Stripped Screw Head Fixed with Rubber Band

Switch to a Flat-Head Screwdriver

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

If you’re trying to remove a Phillips head screw, switch to a manual flat-head screwdriver. By pressing hard, it’s often possible to dig into the stripped head by angling the screwdriver.

Video

Use Steel Wool

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Lack of grip is always the problem with a stripped screw. Your driver bit just keeps rotating around the bored-out screw head. One way to provide instant grip to the surface is to insert steel wool between the screw head and the driver bit.

6. Cut In with an Oscillating Tool

If there’s an oscillating tool in your workshop, such as a Dremel (and if you’re a committed DIYer, you probably should own one of these tools) — affix the metal-cutting disc and create a new, deeper slot in the screw head. Follow up with a flathead screwdriver, pressing it firmly into the indentation and twisting it slowly.

Rubber Glove

Of course, this might be a little cumbersome – holding the rubber band over the end of your screwdriver might be a little fiddly, and if you have issues with dexterity, it could well prove to be a non-starter.

In this case, you might be able to accomplish the same thing simply by putting the screwdriver inside a rubber kitchen glove instead! You can simply put the head of the screwdriver inside one of the fingers of the glove, using that to get additional purchase in the same way as using a rubber band on the tip.

You could also try different thicknesses of glove, if you have them – just be careful to not poke holes through any gloves that you’re hoping to clean any messes up with later on!

2. Drill a New Slot

Sometimes drilling a small hole into a stripped screw can allow your screwdriver to reach deeper into — and achieve a better grip on — the stuck fastener. If you’re going to try this approach, make certain to use a drill bit designed for use on metal, not wood. And don’t drill too far down; the screw head could pop off!

Step 3: Gluing

This is pretty much a universal way to remove a pesky little screw. Fill the stripped head of the screw with a glue (such as epoxy, but hot-melt glue is quick and works very well) and stick the screwdriver in. Wait for the glue to dry or cool, and then apply even pressure as you rotate the screw.

4. Camping

Need some time away from society? Try camping. Is there anything better than escaping into the woods for a day or two? The answer to this question depends on what kind of person you are, but I am sure that it is hard not to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. Ultimately, camping is about relaxing, completely unwinding, and forgetting the fast pace of your everyday life. It doesn’t require any physical fitness, and you don’t have to be an exercise enthusiast to do it, but in the end, your muscles will get worked, and you will benefit from it.

Most of all, this kind of activity offers great chances for socializing with others, whether it be your family or friends. It is also the perfect opportunity to prepare and eat some great food. Spending the evening by the campfire is a unique, unmatched, chill-out experience, and it will prepare you for the good night’s sleep that only nature can offer.

Warnings

  • Be careful when using power tools on a stuck screw, since they can cause damage to the screw and anything around it. Wield them with caution and keep your fingers clear.

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3. Pull with Pliers

Photo: shutterstock.com

Photo: shutterstock.com

Inspect the screw head closely. If there’s any daylight between the screw head and the surface to which it’s fastened…

  1. See if you can get hold of the screw with a pair of locking pliers (also known as vise grips).
  2. If you can get the tool to grab firm hold of the screw, you should be able to turn the pliers until the screw loosens and pulls away.

This isn’t the least labor-intensive option, but under the right circumstances, it works like a charm.

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5. Enhance Your Screwdrivers Grip with a Hammer

Photo: shutterstock.com

Photo: shutterstock.com

If the screw is made of soft metal—which is the kind most likely to become stripped in the first place—grab your hammer.

  1. Use the hammer to tap the screwdriver down into the screw head.
  2. Lodge the screwdriver as firmly as you can into the screw head.

Doing so may provide the extra grip you need to twist the fastener.

2. Bow hunting

Some would say that this is the “manliest” thing to do out there, but it is not the reason why I chose this activity. Hunting is one of the primal human means of survival, but it has been made obsolete by modern society. When you go to the wilderness searching for prey, you connect to something deeper within you that has been neglected for generations, and it is a life-changing feeling. There are a few reasons why I recommend bow hunting over using rifles.

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First, it requires some strength to wield a bow, and when you combine that with all the hiking, it will make your hunt a brutal workout. Second, it is fairer to the animals. Bow hunting requires a lot of skill, and the reach of the arrows is shorter than guns, so you will have to step your game up to be able to hunt something. Lastly, it is more fun, so get the best compound bow for yourself, step outside, and discover your ancestral nature.

Epoxy/Superglue

Finally, you could use epoxy or super glue to affix something to the stripped screw head. Epoxy is probably going to give you a stronger connection, but usually takes quite a bit longer to set.

Depending on the circumstance, you could try gluing another screw on top of the stripped screw, to have something extra to grip onto – or even affix a screwdriver directly into the stripped screw head.

After all, you can’t get much more grip than chemically bonding the pieces together!

This could well, of course, result in the sacrifice of the screwdriver, so be prepared to throw it away after use if you can’t cleanly remove the screw and glue/epoxy afterwards – but that could well be a very small price to pay compared to not being able to repair your laptop!

Step 5: Win at Life

Haha! Now you can beat those pesky little screws. If you enjoyed this Instructable, check out some of my others! Thanks for your time.

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