A laptop is a personal accessory that a lot of us only know as far as usage goes, and not in terms of its technicalities. How it’s made, how the screen and the keyboard are connected, what materials are used, are usually useless questions, not important enough to ask unless they are connected to their performance. This is why a small screw in your laptop is a rather unimportant thing unless it gets stuck.
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This article addresses ways on how to get a stripped screw out of a laptop because it can get complicated if it breaks while inside your laptop. There are a few different ways in which you can safely remove a stripped screw from your laptop. This can happen while you are removing and replugging your battery, or getting it checked, etc. A screw can get stuck in multiple ways, for example, break halfway, or lodge in an incorrect manner. Let’s look at a few ways that can help us get the screw out safely.
5 Ways to Get a Stripped Screw Out of your Laptop:
Using a Drill
Just off the bat, this seems like an intense solution but it is the one that seems to do the trick for many. If you have used a drill before, you would know it just requires caution while in use and is not that difficult to handle. Often this screw head gets difficult enough that you are unable to extract it using any of these other methods. In any case, if you are stuck with the screw after trying all other methods, it’s time to drill it out.
The screw situation can be either on the external surface or in the internal parts such as near the motherboard, wherever it is make sure you cover it up before you use the drill to prevent any shavings from getting on it. Adjust the drilling speed accordingly, depending upon the screw-type too, and get it out. As long as you’re cautious and proactive, the process is easy to carry out and mostly ends up being your final solution to the problem.
Using an Elastic/Rubber band
A common solution to something being stuck is using the friction of a rubber band to get it out. In this case, the screw often gets stuck either due to uneven size or because it breaks and there’s no space to grip the screw and get it out. A rubber band helps get a grip on the screw without damaging anything nearby. You can use it easily without any assistance too.All you have to do is take one of those flat rubber bands and place it on the stuck screw, from where the screwdriver can reach it. Now use the screwdriver to twist the screw out, the rubber band in the middle will help bridge the previous gap, and get a firmer grip on the stuck screw. Twist the screw until you get a good grip on it via the elastic band and spin it the way out. Alternatively, you can use any piece of rubber you find around, a broken glove, tire piece,, or anything like that. The point is to fill the gap that is making it impossible to get a grip on the screw, enough to get it out.
This might not work where the screw does not have a small enough slot of a gap that the rubber can fill. You can still try and check out how it works out, it will not worsen the situation for sure, even help you see how much of a gap there is. You might even be able to loosen the screw enough to use pliers to pick it out. That will further be explained in the next alternate solution for how to get a stripped screw out of a laptop
This has a condition that at least a part of the screw should be above the slot, showing and out of the space to grip using pliers. There could be many reasons behind you not having a screwdriver to easily twist the screw out, broken head, no screwdriver or no screwdriver in that appropriate size,, etc. You will need a specific size and type of pliers too because this entire situation is mostly created when the screw is small enough.
You can work your way with the screw by gripping the screw with pliers and twisting it around from that grip. Make sure you are aware of what the screw is made of at this point so that you don’t put more pressure than necessary. Usually, these are not as strong as, say stainless steel screws that don’t break easily. If you don’t see any exposed part of the screw do not force the pliers to grip, you could damage the laptop area surrounding that. Ultimately, you need a little stealth to make it work if you are opting for this option.
Using Specialized Tools
This is a part that is a category in itself, these specialized tools that we are going to talk about. These are not commonly known by the general public or the masses because their use is too obscure and in the niche. More specifically, because a lot of electrical work seems too intimidating to get into. Therefore, the need doesn’t require learning about it. However, this is an example of a moment on how you can learn more about tools and how to’s of electrical. There are two main specialized tools to be discussed in this:
An extractor or extractor drill is a tool that is very specific to drilling something out, extracting it, as the name suggests. Traditional drills, as we use them, have the purpose of drilling and fixing something in, while an extraction drill does the opposite. Usually, any hardware store has an extractor available. So it is not hard to procure. However, there are different types of extractors, therefore, if you are getting an extractor, make sure to get its kit with it. The kit has different tools to help you extract different material screws of different sizes.
More specifically as to why these specialized tools are required is when the situation seems a bit complicated. You can solve the entire problem if you can just create a flat-screw type of slot on the top of the stripped screw that is stuck. You can do this two ways, with a Dremel and its multiple different tool heads, and with a hacksaw. The Dremel is preferred and recommended because its cutting disc is way efficient and makes it easy for you to carry out the ordeal. It is easy once you use the cutting disc head on the Dremel to make the top resemble a flat screw so that it can be taken out. After the impression is made, use a regular flat screwdriver to unscrew and take the striped one out.
Using a WD-40 oil spray
Lastly, a reason for your screw getting stuck in the first place could be due to grease piling in or anything else that might be choking the space. Something that can very conveniently help with that is oiling, generally used in hardware-related processes. The WD 10 is particularly good at clearing out a path that is being held and needs to be cleaned.
How it works is that space needs to be left with the spray on for a while, for the fluid to work its way through whatever is blocking it. Ideally, you can give it half an hour or above, but if you want things to work faster, a 15-minute breadth of space between spraying and trying to loosen the screw may work too. But this is only for laptops that do not have steel in the parts where the screw got stuck.
These were all our suggestions for how to get a stripped screw out of a laptop. Ultimately, what works for one person might not work for you, and there’s nothing saying that it definitely should. Try switching your screwdriver size at first, that might be the cause of your problem. But if that doesn’t work, you can try any of these solutions to see if they help, take caution, and don’t forget to test the things you don’t know about to make a safe choice.