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July 12, 2011

Screw-Removing Pliers


That's different.

Here's Ezra Reynolds' review of this interesting tool, from the latest edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, edited by Oliver Hulland.



The first time I used these screw pliers I was amazed that I had lived without a pair for so long. These pliers are designed for screw removal in cases of corroded or stripped heads.

Regular pliers tend to have straight jaws. This works if you grab the screw from the side (horizontally), but if you are in a cramped space and attacking the screw from the end, regular pliers fail. I have had many pliers slip off a difficult screw because the jaws are straight where contact is made with the screw, which limits the gripping surface area.


In contrast, the jaws of these pliers are curved with teeth on the inside of the clamping surfaces. Since the jaws have both horizontal and vertical teeth, these pliers will bite into the circumference of the screw head regardless of its orientation — this makes stubborn screws very, very easy to remove.


They won't handle stripped countersunk screws (those are suited to the extractor bits on the drill), but for other surface screws or bolts they should be fine.




July 12, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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I believe these screws are actually #0 screws; they're incredibly tiny and I had to use a #0 Phillips head to remove them.

Posted by: Nathan | Jul 17, 2011 6:21:50 PM

Nathan: Was your extractor bit one of the Grabit screw extractors? The smallest ones are supposed to work on #4 screws. I've seen them at Lowes and Sears, but I haven't tried them myself. Here's the company website:


Then there's these:


Course, none of this helps you now.

Posted by: Zorac | Jul 14, 2011 4:29:41 AM

Oooh. I would totally get one if I actually had space for it.

Posted by: Nathan | Jul 13, 2011 10:20:41 AM

Natan: we call that device a:

Jet High Speed Precision Drill Press

12,000 RPM direct drive motor.
Infinitely variable spindle speeds.
Spindle stops automatically when retracted.
Extremely accurate .0002" T.I.R. spindle.
Precision ground work surface.
Worm gear height adjustment.
Drill chuck and key included.

Yours for $1.5k. Extractor bits are available, at a premium, down to 0.01 mm (laser-cut TI alloy).

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jul 12, 2011 4:18:06 PM

A while back I bought an Asus Eee PC netbook (one of the little dinky laptop-looking things you sometimes see folks toting around). Since replacing the hard drive in one of those things requires completely disassembling it (and thus voiding the warranty), I had to remove all of its screws. Well, of course, one of the tiny little screws got stripped.

My extractor bit was too large, and the screws were countersunk so I couldn't use these pliers. What I did was take the smallest bit I had and drill straight down into the screw. When I got through the head, it sheared right off. The screw now does nothing useful (the body of the screw is still in the hole), but the head is at least not in the way.

If someone came up with a product suitable for removing tiny stripped countersunk screws, I would buy it regardless of cost, if only because I'm pretty sure it would involve magic at some point.

Posted by: Nathan | Jul 12, 2011 2:41:50 PM

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