How To Drill Out A Screw: Best Guide

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If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve already tried to remove a screw that’s become stripped, and you know how frustrating it can be. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re making progress on a project, only to have the head of the screw break off in your hand.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll show you how to drill out a screw, so you can get back to work in no time. We’ll also explain the different types of drills and bits you can use, as well as some tips on how to prevent stripped screws in the future.

What is a Screw?

A screw is a type of fastener, which is used to hold two or more pieces of material together. Screws are made up of three main parts: the head, the shaft, and the point. The head is the part that you grip with your hand or tool, while the shaft is the long, spiral-shaped part that goes into the material. The point is the sharp end of the screw that penetrates the material.

How to drill out a screw

There are many different types of screws, but the most common are Phillips head screws, flat head screws, and hex head screws. Phillips head screws have a cross-shaped head, while flat head screws have a flatter, disk-shaped head. Hex head screws have a six-sided head, which is designed to be driven by a wrench or socket.

Screws are made from a variety of materials, including steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, and plastic. The type of material you choose will depend on the application. For example, steel screws are ideal for outdoor use because they’re resistant to rust and corrosion. Brass screws are good for indoor use because they’re less likely to damage the material they’re being driven into.

How Does a Screw Work?

Screws work by using friction to hold two pieces of material together. When you drive a screw into a piece of wood, for example, the threads on the shaft of the screw grip the wood and create friction. This prevents the screw from coming loose, and it also makes it very difficult to remove.

The amount of friction created by a screw depends on several factors, including the type of screw, the material it’s made from, and the surface finish of the shaft. For example, screws with coarse threads will create more friction than those with fine threads. And screws made from softer materials, like brass, will create less friction than those made from harder materials, like steel.

When you’re trying to remove a screw that’s become stripped, the amount of friction is even greater. This is because the threads on the shaft of the screw are no longer able to grip the material, which makes it difficult to turn.

red and black cordless power drill beside black and red cordless power drill

Tools in Drilling out a Screw

To drill out a screw, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Power drill
  • Drill bit
  • Screw extractor
  • Hammer
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves

The Benefits of Drilling Out a Screw

There are several benefits to drilling out a screw.

  1. It’s a quick and easy way to remove a stripped screw.
  2. It doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge.
  3. It’s a great way to avoid damaging the material you’re working with.

When To Drill Out A Screw

There are a few occasions when drilling out a screw is the best course of action.

  1. If the head of the screw is damaged or stripped, drilling out the screw may be your only option.
  2. If you need to remove a large number of screws quickly, drilling them out may be the best solution.
  3. If you’re working with a soft material like wood, drilling out the screws may be the best way to avoid stripping the threads.

The Different Types of Drills for Drilling Out a Screw

There are two main types of drills: corded and cordless.

Corded drills

Corded drills are powered by an electrical outlet, while cordless drills are powered by a battery.

Corded drills

Corded drills are more powerful than cordless drills, but they’re also heavier and more difficult to maneuver. Cordless drills are lighter and easier to use, but they have less power and run time.

When choosing a drill for drilling out a screw, it’s important to consider the material you’ll be working with and the size of the screw. For example, if you’re working with a soft material like wood, a cordless drill will be plenty powerful. But if you’re working with a hard material like metal, you’ll need a corded drill.

How to Choose the Right Drill Bit for the Right Screw

There are two main types of drill bits: twist bits and hole saws.

Twist bits

Twist bits are the most common type of drill bit, and they’re designed for drilling holes in a variety of materials.

Hole saws

Hole saws are designed for cutting through thicker materials, like wood.

When choosing a drill bit, it’s important to consider the material you’ll be working with and the size of the screw. For example, if you’re working with a soft material like wood, a twist bit will be plenty powerful. But if you’re working with a hard material like metal, you’ll need a hole saw.

How to Drill Out a Screw

  1. Begin by putting on your safety glasses. This will protect your eyes from flying debris when you start drilling.
  2. Next, select the appropriate drill bit for the job. If you’re not sure what size to use, we recommend starting with a smaller bit and working your way up.
  3. Once you’ve selected the correct drill bit, insert it into the chuck of your power drill.
  4. Now it’s time to start drilling. Begin by drilling a pilot hole into the center of the screw head. This will help to prevent the drill bit from slipping.
  5. Once you’ve drilled a pilot hole, increase the speed of the drill and continue drilling until the screw is completely removed.
  6. If you’re having trouble removing the screw, you can try using a screw extractor. Simply insert the extractor into the drilled hole and turn it counterclockwise.
  7. Once the screw has been removed, you can proceed with your project.

The Different Methods for Drilling Out a Screw

There are two main methods for drilling out a screw: manual and power.

Manual drilling

Manual drilling is the process of using a hand drill to remove the screw. This method is slower and more difficult, but it doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge.

Power drilling

Power drilling is the process of using a power drill to remove the screw. This method is faster and easier, but it does require a drill and some knowledge of how to use it.

How to Remove a Stripped Screw

If you’re trying to remove a stripped screw, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.

  • Try using a smaller drill bit.
  • Try using a higher speed setting on your drill.
  • Try using a screw extractor.

A screw extractor is a tool that’s specifically designed for removing stripped screws. It works by biting into the metal of the screw, which provides more grip and makes it easier to remove.

To use a screw extractor, simply insert it into the drilled hole and turn it counterclockwise. With enough patience and persistence, the screw will eventually come out.

The Precautions You Need to Take When Drilling Out a Screw

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when drilling out a screw.

  1. Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.
  2. Be careful not to drill too deeply, as this can damage the material you’re working with.
  3. Be sure to use the correct drill bit for the job. Using the wrong type of drill bit can damage the material you’re working with and make the process more difficult.

