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10 Best Bolt & Screw Extractors of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

using Alden 8430P Pro Grabit Bolt and Screw Extractor

A set of high-quality bolt and screw extractors is vital to any workshop or DIYer. Nuts and bolts rust and break, as do screws, and they can be nearly impossible to remove when the time comes. If you have tried to tighten or remove a bolt and it broke, you are well aware of the horrifying feeling that overcomes you, but with a good extractor kit, you can fix this problem in no time.

We have chosen ten different bolt and screw extractors to review for you so you can get an idea of the differences between them. We’ll cover the pros and cons of each and tell you how they worked for us. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide to take a close look at these important tools to help you learn more about how they work and what makes one brand better than another.

Join us while we look at durability, pieces, range, extras, and more to help you make an educated purchase.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
IRWIN 394001 Bolt Extractor Set IRWIN 394001 Bolt Extractor Set
  • Reverse spiral flutes
  • High carbon steel
  • Universal lobular design
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Topec Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set Topec Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set
  • Impact-resistant
  • Unique internal thread design
  • Black oxide coating
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    ARES 70016 Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor ARES 70016 Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor
  • Unique clutch system
  • Removes 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch studs
  • Heat-treated steel
  • IRWIN 53227 Screw Extractor Set IRWIN 53227 Screw Extractor Set
  • Extracts 1/8 to 7/8 screws and bolts
  • Includes heavy-duty carrying case
  • Etched sizes
  • VAMPLIERS VT-001 Screw Extraction Pliers VAMPLIERS VT-001 Screw Extraction Pliers
  • Multipurpose
  • Tamper-proof head
  • Vertically and horizontally serrated jaws
  • The 10 Best Bolt and Screw Extractors – Reviews 2021

    1. IRWIN 394001 Bolt Extractor Set – Best Overall

    IRWIN 394001 Bolt Extractor Set

    The IRWIN 394001 Bolt Extractor Set is our pick for the best overall bolt and screw extractor. It has reverse spiral flutes that tightly grab and stripped, painted over, or rusty bolt and help you remove it. High-carbon steel allows the extractor to work without being damaged so that you can use it again and again. The universal lobular design will work with any fastener type, and it comes in a five-piece set that includes a carrying case. The sizes you receive will allow you to remove any 3/8, 7/16, ½, 9/16, or 5/8-inch bolt. You can also purchase and store five additional sockets in the case for even more versatility.

    We found the IRWIN 394001 to work extremely well, and the only negative thing we could say is that the case didn’t hold the sockets secure, especially during transport. They quickly dislodge from the holders and rattle around in the box.

    Pros
    • Reverse spiral flutes
    • High carbon steel
    • Universal lobular design
    • 5-piece set
    Cons
    • The case doesn’t hold the sockets securely

    2. Topec Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set – Best Value

    Topec Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set

    The Topec Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set is our pick for the best bolt and screw extractors for the money. These extracting sockets are impact-resistant chrome-molybdenum steel with a black oxide coating that protects the sockets from rust and corrosion. The sockets have a unique internal thread design that helps them get a better grip on the nuts and bolts you are trying to remove. This value set features 13 sockets and one hex adapter to help you remove 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, and 11/16-inch nuts and bolts, as well as 8, 11, 14, 16, and 19mm.

    The primary downside we experienced while using the Topec was that it is better suited for smaller jobs and can damage quickly in high torque situations, shortening the tool’s lifespan. It’s especially apparent on the larger extractors that naturally require more torque.

    Pros
    • Impact-resistant
    • Unique internal thread design
    • Black oxide coating
    • 13 piece set
    Cons
    • Not for heavy-duty work

    3. ARES 70016 Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor – Premium Choice

    ARES 70016 Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor

    The ARES 70016 Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor is our premium choice bolt and screw extractor. It uses a unique clutch system like an electric drill that adjusts to any size between 1/4 and ½-inch quickly and easily by turning the head, and you can use an ordinary ratchet, wrench, or impact wrench to drive the tool. It’s very heavy-duty, made from heat-treated steel, and has a chrome finish.

