How to Remove a Stripped Allen Screw

Is it possible to remove a damaged Allen screw without destroying its surroundings? If you know the trick, it is doable. I’ll show you how to remove a stripped Allen screw in different ways safely.

Removing a stripped Allen screw is done by using a screw extractor kit. You can also remove it by using a specially formulated substance to pry it out. Other methods include using an ordinary plier when its head is exposed, or you can make a new indentation on the screw so you can remove it.

You need to know how to remove damaged Allen screws because that’s a normal part of woodworking. Sometimes you are so used to working with screws that you forget to observe the correct technique of inserting them. Stripped screws are often the result of carelessness.

Read on to learn more about how you can remove Allen screws with stripped heads and the different ways you can do it.

How to Remove a Stripped Allen Screw

How to Remove a Stripped Allen Screw

If you are into workshop projects and home improvements, you will be used to working with screws. What happens is that as you work with screws every day, you get so familiar with them that you neglect to observe the proper way of screwing and removing them, which will lead to stripped Allen screws that are hard to pry out.

But don’t worry. There are many ways to remove even the most damaged Allen screw you will face. There are extractor kits specially designed to remove even the most damaged Allen screws you can find.

Aside from extractor kits, you can use other effective methods to pry out Allen screws. You can remove any stripped Allen screw on any surface, metal, wood, plastic, or other materials with these different methods.

How hard or easy to remove an Allen screw depends on its actual condition and the technique and tools you will use. The rest of this article will explain how you can do this with whatever available tools you have at hand.

Effective Methods to Pry Out Allen Screws

1. Use a Screw Extractor Kit

If the Allen screw is tough to pry out, using a screw extractor kit will surely make it easy. Most of these kits are made to be used together with drills. To use a screw extractor properly, you have to read the instructions that come with the device.

First, you have to create an indentation on the screw using the sharp end of the drill bit. And then you have to flip the bit over and employ its other end to pry out the Allen screw.

2. Use a Screw Grab

Another easier way to remove a stripped Allen set screw is to use a product specially designed for this purpose. This product is a special substance that you can buy in the market. One such product is Screw Grab.

This product has a special formulation that increases the friction between your prying tool and the stripped Allen screw. Just apply a small amount of this substance to the screw head, making it easier to grip the screw. Just use an Allen key or Allen wrench or a plier, and you will be able to remove the screw successfully.

3. Use a Pair of Pliers

If the head of the Allen screw is fully exposed, you can easily remove it by using a good pair of pliers. Firmly grab the head of the screw, making sure that the pliers’ jaws are tightly locked to the screw head.

Now, twist the screw out. Be watchful of the twisting force that you are applying so that you won’t accidentally break the screw head from the rest of its body. If the Allen screw begins to respond, apply the same amount of force until it starts to give way. Then use your hand to screw it out. If there’s still some resistance, use the pliers to pry it out some more.

4. Use Another Material to Help With the Removal

If the Allen screw is not severely damaged, you can still extract it with a regular screwdriver. But you have to use another material to help remove the screw. The best material for this purpose is a piece of a rubber band.

Aside from the rubber hand, you will also need a piece of cardboard or cloth. Lay them on top of the head of the screw. Align them properly with the Allen screw. Be sure that the Allen wrench size is right for the Allen screw you are prying out.

Now, twist the screwdriver and allow the covering materials to engage with the Allen screw head. Once you feel that the Allen key has engaged, continue to twist the Allen wrench until the rest of the stripped Allen screw is out of its hole.

5. Flatten the Head of the Stripped Allen Screw

how to remove stripped allen screws
Rotary Power Tool

If you have a rotary power tool at home, you can use it to pry out the damaged Allen screw. Here is how to unscrew a stripped Allen screw with a rotary tool. Use it to create a groove on the Allen screw’s head.

If you don’t have this powerful tool, you can use a metal saw. It must be adapted to the small size of the screw head so you can cut through its metal surface. Once you have created the groove, you can use an ordinary flathead screwdriver to pry the screw out of its hole.

6. Shock the Allen Screw

You need to apply quick blows to the screw head when I say shock. Giving the screw head a couple of swifts but strong blows can jerk the screw out of its hole, making it easier for you to remove it from its hole.

Get a flat screwdriver and a hammer. Place the screwdriver on the screw head and start hitting it with the hammer with swift but gentle blows. Softer blows will reduce the damage on the surface of the damaged or stripped Allen screw.

