Asked on Dec 27, 2017

How can I remove or cut off this screw?

by Louise
I'm making a desk by using two two-drawer file cabinets and putting a wood top on them. I'm not very skilled at all with my electric screw driver/drill nor with cutting wood and things, but I'm determined. It doesn't have to be beautiful -- just usable. :-) One file is 2 inches shorter than the other one so right now I'm making a 2-in. platform for the shorter one to sit on. I found scrap wood in the garage to construct this from. Soooo, I've successfully screwed in 3 of the 4 screws I need for part of this. But one, as you see here, one didn't go all the way in and the Phillips head slot has been ruined. I need to cut this off even with the wood. I have a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric multifunction tool. Would it cut this screw flush with the wood? If so, can you post a pix of the bladel I need to use in it to accomplish this? OR, is there another way to do this? I know that my neighbor can do it but he's at work and won't be home until this evening and I'd really like to make some progress on this this afternoon.
q how can i remove or cut off this screw
  20 answers
  • Janet Panos Janet Panos on Dec 27, 2017
    Hello Louise! You could unscrew it with a pliers and replace it with a shorter screw. That’s what I would do rather than go through all the trouble of sawing through it!

    • See 2 previous
    • Len Len on Jan 06, 2018
      You can run the keyless chuck tight on it like a drill bit. Then reverse it.

  • Marie Wilson Marie Wilson on Dec 27, 2017
    Put s pair of pliers on it or a crescent wrench tightly around it and turn left until the screw comes out, it's time consuming but does work! Also a hack saw should cut thru it! Good luck u can do it!

  • Louise Louise on Dec 27, 2017
    Great!!! I'll try it now. I have lots of rubber bands.

  • Jld29722044 Jld29722044 on Dec 27, 2017
    Just some future food for thought is if you have a hack saw, Dremel, etc you could just cut across the top essentially making it a flat head type screw

  • William William on Dec 28, 2017
    I agree with using pliers to remove the screw. In the future may I suggest you predrill the holes for the screws. A 1/8" drill bit will work. Do it all the time.

  • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Dec 28, 2017
    have you tried a slightly larger bit? It looks like the screw is not completely stripped, so a larger bit might grab that enough to unscrew it. I agree with the predrilling holes! It can save a lot of headache, especially since some types of wood have a tendency to split.

  • Linda Linda on Dec 28, 2017
    there is a tool called an "easy out" Harbor Freight & the box stores have them. they are made for situations like this

  • Steve Klump Steve Klump on Dec 28, 2017
    I prefer using vice grip pliers to remove a problem screw.

    Also scraping the threads across some parafin wax before driving in the screw helps it drive in more easily

  • Larry Linson Larry Linson on Dec 28, 2017
    I have used a drill bit as if I was going to drill a hole in the head of the screw and it would come out.

  • Gra29963031 Gra29963031 on Dec 28, 2017
    Remove screw by grinding it off with an electric hand held grinder tool.

  • Jro28887102 Jro28887102 on Dec 29, 2017
    I have used the Chuck of the drill before, just tighten the Chuck jaws on the head of the screw like you would a drill bit, and reverse it out.

  • Ifixstuff Ifixstuff on Dec 29, 2017
    I agree with those who say to use pliers to reverse the screw out. Should take about 30 seconds.

  • Sandy Sandy on Dec 29, 2017
    Hi there ladies there is a bit that you can buy to get stripped screws out have seen it many times on tv...look for it at the hardware stores...they should know what you are talking about...

  • Janet Panos Janet Panos on Dec 29, 2017
    Glad you are happy with that. Best of luck to you. Happy new year!

  • Louise Louise on Dec 29, 2017
    I used pliers to unscrew it and it worked fine. Thanks for the info. I'd thought of that but didn't know it would be so easy. BTW, I did pre-drill holes but I think I made them too small. And glad to be reminded of swiping screws on paraffin before using them. I seldom do this kind of thing so forget the tips. :-)

  • Kor24924493 Kor24924493 on Dec 30, 2017
    Dont cut it!! Grab it tightly with a pair of vise grips and slowly turn counterclockwise till it comes out.

  • John Wade John Wade on Dec 30, 2017
    Vise grips and just turn left and it will turn with u 😜

  • Res19688625 Res19688625 on Dec 31, 2017
    Cover the screw head with a wide rubber band insert screw driver remove screw then replace it with shorter screw.

  • Allison Newby Allison Newby on Jan 08, 2018
    Take rubber band and put it over the drill tip or screwdriver tip and try to unscrew the screw it should grip the screw and unscrew good luck