Good news about stripped screws
FOR A change I thought I would look for cures for things that bug me when I am put to work around the home. One pet hate is trying to unscrew a screw that refuses to budge, or where the head is stripped or starting to strip.
Based on my own experience, plus help from Google, this is what I advise. If the screw is fastened to metal, spray on penetrating oil and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Use the largest manual screwdriver that fits your screw – the bigger the handle the better. If possible, grip the screwdriver handle with a wrench for more leverage. If the screwdriver keeps slipping out of the stripped hole, cover it with one of a variety of materials. Press this into the hole with the screwdriver and try again. Here are some options:
Wide rubber band, cut to form one band.
A piece of steel wool.
A piece of green abrasive from a kitchen sponge.
Duct tape, with the adhesive side against the screw head.
Place your palm against the end of the screwdriver, with your arm directly behind it. Press directly down into the screw with your full forearm as you rotate the screwdriver. If the tool you are using is slipping, stop immediately. Further slippage will continue to wear down the screw head and make it harder to remove. Ensure you are turning the correct direction for removal, which is usually counter-clockwise (“lefty loosey, righty tighty”). Pressing down hard as you are unscrewing will help prevent slippage.
Heating the screw, if possible, will often loosen the threads. Apply a heat gun or propane torch to the screw, moving it constantly to avoid overheating. Once it is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, let the screw cool, then try again.