Stripped Screw? Try These Tricks from Your Sudbury Hardware Store

All DIY-ers know that they’re going to make mistakes at some point. That’s why building with screws is so great. It’s easy to remove them if you need to take something apart. But what do you do when you have a stripped screw? Are you stuck? Is the only solution to break something and hope you can salvage the rest? Not so! At your Sudbury hardware store, Town Line Hardware, we’ve found some clever tricks to help you remove a stripped screw.


Grab your tools and try these tricks from the team at your Sudbury hardware store.

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Try a different tool.

If you’ve just been using your drill or electric screwdriver, you might just be making the problem worse. A different tool might be the solution.


  • Manual screwdriver – Removing a screw is all about the torque. That can be hard to control with a drill; they tend to run away from you. By simply switching to a manual screwdriver, it’s much easier to control the torque, and it’s often enough to remove the stripped screw. If you need a little help, tap the screwdriver with a hammer to seat it in the head of the screw.
  • Flat-head screwdriver – The type of screw you are likely to strip is a Phillips-head, so switching to a flathead might do the trick. If you can’t get a Phillips screwdriver or bit to seat, you can dig in with a flathead.
  • Pliers – If all else fails, grip it with some pliers. Vise-locking pliers are especially useful in this situation. Clamp onto the screw head and twist!

Create a grip.

Another option is to create a grip for the screwdriver to bit to dig into. Putting steel wool between the bit and the screw gives it something to grip. If you don’t have any steel wool, a rubber band is another way to get some traction. Cut the rubber band and place it over the screw head and then bear down hard as you unscrew. If you need a little extra grip, leave the rubber band as is and use two layers of rubber.

Alter the screw.

Those methods usually do the trick, but sometimes you need a little extra help. In that case, you can alter the screw head to make it easier to remove. Use a rotary cutting tool to cut a slot into the screw, then you can remove it with a flathead screwdriver. You can also drill a hole into the top of the screw if you have bits suitable for drilling metal. Then you can switch back to your screw bit and remove the screw.

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The Sudbury Hardware Store for All Your Hardware Nears

No matter what your project is this weekend, you can find everything you need to complete it at Town Line Hardware. You can pick up tools, hardware, paint, and home goods right here at your local Sudbury Hardware store.


Visit us at 84 Boston Post Road or contact us at (978) 443-2112