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Removing a Stuck Fastener: The Kimball Midwest Way

Posted by Kimball Midwest on May 11, 2023

Tags: How To, Fasteners, Bolts, Grade 8, KM USA, Grade 5

One of the most frustrating things to happen is a stuck or stripped fastener. It can cause a significant amount of downtime and require tools your shop might not have on hand.

To eliminate future frustration and downtime, Kimball Midwest has the solution for when a fastener gets stuck and the best products to use. Here are steps to getting the fastener out and the best products to use to do so.

The first step is to use a wire brush and brush around the stuck fastener to remove any rust or other particles.

Next, hit the fastener with penetrating oil, giving it a few minutes to soak. Kimball Midwest’s Torq CB is a bestseller and perfect for stuck fasteners by quickly cutting through tough build-ups of grease, grime and contaminants that stop other penetrants. It also cleans and removes rust and corrosion to help free frozen and corroded mating parts.

After the fastener has had a soak, give it a few taps with a hammer to break loose the mating parts.

Typically, 12-sided sockets and wrenches can’t get a good grip and might round off the bolt. Using a 6-sided socket is a better option. If the fastener is still stuck, consider using a tool extender for added torque.

Still stuck? The next step is adding heat. This will expand the metal and break the bonds holding the fastener to the mating part. While a torch can do the trick, an open flame heightens fire hazards. An induction heat tool heats the fastener head slowly and evenly. This can heat the head just enough to cause metal expansion, allowing you to use your socket and wrench to remove it.

If you are working with a bolt head that has been rounded, use a bolt extractor like our Turbo Torq Extractor. The extractor’s left-hand twist digs into the bolt and also works on studs.

The worst-case scenario is the bolt head breaking off. Starting with a left-hand drill bit, roughly 2/3 the diameter of the bolt you are working with and a drill with reverse, drill dead center. Even if the bolt still doesn’t break free, you will have a hole needed for using an extractor.

Place the extractor into the hole that you just drilled, tapping it in with the hammer. Use a wrench or socket to turn the extractor and turn out the bolt.

The Kimball Midwest YouTube page has a video that fully runs through these steps for getting a stuck fastener out. You can check it out here to see the products mentioned above being put to use.

If you have questions about any of the products above or more tips and tricks to remove stuck fasteners, you can reach out to your Kimball Midwest sales representative today. If you don’t have a sales rep, we can help you Find a Rep.

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