Tool for screw extraction, missing head

By Vigilante ยท 11 replies
Apr 8, 2005
  1. I've been scouring the Internet looking for a decent set of tools for screw extraction. This includes stripped heads as well as missing heads where you have to try and back out just the threaded part alone.

    Often this work has to be done through a "socket" of sorts. In other words, the "screw" that I have to extract, is down in a hole on the bottom of a laptop, so there isn't much room to work.

    Case in point, I have a Dell laptop and I can't get the CD-ROM out because there is a screw down in one of the screw holes that doesn't have a head. Yet the threaded part is still there and holding it in. I can't get it to back out with my little dentist tools.

    So does anybody know of a good screw "repair" extraction kit? Or at least something to help in my current situation?

  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you have a stable hand, you could try using e.g. a broken or cheap screwdriver.
    Put a dollop of Locktite or equivalent, or a fast-setting liquid metal, on the tip of that screwdriver, then lower it down onto the screw-end in that hole. Let the Loctite or equivalent 'set'. Then you should be able to screw it out.
    Be careful you don't use too much Loctite, otherwise the screwdriver might stick to the side of the hole!

    Did that screw-head break off, or is it just a 'bald' head, or a head with only 1-direction bits on it?

    Worst case scenario, you may have to drill it away with perhaps some Dremel bit .
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Go to sears, and you will find things called easyouts. They are reverse threaded so you have to run your drill or screwdriver in reverse, but it will dig into the broken screw and bite, and once it has bitten it will extract it. Just be careful when using it.
  4. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Yes it has no head at all, just a bare metal thread top.

    I had seen that revers extractor set, I was hesitant though because the bits look way bigger then the screws I work with. I would think I need a bit that is only 2 or 3mm thick.

    I'll call around town for Loctite and see what's available. And Sears too. I had though of that trick, but all I have is super-glue here!

    Thanks for the suggestions, keep em coming.
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    I'm going to Ace to get their small extractor bit and some loctite just in case. I'm sure that'll work. I'm just afraid of getting metal shavings into the laptop mobo.
  7. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    If done properly you should'nt get any shavings in there. It should only dig in and remove it, unless you spin it too much it might just shave it off. Anyway just be careful whatever you do. :p
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Well the dude at the store said I should drill a pilot hole into the screw first to give the extractor something the grip in to.
  9. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

    Use a dab of grease on the drill bit this will hold the drillings. To be done bit at a time or the grease will melt.
  10. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Well here is what happened. I went and bought the smallest extraction bit they had. As well as a reverse threaded bit to pilot with. The store dude said even just by using the reverse thread bit, the screws will sometimes back out.

    Bad part is, I only have an 19.2V cordless drill here. Which was fine for drilling the screw. But I should have used a hand driver for the extraction tool.

    Short end of it is, the dumb screw still won't come out, seems to be like fused in there. And now I've pretty much drilled the screw right to the bottom of it! And it still won't come out!
  11. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    You could try a larger extraction bit. It isn't supposed to go deep into the scew, it is tapered to get a bit and then lock in to remove it. Just be careful not to break it off in the screw head, or you will probably never get the screw out. This is because the extraction bit is much much harder than the scew, and you won't be able to drill through it easily.
  12. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,666

    Yes, for those of you intrigued by this issue, it's finally over.

    Apparently, this "screw" with the missing "screw head" was, in fact, not the "head" side at all. What I was looking at was the END of a screw which was screwed UP from the other side! Inside the laptop!

    So when my drill bit reached the other side of the screw, and after I finally got it out, I had drill through the real "head", which was on the inside of the laptop.

    What I'm guessing is that this "screw" was screwed into the laptop CD-ROM and had a hollow end on the other side which had a screw from the outside?
    Not sure. But whatever the case may be, by drilling, or extracting, counter clockwise, I was, in fact, tightening it from the other side!
    Had I unscrewed it the other way, it may have come out inside the case, but at least the drive would be free to come out.

    Just don't ask me how it all got to be this way. Or how the screw was screwed in from the inside. Mabye some strange Dell trick to keep people from unscrewing it? Not sure. But once it was drilled out and removed, the CD-ROM was now able to be removed.

    Thanks for your help guys.
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