Working on a rusted bolt or screw snap in your old furniture or vehicle is certainly overly frustrating. For an average DIYer, this is a source of problems especially if they weren’t prepared.
Thankfully, if you have the know-how, having a good extractor set is all you need to keep your project rolling. Of much importance is a bolt extractor.
Bolt extractors provide superior connection, and gives you the freedom to undo bolts when needed. They are a quick, convenient and safe way to unscrew your bolts without causing any damage.
With such importance, using the wrong type of bolt extractor can waste your valuable time, energy and may even damage your bolt head or workpiece.
Whether you need a straight or spiral type of extractor will depend on your project. It is said straight bolt extractors are better when it comes to performance (Source).
You’ll want to find one that works on the same size as your bolt, easy to use, versatile and budget-friendly. This will make your extraction work a breeze.
Who Makes The Best Bolt Extractor Set?
Table of Contents
- 1 Who Makes The Best Bolt Extractor Set?
- 2 How Much Do Bolt Extractors Cost?
- 3 How Do I Know What Type of Bolt Extractor I Need?
- 4 Comparing The Best Bolt Extractors
- 5 1. Irwin Hanson Bolt Grip Extractor – Best Overall
- 6 2. Craftsman Impact Grade Bolt/Nut Remover – Best Bolt Extractor for Industrial Applications
- 7 3. Neiko 04204A Hex Head Multi-Spline Screw and Bolt Extractor – Best for Removing Broken Bolts
- 8 4. ABN Spiral Screw and Bolt Extractor – Best Premium Quality Bolt Extractor
- 9 5. Ontel SpeedOut Damaged Screw and Bolt Extractor – Best Bolt Extractor for Stubborn Bolts and Screws
- 10 How Do Bolt Extractors Work?
- 11 Things to Consider When Buying a Bolt Extractor
- 12 How to Use a Bolt Extractor
- 13 Ready To Buy The Best Bolt Extractors?
Irwin Hanson is known to produce the best bolt extractor sets, mainly due to its high durability (made of high carbon steel) and the fact its spiral flutes are designed to offer maximum gripping power.
How Much Do Bolt Extractors Cost?
The cost of the bolt extractor or bolt extractor set you need will vary with the extent of your project. For example, a minimal bolt extractor set can cost as little at $10. A complete set, or a set that allows you to deal with broken bolts, will cost closer to $40.
For specialized sets, such as those that allow you to extract fractional bolts or deep-well bolts, you will have to pay a little more. Specialized bolt extractors can cost anywhere from $60 to $100 per set.
How Do I Know What Type of Bolt Extractor I Need?
When it comes to the price of a bolt extractor, it depends on your situation and the right tool for it. If you have a stuck bolt with no head, you need a spline extractor. If you have a bolt that broke off mid-way but that is either small or not particularly stuck, you can use an extracting bit.
If you’re working with a lot of bolts, say on an old, rusted car, you may want to pick up a socket set specifically designed to remove rusted and corroded bolt heads. If you want to be prepared, a socket set and a set of easy outs should get you through any situation.
Comparing The Best Bolt Extractors
|Product Name||Best Feature|
|Irwin Hanson Bolt Grip Extractor||A|
|Craftsman Impact Grade Bolt Remover||A|
|Neiko 04204A Hex Head Bolt Extractor||A-|
|ABN Spiral Screw and Bolt Extractor||A-|
|Ontel SpeedOut Damaged Screw Bolt Extractor||B +|
1. Irwin Hanson Bolt Grip Extractor – Best Overall
This tool comes with extracting sockets ranging from 3/8 to 5/8 inches, perhaps a perfect choice for those working on a car that has common bolt sizes.
It features a spiral design that delivers the torque required for extraction projects. These spiral bits are of high-quality and allow users to strip the stubborn bolts with much ease.
Irwin Hanson Bolt Grip Extractor is designed to handle tough screws. It extracts all the bolts regardless of whether the bolt is painted, stripped or rusted. With five common bolt extractor sizes, this is a perfect starter set and a must-have item for your toolbox, startup garage or workshop.
These extractors are built to last, thanks to the durable high carbon steel construction. They also grip tightly, perhaps owing to the reverse spiral flutes that bite down to provide maximum gripping power.
