How to Remove a Screw With No Head From Metal

Stripped screws are annoying, but they can be removed with a bit of imagination. Here are a few tips to help you get them loose.

Select a drill bit that is a little narrower than the screw head. Tap the Bazooka grip with a hammer and it will bite in and start turning the screw.


If the screw has not sunk too deep inside, a drill bit may be able to free it. If the screw is stripped beyond repair, try a set of screw removal pliers. These are designed with wider bits that can dig into a broken screw head and grab onto the loose metal. If enough of the screw is above the surface, a pair of locking pliers can also be used.

Use an electric tool to cut a deeper slot in the screw head. Then, insert the tip of a flat-head screwdriver into the slot and turn it to remove the screw. If the slot is too narrow to hold the screwdriver, try placing a small piece of steel wool in it to improve friction and grip. It might also help to add a powder or liquid lubricant to the screw head. This can increase the grip and make it easier to turn. This is especially effective on corroded screws that have become fatigued and fragile.

Shock & Awe

Almost all screws have metal heads that are susceptible to rust. When these screws get rusty, they can become seized or stripped. Fortunately, there are ways to remove rusted or stripped screws from metal. Some of these methods require power tools, while others are less invasive.

Harlan K. Ullman coined the term “Shock and Awe” in a 1996 book that considered the military strategy behind the 1991 liberation of Kuwait. The idea is that a commander can achieve rapid dominance with a relatively small military force by deploying superior weapons, technology, and tactics to overwhelm an adversary.

Another example of Shock and Awe is the Blitzkreig model, which involves achieving an adversary’s compliance or capitulation through very selective and ruthless destruction and intimidation. The objective is to cause the societal or military breakdown that ultimately compels an adversary to surrender. This approach can backfire, as the Haitian or Potemkin Village example demonstrated. It also requires a high level of skill or brilliance in the imposing of this strategy.

Impact Screwdriver

Many of us have tried everything to remove a screw that is stripped. We have used electric drivers, heated it up, pounded on it with a hammer and nothing seems to work. Well, it turns out that there is a tool called an impact screwdriver that can free a stripped screw by striking it using sudden rotational force.

The tool works by using batteries to power an impact mechanism that strikes the back of the screw slot. This action frees the screw by creating a lot of friction in the stripped head of the screw and causing it to wiggle loose.

It’s not as dangerous as it sounds, but it’s still a good idea to wear safety goggles when using this tool. Also, make sure that you don’t hit the screw with too much force since it could damage the tool or the material you are working on. You can also use a pair of pliers instead if you don’t have an impact screwdriver.


Screws are usually made of steel of some kind and come with a lifetime expectancy. Over time, they fatigue and become vulnerable to breaking. Necessity is the mother of invention, however, and there are many nifty ways to remove a screw with no head from metal that have been devised by people stuck with the same problem. One of the most interesting methods involves spot-welding a nut onto the screw. Once the weld is set, you can then remove both the nut and the screw using a wrench.

If your stripped screw hasn’t sunk too deeply into the material, try improving friction with a rubber band or some powdered abrasive that can improve grip when turning it. You can also use an impact screwdriver that can both turn and apply the hammer tap method, which increases your odds of successfully removing the screw without further stripping it. Alternatively, you can drill a hole in the screw and then screw in an extractor that has left-hand threads to pull it out.

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