Screws are very practical and comfortable to use fasteners, provided they are in good condition. When the head of these screws is worn or deteriorated due to improper use, then it is necessary to resort to some tricks to remove them.
Every handyman has had to deal with a screw with a past or over-threaded head in their work. It does not matter if you use the best screws on the market , the most advanced and efficient screwdrivers or that you take the utmost care during the screwing process. With the passage of time and the continuous tightening and loosening of the screw, it ends up losing its head and becoming a problem.
Fortunately, all is not lost. There are some little tricks and tools that we can use to remove a screw with a worn head. However, we are talking about extreme solutions and that we should only execute when we have no choice, since these solutions serve to eliminate the problem but can also damage the materials on which the screw is located.
1. Use the drill spindle
The first advice we can give you to proceed is to take your drill, if it is a modern type, and try to hunt down the past head with the chuck. A somewhat complicated process, since if the screw is deeply embedded in the wood or the base, you may not have the necessary distance to proceed.
But in case you can do it, it is the fastest and least destructive solution of all those that we are commenting on. In fact, simply catch the head in the drill spindle and put it in reverse or screwdriver mode to remove that screw in just a few seconds.
2. Adding more support
When the head is worn, it is still possible to recover part of it and make it do the necessary traction to extract the screw. For this we can use different materials, such as an elastic rubber or some putty that hardens. In the case of the rubber, it is enough to place the same in the area of the tip so that it “makes mass” inside the last screw and prevents slipping that prevents the screw from being removed.
The same can be done with some component putty, which we will place around the tip of the screwdriver and later we will introduce it into the head. Once the putty dries, both the screwdriver and the screw head will be a single element and can move in unison, thus achieving the desired extraction.
3. Build a new head
Continuing with the less aggressive methods, another option that we can implement is to “create” a new head. A process for which we are going to need a saw blade that is smaller than the original head. The idea is to saw the area of said head deep enough so that it becomes a new notch, in which we will later insert a traditional flat screwdriver.
It is recommended that this cutting process be manual, in order to control the depth of the new groove. If it is too shallow, then it will not do any good, while if it is too deep we run the risk of cutting off the head and making the subsequent unscrewing process difficult.
4. Use a screw extractor
The screw extractor is one of those tools that we will not use too much throughout our lives as handymen, but when we use it it saves us a good amount of time and hassle. This extractor works by means of a high resistance arm system and a specific head, which is responsible for exerting an enormous force on the jammed screw.
A force that can be very useful when the screw heads wear out, since with this product it is not so much a question of engagement but of brute force. In fact, some of them are used on the hole created in the screw with a drill, so that a greater penetration in the piece and a greater transfer of the extractor force is achieved. Although it is true that this force can damage some materials, if not managed carefully.
5. Have his head cut off
If the screw is still determined not to come out, it is time to recover the saw that we have mentioned before. With this saw we are going to proceed to cut the screw head flush with the material on which it is located. The idea is to eliminate the holding capacity of the screw by eliminating said head, which will allow us to free the parts that it was holding.
The problem with this method is that it must be precise, in order to damage the surfaces we are working on as little as possible. We must also have some space to maneuver, since if the screw is embedded in the wood or whatever material it is, we will not have physical space to carry out the screw removal tasks.
6. Go for it all
If you have already tried all the methods that we have discussed, or at least all those that circumstances allow, and you still cannot remove the screw, then it is time for everything. At this point, we will need a drill, as well as a metal bit of the same size as the rebel screw. We will apply the drill on the blunt head of the screw and, with caution, we will drill little by little to literally destroy the screw and thus be able to separate the different elements that it holds.
As you can imagine, this method has all kinds of drawbacks: you will need a commendable precision and pulse, it is likely that you will damage the materials during the process and also that when you are finished you will not be able to use the hole again. But at least you can remove that screw that has been bothering you for so long. It’s something.