    We found the ARES 70016 extremely effective at removing nuts and bolts as long as they fit the tool. The single problem we had was with the clutch style head. When you work closer to the smaller ¼ size, the teeth stick out from the head, making it very easy to grab the object you are trying to extract, and you can get nearly flush with the surface. As you work with larger bolts, the teeth are inside the head so these will need to protrude from the surface more to grip them with this tool.

    Pros
    • Unique clutch system
    • Removes 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch studs
    • Heat-treated steel
    • Chrome finish
    Cons
    • Hard to grab larger bolts

    4. IRWIN 53227 Screw Extractor Set

    IRWIN 53227 Screw Extractor Set

    The IRWIN 53227 Screw Extractor Set is a huge 25-piece set that includes every size between 1/8 and 7/8-inch in 1/32-inch increments, so you are sure to have and size you might need for any project. Irwin etches the size of each bit is into the body, so there is no confusion, and they include a heavy-duty carrying case that won’t deteriorate with frequent use.

    We were impressed with the IRWIN 53227, and it did a great job extracting the screws and bolts that we tested. The only thing we didn’t like was that some of the bits seemed to be forged improperly and were slightly misshaped.

    Pros
    • 25-piece set
    • Extracts 1/8 to 7/8 screws and bolts
    • Includes heavy-duty carrying case
    • Etched sizes
    Cons
    • Misshaped bits

    5. VAMPLIERS VT-001 Screw Extraction Pliers

    VAMPLIERS VT-001 Screw Extraction Pliers

    VAMPLIERS VT-001 Screw Extraction Pliers is a unique extraction tool that resembles an ordinary pair of pliers but with vertical and horizontally serrated jaws designed to bite into and grip stripped screws tightly so you can extract them. The jaws also open quite wide, and you can theoretically remove screws almost 2-inches wide if you were able to get enough torque. It uses high carbon steel and an ergonomic handle with spring resistance to ensure smooth operation and optimal leverage. It also has a tamper-proof sheath to cover the jaws when not used to protect them from damage and corrosive elements.

    We loved the name and found the uniquely shaped jaws perfectly suited to removing stripped screws, but the problem we had with the VAMPLIERS was that the high carbon steel is not hard enough. Each screw that you clamp down on to extract will leave a permanent mark on the tool. After enough screws, there will be sufficient damage that it will no longer grip tightly, allowing it to slip as you turn it, leaving the screw in place.

    Pros
    • Multipurpose
    • Tamper-proof head
    • Vertically and horizontally serrated jaws
    • High carbon steel
    Cons
    • Soft metal

    6. Neiko 04204A Hex Head Multi-Spline Screw and Bolt Extractor Set

    Neiko 04204A Hex Head Multi-Spline Screw and Bolt Extractor Set

    The Neiko 04204A Hex Head Multi-Spline Screw and Bolt Extractor Set is another huge 25-piece set that contains every size between 1/8 and 7/8 inch in 1/32-inch increments. Each bit has the size etched into the body for high visibility, and the multiplane teeth allow the bit to penetrate the screw or bolt for quick removal.

    We like the versatility that a 25-piece kit offers, but the steel the Neiko 04204A uses is a bit soft for high torque applications. We specifically had a problem with the smaller bits and snapped two of them while testing the tool. The larger bits are better suited to the torque required to get the bit seated to begin the extraction. Another thing we didn’t like was the case is quite flimsy, and it’s easy to dump out all of the bits accidentally.

