Removing a broken screw from a workpiece is arguably one of the most common (and most frustrating!) challenges any professional or DIYer will face. Since a screw can break or be stripped due to a variety of factors, this video illustrates a few different methods you can employ to remove the screw and get back to work, fast! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to check out more awesome videos like this one!
Utilizing a center drill (also known as a combination drill & countersink) to remove a broken screw is typically a quick way to make a hole in the center of the screw that will allow you a surface within the screw to 'catch' again (assuming here the screw is stripped or the head of the screw is broken off). This method is ideal when the screw is in a thru hole. Simply insert a center drill into a power drill and drill into the center of the screw, drilling at a slight angle initially to break into the screw's uneven surface. Once the hole is created, you can use a left handed center drill (reversing the rotation of the power drill) to penetrate the new hole you've made to remove the screw.
Method 2: UsE A Left Handed Center Drill To Extract A BRoken Screw
This method is ideal when a screw is broken in a blind hole, being the screw typically will be 'stuck in place' and this will provide the resistance necessary for a left handed center drill to work effectively. Again utilizing a left handed center drill in a power drill (reversing the rotation of the power drill), align the left handed center drill as closely as possible with the center of the broken screw. Once it catches, simply back it out as illustrated in the video to remove the screw.
Method 3: UsE A Drill & EZ OUt Thread extractor
This method is ideal when a screw is broken in a blind hole and method 2 has been attempted, but has failed. Use a jobbers drill to drill into the center hole (that the left handed center drill created during your attempt at method 2) and drill completely through the screw, careful to use a drill diameter that will not damage the screw's threads. Once the hole has been created, insert an EZ-Out thread or screw extracting tool and using a tap handle, reverse the screw out of the workpiece to remove it.
Tech Team Pro tip:
Having a lot of difficulty removing a screw? There's a good chance you need some heat! Using a torch and applying heat to the screw for a few moments often loosens and softens the hold thread locker that may have been applied to the screw has on it, allowing you to more easily back a screw out of a hole and remove it!
Download and print the tap drill chart pdf for a quick reference table that will help you select the right tap and drill for your application, every time! Our comprehensive chart includes standard sizes, metric sizes, plug tap sizes and an 'at a glance' listing of the most popular tap drill sizes.