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Effective Extractors and When to Use Them

Posted by Kimball Midwest on August 13, 2018

Tags: Cutting Tools, Extractors, Bolts

It’s probably happened to you at some point, whether you’re a DIYer or you work in repair and maintenance. You stripped or broke a screw or bolt, and it refuses to budge. Broken fasteners are not just frustrating, they can ruin your work material, and your day, if you don’t have a good extractor to remove them.

Fortunately, Kimball Midwest offers various extractors to help you remove a broken fastener, saving you time and your sanity. Our handy guide will help you choose the right extractor for the job.

Left-Hand Drill Bits

A left-hand drill bit is the ideal first step to extracting stuck bolts. Our Super Primalloy Left Hand Drill Bits are made to cut into extremely hard metals. The counter-clockwise direction of the flutes helps loosen the fastener. With this method alone, you have a 50% chance of removing the stuck fastener without the use of the other extractors mentioned below.

To use:
    1. Make an indentation in the fastener with a center punch by tapping the center punch lightly with a hammer until a divot appears.
    2. Select a drill with reverse rotation and insert the drill bit.
    3. Place the tip of the drill bit into the indentation.
    4. Drill a hole roughly 2/3 the size of fastener you want to remove.
Even if you can’t remove the fastener using only the drill bit, you now have the hole you need to use the other extractors – and the drill won’t further tighten the stuck fastener like a right hand one can.

Screw Extractors

The Super Primalloy Double Duty Screw Extractor can be used with right-hand and left-hand threaded fasteners. This extractor has a pointed tip, so it can also be used as a center punch.

To use:
  1. After drilling a hole into the fastener, tap the screw extractor into the hole using a hammer.
  2. Turn the extractor either clockwise or counter-clockwise (depending on the fastener threads), using the wrench of your choice. The flutes will bite in and provide a secure grip for removal.
Spiral Flute Screw Extractors are named for their curved flutes, which dig deeper into the fastener as it resists. A potential issue with these extractors is that they may cause the fastener to expand as they dig in, making it more difficult to remove, but they can make a reliable extraction on all but the most stuck fasteners. 
To use:
  1. After drilling a hole into the fastener, tap the screw extractor into the hole using a hammer.
  2. Turn the extractor with a wrench to loosen the fastener.
Super Primalloy SP+ Screw Extractors have straight flutes. Unlike the spiral flute design, they do not dig deeper or apply additional expansion pressure that could hinder extraction.  

To use:
  1. After drilling a hole into the fastener, tap the screw extractor into the hole using a hammer.
  2. Turn the extractor with a wrench to loosen the fastener.
Drill-Out Bolt Extractors have a left-handed tip, requiring a reverse function on your drill.

To use (must use with the drill set in reverse):
  1. Drill a hole into the fastener using the drill bit built into the extractor, and with the collet screwed back so it is in contact with the drill’s chuck.
  2. Drill the tip of the extractor into the fastener.
  3. Screw the collet back down so it is in contact with the back of the drill part of the extractor.
  4. Put the extractor back in the hole and begin drilling. When the collet engages in the hole, it should drive the fastener out.
Hex-Out Damaged Socket Screw Extractors are designed to remove stripped socket head screws without the need for drilling.

To use:
  1. Tap the extractor into the socket recess with a hammer.
  2. Back out the socket screw.
Tap Extractors
If a tap breaks while you’re tapping a hole, you can use an extractor for that, too. Tap Extractors have multiple extendable fingers that slide down into a broken tap’s flutes for a secure grip.

To use:
  1. Pick an extractor that matches the size and flute pattern of the tap.
  2. Extend the fingers, sliding them into the flutes of the tap.
  3. Slide the collar down so fingers grip tap securely.
  4. Spray penetrating oil into the hole and wait a few minutes.
  5. Tap the extractor lightly a few times with a hammer.
  6. Use a standard tap wrench on the square end of the extractor and twist the extractor back and forth until the tap loosens.
  7. Turn the extractor and back the tap out.
With all the options available, you never have to get stuck with a broken fastener or tap. If you need more information about the types of extractors and how to use them, Find A Rep
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