How to Unstrip a Screw

If you have ever tried to unscrew a stripped screw, you know how frustrating it can be. In this blog post, we will show you how to unstrip a screw and make the job easier. With the right tools and techniques, you can get that screw out without having to call in a professional. Keep reading to learn more!

How to Unstrip a Screw

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to unscrew a stripped screw. It can seem like the harder you try, the more stripped it becomes. But don’t worry – with a little bit of know-how, you can get that screw out in no time. Here are a few tips on how to do it so easily!

What is a Stripped Screw?

A stripped screw is simply one that has lost its grip with the material it’s screwed into. This can happen due to overuse or using the wrong tools or techniques when screwing it in. When a screw becomes stripped, the head no longer has enough ridges to gain traction and turn. This can make it very difficult to remove. It’s important to note that not all screws are created equal, and some may be more prone to stripping than others.

Tools You’ll Need

In order to unstrap a screw, you will need the following tools:


The most common tool for removing screws is a screwdriver. However, not all screwdrivers are created equal. It’s important to have the right size and type of screwdriver for the specific screw you’re trying to remove. Using the wrong size or type can actually make the stripping worse.


If a screwdriver alone isn’t doing the trick, you can use pliers to grip and turn the screw. Needle-nose pliers are ideal for small screws, while vice-grip pliers work well for larger ones.

Rubber band or adhesive tape:

If the head of the screw is too damaged to grip with a screwdriver or pliers, you can try placing a rubber band or adhesive tape over it before using your tools. This will provide extra grip and help turn the screw.

Power drill:

A power drill can be very useful in removing stripped screws, as it has much more torque than a manual screwdriver. However, it’s important to use caution with a power drill and not overscrew the screw.

Things You Should Keep in Mind Before Removing a Screw

There are a couple of different reasons why you might want to remove the screw from something. Maybe it is broken and won’t budge, or maybe you just need to repair the item it’s on. Whatever the reason, removing a stripped screw can be tricky. Here are some things that you should watch out for when attempting to remove stripped screws:

1. Damaged Screw Heads

Before you do anything to the screw, take a look at it. Determine if the head is damaged or not. If there are dangerous jagged edges around the outside of the head shape, use caution when removing it. You don’t want to cut your hand as you’re trying to unscrew it!

2. Depth of Screw

The depth of the screw is important to keep in mind because you want it to be deep enough that it’s secure but not so deep that you can’t easily reach it. Think about where the screw is located on whatever you’re working with and try to gauge how far down into it the head is buried.

3. Screwdriver Size

The size of the screwdriver you will need to use depends on the type of screw that it is. Make sure that your screwdriver fits the head properly so that you can get a good grip and avoid slipping. If there is too much slippage, you might damage the surface of whatever you’re working with or strip the screw even further.

Your Screwdriver Fits the Head Properly

Removing a stripped screw isn’t necessarily impossible, but it can be tricky and time-consuming. If you take the right precautions and use the right tools, though, you’ll be able to get that sucker out without causing any damage to whatever it’s attached to!

10 Ways How to Unstrip a Screw

Do you find yourself struggling to remove stripped screws from your furniture or other household objects? If so, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways that you can unstrip a screw and get the job done quickly and easily. Here are 10 tips for how to unstrip a screw:

1. Use a Screwdriver

Choose a screwdriver that has the right shape for the stripped screws – flathead or Phillips head. It will help to use a screwdriver that is slightly larger than the screws for more leverage. But make sure the screwdriver doesn’t slip, especially if you have a power drill. You could end up making the situation worse.

You may want to try using a manual screwdriver first, as this will give you more control over the amount of pressure being applied. If that doesn’t work, move on to using a power drill. It’s important to use caution with a power drill, as it can easily overscrew the stripped screw.

2. Use a Magnetic Screwdriver

A magnetic screwdriver can help with unstripping the screws because it will stay in place so that you don’t risk injuring yourself while trying to hold it while turning the screwdriver. Be careful that the screws don’t get stuck on the magnet, though.

It’s also important to make sure that the magnetic screwdriver is the right size for the stripped screw, as using one that is too small or too large can cause further damage.

3. Get a Metal File

A metal file can help to smooth out the edges of the stripped screw head so that it is flat again and you can access it properly. It will also help to extend the length of the screwdriver so that you can apply more force.

You can also use a metal file to create new ridges on the screw if necessary. This may help to provide more traction and make it easier to turn. But be careful not to file too deep, as this can weaken the screw.

4. Use a Power Drill

If you have a power drill, use it to spin the screws at high speeds and apply enough pressure for them to come unstripped. This will work best if you place some kind of small hammer on the screw first. Just be careful not to injure yourself. If you don’t have a power drill, consider borrowing one from a friend or renting one from a hardware store.

It’s important to use caution with a power drill, as it can easily overscrew the stripped screw and cause further damage. If you’re not experienced with power tools, it may be best to ask for assistance.

5. Use a Dremel Tool

A Dremel tool will also work well for spinning the screws and removing them from the stripped holes. Just make sure that you select the right bit size for your screwdriver and be careful where you place your hands when using it.

Make Sure That You Select the Right Bit Size

But be aware that a Dremel tool can be quite powerful and may cause damage to the surface of whatever you’re working on if not used carefully. You may want to practice on scrap materials first before using it on your stripped screws.

6. Apply Heat with a Soldering Iron

When you apply heat with a soldering iron, the metal around the screw tends to expand and become softer. This will make it easier for you to remove the screw from its without having to use any tools. Just be careful not to burn yourself, though.

