When you have a screw that has lost it’s head, screw extractors or EZ Outs will take their turn.
When you have a broken screw or bolt, and there is nothing to grab with a pair of pliers, What do you do? There are other things that you can do. Before using screw extractors, there are a couple of simpler things you can try.
If there is something to grab, maybe you can use a pair of pliers or vice grips.
Another way of removing a broken screw or bolt is by using a hacksaw to cut a slot in the top of the screw and try to use a screwdriver to remove it.
Another method is by using screw extractors, or another term is E-Z outs.
A screw extractor, or an E-Z out, is made in two basic designs. One is a tool that round like a drill and it has ridges that go to the left or backwards. It is slightly tapered, and the ridges look like the soft Ice cream on a cone that you get at an Ice cream store. When it is inserted in a hole of a specific size, the ridges will dig into the walls of the hole. The first thing that you do is drill a hole in the center of the broken screw. Then you insert this round tool in a T handle wrench, and insert it into the hole and turn it to the left, or a counterclockwise direction, it will wedge itself in the hole and unscrew the broken screw.
The other design is a tapered shaft that is square in design. This type is inserted by a sharp tapping into the hole. The edges that would come in contact with the wall of a drilled hole would have an edge that would dig in when tapped sharply. When you turn it in a left hand direction, or counterclockwise direction, the broken screw would unscrew. A smaller size of this type is called a broach, and is used by jewelers on very small screws.
The taper of both of these tools would be slight, because if the taper were too sharply it would act just like a reamer and would only remove metal from the straight hole and you would end up with a tapered hole. They are made to be used in specific size holes, which are marked on their side. When using a screw extractor, look on the side and it will usually tell you what size drill to use. If you have any questions about the size of the drill, or which one is the closest, or if you don't have the exact size, then refer to the
Drill and Tap Chart.
Using a center punch, dimple the center of the screw, marking the spot you will be drilling. If you have access to a Drill press vise, and you have access to a drill press or you have a steady hand, then try to drill it as straight as possible.
After the hole is drilled, use a T Handlewrench and insert the screw extractor into the hole and lock the extractor in the screw by turning it to the left, or backwards. The left handed groves will keep digging into the walls of the hole you drilled until the screw comes loose and starts unscrewing.
Screw extractors are made in various sizes for different size screws, thicker ones for larger screws, smaller ones for thinner screws. They also come in two lengths, normal length for the general jobs, and short stubby ones for the jobs that are too short for the long ones to work.
If you wanted to remove a screw that was in a hole that was only an inch you might run into trouble. You would hit the bottom of the drilled hole before it grabbed the screw. You would need an extractor that would grab right away, that’s what the shorter ones are for. There are more to a set because the range of each would be smaller, thus you would need more of them.
If the broken screw is lodged too tightly, or is damaged the screw extractor might break in the hole. This would be a bigger problem, because the extractor is made of hardened steel and can’t be drilled. Before this happens then you should go another method.
The other method I mentioned was drilling the screw out. You would first drill a hole as close to center as possible and as straight as possible, This you already did to begin with. The next thing you would do is reference the drill and tap chart and find the next largest drill and carefully drill the hole larger. You would keep doing this until you can vaguely see the threads showing. At this point you might be able to pick out some of the screw that is left in the threads. The final part of this method is to use a Taper Tap and retap the threaded hole, “clean out the threads”.
If you have an easy out large enough, you can use it to remove a small piece of pipe that you broke in the wall. All you have to do is mount it on some long rod or another pipe to extend it far enough in the wall to insert it into the pipe. If the pipe is larger than the easy out you have then you will have to get one made for a pipe.
It is two pieces of metal that when put inside a tube or pipe the wedge themselves inside and the only thing that will turn if you continue to apply force is the pipe itself, which is what you wanted in the first place.
Some of the tools we use can be traced back many years, and some are relatively new to today’s world. The same thing goes for making a web page. I am using one of the best and simplest web tools that is available today. Some of the information is free, and is better quality than what some are selling. If you are interested in another great tool, check on
and visit another workshop.