With these precautions in mind, drilling out a screw is a relatively simple process. Just be sure to take your time and be careful, and you’ll be able to remove any screw.

What to Do If You Cannot Drill Out the Screw

If you’ve tried all of the above methods and you still can’t remove the screw, there are a few other things you can try.

One option is to use a hammer and chisel to remove the screw. Simply place the chisel on top of the screw head and hit it with the hammer. The force of the blow will loosen the screw, making it easier to remove.

Another option is to use a Dremel tool. A Dremel tool is a small, handheld rotary tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including removing screws. To use a Dremel tool, simply attach the appropriate bit and grind away at the screw head until it’s loose enough to remove.

If all else fails, you may need to resort to brute force. This means grabbing a pair of pliers and pulling the screw out. This method is more likely to damage the material you’re working with, so it should be used as a last resort.

No matter what method you use, removing a stripped or damaged screw can be a difficult task. But with enough patience and persistence, you’ll eventually be able to remove it.

Preventing Stripped Screws in the Future

Now that you know how to drill out a stripped screw, you’re probably wondering how you can prevent this from happening in the future. The best way to avoid stripped screws is to use the correct size and type of screw for the material you’re working with.

For example, if you’re working with softwood, we recommend using a screw with coarse threads. And if you’re working with hardwood, we recommend using a screw with fine threads.

You should also be careful not to overtighten the screw. This can cause the threads to strip, which will make it difficult to remove. If you’re having trouble getting the screw started, we recommend using a power drill.

Finally, be sure to choose the right drill bit for the job. We recommend using a carbide-tipped drill bit, as this will help to prevent slips and stripped screws.

How to Avoid Damaging the Surface When Drilling Out a Screw

When drilling out a screw, it’s important to be careful not to damage the surrounding material. The best way to avoid damaging the surface is to use a smaller drill bit.

  1. Start with a small drill bit and only use as much force as necessary. If you find that the drill bit is slipping, try using a higher speed setting.
  2. Keep the drill bit lubricated. We recommend using cutting oil, as this will help to reduce friction and heat.
  3. Be sure to use a drill stop collar. A drill stop collar is a device that helps to prevent the drill bit from going too deep into the material.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble removing a screw, here are a few troubleshooting tips.

  • Be sure to use the correct size and type of screw for the material you’re working with. Second, be careful not to overtighten the screw.
  • Try using a power drill. Fourth, be sure to use the right drill bit for the job. Fifth, keep the drill bit lubricated with cutting oil.
  • Use a drill stop collar to prevent the drill bit from going too deep into the material.
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The Advantages of Drilling Out a Screw

Drilling out a screw has several advantages.

  • It’s a relatively simple process.
  • It doesn’t require any special tools or equipment.
  • It’s less likely to damage the surrounding material. fourth, it’s a fast and easy way to remove a stripped or damaged screw.

The Disadvantages of Drilling Out a Screw

While drilling out a screw has several advantages, there are also some disadvantages. One disadvantage is that:

  • It can be difficult to remove the screw without damaging the surrounding material.
  • It can be time-consuming, especially if you’re working with a lot of screws. And finally, it’s important to note that this method is not always 100% effective.

Despite these disadvantages, drilling out a screw is still the best way to remove stripped or damaged screws.

If you’re having trouble removing a screw, we recommend contacting a professional for help. They will be able to remove the screw without damaging the surrounding material.

The Pros and Cons of Drilling Out a Screw

There are both pros and cons to drilling out a screw.

Some of the pros include:

  • It’s a relatively simple process
  • It doesn’t require any special tools or equipment
  • It’s less likely to damage the surrounding material

Some of the cons include:

  • It can be difficult to remove the screw without damaging the surrounding material
  • It can be time-consuming, especially if you’re working with a lot of screws
  • It’s important to note that this method is not always 100% effective

Despite these disadvantages, drilling out a screw is still the best way to remove stripped or damaged screws. If you’re having trouble removing a screw, we recommend contacting a professional for help. They will be able to remove the screw without damaging the surrounding material.

Conclusion

Drilling out a screw is the best way to remove a stripped or damaged screw. While there are some disadvantages, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If you’re having trouble removing a screw, we recommend contacting a professional for help. They will be able to remove the screw without damaging the surrounding material.

FAQ`s

Q: How do you remove a stripped screw without drilling?

A: There are a few ways to remove a stripped screw without drilling. One way is to use a screw extractor. Another way is to use a pair of vice grips. And finally, you can try using a hammer and a punch.

Q: How do you remove a seized screw?

A: If you’re trying to remove a seized screw, we recommend using a power drill. Be sure to use the correct size and type of drill bit for the job. Start with a small drill bit and only use as much force as necessary. If you find that the drill bit is slipping, try using a higher speed setting.

Q: Can I use WD-40 to remove screws?

A: Yes, you can use WD-40 to remove screws. Just be sure to use a small amount and wipe away any excess.

Q: What is the best way to remove a stripped screw?

A: The best way to remove a stripped screw is by drilling it out. This is the simplest and most effective method. It’s also less likely to damage the surrounding material.

Q: Should I lubricate the drill bit?

A: It’s always a good idea to lubricate the drill bit with cutting oil. This will help to prevent the drill bit from slipping and will make it easier to remove the screw.

Q: Can I use a power drill?

A: Yes, you can use a power drill when removing screws. Just be sure to use the correct size and type of drill bit. Start with a small drill bit and only use as much force as necessary. If you find that the drill bit is slipping, try using a higher speed setting.

Q: What is the best way to remove a screw?

A: There are several ways to remove a screw. The best way will depend on the type of screw and the material it’s made from. If you’re having trouble removing a screw, we recommend contacting a professional for help. They will be able to remove the screw without damaging the surrounding material.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!


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