How To Remove A Stripped Allen Screw

by Jennifer Sergent
stripped allen screw

In the world of DIY home repairs and mechanical work, nothing is more frustrating than a stripped Allen screw. Whether you are trying to remove a bike pedal or tighten up an engine mount, all it takes is one tiny mistake to turn that sleek six-sided head into something mangled beyond recognition. But fear not, for removing a stripped Allen screw doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration and anger management.

In this article we will guide you through some tried-and-true methods for getting that stubborn screw out. So get your tools ready, and let’s dive in!

Finding The Right Tool For The Job

When removing a stripped Allen screw, one of the most important things you can do is find the right tool for the job. Using proper tools can make the process more difficult and increase your chances of damaging surrounding parts and components. So before you begin, consider what type of head your stripped screw has and choose a compatible tool.

In addition to utilizing proper tools, it’s essential to approach the task with patience and care. Rushing or forcing things can lead to mistakes that further damage the screw or its surroundings. If an initial attempt doesn’t work, take a break and reassess before trying again with a different method or tool.

Successfully removing a stripped Allen screw requires careful planning and precise execution. Considering these steps, you’ll be well on your way to getting rid of that pesky bolt in no time.

Using A Rubber Band To Get A Grip

One effective method for removing a stripped Allen screw is to use a rubber band. Simply place the rubber band over the head of the screw and apply downward pressure as you turn your wrench or Allen key. The added friction from the rubber band helps to grip onto the damaged edges of the screw, giving you more torque and leverage to twist it free.

Another benefit of this technique is that it can often get done without resorting to specialty tools or complex procedures. It’s quick, easy, and accessible even if you don’t have access to a hardware store or specialized repair services. 

So next time you face a stubborn stripped Allen screw, don’t panic – just grab a rubber band and get ready for real traction.

Tapping The Screwdriver Into Place

screwdriver for stripped allen

Tapping the screwdriver into place is a technique used to create enough friction between the tool and the stripped Allen screw head to loosen it. You will need a flat-head screwdriver with a broader blade than the screws’ width to do this.

Simply tap on the screwdriver lightly with a hammer until it’s wedged tightly within any remaining recesses of the hexagonal shape surrounding your stripped Allen bolt. Once securely in position, try turning or twisting leftward and rightward slightly while applying downward pressure toward whatever object needs loosening.

This challenging motion sometimes creates enough space for an opening grip (pliers or self-locking wrench). It is to secure around its grooves for an upward-reaching maneuver towards extraction. It includes like pulling it up from beneath after applying traction against opposing surfaces, such as with pliers against bolts protruding above their fixed point.

Lastly, patch any damage done using soldering iron, which specializes in metal bonding but won’t alter dimensions if only tiny scratches require attention before reinsertion elsewhere. Tapping helps immensely when removing stubborn screws. 

Just don’t overdo force application. Stripping increases more easily under high-threshold stress levels, given how diplomatic ties are regarding torque limits set during manufacturing processes prior undertaken lately seen.

Applying Heat To Loosen The Stripped Allen Screw

One effective method for removing a stripped Allen screw is by applying heat. This technique involves using a torch or heat gun to warm up the surrounding area of the screw. It causes it to expand slightly and loosen its grip on the threading. 

Once heated, you can use an Allen wrench or pliers to try and turn the screw counterclockwise. It’s important not to overheat the area, as this can damage nearby components or even melt plastic parts.

When implementing this technique, safety should be a top priority. Always wear protective eyewear and gloves while working with hot tools and materials. 

Additionally, ensure that no flammable substances are nearby before applying heat to avoid potential fires or explosions. 

Using a torch, keep moving around the screw rather than focusing directly on one spot for too long to distribute heat evenly across the surface area of interest. 

Overall, applying heat can be an effective solution for removing a stripped Allen screw if done correctly with caution & attention paid to safety during each process step.

Using A Drill To Extract The Stripped Allen Screw 

Drill To Extract The Stripped Allen Screw

When removing a stripped Allen screw, one effective method is to use a drill. 

  • First, ensure that you have the correct size drill bit for your screw head. It will prevent any additional damage. 
  • Then, carefully position the drill on top of the damaged screw head and apply gentle pressure as you slowly begin drilling in reverse. The goal here is to create enough friction between the bit and the screw so that it starts turning opposite of its original direction.
  • Switch to forward motion once you feel confident that you’ve created enough resistance with your drill. Continue drilling until the screw has been obliterated. 
  • Use pliers or other tools to carefully wiggle out any remaining fragments of the stripped screw from within your workpiece before proceeding with repairs.
  • It’s important to note that using a drill can be an effective way of removing stubborn screws. Caution should always get taken when working with power tools for precise results. 
  • Also, proper safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, should be worn at all times during this process to minimize the risk of injury or accidents.

Using An Extractor Set For Stubborn Screws

When removing a stripped Allen screw, an extractor set can be your best friend. These sets get specially designed to handle stubborn screws that won’t budge with traditional methods. They come in various sizes and types, such as spiral flute extractors or multi-spline extractors, so you have options depending on the situation.

First, to use an extractor set, drill a small hole into the center of the stripped screw. Choose an extractor that fits snugly into this hole and tap it gently with a hammer until firmly seated. 

Then use a wrench or pliers to turn the extractor counterclockwise, which should loosen and remove the screw from its position. It may take some force and patience to avoid breaking off the extractor within the screw, but with careful handling and proper sizing of tools, this outcome is unlikely.

Preventing Future Stripped Screws

Preventing future stripped screws is integral to any DIY enthusiast’s maintenance routine. Here are a few steps to minimize the risk of encountering a stripped screw in your next project.

Firstly, invest in quality tools and hardware. Cheap materials are likelier to wear down over time or fail under pressure, leading to stripped screws and other mechanical issues.

Secondly, use the right size and type of screwdriver or Allen key for each job. An ill-fitting tool will only increase your chances of stripping the screw head.

Finally, work carefully and patiently when tightening or loosening screws. Rushing through this critical step is a common cause of stripped threads. With these precautions, you can enjoy smooth sailing on all your future projects without worrying about frustrating setbacks caused by stubborn serrations.


Removing a stripped Allen screw can be frustrating, but with the right tools and techniques, it doesn’t have to be. This article discussed several methods for removing stripped Allen screws. It includes using a rubber band for added grip, tapping a screwdriver into place for increased friction, and applying heat to loosen the screw. 

Using a drill to extract the screw and employing an extractor set for stubborn screws are also effective methods. It emphasized the importance of using proper tools, practicing patience, and taking safety precautions. 

Additionally, the article highlighted the significance of preventive measures to avoid encountering stripped screws in the future. By following these tips and techniques, DIY enthusiasts can tackle stripped Allen screws effectively and minimize project setbacks.

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