How To Remove A Stripped Hex Screw

How To Remove A Stripped Hex Screw – 4 Failsafe Methods

There are many ways and many methods that you can use to remove stripped hex screws, also known as hex bolts.  

How difficult or how easy it is to remove a stripped hex screw will always depend upon the kind of screw you are trying to remove. 

So, how do you remove a stripped hex screw? By far the easiest way is to use a specialized tool such as the clever standard extraction tool.  Not only will this tool make removing a stripped hex incredibly straightforward, but it’s also inexpensive, at around $12.  Read on for other methods.

What is Hex Screws

Hex screws are generally made from stainless steel.  If you look at the top of the screw, you will see that it has six sides that are shaped like a hexagon.  

Hex screws are mainly used in industries such as construction and engineering.  They are used for lots of jobs that require fixing or assembly.  

Since the bolt has a hexagonal shape, it makes it easier to be able to grab them with tools from different angles, and they are easy to grab with your hand.  

The shape of this bolt makes it even more convenient to loosen and tighten the screws when needed from different directions.  

They are known for a variety of uses.  They can be used for assembling wood, steel, and other types of construction or engineering materials.   

The hex bolt is a very popular kind of screw.  It is used worldwide and it is well-known for being strong

What Causes a Stripped Screw

Just what is a stripped screw anyway?  When a screw becomes stripped, the head of it is damaged to the point where it may be a struggle to remove it with a screwdriver.  Stripped screws usually happen because the person used the wrong tool. Here are some things that can cause a screw to become stripped:

  • When you use tools that are of poor quality
  • Working at a fast pace 
  • Turning screws the wrong way
  • Using the wrong size drill
  • Using a drill bit that is worn or old
  • Making the screw too tight
  • Continuing to use a screw that is already stripped

But, there is a plethora of methods and tools that you can use to remove the stripped screw depending upon the situation.  Let’s look at some tools and methods that can help you remove a stripped screw.

Clever Standard Extraction Tool

This tool is good for removing bolts that are semi-stripped, but are not reusable.  This tool will not remove bolts that are totally rounded off.  

The Clever Standard Extraction tool is a better pick than using power tools.  The wrenches on the Clever have a T-handle design with hex heads that are on the opposite side of the wrench.  

The Clever Standard Extraction tool should only be used to remove a stripped hex screw, not made for tightening them.  They come in a variety of sizes: 2/, 2.5/, 4/, 5/, 6/, 8/, 10 mm.  

The prices for this tool are fairly reasonable between $12- 18 dollars.  If you choose not to use this tool or any other tool, the next option for removing a stripped hex screw would be to do it yourself.  

If you choose to remove the screw without tools, here are some precautions you should take to stay safe:

  • Make sure to wear a glove that you would use for work and wear the whole time you are working on removing the screw
  • Make sure you have a hex driver to remove the hex bolt.  If you need to purchase one, make sure you know the measurement of the head of the bolt. Buy one size bigger than the actual head size on the bolt.
  • The reason for buying the bigger driver is that it makes it easier to remove the stripped screw.

The Screw Method

Using the method will help you move the position of the screw for easier removal.  With this method, here are the steps you would use:

  • You will need to cut the head of the hex bolt.
  • Use both a rotary tool and a cutting wheel to help you cut the head of it.
  •  You should use a Flathead screwdriver and place on the cut bolt and turn it.  After so many turns the bolt should come out.
  • Remember when using the rotary tool, you need to position it close to the head of the bolt.  You should use a drill and an excavator that are the same size.  After this, drill the hole in the center of the bolt.
  • When using an excavator, take the bit of this tool and place it into the hole.  You should place the bit gently into the hole and make sure that you place in a straight position.
  • You will now need to turn the bit clockwise.
  • You will want to lubricate the bolt before starting this procedure.  

Grinding Disk and Screw Driver Method

CAVEAT: This method has one con and the that there is some difficulty when it comes to removing the screw that is stripped without totally causing damage to it. 

You should keep in mind while using this method to take care when applying pressure to the rotating cutting disk so you do not break the screw.  Here are the steps for this method:

  • You will first want to cut a small hole that is big enough for the tip of the screwdriver to fit in the head of the stripped hex bolt using a cutting disk.
  • Stainless steel hex screws or bolts are harder to remove than other screws.  You will want to use a cutting disk.  Taking precautions is necessary as the dust from the disk can cause health problems.
  • You may also choose to use a Torx and an Extension.  The torx has a special designed screw head that has 6 point and the points are star-shaped.  You will want the bit of the torx to be bigger than the actual hole of the screw.  You may want to use a hammer or anything that you can tap the screw and place the torx in the exact spot it needs to be to remove the screw.

Using a Screw Extractor

  • You will need to punch a hole in the center of the screw with a hammer.  You will want to be careful when you turn the extractor cause if the pressure is not even, the extractor may break.
  • It will be important for you to grip as hard as you can because it will help the removal process of the hex screw to become much easier.  The better your grip, the less stress it will be when it comes to removing the stripped screw.
  •  If you find that your screwdriver slips during this process, you can use a wide rubber band, or a piece of steel wool to help you keep your grip on the screwdriver.

Tips for Success

  • When it comes to removing stripped hex screws or even to avoid having to remove them, keep these key tips in mind:
  • Be sure to use the right screwdriver or drill bit.  The tool should fit right into the screw head without it being able to move.
  • Electoral tools should not be used for driving in screws to anything.
  • Drills should not be used when driving screws into anything.
  • It is important that the head of the screwdriver matches the screw you are using.
  • It is of extreme importance that you pay extra attention to and looks at the axis of the screw and you line it up with the axis.  

Hex screws are one of the most popular screws used worldwide. The methods used to help you remove the stripped hex screws are varied and you should proceed with precaution if you are to attempt to remove the bolts and or screws yourself. 

Taking care and using the right equipment will help you avoid the problem of having to remove stripped hex bolts and or screws.  

Most of the time the reason why screws become stripped and damaged because we do not take the time to find out what the proper tools and procedures we should follow to avoid having to go through the pain of having to pause projects because of human error. 

Not all screws including hex bolts are created equal. They all are made differently and have different uses. 

Hex bolts are unique and have different methods on how to remove them when they become stripped.  But, having the right tools will help avoid interruption of your project. Proceed with care and knowledge.