Have to Unscrew Screws without the right tools?

Using a screwdriver is the best way to remove a screw. However if you find yourself needing to unscrew screws and want to do something new, a little resourcefulness can go a long way. Don’t worry if you don’t have the exact tool for the job (a screwdriver or drill); with a little creativity and outside-the-box thinking, you can get the job done.

You can use unnoticed tools, little things around the home or in your cupboards to substitute for a screwdriver. Here are a few tips as to how you can easily unscrew screws even if you don’t have a screwdriver at your disposal.

Tips for Removing a Flat Head Screw

  • Use a card – You always have a card in your purse or at home and you can use it to good effect if you’re trying to unscrew a flat screw. Insert an old, solid card into the long groove and move it counter-clockwise.
  • Soda can tab – Go to your refrigerator and find a soda (or beer) can. Remove its tab from the top and use it to unscrew the screw. It will work!
  • Use a coin – Coins are easily available and are quite handy when it comes to unscrewing a screw. Any coin will work as long as it fits in the groove.
  • Try your thumbnail – If the screw is relatively loose, you can remove it from any surface with your thumbnail. However, you might hurt yourself if the screw is tight.
  • Use a butter knife – Butter knives are easy to come by and are usually present in your kitchens. It will easily unscrew the screw if you turn the knife anti-clockwise after inserting it into the groove.
  • Try pliers – Even if you don’t have a regular flat head screwdriver, you can make use of needle nose pliers. It will work only if the screw is raised a little.

Tips for Removing a Phillips Head Screw

  • Use a CD – Insert the CD into the longer groove and rotate counter-clockwise. Use an old CD because it might get damaged in the process.
  • Try a hacksaw – You can use a hacksaw to make one of the grooves longer so that you can use the same techniques that are useful for flat head screws.
  • Toothbrush – Melt one end of a plastic toothbrush and put the melting plastic in the grove and let it cool. Once it hardens, you can move it counter-clockwise to unscrew the screw. This will work only for slightly loose screws.
  • You can also use things like coins, cards, pliers, butter knives or thumbnails to unscrew these screws.

Torx screws can also be unscrewed using a toothbrush exactly as Phillips head screws. For tiny screws, you can use the tip of a knife, the tip of a metal nail file, scissors and pointy tip of tweezers to good effect.