Stripped a screw too tight-how do I get it out?

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I was putting together a bookcase & the screw was stripped. I've tried to reverse it out but with no success. How do I remove the stripped screw? Help!


  10 answers
  • It is wise to invest in a Craftsman screw out kit. It helps you get out screws with a drill. If you are steady you may want to try a drill and a bit about the size of the screw and try to drill it out. Good luck.

  • Robin Byers Robin Byers on Sep 04, 2013
    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.

  • April April on Sep 05, 2013
    Hmm, it seems like I saw a post very similar to this about how to get screws and molly bolts out. I think I have it saved on my clipboard. Perhaps do a search on Hometalk or look at this from my clipboard - http://www.hometalk.com/2025730/how-to-remove-wall-anchors-and-patch-holes-a-video-tutorial-by-mrs-hines-class. :) I know this link may not exactly be what you're looking for but, I hope this helps!

  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Sep 05, 2013
    I second screw extractors, I have a set from Lowes, Irwin I think..works pretty well for most.

  • Sheryl Johnson Sheryl Johnson on Sep 06, 2013
    I saw a post that said to poke your drill bit thru a rubber band and back the stripped screw out slowly. Haven't tried it but comments said it worked. Good luck.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Sep 06, 2013
    One trick I have used is a fine metal cut off wheel in a Dremel tool. With the wheel I cut a deeper "slot" and have used a regular flat blade screw driver.

  • I have extracted several stripped screws using a wide rubber band. Lay the rubber band flat onto the screw head and hold in place, then apply the drill in reverse and very, very, very slowly extract the screw. The drill bit may come off of the screw, but just keep trying again and again. Many times the drill bit creates a hole in the rubber band, but just move the band to another location and try again. Using a doubled piece of duct tape on the screw head and the reverse drilling process has also worked but using a rubber band worked better.

  • Betty Sides Betty Sides on Jul 18, 2015
    My 2 cents, my husband is a diyer and he says to try the simplest thing. He uses wooden matches or toothpicks, he sticks them in glue (like elmers) and puts them in the opening if you can and put as many as you can, let dry and try getting the screw out now, I hope it works! Thanks for sharing!

  • CYBRCOOK CYBRCOOK on Oct 27, 2015
    This is one of those old but new ideas that hopefully will help you with stuff you have around your home. Make sure the power's off then jam a raw potato up into the leftover bulb, twist it to secure inside the broken bulk, without touching any of the glass ends, then use it to pull out the glass remains. Good luck

  • Christina Christina on Nov 18, 2015
    I have used one of those adjustable vise grip wrenches successfully. If the screw is out a little it will work. Just attach the vise grip to the screw or screw head and turn.