    Pros
    • 25-piece set
    • Extracts 1/8 to 7/8-inch bolts
    • High visibility markings
    • Multiplane teeth
    Cons
    • Flimsy carrying case
    • Soft metal

    7. ROCKETSOCKET RS101 Extraction Socket Set

    ROCKETSOCKET RS101 Extraction Socket Set

    The ROCKETSOCKET RS101 Extraction Socket Set is a 13-piece set that use to fit 19 sizes. You can use it to fit ¼, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, ½, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, and 3/4 -inch bolts using the imperial system and 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 19-mm bolts using the metric system for extreme versatility with a smaller number of bits. Its patented RazorGrip EZ-Out technology helps grip bolts tighter for easier removal. It uses USA steel that’s attractive and hard enough to bite into any bolt without deforming.

    Unfortunately, the dual system used by the ROCKETSOCKET RS101 means that quite a few bits don’t grip the bolt tightly in either system, which makes it difficult to get a good grip even with RazorGrip because it can’t work if it isn’t in contact with the bolt. However, the ones that do fit snug, like the 3/8-inch bit, grip quickly and tightly for easy removal.

    Pros
    • USA steel
    • 13-piece set
    • Razorgrip EZ-Out technology
    Cons
    • Some sockets don’t fit tightly
    • Doesn’t grip well

    8. Alden 8430P Pro Grabit Bolt and Screw Extractor

    Alden 8430P Pro Grabit Bolt and Screw Extractor

    The Alden 8430P Pro Grabit Bolt and Screw Extractor is a three-piece kit that works with an electric or cordless drill. It has a drill on one side for creating a greppable surface, and the other side is the extractor that bites into the screw or bolt and removes it. Each bit has steel construction and is double tempered for extra hardness, and they can extract screws as small as No.4 and bolts as large as 5/16.

    The Alden 8430P looks like a professional kit when it first arrives in the package, but we had a challenging time getting it to grip on the bolts and screws we were using it on. It only worked half the time, and the extraction side is easy to damage because the metal isn’t hard enough. We also felt that several other tools offer far more options to remove larger bolts in the same price range.

    Pros
    • Three-piece kit
    • Drill plus extractor
    • Can use in a drill
    • Double tempered
    • Steel construction
    • Works on screws as small as No. 4
    • Works on bolts as large as 5/16 inch
    Cons
    • Soft metal
    • Reduced range
    • Doesn’t extract well

    9. THINKWORK Impact Bolt Extractor Tool Set

    THINKWORK Impact Bolt Extractor Tool Set

    The THINKWORK Impact Bolt Extractor Tool Set uses chrome-molybdenum steel to provide the user with a durable and attractive 13-piece kit that includes a hex adapter. The sizes included are ¼, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, ½, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, and ¾-inch for the imperial system, and 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 19-mm for the metric system. Each bit has reverse spiral flutes for gripping the bit for extraction, and it comes with a heavy-duty molded case to help protect the bits from damage and corrosion.

    What we didn’t like about THINKWORK is that the metal isn’t very hard, and while the bits did grip well, we were only able to use each a few times before they were too damaged to continue extracting. Another minor problem we noticed was the laser printed sizes quickly rub off the bit, but you can find out what size they are by looking in the storage case.

    Pros
    • chrome-molybdenum steel
    • reverse spiral flutes
    • 13-piece kit
    • Heavy-duty molded case
    Cons
    • Soft metal
    • Sizes rub off

    10. SpeedOut SPEEDPRO1 Damaged Screw Extractor

    SpeedOut SPEEDPRO1 Damaged Screw Extractor

    The SpeedOut SPEEDPRO1 Damaged Screw Extractor claims is a four-piece kit that claims it can remove any screw in ten seconds. Each piece is two-sided and features a drill bit on one side and an extractor on the other. To use it, you install the bit in any drill to drill out a clean surface, flip the bit to the extractor side and it will bite into the screw and remove it.

    The downside we experienced was that it didn’t work well at all. The drill side would not drill without considerable force, and the extractor side wouldn’t extract. The drill would make a round hole in the top with enough pressure, but the extractor would smooth itself because the metal is too soft to bite into the screw. We were only able to remove one screw after several tries and ruining all four bits.

