How To Use A Screw Extractor

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A screw extractor is a high-tensile steel device with a square head on one end and reversed tapered cutting screw on the other. The square head matches into the T-handle applied to twist the extractor. You may also grip and turn the head of the tool with locking pliers.

Broken or stripped screws may lead to damage to the project. Every DIYer should know that a screw extractor will save a lot of time. The extractor is an item similar to the screw, but it has a reversed thread. Applying the screw extractor, you drill into the center of the screw, place the extractor and turn it. When the screw comes out, you may return it right away.

The screw extractor comes in various specific designs, but it commonly goes in the form of a tapered drill bit with a reversed thread. When you apply it, the extractor enters the hole drilled in the top of the screw, and its reversed threads grab hold so that the screw may be twisted out. The type of screw extractor depends on the size of the screw.

Type Of The Screw Extractor

Screw extractors are available in various types to match several damaged fasteners. Each type of screw extractor has its specific factors, including gripping power and material for the proper operation.

The bolt extractor is similar to the standard socket head but has a spiral thread inside it. The threads bite into the bolt head when you turn the socket counterclockwise applying the socket wrench. The thread generally contains a spiral pattern that may be tighter applying force.

A spiral screw extractor allows removing screws or bolts by fixing them into the hole that was drilled in the fastener’s head with a drill bit. Several screw extractors contain matching drill bits. Some of the tools are double-sided with a drill bit on one side and the extractor on the other.

Extraction pliers are good tools for damaged screws or bolts whose heads are sticking out from the surface of the material. The set of extraction pliers contains teeth produced to grip firmly onto the head, thus helping you to take away the screw by fixing the pliers and twisting them counterclockwise.

A Stud and bolt extractor tool is like the chuck of the power drill. This tool operates only with screws and bolts that are projecting the material. To apply the extractor tool, place it over the head of the stud or bolt, and tighten the grip around.

Material Of The Use

As screw extractors should be fixed into metal screws for the proper operation, this tool should be made of hard metal material. Several screw extractors are produced of high-speed steel as the same material applied in many drills and saw blades. Such type of steel is harder than alloy steel and able to resist high temperatures without softening, which is a good aspect for drilling into the heads of metal fasteners.

Cobalt steel is one more material applied for producing screw extractors. This material is harder than high-speed steel and is better resistant to high temperatures created by metal cutting into metal. Cobalt steel has higher tensile strength, which makes it an ideal material for screw extractors. Note that screw extractors made of softer alloy steel are not good for use.

Ease Of Use And Versatility

Screw extractors have aspects that allow them easier to apply and ensure that the proper drill bit is applied with the correct screw extractor. The screw extractors that operate with a drill bit should match the bit size for practical work. So, the extractor should have the acceptable drill bit size cut onto its side to prevent disorders.

Double-sided screw extractors are the most ideal type of tool as they contain the drill bit and the extractor on a single reversible shank, removing the necessity for searching for the proper size of the drill bit. You just need to drill the hole with one side and then flip the shank to use the extractor.

Several tools apply magnetic extension bit holders that may grip the drill or extractor bit. It allows users to trade-off between them, speeding up the screw removal. Most screw extractor kits come with carrying cases that allow keeping screw extractors of 30 pieces or more organized.

How To Use A Screw Extractor Step By Step

A really good screw extractor applies a tapered drill bit with reversed threading. You twist the bit in reverse as if to turn back the screw correctly. Due to the reversed threading, it bites down into the head of the stripped fastener while turning it back. By selecting the proper tool and following the steps on how to apply the screw extractor you will get the task done successfully.

Step 1:

Applying the screw extractor involves drilling, striking, and cutting screws that may potentially send small particles of metal flying that may lead to an eye injury. You should use safety glasses to protect your eyes from being injured.

Step 2:

Adjust the center punch with the center of the stripped or broken screw, and lightly strike it with a hammer. You need to make a small hollow in the center of the screw.

