Isn't it infuriating when a screw just won't budge? Whatever you do, don't lose your cool and resort to brute force. Yes, I know it's tempting, but you could easily make matters worse by stripping the head of your screw. That little mishap will leave your screwdriver bit spinning uselessly in the now-hollow end of the (still stuck) screw. Now that's
So how did your screw get stuck in the first place? Odds are, it got wedged firmly in position over time, or it was overly tightened. Whatever the cause, here's a clever trick worth trying: heat the screw up
. The sudden expansion of the hot metal screw can loosen things up enough to get that stubborn metal moving. Here's how to do it safely:
The trick to removing a screw that won't budge? Use a soldering iron or a glue gun. Photo: Michael's
All you need is a soldering iron or hot glue gun. Many of us already have one or both of these items in the garage -- or can beg or borrow from a friend. If you need to buy one, no sweat -- they're cheap. A basic soldering iron
or hot glue gun
can be purchased for a mere $15 to $20. A pair of safety goggles is highly recommend too, especially if you end up moving onto plan B (below).
Now it's time to get cooking. Hold the tip of the hot soldering iron or glue gun firmly against the head of the stuck screw. Just be extra safe:
1. Don't get distracted or leave the room.
2. Only try this method if you can do so without risk of fire or other damage to the surrounding wood or wallboard.
try heating a screw after already applying a flammable lubricating oil like WD-40
Once the screw is good and hot, try again to turn it with a manual screwdriver (don't touch it with your hand). Press hard while attempting to turn the screw slowly but firmly counterclockwise. No luck? Try heating it again. If there's still no movement, move on to plan B: clamp on a pair of vice grips
. Just go very, very
gently so you don't run the risk of snapping the screw's head off. Hot metal can be very dangerous, so always proceed with caution.