Getting A Broken Bolt Out: Tips And Tricks

How To Get A Broken Bolt Out Of Wood
How To Get A Broken Bolt Out Of Wood from

The Frustration of Broken Bolts

Dealing with a broken bolt can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of a project. Whether you’re a professional mechanic or a DIY enthusiast, encountering a broken bolt is something that can happen to anyone. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can successfully remove a broken bolt and get back on track with your project. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks to help you get a broken bolt out without causing further damage or delays.

Assessing the Situation

The first step in removing a broken bolt is to assess the situation. Take a moment to examine the bolt and determine the extent of the damage. Is the bolt completely sheared off, or is a portion of it still visible? Understanding the condition of the broken bolt will help you choose the most appropriate method for its removal.

Method 1: Extracting with Pliers or Vice Grips

If a portion of the broken bolt is still protruding, you may be able to remove it using pliers or vice grips. Carefully grip the exposed part of the bolt and turn it counterclockwise to remove it. This method works best when dealing with smaller bolts or screws.

Method 2: Using a Bolt Extractor

When the broken bolt is completely sheared off, a bolt extractor can be a valuable tool. A bolt extractor is a specialized tool designed to grip onto the broken bolt and remove it. Start by drilling a small hole into the center of the broken bolt using a drill bit slightly smaller than the extractor. Insert the extractor into the hole and turn it counterclockwise using a wrench. The extractor’s gripping teeth will bite into the bolt, allowing you to remove it.

Method 3: Welding a Nut onto the Broken Bolt

In some cases, when the bolt is severely damaged or stuck, welding a nut onto the broken bolt can provide a solution. This method requires some welding skills and equipment. First, clean the broken bolt and the surface surrounding it. Then, place a nut over the broken bolt and weld it onto the bolt. Allow the assembly to cool down before using a wrench to turn the nut counterclockwise, which will loosen and remove the broken bolt.

Preventing Broken Bolts

While knowing how to remove a broken bolt is essential, taking preventive measures can save you time and frustration. Here are some tips to help prevent broken bolts:

Tip 1: Use the Right Tools

Using the correct size and type of tools for the job can prevent excessive force and reduce the risk of breaking bolts. Invest in a good set of quality tools that are appropriate for the task at hand.

Tip 2: Apply Lubrication

Before attempting to loosen or tighten bolts, apply a lubricant such as penetrating oil to reduce friction. This can make the process smoother and reduce the chances of bolts breaking.

Tip 3: Avoid Over-tightening

It’s crucial not to over-tighten bolts, especially in fragile materials or when dealing with fasteners that have specific torque requirements. Use a torque wrench to ensure proper tightening without causing damage.

Tip 4: Check for Corrosion

Corrosion can weaken bolts over time, making them more prone to breaking. Regularly inspect and replace corroded bolts to prevent unexpected failures.


Dealing with a broken bolt can be a frustrating experience, but with the right techniques and preventive measures, you can overcome this challenge. Remember to assess the situation, choose the appropriate method for removal, and take preventive measures to avoid future broken bolts. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well-equipped to handle broken bolts and keep your projects running smoothly.