How to take a screw out of my laptop casing that has no head?

Materials and Tools For Stripped Screw and Bolts You’ll Need

  • Pliers/Locking pliers
  • Power drill
  • Oscillating tool
  • Screwdriver set
  • Screw extractor drill bits
  • Hacksaw
  • Hammer
  • Center punch
  • Machine oil
  • Rust penetrating oil


Switch to a Manual Screwdriver

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

If you’ve been trying to remove the stripped screw with your drill, often switching to a manual screwdriver for the same screw type is enough to extract the screw. A manual screwdriver gives you more control over the torque than with a drill—which can sometimes run away from you.

Use a Larger Driver Bit

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Switch out the driver bit in your drill for another one designed for a screw with a larger head. The larger driver bit can distribute the pressure across more of the screw head, helping to turn the screw out.

The working procedure

The probably easiest way to turn a stucked screw out of a workpiece (e. g. structural steel) is to use a left-hand cutting twist drill. This applies, for example, in cases where the screw is hardly rusted but only broken off.

Following video is available for our left-hand cutting twist drill:

In this video you can see how easy it is to unscrew the broken screw.

If your broken screw is uneven, protrudes slightly and you can hardly center the drill bit in the screw, and/or you work with the hand drill, then

  1. level the surface with the file;
  2. use the center punch, by punching with the hammer a centering in the middle of the screw.

Drill the screw out with the left-hand cutting twist drill as shown in the video. If you have cutting oil at hand, use it here.

How to Unscrew a Flat Head Screw Without a Screwdriver

As opposed to two grooves, flat head screws have one long groove that extends across the head of the screw only. These types of screws are often used for decorative purposes, can be found on older furniture, and are the oldest type of screws in use today. If you don’t have access to a flat head screwdriver, the following Phillips head screw removal techniques can be applied for use on flat head screws:

  • Kitchen butter knife
  • Pliers (or vice grips)
  • Your thumbnail
  • Coins (dimes and pennies work best)

Other options for the removal of flat head screws include:

  • Card: Any sort of plastic card, such as a credit card, can be used to turn a flat head screw. Insert the edge of the card into the flat head screw’s groove and turn counterclockwise to remove. Make sure that you use a strong card, as it could become damaged in the process.
  • Soda can tab: Similar to how you would use a coin, you can use the tab off of a soda can. Remove the tab from the can and insert it into the groove of the flat head screw. Then, turn counterclockwise to unscrew the screw.

Still stuck? Try stronger techniques

Hammer the impact driver

Hold the body of the impact driver to prevent it f

Hold the body of the impact driver to prevent it from turning. Then hit the end with a serious blow. If the screw still won’t budge and the surrounding surfaces can tolerate some heat, aim a lighter flame directly onto the screw head. Then douse it with cold water before trying it again. Still stuck? Invest in an impact screwdriver (photo 2). Pick one up for about $20 at a home center or an auto parts store.

Screws: How to Loosen a Stuck Phillips Screw

Rusty screw with head

If the screw is rusty, the following two tips can be used to loosen a screw with a head without much effort:

  1. Soak the screw with penetrating oil for a few days.
  2. Slight hammer on the bolt head. Due to the vibrations of the hits, the rust layer can crack and loosen the connection between workpiece and screw.

Why Not Cover it?

While all these hacks can be handy, it is always better to cover up rather than remove the screw with no head unless it is essential. Try leaving it as it is and, instead, cover it up with some leveling or any filling material. This ensures proper hiding of the screw, making it completely invisible.

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