Screws can practically be life saviors. Broken screws can just do the opposite. On the one hand, when we practically swear upon screws to hold on everything, to remove the screw with no head, the process can get messed up. Not to mention, it is hugely time-consuming to fix that! If all these sounds familiar to you, then read along.

While drilling your screw inside, it got broken. Chances are there that it was brittle. Or maybe you have put in extra pressure. Let us check out some of the primary reasons why such problems occur:

Overstressing: Overstressing in anything does no good. These bolts may receive several kinds of stress, both internally and externally. Overstressing any of them may cause them to separate and break.

Pressure: While using a screwdriver, be it electrically or manually, putting too much pressure may cause its breakage. It is essential to keep the pressure under control, especially with the electrical drivers.

Corrosion: Exposure of the screws into incompatible substances such as oxygen, oils, etc. make the screws week and destroyed. These become more vulnerable and, in return, often break down.

Fatigues: The screws come with a specific life expectancy. Gradually as the year’s pass, they become more fatigued and hence more vulnerable towards breakage. Hence, it is essential to replace them within some period.

All these reasons add on leading to the breakage of screws, especially the head. Well, you might say, what possible issue could screw without head cause

  • Damage to the material where its inserted
  • Difficulty in extracting out
  • Difficulty in replacement
  • Covering them up always do not be seamless
  • It may not be the correct place

Now the question remains, how to remove the screw with the broken head? Here are the top 10 tips to solve your problem.

10 Hacks to Remove Screws with the Broken Head with Ease

Let us check out each one of these hacks in detail

Use a Screw Extractor

Have you ever noticed that screw extractors have left-handed twists which are opposite to the screw twists? Well, that is precisely what we are a technique we are going to use! Finding the perfect size of the screw extractor is exceptionally crucial. Once found, attach them to you drill machines and set them in reverse mode. The screw extractor would drill in the screw in reverse and hence get it out.

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Drill it Out

Your screw drillers can be handy to remove screws with the broken head if you choose to use them wisely. If the screw has not gone too deep inside the material, remove the drill head, and attach it to the screw. After that drill it out, it should not be of hassle if the screw has gone way to inside, its time to drill a pilot hole to remove the screw. While this may be a bit destructive, doing this may not be the worst-case scenario.

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Rubber Band to Rescue

If you happen to have an elastic rubber band, then probably this might be the best hack for you! Make sure you have a rubber band whose band is wide enough to cover the screw area. Drive-in your screwdriver putting the rubber band over the screw hole. The elastic band will fill in the remaining space around the screw and make the grip extremely tight. After this, slowly drive the screw out along with the rubber band. In this process, be careful of not losing the grip of the rubber band.

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Variety in Screwdriver Size

We often try out complicated hacks but miss some simple things out. If your screw has at least one percent of its head left, the chances are that a different size screwdriver can be the rescue. Play around with the smaller sizes and find the perfect fit into the screw head. Be careful not to damage out the remaining piece of the screw left. In the end, screwdrivers can be the saviours to remove screws with a broken head.

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Screw Extracting Pliers

If your screw head has not sunk deep inside the material, then maybe you are not that screwed! Often the screws which are above the surface or just not too much inside can be pulled out using a pair of pliers. Just attach the plier to the screw tightly. Make sure to have the full grip, or else it may again come out broken, worsening the condition. Pull out the screw using the help of the plier. Screw extracting pliers are specially used for this purpose. Once you get it out a bit, the rest can be done using a screwdriver to avoid further damage.

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Use a Superglue

Even after all these, if the screw is still stubbornly stuck inside, then maybe you can give it another shot using the superglue without getting the area damaged. For this, drop two-three drops of superglue inside the screw head and then stick the driver with it. Let the glue dry. After its done, push the driver downward to ensure no loose grips. Slowly try rotating the screw with the driver. If the attachment holds on, drive the screw outside. Or else try repeating the process until the grip gets firm enough.

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Wood Plug Cutters

Suppose the screw is stuck deep down inside a wood piece, which is becoming impossible to remove, its time to get more destructive. Wood plug cutters drive in deep around the screw and extract them out, but they scrap in the surrounded area as well. So, if you do not mind a bit of destruction to remove the screw with no head, read along.

Place the plug cutter in the drilling machine and adjust it around the screw surface. Start scrapping down the area as the drill moves downwards. Continue this until the cutter has reached the depth of the screw. Remove it and clean it for any remaining scrap particles. Once it is done, the area of the screw is cleaned, and it can be easily accessed and pulled out using any device or the hacks stated above.

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Weld a Nut

One of the best hacks to remove the screw with no head is to weld a nut at the top of the bolt. If the screw head is stuck so deep inside that you can’t pull it out with pliers, and you don’t want to cause much of destruction, this method may be useful if you have the required tools. It is essential to make sure that the nut is placed correctly over the threaded bolt and is of the correct size. Additional help can be received by welding it in high temperatures. This may help to loosen stuck bolts.

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Cutting Wheel in Dremel

Sometimes finding tools can be tricky. What is available and whatnot at the time of need can be a treasure hunt, so make use of all you have. If you happen to possess a rotating machine or Dremel, cutting wheel attached to it can make your job easy. Just place the wheel on top of the worn-out head and try to make a slit doing minimum damage to the surrounding. After that is driving it out using any screwdriver should not be a gigantic task. Make sure to wear protective goggles while doing this to avoid your eyes from getting hurt by any of the scrapings.

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Hammer it

While this process might get a bit tricky but not impossible if given a thought. The metal must be soft enough due to which the head got scrapped, and you must remove the screw with no head. The chances are that this property might work. Hammer in a screwdriver by placing the tool above the threaded screw head. Do it carefully to ensure proper safety. The screwdriver should be able to penetrate inside the screw giving it a firm grip. Once you are confident about the grip, try rotating it slowly without losing the grip and get it out.

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Why Not Cover it?

While all these hacks can be handy, it is always better to cover up rather than remove the screw with no head unless it is essential. Try leaving it as it is and, instead, cover it up with some leveling or any filling material. This ensures proper hiding of the screw, making it completely invisible.

Which One is Best?

All these hacks may not be useful in various stages of the threaded screw heads. Here is a fundamental division regarding which one to opt for at what stage:

  • It is above the base level: trying to remove it with the pliers, screwdrivers, or the hammer method.
  • It is placed with the base level: Try using a cutting wheel or a super glue to get it out.
  • It is placed bit inside the level: Try using a different size screwdriver.
  • It is placed at a medium height inside: Try using the elastic rubber band for this height. Screw extractor would also o the job.
  • It is placed deep inside the level: Wood plug cutters would do the job. If you do not want destruction, try out other methods alternatively.

These were the essential hacks to solve your problem of how to remove the screw with no head.

This article was curated through HomeSenator’ Contributor Program. If you would like to home improvement + “write for us”, send us your submission today!

Amelia Murphy

Amelia Murphy, with a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Washington, has been an expert in instructional design and "how-to" content creation for 8 years. She became part of our platform as a freelancer in 2020, offering clear, step-by-step guides on a wide range of topics. Her background includes working in instructional design and as a freelance writer for many famous blogging platforms. Amelia’s previous experience includes teaching and developing educational materials. She enjoys hiking and is actively involved in community literacy programs.

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