4 Tips for Removing Drywall Screws

Drywall screws are very useful things. Not only can you use them for their main purpose, but they’re ideal for attaching metal to wood, and many people use them instead of wood screws. You’ll find them available in length ranging from 1 ½ inches all the way up to 4 inches. They’re readily reusable and won’t rust, making them exceptionally versatile.

Use the Screwdriver Tip

Although drywall screws do require a Phillips head screwdriver, for proper screw removal it’s vital that you use the right size of tip on the screwdriver. It the tip doesn’t fit securely in the cross it will be harder to remove the screw. You’ll also break down the edges of the cross. This means the screwdriver will slip out of the screw, making it very difficult to remove and you won’t be able to reuse the screw so it will be wasted.

Use the Correct Angle

To remove the screw cleanly, you need to take it out at the same angle it entered the drywall. Have you screwdriver angled properly. This will give you a much better grip on the screw. Start to turn the screwdriver counter clockwise. Go slowly at first, until about half the screw is out of the wall. At the paint you can speed up until the screw has been completely withdrawn. Put the screw aside to use again later.

Broken Screws

At times, drywall screws will break and you’ll need to take them out of the wall. For this, you’ll need to use pliers. If the hole is big enough for a pair of needle nose pliers, then try to insert them and pull the screw out. The chances are you won’t be able to manage that, so you’ll need to very slowly turn the pliers in order to remove the drywall screws. It can be a lengthy procedure, as it can be tricky to maintain a firm grip on the screw as you turn it.

If you can’t remove the screw with needle nose pliers and it absolutely has to come out, then you’ll need to use vise grips. To do this, enlarge the hole until you can push the jaws of the vise grips in and grab the screw. Lock the jaws on the screw and turn slowly until you can pull the screw out. Whenever you take out a screw, you’ll need to patch the hole with spackling or filler.

Pushing the Dryall Screw Through

As an alternative to pulling screws out of the wall, you can also push them through so they fall into the cavity behind the drywall. This means, of course, that you can’t reuse them, but if the screw is damaged in some way, it can be the ideal solution. Where the cross is so damaged that you won’t be able to easily remove the screws, take an awl or screwdriver, place the tip in the head of the screw, and hit cleanly with a hammer. After several strokes, you should be able to push the screw all the way through.