Handling a stripped bolt is usually a hard nut to crack since it might not be an easy task unscrewing it. Nonetheless, with an appropriate approach and technique, you can effortlessly manage to unscrew stripped bolt.
After you realize that a bolt has chipped and too tight, you should never force it out without the right tools as this will only round the bolt-head making your effort further in vain. Especially if the situation is with small screws as the are more fragile.
You might accomplish unscrewing such bolts using readily available tools in the house. If they are not of assistance, you might require to seek help from a professional who might use power tools such as EDM machines thereby easily attaining the results.
This article presents helpful tips on how to unscrew the stripped bolt; therefore you should consider them in case you are faced with such a predicament.
Ensure a firmer grasp on the spanner
If the head of the bolt still has undamaged edges and a hex head like size, grasping the spanner more firmly while unscrewing might be useful.
You should consider a long-handled spanner or even use a wrench or a pipe to help increase the force exerting on the bolt.
For an already rounded bolt-head, you can add material such as a cloth or a piece of steel wool to improve the grip between the spanner and the bolt.
Also, a vise grips would work for smaller and odd shape materials that you want to extract.
Apply Some Penetrating Oil
Sometimes a stuck bolt might be as a result of rust that prevents proper movement between threads. For that reason, you can spray some oil and leave it for a while to allow it to permeate through the stuck threads’ length.
Penetrating oils such as Kano Aero-Kroil and WD-40 are some of the best options to unscrew stripped bolt . Penetrating oils clean the rust on the surfaces, in turn, clearing the track through which the bolt transits.
Heat the Peeled Bolt
If the heat has no adverse effects on the material of the bolt and the piece it is stuck on, then heating up the area will help. When a metallic object is subjected to heat, it tends to expand, and upon cooling, it contracts back to its standard size.
Therefore, heating the area causes the bolt and the object to expand, and as they contract, they detach from each other thereby making it easy for the bolt to screw out. Once it gets tough to unscrew the bolt, you should hence consider getting a fire source and heat the area.
Jiggle the Bolt
This technique goes hand in hand with the application of penetrating oil. After you have sprayed the oil, get a ratchet and lock it on the head of the bolt. Shakily move the ratchet to try to loosen the bolt; ensure to apply substantial force as you jiggle the ratchet to ensure that the technique is effective. After the bolt is loose enough, you can now easily unscrew it.
Use a Bolt Extractor
Usually, after several trials of unscrewing the chipped bolt, the edges on the head get rounded making it more difficult for a spanner to grip it. A bolt extractor is a special removal tool made of annealed bits and teeth that can firmly grasp the bolt allowing you to apply a considerable amount of force.
The bolt extractors can also be attached to a hand drill allowing for efficient force application. You can find grabit screw extractor set for sale online or local hardware stores. It is a good tool to have in every took kits.
There is a lot of other screw removal methods if you don’t want to purchase such materials.
Drill Hole on the Bolt
For some of the already rounded bolts, several gripping techniques might not work successfully since it may be hard to achieve the perfect grip. Therefore, if you have some drill bits and a screw extractor, you can power drill a hole right in the middle of the bolt.
Thence, use a screw extractor, which has tapered threads moving in the opposite direction as the bolt’s thread, i.e., as you screw in the extractor, the bolt screws out. The screw extractor is attached to a drill thereby making it a more effective method.
Cut a Slit on the Bolt
Similar to drilling out a hole on the bolt, you can also cut a slit across the bolt head if it is popping out of the screwed material. You can use an electric rotary cutting tool, a dremel tool, or a hand-operated hacksaw to cut the slot.
After that, use a flat ended screwdriver to unscrew the bolt since it will have a better grip by getting into the groove. The larger the bolt, the larger the slot you need to make as well as the size of the screwdriver to use.
Use a Welded Bar
The other effective technique would be to weld a sturdy bar on the head of the bolt. The bar should be perpendicular to the direction of the bolt, onto which you will hold and twist the bolt to unscrew it.
The weld should be strong, preferably a stick weld, to ensure that the bar does not come off while twisting. If the bar is not long enough, you can use a hollow pipe to adjust its length for maximum force application.
Use Locking Pliers
Using locking pliers is also an option to get that peeled bolt unscrewed. It clamps the bolt head with the serrates on the inner clamping side, therefore, attaining maximum grip. If the bolt-head has already rounded, then you can use a hammer and a chisel to hit on the side of the bolt.
When you hit the sides, you create grooves that will enable the pair of locking pliers to grasp firmly. When using this method, you should ensure not to intensely force the bolt around as that may twist the head thereby breaking it off, more so for small sized bolts.
Quick tip: Stick to counter clockwise rotation.
Drill the Nut Out
Occasionally, you will find that it is entirely impossible to unscrew the bolt using some of these techniques. That leaves you with no choice other than drilling the bolt out.
First of all, you can use a hacksaw to cut the head out, that is if it is popping out of the surface. Then, using a drill, bore the remaining part to remove bolt entirely.
This method must be the final resort as it poses a threat of enlarging the hole or damaging the hole’s threads. You can chisel out any left material in the hole.
In a nutshell, unscrewing a tripped bolt might lag you more so if you need to complete your tasks in a short while. Therefore, if leaving it unremoved and drilling a new hole for another bolt works for you, then do it.
Drilling a new hole may be a little time saving especially if you cannot access any useful removal tools in time.
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