HowTo: Remove a Stripped Screw With a Rubber Band
Apartment Therapy posts a simple household hack on removing a stripped screw without an extractor. For all our WonderHowTo Home & Garden DIYers, you never know when you might accidentally strip a screw clean. Here's how to remedy the problem.
- a hammer
- a multi-head screwdriver
- locking pliers
- a wide rubber band
Step 1 Stop using the tool/technique which stripped the screw!
"Most of the time, this means switching over from a power tool over to a hand tool solution, as you can better control the amount of torque/pressure applied to the stripped screw."
Step 2 Switch over to a short length screw driver with a bigger head.
"Switching screw head types (Phillips or over to a cross-head attachment) may also work. If you've got a screwdriver kit which includes a Torx (6 points) or an Allen (hexagonal), these shapes may give enough grip to remove the stripped screw. Just remember to go slowly, apply as much pressure downward, and abide by 'righty tighty, lefty loosey' mantra..."
Step 3 Still not working? Try a rubber band!
"Place a wide band rubber band in between the screw driver (we recommend bumping one size up from the screw head which caused the strip) and the screw, then apply hard, but slow force as you turn. If you're fortunate, the rubber band will fill in the gaps caused by the strip and allow extraction."
Step 4 Still unable to completely remove? Try needle nose pliers.
"...locking clamp-style needle nose plier can come to the rescue, grabbing and locking the section removed from a flush surface. We don't know how many times this affordable tool has helped us removed old or poorly constructed screws, but it's been enough times that we highly recommend stocking even the smallest of toolboxes or drawers with one."
Step 5 Still no luck? Try chiseling the screw.
"Play the part of Rodin and chisel the screw some depth to provide more tension lost from the strip. But only with the most careful of force, as this may risk losing your screw completely into the surface! You don't want to hammer the screw into the wall/surface, so err on the side of caution."
"Gently tapping a stripped screw a few times with a hammer (carefully) may create enough depth/surface tension for you to remove a stripped screw."
Click through for Apartment Therapy's full tutorial.