How to unscrew a small screw without a screwdriver

A screw with a torn edge

Flat head / hemispherical head screws (or rather splines) often come off and there can be several reasons for this:

  • the use of old, poor quality or unsuitable tools;
  • Screwing in the wrong way (e.g. with a hammer);
  • Insufficient torque during unscrewing/screwing and, as a result, the screwdriver pops out of the slot;
  • screw getting “stuck” (corrosion);
  • the incorrect use of the tool (without drilling when necessary or for unsuitable material).

Unscrewing with a gas wrench

You can also use a gas wrench.

the tool has a good powerful clamp that allows you to grip even round objects.

But the wrench has disadvantages, its application is not possible where it is difficult to reach.

Why the edges on the fasteners break?

Before trying to figure out how to unscrew the sprocket screw with ripped-off edges, let us mention a number of reasons for the problem. the most frequent reason for the problem is the use of a low-quality tool. It is a question of using a screwdriver or an electric screwdriver bit which is not sharp enough. The tight contact between the tool and the notches of the fastener disappears. That’s why before you start work you should make sure that the tip of the screwdriver is fully immersed in the grooves, so that you won’t have to deal with the problem of how to unscrew screws with ripped-off edges.

Another reason is non-observance of screwing technology. The problem occurs when the person performing the work does not apply enough pressure on the tool. Sometimes the problem is caused by the screwdriver bit being angled to the screw head.

It is not difficult to guess that this can happen due to the poor quality of the materials from which the fasteners are made. Some units may also have notches defects. In order not to have to look for a solution, how to unscrew a screw with torn edges, before buying a fastener, it is worth asking about its technical characteristics and make a visual inspection.

unscrew, small, screw, screwdriver

Variant No1. Phillips spline

To begin with, note that in some screws, one groove on the head may be longer than the other. If so, you should only work with a longer recess to make it easier. Still add that the edges of these cavities can be chipped, and so you should work carefully, otherwise you can ruin the product.

One of the easiest ways is to use a coin. The method often works only with small screws. Insert the coin into the groove and then turn it counterclockwise.

If the screw is loose you can try to remove it with your fingernail. The steps are the same as in the previous method.

You can try to remove the screw with your fingernail

Take the knife and put it in the cavity (the long one if they are different lengths) and twist it. Be careful, because if the screw is tightened too much and the knife you use is of low quality, it (the knife) can be bent, without achieving the desired result.

How to unscrew any screw. THE BEST TIPS.

Using a knife to unscrew a Phillips head screw

Use an old CD. Place the edge of the screw into the groove and turn it. The cd itself can be damaged by such manipulations and you should make sure beforehand that you do not need it anymore. This method is definitely not helpful if the screw is tightened too much.

You can cut a long groove in the head with a metal hacksaw, but this method is effective only when the hardware is not completely screwed in. е. If the head is slightly protruding. Hold the saw at right angles to the head, saw slowly and carefully. Then, when the groove is ready, the screw can be unscrewed with a flat screwdriver or with improvised means (e.g. credit card).

Saw a long groove in the head of the screw

Take a flathead screwdriver of the right size in the absence of a Phillips screwdriver. This can only work with large/medium-diameter screws. Be careful not to tear the edge of the slot!

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You can try to undo a Phillips head screw with a flat-blade screwdriver

Another option is to use a toothbrush. Melt one end with a lighter and immediately insert it into the cavity in the screw head. After waiting a little so that the melted plastic hardens, turn the toothbrush counterclockwise. Of course it doesn’t help if the screw is tightened too much.

Using a toothbrush to remove a screw

So, we considered what to do to remove the screw that has a damaged edge. As you see you can find the right solution even in the most hopeless situation. A wide variety of ways to unscrew defective fasteners confirms this.

Using screws to fasten items is convenient and reliable. But it often happens that there is an urgent need to unscrew a screw and there is no suitable screwdriver at hand. Of course, the use of a screwdriver is the easiest and safest method, but if necessary, it is possible to do without it. How to open a screw without a screwdriver? Today you will learn about that!

How to undo a screw without a screwdriver

Option 3. Remove the Torx screw

We are talking about screws with a notch in the form of a six-pointed star on the head. Such screws, by the way, can also be guarded screws, with a pin in the middle of the star. In any case, proceed carefully, because the facets of such a slot can easily get damaged.

Try it with a flathead screwdriver. Insert its sting into the pair of opposite edges, gently twist counter-clockwise. And if the screw is secure, insert the screwdriver between the rod and any of the rays, and screw in the opposite direction.

A small flathead screwdriver is used

To unscrew the secure Torx screws, try using a screwdriver for the unprotected ones, but then the head pin has to be removed (this can be done, for example, with a punch and hammer).

Removing the center pin on the head of a Torx-protected screw

Another option is to drill a hole in the tip of an ordinary screwdriver for a star shank.

Drilling a hole in the screwdriver for a regular Torx screw

Finally you can use the same toothbrush and melt one end with a lighter (follow the same procedure as described in one of the previous methods).

Ways to unscrew a bolt

Here are the most effective ways to unscrew damaged bolts and screws.

