How To Use A Screw Extractor

Removing Bolts and Screws With A Bolt ExtractorScrewing in a One Way Security Screw

To show you how to use a screw extractor we had to begin by getting a screw stuck into wood. We decided to demonstrate on a one way security screw, given that it is designed to not be removed after install. This drive style is designed to be driven in by a flat head, but it cannot be uninstalled with a flat head.

As a test, we were able to get vice grips around it but they would not hold when trying to loosen it. The screw is very firmly in the wood. So how do we extract it?

Enter the Screw Extractor

Drilling a Hole into the Screw

Bolt extractor bits are designed with reverse threading to dig into a screw and make it as easy as drilling until the extractor can grip the screw and break it loose from the wood, also known as “left hand drill bits.”

Our first step here is to punch a hole into the screw. This punch will allow the drill bit a place to sit and start drilling. There are two bits that come in a drill bit extractor set. There is a standard drill bit and a tapered bit with backwards threading. Place the smaller regular drill bit into the drill, seat the drill bit into the hole you’ve punched and begin to drill a small hole into the screw.

Once The Hole Is Drilled

Screw Extractor in action

Next, put the extractor bit into the drill. Make sure your drill is set to turn left when you start drilling. The bolt extractor bit has reverse threads. Insert the bit into the hole you just drilled and begin drilling to the left. Once the threads have enough grip on the screw they will stop drilling and break the screw loose from its hole.

Keep drilling and you will spin the screw all the way loose. Then take a pair of vice-grips or another pair of pliers and spin the screw off the drill bit. Congratulations! No longer will stripped screws stand in your way of completing a project.


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