First and foremost, what exactly is a stripped screw? A stripped screw is an all-too-common occurrence. It is one whose head has been so damaged and drilled out that the screwdriver/screw drill’s bit can no longer obtain a good grip on it and extract it. Stripped screws are the result of employing the wrong tools in the first place and user error.

We’ve all been in that situation. Every handyperson and DIYer will need to know tips on removing a stripped screw. Fortunately, there are some safe, quick, and effective methods for removing a stripped screw. It’s just as vital to use the proper driver size as it is to use the correct driver type to avoid stripping. So, let’s head on and talk about the tools for removing stripped screws.

Rubber band

Put a rubber band over the stripped screw and carefully insert the screwdriver point over it. Work your screwdriver backward while maintaining a strong grip with slow, firm pressure.

If you don’t have a rubber band, you can try using steel wool or abrasive material from a dish scrubby as a substitute. You might also try sprinkling an abrasive cleanser or fine sand on the screw head.

Friction of Liquid

Did you know there are products mainly designed to remove stripped screws? DriveGrip, Screw Grab, and other similar brands are liquids that increase the friction between the stripped screw and the screwdriver when applied to it. It functions similar to a rubber band. This method would be most effective on screws that aren’t too badly stripped.

Screw Extractor

I would recommend this in terms of affordability. A screw extractor kit is a two-ended drill bit that is specifically intended to remove stripped screws. To use it, you have to:

  1. Use the screw extractor’s one end to drill a depression in the stripped screw while planing an enclosed patio.
  2. Set your drill to reverse and run it at a slow to moderate speed while providing firm downward pressure with this end pointed out.
  3. After you’ve finished making your impression, flip the bit over so the extraction end is visible.


You might be able to remove the screw with simply a pair of pliers if it isn’t entirely screwed into the wood or metal. With a couple of vise-grip pliers, grasp the screw head and turn until the screw comes out.


To give the screwdriver a better grip, you may only need to drill a larger hole in the stripped screw. Ensure the drill bit you’re using is suited for metal, not only wood so that you can install fence gates as well. Take note that the screw may shatter if you drill too hard or make the hole too deep, making removal even more difficult.

So, before you start drilling, it’s best if you watch a video lesson to ensure you’re using the proper technique or ask for help from an expert handyman.

A stripped screw is an annoyance in home improvement and DIY projects, but there are several ways to fix it. Perhaps, after considering the ideas above and implementing one or more of them, removing the stripped screw will be solved.


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