A stripped screw is a screw in which the head has been damaged to an extent that it is impossible to remove it with a screwdriver. This is a common problem that you may face right in your laptop when you are upgrading the components or unscrewing it for repair purposes.
What Causes a Stripped Screw?
There may be several reasons why a screw is stripped even though they primarily occur because of user error and the use of inappropriate tools. A stripped screw may happen because of the wrong screw bit while screwing. Working too fast without patience, or placing the screw bit into the head of the screw at a wrong angle.
How to Remove a Stripped Screw from a Laptop
If you are facing a stripped screw problem, there are various ways you can use in solving the problem. Here are some options:
Try Using a Different Screwdriver
If you find out that your existing screwdriver is not working, you can try using a different screwdriver. You can try using one with a larger or smaller head size. Thereafter, try a flat head screwdriver and see if it gives you any success in removing the stripped screw. If that doesn’t work, then you can try using an electric screwdriver which is more effective.
The Rubber Band Method
There’s also another option which includes using a thick rubber band and your screwdriver. This method involves placing the rubber band between the screw and screwdriver. This helps in increasing the friction between the screwdriver and the screw. Thereafter, apply enough pressure and steadily turn the screwdriver until the screw can be seen moving. In the process of doing this, ensure that the rubber band is as wide as your screw. Note, it is only a thick rubber band that will work and not thin ones. A thick rubber band provides the grip you need in moving the screw.
Go For Screw-extracting Pliers – How to Remove a Stripped Screw from a Laptop
You can also decide to use a pair of Screw-extracting pliers if the head of the screw is approachable:
- Simply position the pliers on the screw head and try to get a good grip.
- Then turn the pliers slowly and the screw should also turn with it.
- Immediately the screw has become loose, you can make use of your screwdriver to take it out.
- If you do not have a pair of Screw-extracting pliers, you can get it from a hardware shop.
This tool is very handy and is quite a necessary tool to have if you regularly repair electronic items like laptops and phones.
Use Aluminum Foil – How to Remove a Stripped Screw from a Laptop
You can safely remove the stripped screw from a laptop that is rounded off using an aluminum foil. All you have to do, is simply put the piece over the screw and then try to use your precise screwdriver to get a firm grip on it to remove it. When you do this,, just press down and fill the hole in the screw, this will make it easy to remove.
The Superglue Method
Using the superglue method also works in removing the stripped screw. This is a very simple method. Start by:
- Adding a small amount of superglue to the screw’s top.
- Then place your screwdriver into the screw head and allow the glue to dry up.
- With a firm grip, give the driver a turn to remove the screw.
- Once you have removed the screw, clean the remains of the superglue from the screwdriver’s tip and the surrounding areas of the removed screw if it is present there.
The Rotary Tool Method
Before you start this procedure:
- Attach a slim cutting disk to the tool and ensure it is fastened securely in its place.
- Wear your protective eyewear or goggles. This is to protect you from sparks or debris.
- Apply a low power setting
- Use the rotary tool to create a thin cut or groove in the head of the stripped screw.
- Thereafter, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw.
- Ensure that the groove is deep enough to fit in a flathead screwdriver.
- It should also be thin enough so that you can have a firm grip on it for easy removal.
Use the Drilling Method
This is a more extreme method you should try out if all else fails. This is related to drilling and starts with:
- Choosing a very small drill bit that should fit it in the head of the screw.
- Gradually power the drill machine, but bear in mind that you are drilling at the lowest speed in order not to apply too much pressure.
- Discontinue the drill after you have powered for a short time like a few seconds.
- Thereafter, use your screwdriver or a pair of pliers to remove the screw.
- Note, continuous drilling or exerting too much pressure can seriously damage the laptop.
- Thus you are to carry out the drilling only if you are proficient with using a drilling machine and have knowledge about the different kinds of drill bits. This will help you in choosing the right bit given the right size of the screw.
- If you can’t still remove the stripped screw, you can drill further and continue the steps mentioned above. But note, you are to apply caution when drilling.