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What are your tips/tricks for removing or extracting stripped screws?

I come across an absurd amount of stripped screws (Apple refurb machines often have stripped screws in them, as do other machines I work on, and I have been known to strip a screw or two on my own).

As a whole, what are your best tips and tricks for getting these annoyances out without damaging the machine? I'd love to hear some seasoned answers!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Somewhere I read that Apple uses LockTite on their pentalobe screws. So, to remove them I used a glue gun (without the glue, of course) and touched it to the head of the screw, heating it up. Then I used the proper pentalobe screwdriver and the screws came right out.

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its to hard i answer it but my answer is yes

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I use a Dremel tool with the thin round disc cutting attachment to cut a groove into the head of the screw, at which point it's often possible to use a flathead screwdriver to get it out. Just be careful not to cut too deep, because you'll run the risk of cutting half the head of the screw off, and then things are even more difficult.

In the case of the bottom casing of iBooks, I often end up just ripping the case right off when one of the three long screws won't come out, and then I use a heavy wrench to turn the screws and get them out once the casing has been removed. Fortunately the screwholes break off pretty cleanly, so it's possible to put the bottom casing back on later and it's not apparent (unless you look really hard) that damage has been done.

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Thanks for your answer!

I have used the Dremel trick, and it is a lifesaver for me for peripheral screws, but do you attempt the same when the screws are on the logic board? Or is there another method you prefer in such an instance?

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Yeah, that gets tricky. I don't know that I have the perfect answer. In some cases I've had success using an electric drill with a small bit to drill straight down through the screw, basically just destroying and breaking the screw into pieces in place where it sits, which can sometimes loosen things up enough to get the screw fragments out and free everything up. But of course that's a little risky because if you slip you can damage the board. I just found this "screw extractor" tool on the net...dunno if it's any good but maybe worth a try? There seem to be several various tools like this around, now that I'm looking.

http://www.ronhazelton.com/archives/tips...

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+ nice resource answer to refer to

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I've just had this problem when replacing my battery and used a very similar solution. I'm a glass engraver so have had a lot of time behind a Dremel. I also know a lot about precise mark making with this tool. I know from experience the disk shaped cutting tool will be difficult to use. Its hard to see what you're doing, easy to go too deep and it gets dust everywhere. I used one of the very thin round pointy bits in a standard diamond burr pack (we call them rats tails in engraving). I used this nearly on its side to make a groove then turned it 180 degrees to even out the groove from the other side. Also used a slow speed and took my time, and made a little round hole in a piece of paper with my screwdriver popped that over the screw head as a dust catcher (I didn't want metal powder getting into places an shorting anything out).

Anyway I didn't do it exactly as you said but I never would have thought of this if I hadn't read your post... Thank you!

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I use an EasyOut tool.

There are various sizes perhaps you can find one small enough to work.

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gotta get one +vote

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Put a piece of a thick rubber band in the screw hole and then use the screwdriver, pressing down so that the screwdriver engages the screw. This works good on small stripped PH or slat head screws. BEFORE starting, read the following>>

NOTE: You want to be sure to get the screw head and the screwdriver lined up BEFORE inserting the piece of rubber band. I use a very fine line permanent marker on the top edge of the hole where the screw is in order to get the orientation correct. Then mark the piece of rubber the same way. I use narrow, fine tweezers to insert & adjust the piece of rubber to line up with my screw hole marks. A long sewing needle can help you fine tune the alignment. This way, you'll know exactly how to line up your screwdriver head AND avoid chewing up the piece of rubber band. And with a little patience, the screw will come out.

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i had the same problem and i fixed it using a superglue. drilling a little hole in the screw inserting a toax and filling up the hole with superglue.

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I've seen a special liquid product for stripped screws at the hardware store. I've never tried it myself but you apply it on the stripped head and after it cures a bit, it's supposed to help you unscrew the thing.

Here's the product that I'm talking about

ww.bison.net

If the link doesn't work for you, google it, it's called Bison Grip or Bison Screw Grip.

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Another solution that I've seen being sold (again, haven't tried it) is a set of special drill bits.

The drill bit ends with a reamer on one end and a screw remover on the other.

And I quote:

"The reamer bit drills out a small conical hole in the damaged screw head, while the screw removing bit digs into the sides of that hole and pulls the screw out."

It's something like this piece from Amazon (Alden-8440P-Grabit-Damaged-Extractor) though there are many alternatives:

www.amazon.com

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A method I use that works universally is a variable speed reversible powered drill and a steel drill bit. You can get screw extractor bits too, but in a pinch, even wood drill bits work.

Just power the stripped screw with a bit in reverse; it eventually cuts enough grooves to pull it out, if it slips too much just work it out enough to use long nose pliers.

For some really bad screws, it can help to first drill forward into the screw to cut a few grooves, thereafter reverse the drill.

