Bob Vila Radio: The Easy Way to Remove Stubborn Screws

Now and again, every do-it-yourselfer encounters a screw that just won't give up its grip. Rather than let a fixed-in-place fastener slow you down, go ahead and remove it, quickly and easily, using a simple handyman's helper. Learn more below.

By Bob Vila | Updated Aug 30, 2015 3:15 PM

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Stymied by a stripped screw, or a screw without a head? No worries! There’s a brilliant little tool that can help you remove a stubborn screw with ease. It’s known, appropriately, as a screw extractor.

Screw Extractors


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Listen to BOB VILA ON SCREW EXTRACTORS or read the text below:

Here’s how it works: First, you use a very small drill bit to bore into the screw. Next, insert the threaded end of the screw extractor into the pilot hole you’ve created. Finally, attach the opposite, square-shaped end of the extractor either to an electric drill or a T handle. When you turn the screw extractor, it digs further into the damaged screw, exerting counter-clockwise force that backs the screw out. Though screw extractors are one of the least costly extras you can add to your toolbox, they often prove priceless if and when you face a fastener that refuses to budge.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!