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 10 different ways to loosen a seized screw


Sometimes old screws are very difficult to loosen and force it will damage the head, rending wrench or screw driver ineffective.
Below you will find main methods that can be used to save situation.

1) penetrating oil :
Using penetrating oil in aerosol can afford soothen dirt and corrosion but also to lubricate assembly lowering the unscrewing effort.
Let time to oil to be effective and repeat application if necessary.

2) Pliers :
if screw head is damaged you can try to grasp the head with a clam. Preferably use a locking clip to get a better grip.

3) Impact screwdriver :
its very simple use will loosen screw by simply hitting the screwdriver with a hammer.

4) machine a new slot :
when the head is too damaged you can machine a new slot with a saw or a mini drill equipped with a cutting disc. New slot will allow use of a flat screwdriver. (Press strongly on the screwdriver and help rotation using a pliers on the blade).

5) Special paste :
you can find special paste which should prevent screwdriver to rip. Having not tested yet we cannot state on effectiveness.

6) Heating screw with a torch :
Heat will help loosening by dilatation effect. This old technique is very efficient for rusted screws. The only restriction is if wood or plastic is near assembly, do not reuse screw as heat will have reduced its charateristics.

7) Use a chisel :
Hitting sidewards screw with a chisel will first make a notch and then repetitive hits will start to loosen it.

8) Stud / screw extractor :
First drill a hole in screw. Hole is the key point of this method, it must be well centered and strait. Stud extractor and hole diameter will be selected in accordance with screw size. Then extractor will be inserted in the hole, the rotation (counterclock) effect will force it to enter in the screw and transmit rotation effort to the screw.
Beware that small stud extractors are very fragile if too much or torsionnal effort is applied on it.

9) Weld a nut :
You can weld a new nut on the screw, this will allow you to find a good grip for your wrench. Moreover it will also combine the heat effect (method 6). But be carefull not to weld screw to support at same time or it will be worst.

10) Ultimate method : destroy the screw :
if no other mean was succesfull you can either drill the screw or grind the head. Removal of the assembly will be possible but theaded part of the screw can remain inside thread and can be difficult to extract. There is also a lot of chance to damage the threaded part.

Screwdriver's :

- Before trying to unscrew any old screw take time to apply a dose of penetrating oil that can save you many disappointments.
- Prefer closed wreches to fork type
- Use preferably torx or hex screw types that can bear higher torque and are less likely to damage at unscrewing.