Removing Stripped Allen Screws Tips and Techniques

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Key Takeaways

  • Removing a stripped allen screw can be a frustrating task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done.
  • Using a rubber band, a hammer, or a screw extractor can help loosen and remove a stripped allen screw.
  • Preventing stripped allen screws can be achieved by using the correct size allen wrench, applying proper pressure, and using lubrication.
  • If all else fails, seeking professional help or using alternative methods like drilling or cutting may be necessary.
  • Patience and persistence are key when attempting to remove a stripped allen screw.


Stripped allen screws can be a nightmare for anyone attempting to disassemble or repair something. These small, hexagonal screws can become stripped due to various reasons, such as using the wrong size allen wrench, applying excessive force, or simply wear and tear over time. However, fear not! In this article, we will explore various methods and techniques to help you remove a stripped allen screw with ease. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional, these tips and tricks will come in handy when faced with this frustrating situation.

Understanding Stripped Allen Screws

Before we dive into the methods of removing stripped allen screws, it’s important to understand why they become stripped in the first place. Allen screws, also known as hex socket screws, are designed to be tightened or loosened using an allen wrench or hex key. These screws have a hexagonal socket in their head, which allows for a secure grip and torque application. However, when excessive force is applied or the wrong size wrench is used, the edges of the socket can become rounded or worn, making it difficult to grip and turn the screw.

Using a Rubber Band

One of the simplest and most effective methods for removing a stripped allen screw is by using a rubber band. Start by placing a wide rubber band over the stripped screw head, ensuring it covers the entire surface. Then, insert the allen wrench into the socket and apply firm pressure while turning it counterclockwise. The rubber band acts as a grip enhancer, providing extra traction and allowing the wrench to catch on the stripped edges of the screw. With a bit of patience and persistence, the screw should start to loosen and can be easily removed.

Hammering Technique

If the rubber band method doesn’t work, you can try the hammering technique. This method involves tapping the allen wrench into the stripped screw head using a hammer. Start by placing the wrench into the socket and gently tapping it with the hammer to create a slight indentation. This indentation will help the wrench grip onto the stripped edges of the screw. Once the wrench is securely in place, apply steady pressure and turn it counterclockwise. The combination of the indentation and the force applied will help loosen the screw and allow for its removal.

Preventing Stripped Allen Screws

While knowing how to remove a stripped allen screw is essential, it’s even better to prevent them from becoming stripped in the first place. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

Use the Correct Size Allen Wrench

Using the correct size allen wrench is crucial to prevent stripping. Make sure to match the size of the wrench to the size of the screw head. Using an oversized or undersized wrench can lead to slipping and stripping of the screw.

Apply Proper Pressure

When tightening or loosening an allen screw, it’s important to apply steady and even pressure. Avoid using excessive force, as it can cause the wrench to slip and strip the screw. If the screw feels tight, try applying a small amount of lubrication to reduce friction and make the process smoother.

Use Lubrication

Applying lubrication, such as WD-40 or a similar penetrating oil, can help loosen stubborn screws and reduce the chances of stripping. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the screw head and let it sit for a few minutes before attempting to turn it.

When All Else Fails

Despite our best efforts, there may be instances where removing a stripped allen screw becomes nearly impossible. In such cases, it’s important to know when to seek professional help or consider alternative methods:

Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried all the methods mentioned above and still can’t remove the stripped allen screw, it may be time to seek professional assistance. A skilled technician or mechanic will have the necessary tools and expertise to tackle the problem without causing further damage.

Drilling or Cutting

In extreme cases, when all else fails, drilling or cutting the stripped allen screw may be the only option. This method should be approached with caution, as it can damage the surrounding material. If you choose to go down this route, use a drill bit or cutting tool that is slightly smaller than the screw head and work slowly and carefully.


Removing a stripped allen screw can be a frustrating and time-consuming task, but with the right tools, techniques, and a little bit of patience, it can be accomplished. Remember to start with the simpler methods, such as using a rubber band or the hammering technique, before moving on to more drastic measures like drilling or cutting. By following the preventive tips mentioned, you can also minimize the chances of encountering stripped allen screws in the future. So, the next time you find yourself faced with a stubborn stripped allen screw, don’t panic. Armed with the knowledge from this article, you’ll be able to tackle the challenge with confidence and success.

Written by Martin Cole

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