Home Blog What is screw stripping and how do you prevent it?

What is screw stripping and how do you prevent it?

So you’ve decided to do a bit of DIY over the weekend, or you’re thinking of switching up your garage storage with some nifty new ideas. Whether you’re an old hand at DIY or tackling a brand new personal challenge, all our products come with clear and simple instructions and are a breeze to put together – with an immensely satisfying result at the end! However, there are still a few little things to watch out for when it comes to your fastener supplies.

In this article, we’ll take a look at screw stripping, one of the most common problems encountered when fastening screws that can be easily overlooked, but can prove problematic in the long run if you decide to adjust or replace your shelf.

What is screw stripping?

In simple terms, a ‘stripped screw’ is a screw whose head is damaged from scratches and nicks on its head to the extent that the finish is stripped away. If repeated abrasion is applied to the screw surface it can create deep scratches in the finish. This not only decreases its aesthetic value, but also makes it near impossible to remove later on with a screwdriver. But screw stripping is often caused in the assembly process of the fastener supplies itself.

What are the most common causes of screw stripping?

Screw stripping is usually caused manually, by the use of a faulty screwdriver or drill bit. The most common faults that lead to stripped screws include:

  • The screwdriver or drill bit slipping out and scratching the screw
  • Using the wrong screwdriver for the given screw head or wrong size drill bit
  • Improper screwdriver etiquette, such as screwing too fast or at an angle to the head
  • Using poor quality or worn out tools
  • Tightening screws too much

Often if a stripped screw gets stuck within bolts and nuts, you can use a pair of pliers to extract it – but it’s best to prevent it at the source before it happens to keep your shelves firmly in place.

How do I prevent my screws from stripping?

If you’re a newcomer to DIY, don’t worry – these are all common occurrences, and may also depend on the quality of your screws and tools. Some people like to use a power drill to get the job done faster, but in fact most high-power electrical tools are not suitable for small fastener supplies and may erode them faster.

It’s best to use a good old-fashioned screwdriver for the purpose, and be sure to match the right screwdriver with the screw head. Use a Phillips head screwdriver for a Phillips head screw, and match the correct sizes. For cap screws, you should always use an Allen key. Be sure to hold the screwdriver directly in line with the screw, and drive it in a rhythm so you don’t go too fast and damage the screw.

If you are still using a power drill, make sure you run it at a slow speed so the drill bit stays aligned to the axis of the screw and doesn’t slip out and damage the head. If you’re using a cordless drill that is equipped with a clutch, set it to the smallest number and gradually increase as the clutch releases and the screw is driven. Maintain an even pressure so you don’t end up working too quickly.

Find the best quality fastener supplies at Pinnacle Hardware

When you use good quality screws to assemble the DIY project of your dreams, there’s a lesser chance you’ll end up with long-term damage. Pinnacle Hardware’s range of bolts, nuts and screws come with superior finishes and precise threads so you never have to worry about screwing up. Find the full range of fasteners on our website, or ask for them at your local Bunnings Warehouse.

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