Always use caution when using heat, as it can be a fire hazard and may cause damage to the materials you’re working with. It’s best to use this method as a last resort. You may want to consider getting professional help if you’re not familiar with using a soldering iron.

7. Apply Mothballs

You can also try to unstrip a screw by putting some mothballs around the stripped head. Since they are made of a flammable chemical, this should cause enough friction to loosen the screw – but be careful not to burn yourself!

Though this method may seem unconventional, it has been known to work in some cases. But be aware that the fumes from mothballs can be quite strong, so make sure to work in a well-ventilated area.

8. Use Pliers

Grabbing onto the screw using pliers is another good way to remove it from its hole without any tools. Make sure you use the right size of pliers so that they can securely grip the screw and hold on tight enough to remove it.

You may need to use a bit of force and wiggle the screw back and forth to get it out, but eventually, it should loosen and come free. It may also help to use a pair of needle-nose pliers for more precision.

9. Use a Bolt Extractor

There are specifically designed bolt extractors that you can use if you have extremely stripped screws, especially if it is too difficult or dangerous for you to try to unscrew the screw. It will ensure that the screw is removed quickly and safely.

You can find bolt extractors at most hardware stores, and they usually come in a set with various sizes to fit different screw heads. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully for the best results.

10. Use a Hammer

If nothing else seems to be working, try using a hammer to bang the head of the screw until it comes unstripped. Just make sure that you are careful not to hit anything or anyone on accident as you do this!

 Try Using a Hammer to Bang the Head

The key is to hold the screwdriver in place while you gently tap on the end of it with a hammer. This should provide enough force to unstrip the screw and allow you to remove it from its hole.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can unstrip a screw. Which one will work best for you will depend on the extent of the stripping and whether or not you have any tools available to help. Just make sure that you are careful when working with screws and always wear protective gloves to prevent injuring your hands.

Do You Need to Take Support?

If you are having trouble unstripping a screw, it may be helpful to seek support from a professional or someone with more experience. They may have additional tips and tricks that can help you unstrip the screw safely and efficiently.

It’s also important to know when it’s time to call in a professional, especially if the stripping is severe or if any of the methods listed above are not working. Trying to force a stripped screw out on your own can cause further damage and make the situation worse, so it’s best to seek help when needed.

Remember, prevention is always the best solution. Take care when working with screws and make sure you have the right tools for the job. And if you do encounter a stripped screw, don’t panic! With the tips and methods provided in this guide, you should be able to successfully unstrip it without too much trouble. 

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Additional Tips:

  • Always Use Caution and Wear Protective Gear When Working With Tools.
  • Make Sure to Have the Right Size of Screwdriver or Pliers for the Job.
  • Take Your Time and Be Patient When Trying to Unstrip a Screw, as Rushing Can Cause More Damage.
  • It May Be Helpful to Have Someone Hold the Object Steady While You Work on Removing the Stripped Screw.
  • If You Are Not Confident in Your Abilities to Unstrip a Screw, Seek Professional Help Instead.
  • Be Mindful of the Surface and Materials Around the Stripped Screw to Avoid Causing Any Damage.
  • Regularly Check and Maintain Your Tools to Prevent Damaging Screws in the Future.
  • Consider Using Lubricants or Penetrating Oils on Stuck or Rusted Screws for Easier Removal.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Methods if One Does Not Work, as Every Situation May Require a Unique Approach.
  • Always Remember Safety First When Working With Tools and Always Have Proper Training Before Attempting Any Diy Projects. 

By following these tips and methods, you should be able to successfully unstrip a screw without causing any further damage. Just remember to take your time, use caution, and seek help when needed. Happy DIY-ing!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible to Unstrip the Screws?

Yes, it is possible to unstrip screws. There are a few different methods you can try depending on the type of screw you are dealing with and the state that it’s in. One common method is to use a special tool called an unstripper, which is designed specifically for this purpose. You can also try using pliers or a screwdriver to carefully remove the stripped portion. Another option is to use beeswax or candle wax as a lubricant to help get the screw unstripped. If you’re not sure which method would work best, it’s best to consult a professional for advice.

Can You Undo a Screw With Loctite?

It is possible to undo a screw that has been Loctite. There are a few different methods you can try depending on the type of screw and what material it’s made from. One option is to use heat or chemicals designed specifically for loosening screws and bolts in this situation. Another approach is to use an unstripper tool, which is designed to carefully remove Loctited screws. If you’re not sure which method would work best, it’s best to consult a professional for advice.

Can You Superglue a Stripped Screw?

It is possible to use super glue to repair a stripped screw. However, your success will depend on the type of screw and the severity of the stripping. One approach is to apply superglue directly onto the stripped portion of the screw and let it dry completely before undoing it. Another option is to add a lubricant or chemical stripper to the screw before applying the superglue. If you’re not sure which method will work best, it’s best to consult a professional for advice.

 Use Super Glue to Repair a Stripped Screw


Applying these techniques should get that screw unstripped in no time. Be careful not to damage the threading, though, or you’ll be facing an even bigger problem. With a little time and patience, you can get that stripped screw out without having to call in reinforcements.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced do-it-yourselfer, learning how to unstrip a screw can save you time and money. With the right tools and techniques, stripping a screw is no problem. Be sure to start with the correct size tool for the job, use plenty of pressure, and go slowly to avoid further damage. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to unscrew any stripped screws you come across.

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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