Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Syracuse area, NY
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Re: Tips on loosening screw
Same comments... make SURE you're using a screwdriver that fits the screw perfectly.. no wiggle room. If not, you'll end up stripping the already questionable grip that phillips head screws afford you. If you DO ruin the grooves in the screwhead, you can carefully cut a single long slot it in for a larger flat-head screwdriver, but be careful you don't cut too deep.
The tighten first then loosen trick can work... not a bad tip to break loose a stuck screw, provided it hasn't been over-torqued in the first place.
Breaking a screw or bolt loose required the OPPOSITE tactic of properly tightening it in the first place. When tightening or torquing, always apply increasingly steady pressure until you're at your desired tigthness... no yanking. When you're trying to free a bolt or screw, however, seat your driver as firmly has humanly possible... PUSH the sucker in with your entire body and weight (and then some if you can get extra purchase behind you) then really crank on it hard.. go for it. Try your best to imitate an impact driver.. impact!
Or, as one of the first responders said above, get an impact driver. DeWalt makes a battery-powered one that's saved my butt on rusty screws that would NEVER have come out any other way on my cars. Great tool, very small, and a surprising amount of power.
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