Cutting a long groove with Dremel's thinnest emery cutting disc creates a simple slotted screw head, but you can supplement it with the drill method to get enough clearance to keep from cutting the surface of your devices chassis.

The above method may work on a Dremel tool, but drills always work, they have low speed, but a lot of torque.

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Left handed drill bits are a life saver in these instances, especially for the small screws that come out fairly easily once you get a grip on them. Just drill slowly and wait for it to grab. Never had much luck with extractors.

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I was desperate to get the failing fan out of my MacBook pro 2009 13". The screw stripped immediately (are these things made of pewter?!). What worked for me was taking a thin flat head and carving the screw in half circles counter clockwise until it came loose. The metal is that soft, it eventually loosened up and came out!

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Hi!

Glue MAY NOT be needed!

Another answer for a very frustrating situation.

I needed to replace the battery on my 6 year old Mac-it wasn't holding a charge anymore! So I got a replacement, and got the back cover off with no real fuss...(used a drinking glass to hold the lose screws-they are apparently super expensive to replace if lost!!) .......then came the internal battery screws. These screws are screwed down super tight, and are a soft metal, so even when using the (in my case ) included with the replacement little screwdrivers-and yes one of those was a 3prong!-two of the three got pretty stripped!

I thought I was *ahem* screwed!

I looked online and found this forum: tried the rubber band trick- and I only ended up poking through the rubber. It might have nugged the one I tried it on.

BEFORE I went for glue, I took some needle nose pliers I had been using to get a better grip on the small screwdrivers(glasses repair kits have a flat head, great for cross screws!) and, for the heck of it, gripped the head of the screw, turns out, they are not a sunken screw inside a case! THIS WORKED!!!!

The plastic tab extending from the battery that the screw holds down did get fractured, but not sure if this was met bad, or due to the original tightness.

Needless to say, all three came out, the battery is replaced, (watch for the connector, it attaches to the underside of the battery and plugged into the rest of the computer near the center edge of the battery, it will need to be pryed from the plugg's sides gently, ) and my computer lives to die another day!

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Ok I need to get into a laptop and the screw is stripped and the other is just spinning and get my hard drive out so I can check the video card cord how do I get those out

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All these links are great, I need to get a Dremel tool and do that, I hate stripped screws.

What I mainly do is try to use a magnet and maneuver tweezers into the side and pull it out.

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I've been working at what I thought was a stripped screw in the right fan on my logic board (MB Pro A1150) for over two weeks now. I just got it out & discovered that the screw isn't stripped; the hole is. Anyway, I got it out by using my micro screwdriver as a lever under the tab of the fan that the screw was in & I pushed down on that until I had enough room to place a razor blade under the other side & then I began unscrewing the screw with the torx screwdriver while I held tension on those with the other hand, & it began to come up bc it used the razor blade as a thread. I have yet to be able to get the one on the other side out, but I was quite ecstatic to get this one out! I'll keep trying on the other side though so that I can finally change out the logic board since this is keeping me from doing so at the moment. Hope this helps someone. ~Jess

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Can you explain further? Im having the exact same problem with the logic board

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The tiny screws on the trackpad are stripped. I'm afraid to try one of these solutions since they are so small. Any other suggestions?

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In case anyone is still interested in this thread...

I stripped a tiny screw 2 years ago trying to take the back off my Lenovo S205 Ideapad and only just today did I finally manage to get the thing out.

What worked for me was finding a piece of dowel, in my case from a piece of Ikea furniture, with a diameter approximately the same or slightly less than the screw head, cutting it to about an inch long, then drilling a hole in the end of the dowel, putting a glob of epoxy resin in and screwing a short wood screw in there.

I used the same epoxy to glue the dowel to the stripped screw and left it, under light pressure, for just over 24 hours. Tried to unscrew it but the epoxy popped out of the stripped screw head. This was annoying, but it meant that there was now a cast of the stripped head on the end of my dowel. I then superglued this into the stripped head, left it under pressure for 48 hours, and today I was FINALLY able to get that screw out!

I was really happy that this worked because I really, really didn't want to take a drill to my laptop. Only thing to watch out for is that the glue you use doesn't get squeezed out the sides of the dowel and end up gluing your 'lever' to the laptop itself. A tiny bit of superglue was enough in my case.

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If you stripped the screws holding the battery in like I did:

I carefully tapped a small flathead screwdriver into the plastic casing of the battery surrounding the screw enough to break it.

Then repeated this again so the plastic surround came away in three pieces.

As this battery is going to be replaced with a new one, it didn't matter that I break it.

Then with the extra room around the screw, used a pair of small sharp nosed pliers to get a better grip on the outside of the screw head and carefully unscrewed it.

After replacing the battery, only one of the 3 screws was good enough to be reused, so put that back in the centre hole for temporary fix, and now shopping for new screw set.

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Ben Eisenman will be eternally grateful.
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