How To Remove A Screw With No Head? [Step-by-Step Guide]
Many woodworkers have likely had the bad experience of trying to remove a stripped screws that’s missing its head at some point in their careers.
It is possible to experience extreme frustration, mainly if you need to own tools to assist you in resolving the issue.
However, you shouldn’t be too concerned about it because there is a method that doesn’t require any specialized tools to remove that stripped screw.
In today’s blog post, I will demonstrate how to take out a broken screw/damaged screw that is missing its head.
VIDEO: How to Remove A Screw With No Head?
How to Take Off a Screw That Doesn’t Have a Head
To begin, give careful consideration to the diameter of your stripped screw head as you select an appropriate bit for it.
After that, you will need to carefully drill a hole for the screw, not letting the bit become too hot.
After that, you will need to find an appropriate extractor for the hole and insert it.
In conclusion, the extractor must be removed by rotating it in a suitable direction.
Instruments for removing a screw that has been stripped
The fundamental instruments are as follows:
- Putty knife
- Steel wool Fine sandpaper
- Abrasive powders
- Drill bit
- Wood glue
- Wood dowel
- Plastic made of wood
- Set of screwdriver
- Instruments for cutting
How to remove a screw from a wooden surface if it does not have a head on it (step-by-step)
It might appear challenging, but removing a stuck screw that is missing its head can be done painlessly if the appropriate equipment and steps are followed.
The following is a detailed, step-by-step guide to accomplishing this goal.
Choose screw extractors from the options.
When you need to remove a broken screw, the first tool you should use is a screw extractor since it will help you get the job done.
You can remove broken screws and nuts with the assistance of this tool.
The extractor is often composed of solid steel and takes the form of a conventional drill bit pr screw extractor bit when assembled.
The square-headed top end of the extractor gives you the flexibility to choose between several different working ways.
For instance, you can aid in rotating the extractor by attaching the square head to a T-handle and turning it.
Additionally, a pair of locking pliers can be used in place of a grip for the extractor; however, the T-handle provides a more comfortable and secure hold.
The extractor has a threaded body with one end that tapers and the other threaded end.
There are several distinct types of extractors, such as straight and spiral flutes.
These extractors are available in various sizes; hence, choosing an extractor that is appropriate for the threaded screw you intend to remove is vital.
Despite this, many extractors have many uses and can also remove other fasteners.
It is recommended that you get a screw extractor set so that you have a selection from which to choose.
Even if you’ve never used an extractor, you shouldn’t have trouble getting started.
Drill a hole for the screw.
After determining which extractor will work best for your needs, the next step is to drill a pilot hole.
First, create a hole in the center of the screw by using a bit with a smaller diameter and boring it out.
The majority of extractor sets come in a variety of sizes to accommodate your requirements.
However, take care to drill using only a mild motion; if you don’t, the bit can overheat and possibly crack as a result.
In most cases, the amount of drilling that has to be done will be determined by the nature of the broken screw head as well as the size of the extractor.
You may need to add a few drops of cutting fluid to the drill bit before you begin drilling to prevent the bit from overheating.
Beat the screw extractor with a hammer.
Now that the pilot hole has been drilled, what comes next?
First, a grip should be attached to an appropriate extractor.
For your convenience, it could be a T-handle plier or a locking pair of pliers.
After that, insert the extractor into the pilot hole while applying the necessary pressure, and use the hammer to drive the extractor into the hole.
Take out the screw here.
Turn the extractor in the same direction as you would a screw once it has been securely inserted into the pilot hole.
Because of this, the extractor’s tapered end can enter the fractured screw and securely attach itself to either the head or the shank of the screw.
The fact that the extractor has reverse threading is what makes it such an exciting tool.
Therefore, turning it counterclockwise will unscrew the broken screw, finally allowing you to pull it out of the hole by hand.
There is a kind of extractor that looks like a hollow cylinder but has teeth heads that are sawed off like a saw.
This extractor performs the same functions as a regular drill. To use this hollow extractor, you will first need to center it around the headless screw, and then you will need to burrow it down.
Consequently, it works its way through the material around the broken screw, thereby removing not just the screw but also the wood.
After that, you can either patch the wood with wood fillers or cover the screw holes in the wood with wood filler.
However, if the screw continues to be challenging to turn, you can try applying heat to it with a blowtorch or another similar type of heat source.
After that, you should try using the extractor once more once it has cooled down. Before doing so, you should first add some lubrication to the thread.
Remember that the screw itself is your primary objective; as a result, when using heat, take care not to cause any harm to the wood surface or the metal material.
After the wood has been extracted, the rough edges should be sanded.
You can use either a sanding block or sandpaper with a coarse grain.
After you are through sanding, wipe away any dust or debris with a moist cloth, and then let the wood air dry entirely.
The results will be even more impressive after the surface has been painted.
Sanding can be done both after the screws have been removed and after the screw holes have been adequately filled.
How to Take Out a Broken Screw Without Using an Extractor
Utilizing pliers designed for unscrewing screws
Pliers can be used to remove a screw if the screw’s shank is exposed to the point where it can be grabbed.
Locking pliers are the tool of choice for this procedure, which continues to be one of the most straightforward and dependable methods.
Once you can grab even a tiny portion of the shank to turn it out, the job is finished.
However, you must have the patience to complete this approach successfully.
Using rubber band
Rubber bands are a helpful accessory that can be used to aid remove a screw even after the head has been stripped off.
Rubber bands provide sufficient grip to remove or loosen something to some extent.
Get a wide rubber band, then wrap it around the screw to secure it.
