What Kind Of Drill Bit Do I Need To Drill Out A Screw?

When you’re working with screws, one particular problem is inevitable — a broken screw that doesn’t want to come out. It could be because the screw is made of soft metal, or you just overdrove the screwdriver and removed the grip marks on the head of the screw used to drive it. To get that screw out, you need a drill bit — but what kind?

You can use a screw extractor drill bit to drill out a screw that has a damaged head. An extractor bit has two ends — one to drill out the head, and the second bites into the screw and helps remove it. Using the extractor bit counter-clockwise for both ends of the bit is critical.

What Kind Of Drill Bit Do I Need To Drill Out A Screw?

This article will discuss how to drill out a screw with and without a head. With the help of this guide, you’ll know how to deal with a screw that gets stuck. Without further ado, let’s get started!

* This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How To Drill out a Screw With an Extractor Bit

Suppose you’re working on a project that requires screws.

Somewhere along the way, things happen (e.g., putting too much strength into the screwing).

You then end up with a stripped-out screw head, resulting in you being unable to drive the screw in or remove it from the wall.

This situation calls for an extractor bit to jump in and save the day.

Extractor bits usually have two ends.

There’s the burnisher, which is used to drill a hole in the screw head to make space for the extractor side.

The extractor side of the bit bites into the screw and backs it out of the wall.

It’s critical to ensure that your drill is set to rotate counter-clockwise for both ends and that you’re equipped with the right-sized bit.

Counter-clockwise rotation helps the extractor side of the bit to grip the screw and bring it out.

Maintain steady pressure and feel the contact of the bit with the screw as you slowly spin the drill.

As a wood enthusiast, I have tried a few extractor bits, and the Loboo Idea Screw Extractor Set (available on Amazon.com) is the best bang for your buck.

It comes with different variations depending on the number of sizes and gets the job done marvelously.

How To Drill out a Screw Without a Head With a Drill Bit

Imagine you’re working on a home project, and the screw head breaks off for some odd reason.

When this happens, it’s difficult to get the screw out of the material it’s screwed into.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to correct the situation:

  1. Use a carbide drill bit and wear protective gear. To retrieve the screw with a broken head, you need a drill bit made from a tough material, such as carbide. Keep in mind that although carbide is a rigid material, it’s also very brittle, so when using a carbide drill bit, ensure you wear your protective gear to safeguard your eyes, nose, and hands.
  2. Use a drill bit much smaller than the screw shaft. To begin the extraction process, pick a drill bit much smaller than the shaft of the screw. Drill a hole right in the middle of the screw all the way through, as far as the drill bit can go.
  3. Once this is done, replace the bit with a larger one and drill another hole into the shaft to make the previous one bigger to accommodate the extractor bit. Make sure all the drilling is done in a counter-clockwise motion.
  4. Replace the drill bit with an extractor bit. At this point, replace the drill bit with an extractor bit and start drilling in a counterclockwise rotation. At a certain point, the extractor bit will bite into the screw shaft and retrieve the screw out of the material. It’s essential to keep a slow and steady momentum going when using an extractor bit.
  5. Once the screw has been removed from the material, it will be attached to the extractor bit. This happens because the bit is biting into the screw shaft. Grab a pair of pliers and try to remove the shaft from the bit.

Even if you perform all the steps above properly, however, it’s still possible that something may go awry.

In that case, professional help may be needed.


This article provides all the information you need to remove a screw with a stripped-out head.

It also explains how you can retrieve a screw with no head.

One key point to keep in mind is to use an extractor bit.

It’s important that you use the right size, and that you rotate the bit in a counterclockwise direction to extract your stuck screw.

I wish you all best of luck with your DIY projects!

Cheers, tools owners!

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Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.