How to remove decking screws

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  • #104

    How do I remove a failed decking screw, is their a tool for this?

    Perhaps a question for an Engineer, so what is the best was to remove a decking screw, a screw that has failed for what ever reason.

    Some times the head wears too much and the driver can’t get a sound grip and slips thus wearing the screw head down even more so you can’t get it in nor out…

    Ideas would be great.



    If the head is sunk into the deck-board and you can get no purchase on it, I’d drill the head out using a metal bit slightly wider than the shaft so that as you drill in, the head shears off. Once the board has been removed, effectively ripped off this remaining screw, you can get purchase using pliers.

    If you’ve got the screw part-way out but buggered the head, pliers will grip.

    If you’ve buggered the head, you might get a straight hand screwdriver in to loosen the screw enough to get pliers or mole-grips onto it for removal.

    Hope this helps?


    Turtle Productions


    Like this Mark, drill the head off, seem pretty simple and a good idea. Have you ever used any of the screw extraction kits available, these work for the larger units but struggle with the small screws (decking) and the high torque required to overcome the initial friction or perhaps the “Easy out” for example…


    No Karl, never really suffer from broken screws to be honest (and that’s using B & Q cheapies as bulk purchases) nor have the need to remove deck-boards sympathetically. If a deck needs to come up, generally its old and needs replacing, so the boards can be beasted out if necessary.

    I’d further suggest that the primary failure with screw heads is people not torqueing down their drills so as not to damage the head in the first place. By not over-torqueing the screw, the screw then sits at deck-board surface level rather than being driving into the wood which should mean it comes out easily? Coupled with an un-worn screwdriver bit of course set on slow speed for precision withdrawal rather than normal drill speed.


    Great, how much are the “cheapy” screws from B&Q, are these the green coloured screws. I guess they would be ok as such for soft wood deck but never on a hardwood.

    I use the Fastenmaster 50mm at 4.74 pence per screw or 63mm exterior wood screw CMDS-63-500 at 3.93 pence per screw, these are the super cheap pro screws on the market

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