How to Tighten Metal Screws When Stripped

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Things You'll Need

  • Center punch

  • Hammer

  • Drill

  • Drill bit

  • Screw extractor

  • Tap wrench

Trying to turn a stripped screw is not a fun task.
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Very few things put a project on hold faster than a stripped screw. Impossible to remove using a normal screwdriver, these screws are also impossible to tighten. It may seem like a hopeless situation, but there is a tool that can save the day. If the stripped screw is suitable to the task, but cannot be tightened as needed, using a screw extractor in reverse will succeed in seating the screw flush.


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Step 1

Mark the exact center of the screw head, using the center punch and hammer.

Step 2

Consult the screw extractor manufacturer's instructions. Drill a hole through the marked punch point at the depth recommended by the manufacturer, using the appropriate drill bit.


Step 3

Slide the extractor into the end of the tap wrench. Place the tip of the extractor into the drilled hole.

Step 4

Set the tap wrench to turn clockwise. Hit the wrench with the hammer until the screw seats flush with the material.