How to Remove Small Stripped Screws?

What is a Thumbscrew? How to Use Screws? How to Remove Small Stripped Screws from Electronics, and Metallic & Wooden Objects?
How to remove small stripped screws

Screws are very useful pieces when building and assembling a tool, appliance, electronic, object, or stucture. It provides the desired rigidity to connect body or metal frame together so that it doesn’t fall apart. Sometimes the head of a screw can get stripped, and you might want to remove them. To know how to remove small screws from electronics or hardware, continue reading further!

1. What is a Screw?

A screw is a piece of simple mechanism with a head and a tail. The tail part is inserted into the wood, a metal, a tool, an appliance, an object, or an electronic. The head part is what is used to insert and tighten the screw. There are two common types of screw heads Slotted Flat Head, and Phillips head screw called Crosshead.

A threaded metal string is wired around its tail to make the rotating screw go in more smoothly. The screw is moved towards right or in a clockwise direction to tighten it and rotated anti-clockwise to loosen it. The most common phrase to remember this mechanism is lefty-loosey, righty-tighty. (See How Lighters Work?)

2. What is a Thumbscrew?

A tool required to insert or remove screws is usually a screwdriver or a wrench. Although, nowadays, screws are used that can be inserted or removed just by your thumbs. These are called thumbscrews. These have heads with groovy finishes which makes them smooth to use with a hand. They can be inserted with just a little bit of force and hence, negate the use of any other kind of tool. It thus, makes the said work much easier. Read the next section to learn to remove small stripped screws. (See How Loud is a Silenced Pistol?)

3. How to Remove Small Stripped Screws from Electronic/Metallic Objects?

A Phillips head screw will be hard to remove as the hole in the middle would be deepened. A normal Phillips head screwdriver cannot unscrew it because there is not enough grip to remove small stripped screws. 

  • To remove it, use a slotted flathead driver as the head can be deepened by moving it from either side by making the correct angle with the screw. When the head of the screw is pulled out enough, you can use pliers to do the remaining.
  • If you have a locking plier, it’ll easily rotate the screw by locking the pliers from its head and rotating it with an ample amount of force.
  • Another thing that comes in handy is steel wool. Since the screw keeps moving in the gap made by the hole, steel wool will help you get an instant grip between the screwdriver head and the main screw head.
  • Just like steel wool, you can also use abrasive powder or fine sand, which will help in giving you a better grip and less resistance when removing the screw. (See How Calculator Works?)

Remove small stripped screws

4. How to Remove Small Stripped Screws from Wooden Objects?

Most of the above-mentioned hacks don’t require much force to be applied, but these upcoming methods will challenge your strength and your endurance to remove stripped screws from wooden objects

  • Using a hammer along with a screwdriver can be of great help. The method of application is very simple. You put the end-bit of the screwdriver on the tip of the head of the screw. Then use the hammer to apply force and put the bit on the head of the screw. Enough hammering will tighten the bond.
  • A rotatory cutter can open up a bigger slot on a screw and later a flat head driver can be used to get the job done.
  • You can use a drill with a larger piece of Phillips head screw, though you might break the wood or the structure if an equivalent amount of pressure is not applied on the screw. It can also damage the integrity of the screw.
  • You can do a reverse of that technique as well, you can use a driller and fit another screw on its bit and drill that screw inside the wood appliance. (See Outhouse Design)
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