The Rubber Band Trick: Remove Stripped Screws With Ease

For many of us, a stripped screw can easily turn into a nightmare. Any screw that has a damaged head is considered to be stripped. Whether you’re dealing with large custom fasteners or miniature screws, it’s nearly impossible to remove a stripped screw once that damage has occurred — unless you have the right tools at your disposal.

Conventional screws can be hard enough to remove, but custom screws with specialized heads are even more challenging. That’s because they’re specifically designed to be difficult to remove by consumers. Very often, consumers actually mistake these custom fasteners for stripped screws. And if these micro screws do become stripped, you’ll be facing a seemingly endless uphill battle.

While there are many methods for removing stripped screws, one of the most popular and effective is the “rubber band trick.” Before you try this method, keep in mind that some companies will not honor your warranty if you tinker with a product or try to remove these tiny screws on your own. Make sure you’re well-versed in this technique before trying it — and when in doubt, see a qualified repair professional.

  • Step one: Use the rubber band

    Get a new, wide rubber band and make one cut so that it’s a line, rather than a circle. Stretch the band over the screw, and position a properly sized screwdriver (one that’s made for micro screws or your custom fasteners) over the spot where the screw is. Insert the screwdriver and give it a turn.

  • Step two: Use extracting pliers

    Remove the rubber band. If the head of the screw has become accessible, use a pair of screw extracting pliers to grip the screw and turn it. Once it gets a bit looser, you may be able to use the screwdriver to get the rest of the screw out.

  • Step three: Use glue

    If the screw is still stuck, add a tiny bit of superglue to the top part of the screw. Then, put the screwdriver into the head and allow the glue to dry. After it’s dried, use a firm grip and downward pressure to twist the screwdriver and remove the screw.

  • Step four: Use a rotary tool

    If all else fails, use a rotary tool to make a thin cut in the screw. This cut will allow you to use a flathead screwdriver in order to remove it. It’s difficult to obtain one that’s both deep and thin enough, but if you can manage it, this can be an excellent final resort.

If you’re dealing with commercial-grade shoulder screws in standard sizes — like ASME B18.3 — you’ll likely be able to readily locate replacement screws for your appliance. But if you have a problem with a custom micro fastener, you’ll need to work with a custom screw manufacturer to get what you need. If you have a large-scale project or need custom tiny screws in a short timeframe, we’re here to help. To find out more, get in contact with us today.

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