Remove A Stripped Screw With A Rubber Band

Remove A Stripped Screw With A Rubber Band

The head of the screw you stripped while you were hanging that shelf may not have seemed like a big deal at the time — until you needed to unscrew it, that is. Next time you’re having trouble, try a rubber band.

Home hacks and design blog Apartment Therapy offers a a few simple, smart tips for removing a stripped screw without any special equipment like an extractor — like using a rubber band:

A rubber band may aid in providing enough grip to remove, or at least loosen, the screw. Place a wide band rubber band inbetween the screw driver (we recommend bumping one size up from the screw head which caused the strip) and the screw, then apply hard, but slow force as you turn. If you’re fortunate, the rubber band will fill in the gaps caused by the strip and allow extraction.

They also suggest more obvious solutions like changing the size of your screwdriver, using a pliers when possible, or just pounding the screwdriver into the screw head with a hammer, hoping you can create your own traction. If you’ve ever tried the rubber band trick — or have your own favourite method — let’s hear how it worked in the comments. If your screw’s just fine but your screw hole is stripped, a golf tee may be all you need.

How To Remove a Stripped Screw Without an Extractor [Apartment Therapy]


  • I’ve had success using a flat-head screw driver in a cross-head screw. The edges tend to be sharper, so you can get in that last little bit of nook to get the torque you need, then finish it off with a bigger cross-head, or a pair of pliers.

  • there are these things called hardware stores that sells a tool to do this very job at only a few dollars.

    Sure the rubber band may work, but isnt it better to go a get the right tool for the job, no doubt that you will be in this situation time and time again (i know I have been).

  • I’m a firm believer of “using the right tools for the right job” as well but I think this article was written with more of an “in case of emergency” situation in mind rather than “try to save a few bucks”, i.e. when you can’t get to/the hardware store is closed.

  • For a philips-head in a dell laptop, i couldn’t get the rubber band in as it was quite deep down.

    a black and decker drill bit, full speed on the head of the screw, vaporised that sucker. And the hard drive under it was fine (i’d been willing to accept possibility of hdd failure but had to save the rest of the laptop).

    If you can’t unscrew it… destroy it.

  • There’s a liquid you can buy that is sort of a gritty suspension – a drop of that on a stripped screw and pretty much anything will grip it enough to unscrew. Haven’t ever seen it in Australia – anyone know what it’s called or where to get it?

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