    Pros
    • 4-piece kit
    • Two-sided drill plus extractor
    • Works with any drill
    Cons
    • Soft metal
    • Doesn’t extract
    • Doesn’t drill

    Buyer’s Guide

    Let’s look at bolt and screw extractors to see how they work and what you should look for as you shop.

    How does an extractor work?

    There are three different types of extractors on our list.

    Nut, Bolt, and Stud Extractor

    The nut, bolt, and stud extractor is the easiest to use and only requires a single step to complete the extraction but requires a certain amount of material to be above the surface so the tool can grip it. It looks very much like a common socket from the outside, but the inside is full of carefully cut flutes that grab and bite into the material you are trying to extracts as you twist it on. You twist with a wrench or socket, and some will allow you to use a pneumatic wrench for added power.

    Bolt and Screw Extractor

    The bolt and screw extractor is a thin tool that often requires four steps and a drill to remove bolts and screws flush with the surface.

    1. The first step requires marking the center of the bolt or screw with a center punch.
    2. The second step requires drilling into the surface to create a small hole the same diameter as the extractor you intend to use. Many of the tools on our list have a two-sided bit that features a drill bit on one side and the matching extractor on the other.
    3. The second step requires you to tap the extractor into the hole you created with a small hammer to get the bit started.
    4. The third step requires gently twisting the extractor with the drill or a pair of pliers to remove the screw.

    Screw Extracting Pliers

    Screw extracting pliers are exactly what they sound like—a pair of pliers with specially designed jaws to remove stripped screws. They will require the screw to be sticking up from the surface far enough to grab the head’s side but are a single step extractor. Clampdown on the sides of the head of the stripped screw and twist until the screw comes out. Screw extracting pliers are the least versatile tool because it only works on screws that are not flush with the surface, and the metal jaws must be extremely hard not to wear down when extracting in this way.

    Extracting Tips
    • Though many extractors say you can use them with pneumatic and electric tools, we recommend an ordinary wrench or manual socket so you can gently coax out the offending bolt or screw.
    • Applying too much torque can cause the extractor to slip, ruining your extracting chances and possibly damaging the bit.
    • Patience is key! It would be best to treat extracting as a delicate surgical operation for the best chance of success.
    • When tapping in the bit, only use light taps with a small hammer to seat it. There is no need to hit it hard, which could damage the bit.

    Sizing

    The size of extractor you need will depend on what size bolt or screw you are trying to remove. If you require these tools often, you may want to get one of the larger sets to prepare for any emergency. Most of the bolt extractors on this list are for bolts between ¼ and 1-inch.

    Steel Hardness

    Extractors are not nearly as durable as most of your other tools, because unlike them, the extractor must bite into the steel bolts and screws, which often damages the tool as well. Harder steel will allow you to get more uses out of your tool, and we tried to point out any brands that use substandard steel on our list.

    Accessories

    While not as essential as hard steel, accessories like a durable storage case make it a lot easier to transport the bits and keep them rust and corrosion-free. Many cases also have the bit size printed inside so you know which bit to use. Also, see that the size is on the bit. Many brands on our list etch the sizes into the steel, while others use ink that rubs off after a few uses. If you use a large 13 or 25-piece kit, it can be difficult to find the right size once the print wears off.

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    Conclusion

    We feel that the IRWIN 394001 Bolt Extractor Set is the best suited for most people, so it is our pick for best overall. This five-piece set has all of the most common sizes, and the steel is hard enough to get a good bite and will remove several bolts or studs before it wears out. If you are looking for an inexpensive set to use in an emergency, the Topec Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set is a smart choice. This set is very similar to our top pick, but the metal is slightly softer to cut costs. It won’t last, but it will get you out of a jam.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found them helpful to learn more about these useful tools. If we have helped you choose a set for your workshop, please share these ten best bolt and screw extractors on Facebook and Twitter.

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