How To Remove A Rusted Screw With A Stripped Head

How To Remove A Rusted Screw With A Stripped Head. Removing rusty screws can be a challenge. Often rusted screws are immobilized to the surface and the screw itself is stripped by the time you’ve discovered it’s loose.

Removing a stubborn screw can be even more difficult when many companies make tools with low-quality steel because they break more easily, potentially damaging the surrounding surface over time.

How To Remove A Rusted Screw With A Stripped Headremove a rusted screw with a stripped head

In this article, we will explain how to remove rusted screws with stripped heads.

Step 1: Cleaning Screw

Clean the screw with a water-based degreaser. If you’re unable to remove the screw, or if a broken bit of metal remains in it, ensure that you do not attempt to rotate or unscrew it as doing so can cause unmitigated damage.

This is why we recommend cleaning off any and all bits of remaining metal or rust on the screw with a rag drenched in a water-based degreaser.

Step 2: Heating Screw

To heat the screw, hold a flame near its tip. Use a butane or propane gas torch, and be sure to use caution while doing so in order to not ignite the screw that would make things very difficult. Let the smoke rise above the head of the screw before determining that it has reached adequate temperature.

Step 3: Soaking Screw

Soaking important screws with cold water can help prevent damage caused by heat. Get a bucket of water and douse the screw immediately. If you don’t have a garden hose on hand, pour water from one of the buckets or wipe the screw down with a wet cloth to ensure it’s cooled off.

Step 4: Reheating And Cooling

Repeat the process of warming and cooling the screw 2 or 3 times. For stubborn screws, you may want to repeat the process a couple more times before attempting to remove them. To release the screw, use your torch to warm up one side of the screw head, then douse it in cold water.

Step 5: Using Screwdriverusing screwdriver

Take out the screw using a screwdriver. Make sure that the screwdriver fits into the treads of the head. This will require you to use your flat blade screwdriver if you have cut a slot into the screw. Loosen the screw by turning it counterclockwise.

Step 6: Apply Rust Penetrant

Applying rust penetrating oil to a rusted screw helps loosen the screw if it is stuck. First, you should apply enough rust penetrant to get it dripping slowly down the length of the screw.

Then start turning it counter-clockwise; allow the penetrant to drip all along its length and down the sides of the screw. If you turn gradually, you should be able to remove the stuck screw with your trusty screwdriver.


What is the best way to unscrew a stripped screw?

By using a rubber band between the screwdriver and the stripped screw head, you should apply hard but slow pressure to turn the screw. As long as you can grip the stripped screw head with the rubber band, you should be able to extract the screw.

When you break a screw-in metal, how do you remove it?

Tap the extractor into the screw head with a smaller set of pliers or by hand with a little more power. A heat gun can also help release trapped threads.

Then work the metal free with a penetrating lubricant by soaking it in for 30 minutes. You may also use an enlarger to expand up the hole and then check if you can get your extractor back in there to finish unscrewing it with a little larger drill bit.

How to Get Out a Rusted Stripped Screw Without Drill

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