Best Screw Extractors: Remove Stubborn Screws

Use any of these screw extractors to remove stripped, broken, or damaged screws in no time

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Almost every mechanic has encountered a problem removing old, rusted, or damaged screws from a vehicle. Damage typically occurs when a screw has been in the system for a long time and starts to wear out. The next time that happens consider using one of the best-rated screw extractors in our buying guide below. 

  • Best Overall
    IRWIN Screw Extractor
    Summary
    Summary
    A 10-piece screw extractor and drill bit set that can remove broken screws.
    Pros
    Pros
    Delivers high torsion power for removing damaged and worn-out screws, bolts, and studs. Fast and efficient extractor. Great quality. Convenient and indexed storage case. Includes drill bits for boring into metals.
    Cons
    Cons
    It comes in a fragile plastic casing. No instructions for first-time users. The drill bits dull easily.
  • Best Value
    Essential Tools Damaged Screw Extractor Kit
    Summary
    Summary
    A four-piece drill bit and screw extraction set that can remove embedded bolts and screws.
    Pros
    Pros
    It can access hard-to-reach areas. Rust protected. Easy to use. Great for DIY projects. It can extract any screw type and size. It comes with a durable storage case. Takes a short time to remove stubborn screws.
    Cons
    Cons
    The threads may dull with time. No clear marking of the extractor and drill side. Not designed for high-torque jobs.
  • Honorable Mention
    Vampire Professional Tools Screw Extraction Pliers 
    Summary
    Summary
    High-quality pliers with serrated jaws that can grab on to old or corroded screws. 
    Pros
    Pros
    It can be used on corroded, rusted, tamper-proof, and stripped screws and nuts. Constructed from durable material. Ergonomic handle. Lightweight design. Minimal extraction time.
    Cons
    Cons
    May break on tough jobs. The handle covers may slip off. It requires much effort to remove stubborn screws.

Tips

  • Apply a few drops of penetrating oil around the screw and leave it to settle in for a few minutes. It will help you slide the screw out easier. 
  • Before drilling, cover the drilling tool with thread cutting oil that will help you drill through the metal in a shorter time. 
  • Consider using a sharpening knife to restore the sharp threads of a blunt extractor. If the threads are too worn out, you should consider replacing the extractor. 

FAQs

Q: What’s the use of the drill bit on the extractor?

A: The drill bit helps to remove screws with a stripped head. This occurs when you try to turn the head of the screw and find that there’s no friction, and the screw won’t turn. You can drill into the screw head to create threads and use the screw extractor to remove the screw by turning it in the opposite direction of the drilled threads. 

Q: What’s a screw extractor’s ideal length?

A: There’s no standard length for an extractor. You should use one that’s compatible with the type of screw that you want to remove. The short and small diameter extractors work just as well as the larger versions. The only difference is the amount of time you will take to extract the screw, which depends on its size. 

Q: Do screw extractors come with warranties?

A: It depends on the make, model, and brand you choose. Some companies give warranties for their products as a guarantee of their quality, but such tools don’t come cheap. Some manufacturers don’t offer warranties since the durability of the hand tool is also dependent on the user. 

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the IRWIN Screw Extractor. It comes with many replacement pieces, which are sturdy enough to remove stripped and damaged screws. 

Our value pick is the Essential Tools Damaged Screw Extractor Kit. You get a four-piece set of drill bits and a screw extractor for the price of one. 

Which screw extractor do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.