Step 3:

Choose a drill bit that is smaller in diameter than the screw or fastener, and secure it to the power drill. Take a tiny drop of thread-cutting oil to the head of the broken screw for easy drilling. When the stripped screw is rusted or affixed to metal, place the small drop of penetrating oil on the threads to allow loosening of its grip.

Step 4:

Adjust the drill bit with the punched spot on the screw head. Drill slowly and properly, trying to keep the drill and bit aligned straight with the screw. Drill ⅛ or ¼ inch into the screw head. The depth of the hole depends on the size of the screw extractor you are applying.

If you apply the screw extractor with a double-ended bit, you will need to reverse the drill to apply it correctly. The good thing is that the double-ended bit is suitable for the extractor size for the proper operation. You just need to compare the size of the bit to the screw and select the needed size

*Note: Don’t hurry. Stop periodically to take away the screw, thus you may protect your workpiece. Don’t ruin the whole operation by speeding up the process. You may also apply the drill as it may bring smooth operation.

Step 5:

Insert the tip of the screw extractor into the bored hole. How you will apply the screw extractor will depend on the model of the device you have selected, but it’s better to apply either a wrench or drill to turn the screw extractor. When you turn the screw extractor, its thread draws it until it bites into the hole. When the extractor takes hold, turn it counterclockwise and pull until the stripped or broken screw will be completely taken away.

*Note: When the screw extractor doesn’t bite, drill out a little more of the head. Several screws require 1/16” for the proper operation, but you will probably need to take the bigger size.

Step 6:

Hold the top of the screw extractor with a wrench or drill. Turn the extractor counterclockwise until the screw is free. Several extractors are produced to operate with a drill. Adjust the free end of the screw extractor to the drill and twist the screw counterclockwise.

*Note: When applying the screw extractor with the drill be sure that the drill is fixed to rotate in reverse. If the screw is trapped, tightly turn the extractor in both directions to make it lose.

Tips For Proper Use Of The Screw Extractor

Several screw extractors are easy to apply, even for beginners. There are useful tips for applying the screw extractor.

Applying the screw extractor, start by drilling the hole into the head of the damaged screw. Use the thread cutting oil to the drill bit before drilling. It will be easier to drill through the metal by reducing the friction.

Before starting to take away the damaged screw with the screw extractor, use the penetrating oil to the screw’s threads. You should wait 15 minutes after the use to allow the oil to pass through the thread and then apply the screw extractor. The oil will help to loosen the screw, allowing it easier to take away.

When you apply a power drill to take away the screw, use a slow speed. This action will help to increase the drill’s torque and allow the extractor’s threads to grip the drilled-out hole in the head of the fastener. If you use too high a speed, it may lead the screw extractor to slip in the hole.

Why Do You Need A Screw Extractor?

Usually, you may cut or bend off the fastener, and it's okay. Stripped and rounded-out screws may throw a real wrench in the users' productivity. A relatively inexpensive screw extractor is an ideal choice to have at hand. It will allow you to take away fasteners quickly without wasting much time.

Applying the extractor helps to produce not a bigger hole in the workpiece which means it can drill the hole of the same screw size, making it easier to take away the screw. One of the major reasons to apply the screw extractor is when the integrity of threads is required to be kept undamaged in the workpiece.

The size of the screw extractor depends on the screw and bolt size. Moreover, you should ensure that the screw extractor size refers to the specific type and size of the screw. Several screws extractors are available in sets of multiple tools of different sizes for ease of use.

Any skillful worker from mechanic to woodworker knows that it is significant to keep a set of screw extractors close by as they allow them to lock into and take away damaged screws of any size.

Size of Screw or Bolt to Be taken awayPre-Drill SizeExtractor Size
5-8mm 3.5mm Number 1
10mm 5mm Number 2
10mm 6mm Number 3
12-14mm 8mm Number 4
16mm 9.5mm Number 5
20mm 12mm Number 6

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