There are a ton of ways to get a rusted, stuck or jammed nut or bolt out of a piece of furniture or another object, but the folks at Make Magazine run down several methods — each a bit more destructive — in this great rundown. Our favourite though, is the nut splitter, an affordable tool worth keeping your DIY toolkit.
You can check out how the nut splitter works in the video above, but it’s pretty simple. It latches on to the nut from the top, tightens to fit right onto it and from there you can either use the splitter for extra leverage to loosen and ratchet the nut free, or you can keep tightening it until it splits the nut entirely and falls right off. They’re specialty tools, but if you’ve ever had to deal with one that’s pretty much rusted through or just won’t budge, you’ll be glad you had one — plus, they’re only around $8 at Super Cheap Auto.
Before you break out a nut splitter though, you should obviously try less destructive methods, among them lubricants and penetrating oils like WD-40, or heating the bolt gently to try and soften it a bit so you can twist and free it. Check out the whole guide at the link below, but you can bet I’ll probably add a nut splitter to my toolkit, either way.
Lifehacker’s Workshop column covers DIY tips, techniques and projects.
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