How to Remove a Broken Bolt or Screw

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A bolt or screw is a piece of hardware that is used to hold two or more pieces of lumber in place. There are many reasons it is possible for a bolt to break and you need to remove it. Trust me, removing broken bolt or screw is never a fun job and can take more time than you think. In fact, removing a broken bolt sometimes can take more time than the whole job would take itself. However don’t need to be panicked as there are a few tips, tricks, and tools that might make the broken bolt removal job easier for you.    

Methods to Remove a Broken Bolt or Screw

There are many methods available to get broken bolts and screws out. You have to pick the right method depending upon the circumstances and also your available tools. Here we have discussed two methods, removing broken bolt or screw with the extracting kit and welding method.

Remove a Broken Bolt or Screw Using Extracting Kit

There are many bolt extraction kits available that will help you remove the broken bolt very easily. Follow these steps. 

  • Step 1

First, position the sharp end of a nail in the center of the broken bolt, and strike with a hammer. This will mark the center of the broken bolt. So you can go through the center of the bolt without the risk of damaging the broken bolt’s grooves.

  • Step 2

Now drill a hole through that mark in the bolt using the drill. Make sure the drill is left-handed as left-handed drill bits have threading that runs in the opposite direction. So it will not tighten the bolt. The size of the drill bit needs to be precise. There is a manual included with the drill bits in the extracting kit, which specify the size of the bolt that each drill bit is meant for. If you use a big drill bit then there is a chance you may damage the grooves of the bolt. On the other hand, if you use a small bit then you have to use a weak extractor. There is a high risk the weak extractor may break off in the middle of the procedure.

  • Step 3

Now insert the right extractor bit into the hole that you’ve just made. The bit will have two differently shaped ends. At one end the tip will be left-handed and tapered. At the other end, there will be a T-handle head or a hex head. If the extractor is tapered then make sure you tap it using your hammer before you switch to a T-handle or socket.

  • Step 4

While the extractor is tightened, the end that is tapered will catch and torque forces will act on the bolt to loosen it once the extractor is fitting snuggly. Keep extracting counterclockwise until the bolt is fully removed from where it was embedded. Don’t rush the procedure as you may damage the bolt and causing it to get further stuck.    

  • Step 5
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After removing the broken bolt you have to remove all the shavings and fillings in order to use a new bolt. You can easily remove all the shavings and fillings with a magnet or using compressed air. If the broken bolt becomes very tight then you can use bolt remover fluid to loosen the bolt.    

Remove a Broken Bolt or Screw with Welding Method

Welding method is another very simple way of removing the broken bolt that has become excessively rusted. Just follow the steps.

  • Step 1

First, position the sharp end of a nail in the center of the broken bolt, and strike with a hammer. This will mark the center of the broken bolt.

  • Step 2

Now drill a hole through that mark in the bolt using the drill. You must use a bit which diameter is almost one-fourth the diameter of the bolt to drill it out. You can use both right-handed and left-handed bit.

  • Step 3

After making a hole now you have to screw on a hexagon-shaped nut onto the broken bolt. Make sure the nut is firmly attached with the broken bolt. Leave the nut back by a half-turn. There must be a gap between the nut and the surface in which the bolt is fixed.

  • Step 4

Now weld the nut with the broken bolt. But if you are not familiar with welding then leave it for the experts. You have to be very careful while welding as there is a chance the surface in which the broken bolt has been embedded will melt and bond to the steel nut or bolt.  

  • Step 5

Now that the nut is welded with the broken bolt you can easily remove it. You can easily remove the bolt with a wrench or socket. For bolts that have corroded to a great extent, apply force in both directions but more in a counterclockwise direction, so that it can be removed completely.

Bottom Line

If all these methods fail to take away the broken bolt then the only choice is to drill the broken bolt out completely. In this case, you will have to tap new, larger threads into the hole and find a larger bolt to use in that location.

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