How to Remove a Stripped Allen Screw

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This is How to Remove a Stripped Allen Screw, the super simple way to get a stripped bolt out of your way and get back to your project. I’ll show you exactly what do to, and odds are you won’t need to buy anything. Enjoy.

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Removing a Stripped Allen Bolt

How-to-Remove-a-Stripped-Allen-ScrewA stripped bolt in a project can be very annoying. There you are, building something, and all of a sudden you have to deal with a stoppage in your project. Thankfully, removing a stripped bolt is not that difficult.

Before you get started, please resisted the urge to try and power through the Allen screw with your drill.

You might be able to jackhammer that bolt into place, but you’ll never get it back out again. It’s a short term solution.

All you are doing in a situation like that is kicking the can down the road.

At some point, you or somebody else is going to have to remove that bolt, and eventually deal with it being stripped.

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Instead, use this easy trick to remove it.

See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking

Step One – Saw a Slot

How-to-Remove-a-Stripped-Allen-Screw-saw-the-slotThe first step to removing a stripped Allen screw is to saw a slot in the head of the bolt. There are 100 different ways that you can do this, and you most likely have at least one method sitting around in your shop for free.

The fastest method is to use a Dremel with a grinding wheel or a cut off wheel. This is a powered option that allows you to cut a nice flat-head screw pattern onto the top of the bolt, which will give you back your grip.

The hand method is either using a file or a hacksaw to do the same thing.

Simply create a slot through the middle of the head of the bolt and make it deep enough that a flat head screwdriver can grip tightly.

See Also: 19 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Woodworking

Step Two – Use a Flat Screwdriver

Now without jumping to far ahead of me, step two is to use the flat screwdriver that you’ve been preparing for in step one. This is how you’ll back out the stripped bolt which will allow you to install a new one.

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Typically stripped bolts are a little rough looking, and they tend not to grip tools very well either. Make sure that whatever flat screwdriver you choose sinks deeply into the slot you’ve created, and that it holds tightly.

The last thing you want to do is mess your slot up, because you may not be in a position where you can create another one, or create a deeper one. In this case, it can be really difficult to remove the bolt without buying a special tool.

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Step Three – Clean the Threads

Once you have the bolt out, it’s time to look at the hole and figure out how you got in that mess in the first place. Check out the bolt, and also check out the hole that the bolt was supposed to thread cleanly into.

Look for damage, and try to hand tighten another Allen screw into the hole where the stripped Allen screw came from. Try to figure out whether it was the bolt, or the insert, or a combination of both or even possibly bad technique.

Run a tap through the hole, and clean the threads if necessary. This way, you’re fully prepared to install a new Allen screw in the next step.

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See Also: How to be a Modern Renaissance Woodworker

Step Four – Install a New Bolt

Now if you’re ready to replace the screw, grab your new bolt and carefully thread it in by hand as far as it will go. This is one of the secrets to avoiding a stripped out bolt and you can use it every single time.

In the overwhelming majority of instances, if you can start a bolt by hand, and get the threads aligned correctly, you shouldn’t have any issues with stripping or cross threading. It’s typically a bad start that ends up with a stuck or stripped bolt.

Once you have the bolt well started by hand, switch to your Allen wrench or to a power drill and finish seating the bolt slowly. Once you have it all the way flush with the surface, snug it carefully and then you are all set.

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Your Action Assignment

Now that you know how to remove a stripped Allen screw from your project, it’s time to get out in your shop and take action. I can’t imagine you read this entire post just for academic reasons, it sounds like you have a stripped bolt to deal with.

Figure out a way to cut a slot through the top of the head of that bolt. You might have to get a little creative with your hack saw or your Dremel in order to gain access, but it’s definitely worth the time investment.

Create a slot, then back that bolt out with your flat screwdriver. Clean up the mess, and I’m sure that your next bolt that you install will thread perfectly into the insert.

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If you have any questions on how to remove a stripped Allen screw, please Post a Question in the Q&A Forum and I’ll be glad to help. Happy building.

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