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