Then, turn the screw slowly counterclockwise using the appropriate screwdriver to unscrew it.
However, when only a tiny section of the shank is removed, employing a rubber band may only sometimes be the most effective method because of this.
Don’t be concerned! To finish the work, you might use a pair of pliers.
Utilizing cutters for wood plugs
You will have to deal with difficulty if the screw is embedded deeply into the wooden surface and is inaccessible.
The cutter that is used for wood plugs is an inventive instrument that is used to remove it.
This tool is comparable to hollow cylinder extractors with saw-cut teeth in its design.
Using a wood plug cutter, you can create a hole in the surrounding wood of the screw so that the screw can be inserted.
As a direct consequence, the shank’s gripping surface is now exposed.
After that, you can extract it from the screw hole by utilizing a drill chuck or a pair of locking pliers.
Using a chisel as a tool
Digging it out of the wood using a chisel is another method that can be used for removal.
To make a countersink around the screw, you can use a chisel to form the recess.
The countersink provides enough room for a nose plier to be used while removing it.
Additionally, an unlocking agent can be used to enable removal.
What Could Have Caused the Screw Head to Break?
The failure of a screw does not occur suddenly; instead, several contributing variables exist.
These variables include pressure, stress, rust, and even just plain old age.
The amount of tension was too significant.
An excessive amount of something will invariably have negative repercussions.
If you put too much pressure on a single spot, it can break.
It has a maximum load limit, just like every other thing, and if you load it above this limit, it will begin to stretch, distort, and eventually break.
This frequently occurs when you use an instrument that is the wrong size, such as a flat screwdriver on a Phillips screw or a screwdriver that is smaller than it should be.
Other examples include using a screwdriver that is larger than it should be.
It can break if too much pressure is applied, which can happen whether you are using an electric or manual screwdriver.
Therefore, ensure you control the pressure you apply when using your screwdriver; this is especially important when working with electric screwdrivers.
When exposed to atmospheric elements such as oxygen, water, acids, or organic substances, screws tend to rust. As a direct consequence of this, they become frail and readily broken.
On the other hand, the susceptibility of a material to rust is determined by its composition.
For instance, the corrosion resistance of materials made of brass is lower than that of stainless steel.
As a general rule, screws eventually become unusable because of the cumulative effects of fatigue over time.
In addition, they suffer from fatigue as they get older, which can be caused by several factors, including overstressing, pressure, and corrosion.
This has an effect on the efficiency and makes them more prone to breaking as a result.
Putting a Cap on the Screw
If removing the screw proves to be challenging, why not just use something to hide it?
That is possible for you to do.
There are a few options available for hiding exposed broken screws, the most common of which is wood fillers.
You will need to choose a high-quality wood filler to fill the screw holes.
After that, you can apply the mixture to the broken screw using the putty knife to achieve a “filled” surface effectively.
If you carry out these steps in an orderly fashion, you will be successful.
You are not limited to the wood fillers available at hardware stores; you can also use scrap wood to fill gaps.
If you find the results you have achieved so far unsatisfactory, feel free to add extra wood filler.
Remember that you should only add a little at a time to fill the space evenly.
An additional solution is to use a patch on the broken screw, which will result in the appearance of a patched location.
You can use this method to hide holes made of nails or screws.
The purpose, similar to that of using wood fillers, is to cover the screw hole.
It is possible to paint an area to make it unnoticeable after it has been filled or mended.
If you opt to replace the broken screw, you can make the new screw disappear by painting over it with the same color as the surrounding surface.
Again, choose the color of paint that you like best, which should often be similar in tone to the wood.
Broken Screw Heads: What Are the Risks?
When working with wood, it’s not uncommon to extract screws from surfaces that have broken off in their heads.
Broken screw heads can provide several challenges and limit the effectiveness of the fastening process.
If you fix it in the wrong position, it will be a hell of a lot of work to remove it or replace it if you don’t have the right tools.
In addition, when you remove it, the region damaged by it could be rough.
In addition, the head of the screw that has broken off might cause damage to the surface into which it is placed, mainly if the wood is weak or thin.
Aside from this, even if you opt to cover it, the surface of the wood could only be somewhat smooth.
FAQ on How To Remove A Screw Without Head
How exactly does one unscrew headless screws?
Drill to a depth that is at least equal to the length of the screw. To get the screw to squirm loose enough so that you can hold it using needle-nose pliers and pull it out, you can use an awl or a nail punch. You can now use a drill bit measuring half an inch to smooth out the ragged holes, and you can fill the new hole with a dowel or a plug (or both if the screw is long).
What do you name a screw that is missing its head?
The majority of the time, set screws are headless, also known as blind, which means that the screw is fully threaded but does not have a head. It is nearly always necessary to use an internal wrenching drive, such as a hex Allen key, in order to turn a blind set screw, which is referred to as a grub screw in the UK.
What are the three distinct categories of screws?
A Quick Look at Three Common Screw Types Machine Screws, Sheet Metal Screws, and Cap Screws
Describe the appearance of a screw with a panhead.
Insulation can be secured and made more stable with the use of pan head screws, which are a frequent form of non-countersunk screw head. They have wide heads, a bearing surface that is flat, and a top surface that is either flat or slightly domed and has a socket that is recessed into it.
How do you wiggle a screw out of its hole?
If the screw is being particularly difficult to turn, you might want to try using a hammer. Hold your screwdriver in place with one hand and try to turn it slowly while hammering the rear of the screwdriver with a hammer. If this doesn’t work, try another screwdriver. An impact driver operates on the same fundamental principle as described here.