How a Screw Extractor Works

A screw extractor is a device which enables you to remove a damaged screw. Different situations can cause the head of a screw to become stripped. A screw extractor removes a damaged screw without causing damage to the surrounding material. This device can be purchased at most hardware or home improvement stores.

Inspecting the Extractor

When you look at the extractor, you should find that the device is tapered inward. You should also see that the threads run in a counter clockwise direction. The shape of the extractor and the thread configuration enable you to force it tightly inside the damaged screw and remove it.

Preparing the Screw

Use a hammer and a center punch to create an indentation in the center of the damaged screw. Use a small bit to drill a hole in the indentation on the head of the screw. The hole must be large enough to fit the extractor inside it. Insert the small end of the extractor into the hole. If necessary, use your hammer to force the device in further.

Removing the Screw

Attach a set of clamping pliers to the other end of the screw extractor. Gently turn the pliers in a counter clockwise direction. The device will force the damaged screw to turn. Continue turning the extractor until you are able to remove the screw from the material.