Alden makes a tool for extracting stripped screw heads called the Grabit. We had to pick up a set this weekend because one of the interns got, um, over-eager with the portable screwdriver.
The Grabit system consists of two parts: a grabber, an extractor. The grabber's job is to prep the stripped screw so the extractor can remove it. The grabber is really more of a cutter. It is designed to make the surface of the stripped screw head rough enough for the extractor to bite into it and turn the screw.
The screw we had to extract was a wood screw. It did not appear to be steel but some kind of softer alloy. The Phillips driver had pretty much smoothed out the head. There was not much for the regular driver to bite into and turn the screw.
We followed the directions which came with the Grabit and got the screw out on the first try. The tool was straightforward to use and did the job cleanly and effectively. Here is a close up of the screw after removal. You can clearly see where the Grabit had made a new mark.
The three bit set cost us $20 at Home Depot. We found it cheaper online, but this is one of those tools which you will not likely buy unless you really need it. By that time, waiting the few days to save a few dollars would probably not be worth it. You can be prepared and get a set now or make the drive to Home Depot when you really need it. Because ooner or later, you will. [Permalink]- Pro Grabit