Every tool box needs a pair of screw removal pliers

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/15/every-tool-box-needs-a-pair-of-2.html

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Left-hand drill bits are handy to have on hand too if you cant grab onto the screw head.


I’m always pleasantly surprised when the screw extractor actually works. I also often resort to using a vice grips, which can make a big mess of things. I’ll have to try a set of these pliers out.


I have never had a need for such a tool.

If I can’t get a screw or bolt out, I put a cut-off wheel in my Dremel tool, and put a slot in the screw or bolt. Then a regular screwdriver works.

This also works with odd screws or bolts tgat you have no driver for, like those used in hard drives. Make a slot, and out comes the screw or bolt.


Engineer is a nice Japanese brand, and the graphics on the packaging is usually a joy of typical busy japanese diagrams and instructions.


Looks like a small set of machinist pliers to me.

Mutant tip: Safely take a cut disk (angle grinder/dremel) to your least favorite pliers. Rough it up and Presto! You got what @frauenfelder suggested without leaving your garage :slight_smile:
If a file doesn’t work then treasure that steel, cheap ones file easy.

Trick out the handles some? Maybe it’s just me.

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I have a small pair of Vise Grips. The cam action exerts more controlled and constant pressure. Anonymous clone ones never work as well.

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Removing a stuck/stripped screw?
My instructor during my work experience bit just glared at them until they popped out on their own accord. 15 seconds, tops.


I have found superglue or in some cases epoxy can be used to glue an older screwdriver to the screw head. If you are really careful you won’t leave a mark removing it.
However many times screws seem stuck or get stripped because the wrong variety of screwdriver or screwdriver bit is used. The most common today are ISO tip screws. One of the differences is the amount the tip is ground, ISOs have a larger flat area ground on the tip. Also buy yourself a good set of screwdrivers or screwdriver bits. If your using a powered driver don’t set the torque too high. If all else fails needle nose vice-grip pliers work great for me.

Engineer tools are the best. They cost 2-3x as much as the Chinese knockoffs, but they’re absolutely worth it. The only downside I experienced was: take up to 3-4 weeks to arrive by post!

I’ve got a pair of their utility scissors that rides in my tool tote-bag. Its a beautifully versatile tool in its own right. Can do everything from cut light gauge sheet metal, to strip wire and cut cables.


I never would have guessed there was a specific tool for this. I always thought that if you stripped the head you were ‘Screwed’, buy another one.

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