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How Do I Remove A Stripped Screw?

Is there anything worse than sticking the screwdriver or drill tip into a screw only to realize the head is stripped? You may try to turn it anyway, but to no avail. Now your plans are ruined and you’re simply not going to be able to tackle the project at hand, right? Wrong.

There are a few quick and easy hacks for dealing with stuck or stripped screws. See below for a few different scenarios ranging from easiest to more complex:

Technique 1

Get your hands on a tube of valve grinding compound and squirt a small dab into the screw head. Then insert the screwdriver and turn it until the screw releases.

Technique 2

Aim a lighter at the screw head for a few seconds and then douse it with cold water.

PRO TIP: only try this method if the area around the screw can tolerate a bit of heat from the lighter. If that doesn’t do the trick, try an impact screwdriver.

Hold the body of the impact driver and hit the end of it with a hammer. This should allow you to get deep into the screw head and be able to turn it until it releases.

Technique 3

If the head is stripped, use a straight-groove rotary tool to cut a new slot. Then use your largest flat head screwdriver to crank the screw out.

Now you may be thinking, what does a stripped screw have to do with electrical work? Well, take a second to think about how your light fixtures are attached to the wall, your outlets are set in place and your electrical devices are put together - chances are, there are a few screws that come into play.


And remember, when you need expert electrical work done in your Rochester, NY home, you know you can always count on Lon Lockwood Electric for a job well-done!