With damaged edges

In determining how to unscrew a torn-off bolt, you need to consider whether it is accessible, its location, and what tools you can use. Based on these factors, one method can be applied:

  • Using a chisel. The method is suitable for large bolts that are freely accessible. All you need is a hammer and chisel. Apply the chisel tangentially to the head and hit it hard. It’s a simple method, but it doesn’t often have the desired result. it should only be used when there are no other tools at hand.
  • If there is easy access to the fastener location, the universal Allen wrench can be used. Even round heads can be securely clamped with this tool. If you use a small cobra-type turnbuckle, which has sharp notches on the working surfaces, you can unscrew the smallest bolts. Such tool can help in many cases, but it must be new. If the tool is worn, the notches can no longer reliably grip the metal and the tool will slip.

If the facets are not badly damaged, socket wrench heads can help. For this application, the socket wrench should have a 12 facet profile (there’s a sprocket inside the head, not a hexagon). To unscrew the nut, proceed as follows. Select a socket one size smaller than the bolt and use a hammer to press it onto the torn edges, then unscrew it in the usual way.

Thread damage

There are cases when the fastener’s thread is damaged. In this case, the metal part can be turned freely, but it cannot be removed from the threaded joint. To solve this problem, you need to raise the bolt. You can do it with the help of a screwdriver or similar tool that is poked under the head and with force lifts it. When a bolt is pushed in, it begins to rotate in the unscrewing direction. Do this until the fastener is removed completely. If the hole in the threaded joint is through, it is possible to push from the opposite side using any suitable tool.

If you have a similar problem with the nut, proceed in the same way. Screws with damaged threads should be replaced, so if you have access, you can cut the nut with an angle grinder or a chisel.

With sprocket and hexagon

Recently, fasteners with star heads, hexagon heads and more exotic shapes have been used more and more often. If the facets of such fasteners are damaged and you need to unscrew them, you can proceed in the same way as with standard bolts with the difference that you need to use a tool with the appropriate facet shape for unscrewing.

With a torn off head

Very often when you take apart old threaded connections you can not only damage the bolt facets but also rip off the bolt head. Then the question arises: how to unscrew a torn off bolt? If you have decoupled parts and the torn bolt is sticking out of the body of the part, you can use all of the above mentioned methods.

And how do you unscrew a bolt with the head torn off, if the body of the bolt does not stick out of the part?? There are several ways to solve this problem.

  • The best tool to use is the special extractor. The extractor is made from a cylindrical shaped metal bar, one end of which has a cone thread of the opposite thread and the other end has a shank with a square section. Drill a hole in the center of the bolt so that it can be used. The diameter of the hole should be 2-3 mm less than the diameter of the thread. After that, you need to take a suitable size extractor and lightly hammer it into the hole. Turn the extractor by the shank and unscrew the rest of the bolt.
  • If you have a left-hand thread tap, you can successfully use it as an extractor. The only difference is that the diameter of the hole must be the same as for tapping. The exact value can be found in the appropriate tables.
  • If you are unable to unscrew the piece, you can try removing it this way. Drill as large a hole in the bolt as possible, taking care not to damage the threaded joint. Then take the appropriate tap and thread the hole. During this process, the threads are cleaned and the remains of the bolt are removed.

Another option is to use a toothbrush. After heating up one end with a lighter, immediately insert it into the groove on the head of the head of the screw. After waiting a bit for the melted plastic to solidify, twist the brush counterclockwise. Of course it doesn’t help if it is too tight.

  • Phillips screw.
  • Coin-tipped screwdriving.
  • You can try to unscrew it with your fingernail.
  • Using a knife to drive a Phillips head screw.
  • Using an old CD.
  • Saw a long groove in the screw head
  • Heat and cool
  • Find the right tool
  • Knock on the head of the bolt or screw with a hammer and impact screwdriver
  • Use a penetrating rust remover or lubricant
  • Drill out the screw
  • Solder or weld a screwdriver or hexagon to the screw.

Though the screws have tiny threads, they are placed on the surface. Therefore, a knife with a thin, sharp end can be used for unscrewing. Other sharp objects such as needles, scissors and awl are also used.

You can use a medical tourniquet, rubber from a bicycle or car camera, a rubber ball, etc. п. Use what you have at hand and cut out a small rectangle. It should be placed on the slotted screw, then rest the screwdriver and gently, slowly start unscrewing.

  • Unscrew the nuts/bolts counterclockwise and tighten clockwise.
  • Start unscrewing the bolts by jacking the car up since the wheel is well supported and will unscrew more easily
  • Also if you can’t unscrew it with your hands, use your foot to help

Phillips screwdriver recovery is a simple process that doesn’t take much time. However, if this happens regularly, you should consider buying a better tool. It is not very sensible to continually adjust the stinger as you work. In the end you might not want to do anything at all.

We hope that home handymen will take note of the tips outlined in today’s article. If there are any points that remain unclear, the HouseChief editorial staff will be happy to explain them. All you have to do is tell us what you think of it in the discussion below. It is also quite interesting to know what methods of Phillips screwdriver recovery you use. Perhaps it is your method that will prove to be more effective and convenient for novice home handymen. We suggest that you finally watch a short but very informative video that shows a very unusual way to recover a Phillips head screwdriver.

  • You make a small notch in the flat of the cap for the flathead screwdriver. Try unscrewing the bolt with a screwdriver;
  • Use a TORX star head to remove the screw
  • A drill with a drill bit or special extractors will help in solving this problem.

If the “sprocket” is internal, you can make a straight cut for a flat screwdriver, you need a hacksaw for metal, or an angle grinder with a cutting disc, or a sharp chisel, the same hammer, VD-40, screwdriver. In the most extreme case (nothing helps), the bolt can be drilled out, here you need a drill and drill bits on metal.