how to remove a broken bolt
Tips & Tricks

Save Money And DIY: How To Remove A Broken Bolt

Metal bolts are among the most widely used fasteners, and with good reason. Bolts are extremely strong once installed and will hold almost any material together indefinitely. However, you may need to remove a bolt from time to time. When everything is operating properly, turn the bolt counterclockwise with a wrench, and it will come out just as easily as it went in. Bolts can, however, break and make removal extremely difficult. Here is how to remove a broken bolt.

Tools Needed

At a minimum, every hobbyist is recommended to have the following tools:

  • Center punch
  • Hammer
  • Variable-speed reversible electric drill
  • Left-handed drill bit
  • Vise grip pliers
  • Extraction drill bits kit

Step by Step Guide

It can be extremely frustrating to try to remove a seized, damaged, or broken bolt. However, some procedures are recommended for removing the troublesome fastener with a considerably higher possibility of success.  If you get yourself in such a situation, here’s how you can fix a broken bolt yourself and save money.

Step 1: Center Punch The Shattered Bolt

As near to the center as possible, the center punches the shattered bolt. With a center punch, mark the center of the fractured bolt with a hammer. It will assist you in drilling as close to the center of the bolt as possible, reducing the risk of harming the broken bolt’s threads.

Step 2: Drill The Pilot Hole

Drill a pilot hole with the left-handed drill bit included in the broken bolt extraction kit. These are unique drill bits threaded in the opposite direction than standard drill bits because they are meant to remove broken bolts. As a result, you’ll be using your drill’s reverse setting to drill into the bolt.

Once you’ve got the bit in your drill, put a lot of downward pressure on the bolt and start drilling, trying to maintain the pressure as even as possible. The extraction bit will need to be fixed in position by drilling down about a half-inch. However, in many circumstances, the bit creates enough torque on the bolt that it starts to unscrew during this process.

Step 3: Remove The Bolt After Inserting The Extraction Bit

Once the extractor is tight, the tapered end will catch, and torque will work to loosen the bolt. Then, using a wrench or ratchet and socket, continue twisting the extractor counterclockwise until the broken bolt is entirely removed from the surface. Straight and square flute extractors must be hammered into the hole drilled in the stud to remove the stud.

To avoid further damage to the bolt, make sure to pace the process. If the extractor slips and loses its grip on the screw, tap the extractor harder to get a better grip on the screw. Then, as you turn the extractor counterclockwise, press down harder. Finally, gently enlarge the pilot hole and try again.

It’s important to guarantee that you avoid this frustrating situation in the future after learning how to remove a damaged bolt. This is accomplished by always utilizing the properly sized bolts and securing them in place using the appropriate equipment. Also, make sure you’re not over tightening bolts, as this could cause the head to break off. However, if this does occur, you can be assured that you know how to remove a damaged bolt and your money.

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