Extracting Broken Bolts & Screws | How To Get A Broken Screw Or Bolt Out

There are just those times in life when we come across a broken bolt, or a broken screw, and we need to get it out, quickly! Jagged bolts and screws, jutting out of surfaces around your home or business present some serious safety issues. If any child, or adult, rakes their skin across one of these impaling rippers, then the damage will certainly not be funny. Profuse bleeding, tissue damage, nerve damage, blindness and more are all completely possible. In fact, it happens every day – all around the world.

So, how can I remove a screw or bolt that has been broken off, or is stripped out?

Well, there are 2 cases to consider here: hex head bolts and shoulder screws. Bolts are larger and heavier; tougher to manipulate. Screws are smaller and weaker than bolts, but are still no joke to deal with. Both can be dealt with safely and successfully. You just need an intelligent plan of action. Let’s take a closer look at each case, and how to achieve a positive, simplistic result.

Removing broken bolts:

Bolts are larger than most screws and therefore are a bit tougher to deal with. Obviously, the thicker a piece of metal is, the more difficult it is to manipulate. However, there’s a positive side to the larger nature of bolts: they are normally set into materials, and are in places that don’t require the highest degrees of delicacy when dealing with them. The point? Use a grinder!

In most cases, a broken, rusted or otherwise undesirable bolt can be quickly rid of with a simple grinder/tool and cutter grinder. Be careful! Approach the bolt slowly with the wheel of the grinder – and always maintain a firm grip. Anticipate the centrifugal force of the grinder’s wheel and work with it. Let the grinder do the work – and make sure you protect your eyes.

If using a grinder is not going to work for you for one reason or another, then you can try grabbing the bolt with large Vise Grips and spinning it out. Use some rust penetrating, lubricating spray first, and let it soak in for a couple minutes, at least. Spinning the stripped or broken bolt out is definitely a viable option, at least in some circumstances.

Seriously though, in most cases, just grind it.

Removing broken screws:

Stripped and/or broken screws are smaller and much easier to manage than broken bolts. However, a broken or stripped screw can still be a real chore to remove. With screws, you can still use a grinder. If the culprit screw is in a location where it can be dealt with some degree of force, then your job will be simpler. Be careful removing a stripped or broken screw where there are finished surfaces, fixtures or other items that can be damaged. Take your time, and always make strong, controlled motions when manipulating the screw in any way.

There are many methods to use to get a stripped or broken screw out. The best one for your situation will be unique. You can check out the threading tool sets available at Gotstock today & repair the bolt instead of replacing the whole unit.

General Tips for Removing Broken and Stripped Screws and Bolts:

  • It is NOT unmanly (or unwomanly) to wear safety glasses when removing stripped and broken bolts and screws. In fact, it’s really the only intelligent option. The most seasoned construction types will be found with safety glasses in place; at least when they are performing operations that could blind them. One small flake of grinded metal to the eye can debilitate you, perhaps permanently. Wear safety glasses each time you attempt to remove a broken/stripped screw or bolt.

  • Likewise, it not not wimpy to wear a pair of gloves when extracting bolts and screws that have been stripped or broken. Metal splinters bring unrelenting, annoying pain – and can be quite difficult to get out. If you do incur metal splinters, get some tweezers (or your teeth), grasp the tip of the splinter firmly, and then give a straight and direct pull outward. Make sure you observe which direction the splinter entered in order to pull it out as painlessly as possible.

    • Use a magnifying glass to examine the metal splinter first. It makes it so much easier to grab on to and remove.

Final words about removing stripped, rusted or broken bolts and screws:

Removing broken or stripped bolts and screws needs to be done sometimes, and it’s never much fun. That’s just a simple fact of life. But it can be relatively simple, and definitely safe, if you just take your time, examine the situation – and then opt for the best management method. Remember that broken or stripped bolts and screws are metal. Metal is hard, sharp and very unforgiving. Exercise caution!

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