Screws need to be removed for various reasons, and this should be a simple job. Yet very often it’s just not. Stripped screws are a common problem; in a recent blog article we looked at the causes of screws becoming stripped. Today we’ll look in depth at the best ways to remove a stripped screw.

A screw is a threaded fastener that keeps items in position or attached and can be easily removed and replaced, unlike a nail which is a permanent attachment.  Screws are found on everything from building applications to toys and appliances. In most cases, simply using a screw driver will make it easy to apply or remove a screw.

A stripped screw is any screw that has a damaged head, and when you try to remove it with a screwdriver, it is incredibly difficult or even impossible to turn.

A stripped crew is not the same as a screw that has de-threaded, in that a stripped screw is damaged at the head of the screw while a de-threaded screw is damaged along its shaft. Stripping of a screw can be caused by a number of things including normal wear and tear and using the wrong size or type of screwdriver for the specific design of screw.

It may seem like common sense that using an electric screwdriver or drill will solve the problem of how to remove stripped screws.  This is in fact the last thing you should use! Using an electric driver or drill on a stripped screw will further damage the head of the screw.

Different screws have different screw head designs, from flat slots to crosses (Phillips head) and others including torx. The design of a screw depends a lot on the purpose for which the screw is intended. Some types of screws are much more vulnerable to becoming stripped.

Damaged Screw Extraction:

  • Select the correct screwdriver to use for the head and in the right size so that the fit between the driver and the screw head is snug. Using the wrong screwdriver will most likely cause more stripping, and you can hurt yourself if the driver slips. If slippage occurs, stop immediately.
  • Make sure you are turning the screw in an anti-clockwise direction for removal.
  • Press down hard onto the screw as you are unscrewing
  • Use a manual screwdriver in preference to an electrical tool.

If the screw doesn’t loosen and remove easily, you’ll need to use a screw extraction tool. The best of these is the screw removal pliers product from Vampire Tools: VAMPLIERS™. These are the superior tool for damaged screw extraction. They have a very innovative patented design using both vertical and horizontal teeth for maximum contact between the pliers and the screw.

No matter how badly damaged the screw, VAMPLIERS provide a perfect connection and they are available in a range of sizes. Choose the very best for yourself today – and browse our website at Vampire Tools.