How to Remove Stuck Screws From Wood

Few things are more frustrating than a screw stuck in wood while working on a project. This always seems to occur on one of the last few screws that you are removing. There is a simple trick to remove the stuck screw without just hammering the screw flush with the wood.

Step 1

Plug a soldering iron into the nearest wall socket and allow the iron to heat for 15 minutes or until the tip is a bright orange. 

Step 2

Cut a straight slot across the head of the screw with a Dremel rotary tool and a grinding wheel attachment.  Make the slot large enough for a flathead screwdriver.

Step 3

Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the head of the screw and heat the screw for one minute.  The heat on the screw will loosen the wood around the threads of the screw. The heat will also melt any glue that may be around the screw. 

Step 4

Allow the screw to cool and turn the screw counterclockwise with a properly sized screwdriver for the slot you cut in the head of the screw.  Using a screwdriver that is too small will strip the head of the screw. Grab the screw with a pair of pliers to finish removing because the screw will still be too hot to handle with your bare hands. 

Step 5

Burn an indention in the wood around the screw with the soldering iron if the screw is broken or embedded in the wood.  Use the soldering iron to burn down the edge of the wood around the screw just enough so that you can grab the head with vice grips. Grab the head of the screw with a pair of vice grips and twist the screw out of the wood. 

Things You Will Need

  • Soldering iron
  • Dremel rotary tool with grinding wheel
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Vice grips


  • You can also purchase a screw removal tool to extract the screw. This tool enables you to drill a hole through the screw and then insert the screw removal tool for extraction.


  • Always exercise proper precaution when working with a soldering iron and with power tools. Follow any and all safety instructions in the tools' manuals.

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.

Photo Credits

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