If the damaged Allen screw doesn’t budge, apply quicker and harder blows to its head. Be sure to hit just the screw and not the surrounding surfaces. Hopefully, these moves will jerk the body of the screw out of its place and allow you to remove it from its hole.

Again, how to remove a stripped Allen screw? To remove a stripped Allen screw, you have to clean the hex hole in the bolt head using a screwdriver. Then, insert the Allen-key socket, use a hammer to tap it until it is fully inserted. Next, squeeze the trigger on the impact wrench, then whack it until the Allen screw comes out.

7. Change the Indentation on the Screw Head

You can also change the head surface of the damaged Allen screw. But it’s different than making its surface flat. You will need a larger screwdriver than the size that could fit in the stripped screw.

Put this screwdriver on the Allen screw head and give it a quick blow with a hammer. But don’t strike the screwdriver too hard. Give it just enough force to create an indentation on the head of the screw.

With that fresh indentation, you can now engage the damaged screw. You can also try hitting the screwdriver again with the hammer to ensure that it will have a firm hold on the Allen screw.

8. Heat Up the Screw Head

Applying heat to the head of the stripped Allen screw will also remove it from its hole. This method will be very appropriate if you have a torch at home. However, if the damaged Allen screw is stuck on a wooden surface, you should not use this method.

But this is a sure way of getting a stubborn Allen screw out of its hole. Just make sure that you are wearing all the safety gear you need for fire is a dangerous heat source. Start by cleaning the surrounding surfaces of the Allen screw. Be sure that you have a fire extinguisher nearby.

Turn on the torch and put its flame directly over the screw head. Don’t let the head turn to cherry red. Turn off the torch as soon as you notice smoke or steam coming out from the screw head.

Now, apply some water to the hot screw head. You can also put a wet rag over it. Repeat this 3 to 5 times. Then let the screw head cool down. Try removing the screw with the correct Allen wrench or even a pair of pliers when it has cooled down.

9. Use Spray Penetrant

Prying out a stripped and rusted Allen screw poses more challenges. But there’s still a way to do it. You need to spray the screw head with a penetrating agent to loosen it from its hole. This substance also acts as a rust remover.

Low viscosity substances penetrate deep into the tiny spaces between the screw threads and the hole. Be careful in using it because most products of this kind are highly volatile.

Start by cleaning the area surrounding the screw head. Apply the penetrating liquid directly around the Allen screw. Allow the fluid to penetrate deep into the substrate for about five minutes.

Now, get a pair of pliers and use them to wiggle the screw out. If the screw resists, apply some more penetrating fluid and wait for another five minutes to do its work. Hopefully, the stripped Allen screw will give way this time.

10. Use Hammer and Cold Chisel

how to get out a stripped allen head screw

Using a hammer and cold chisel is one of the oldest tricks in removing stripped screws from their holes. You need a cold chisel, not a warm chisel, to be able to remove a stripped screw from its hole.

Start by first cleaning the screw and its surroundings. Put some lubricant on the edge of the cold chisel. Don’t put it on the screw head. Now, place the chisel on the screw head and hit it with the hammer strong but not too strong.

You intend to embed the chisel into the screw head. Once you feel the screw move, start hitting the chisel again, but now hit it so that the screw will move counterclockwise. Continue doing this until you feel that the hole has loosened its grip on the screw. You can use a pair of pliers to pry out the screw completely.

11. Use Vice Grip or Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench and a vice grip can also be used in removing stripped Allen screws from their holes. Start by cleaning the screw head and its surroundings. You can also shock the screw with a hammer blow. It can make the task easier.

Now grip the head of the Allen screw with the jaws of the vice grip or the adjustable wrench. Tighten the vice grip enough so that its grip on the screw head is very firm. Now, turn the vice grip counterclockwise. Do it in a jerking motion and not slowly. Try to feel if the Allen screw is responding.

If it does, continue turning it clockwise until it is free from the grip of its hole. Then loosen it from its hole with your hands.

Conclusion: How to Remove a Stripped Allen Screw

One straightforward way to remove a damaged Allen screw is to use a screw extractor kit. Another simple way of doing it is by using an ordinary plier. If the Allen screw is tough to pry out, you can use a specially formulated substance designed to pry it out. You can also try to make a fresh indentation on the screw to help you take it out.

To avoid the problem of stripped Allen screws, you must always be careful in inserting them into any material. Carelessness is often the reason why screw heads are damaged. If you observe the correct insertion of screws all the time, you won’t be faced with this problem.