Like other bolt extractors, you will need a ratchet to drive them. However, the universal design of the sockets is an assurance that it will fit all the standard sets.
Irwin Hanson Bolt Grip Extractor’s bargain price is the main reason why this tool is a must-have for anyone working on vehicles with varying states of disrepair.
2. Craftsman Impact Grade Bolt/Nut Remover – Best Bolt Extractor for Industrial Applications
This means that you can rip outstripped, rust-ridden or painted over bolts easily.
Some of the intriguing features of this bolt extractor include:
- A spiraled extractor that is fluted tapered on the socket’s interior. It bites the damaged fasteners and won’t let go.
- The socket grabs a greater surface area when turned counterclockwise.
- Can be used with an impact wrench, hand ratchet, breaker bar or air ratchet.
- Ideal for motorcycle, automotive, home, marine and industrial applications.
3. Neiko 04204A Hex Head Multi-Spline Screw and Bolt Extractor – Best for Removing Broken Bolts
The tool is precisely machined with aggressive multispline teeth and left-hand spiral design that provides excellent gripping power and faster threading. The extractors’ high visibility size markings make it a quick selection for the right drill bit.
Neiko 04204A Hex Head Multi-Spline Screw and Bolt Extractor is specially designed with hexagon head that provides maximum torque when used with sockets and wrenches.
4. ABN Spiral Screw and Bolt Extractor – Best Premium Quality Bolt Extractor
The company provides tools and supplies ranging from specialty tools and accessories for general maintenance and upkeep.
The ABN Spiral Screw and Bolt Extractor, one of their latest product on the market, is slowly becoming the best choice of bolt extractor for DIYers. Perhaps this product’s feature highlight is the fluted design that gives the extractor excellent power to withstand resistance.
This tool set comes with a left-hand spiral design that offers increased riveting power. With this reverting broken studs, screws, fittings, bolts, and pins will be a breeze. The set is designed with premium quality cobalt and alloy that ascertains maximum durability.
The ABN Spiral Screw and Bolt Extractor’s drill bits are marked according to their sizes. They are also well-organized in its accompanying blow-molded case on good order. The set is handy, strong and durable enough to provide outstanding extraction process.
5. Ontel SpeedOut Damaged Screw and Bolt Extractor – Best Bolt Extractor for Stubborn Bolts and Screws
This tool is made with high-quality premium quality steel to provide an assurance of withstanding high torsion. You will love the fact that this tool is compatible with any drill type.
Therefore, when using this toolset, you won’t have to worry about the size of your screws and bolts. The extractor gets the job done regardless of the size of bolts and screws.
The other intriguing feature of the Ontel SpeedOut Damaged Screw and Bolt Extractor is its ability to remove screws and bolts on wood or machine. This makes it a perfect choice for contractors, DIYers, carpenters, and handymen.
How Do Bolt Extractors Work?
The basic mechanism of bolt extraction is simple. A bolt extractor is often made of hardened steel. This metal is considerably stronger than typical stainless-steel bolts or brass bolts. There are several types of extractors available, each with unique use-cases.
Easy-Outs and Spline Extractors
Tapered bit-type extractors (aka “easy-outs”) or extractors with spleens can be screwed inside of the bolt, counterclockwise, until it can no longer fit.
Once the extractor is as far inside of the bolt as it will go, the bolt will begin to back out and can then be removed. Some sets will come with a center punch for you to use before drilling in the taper.
Pilot Hole and Extracting Bit
A left-handed drill bit, that is not tapered, can be used to retrieve bolts that have simply broken off. This method is not recommended for rusted bolts or bolts that are cross-threaded or over-tightened. Using a left-handed drill bit, a pilot hole is made in the center of the bolt. An extractor bolt is then used to back out the bolt.
If the bolt head is damaged but not broken off, a fluted taper can help a ratchet or impact wrench grab onto the damaged bolt head.
Things to Consider When Buying a Bolt Extractor
As mentioned before, buying a poor quality bolt extractor is a pure waste of your time, energy and money. Using a quality tool is a great way of achieving better results, and bolt extractors are no exception.
If you don’t know, bolt extractors are designed to remove specific types of screws. Therefore, a wrong choice of the extractor can be costly. To avoid this, consider the following critical factors when shopping for a bolt extractor.
Type of Bolt Extractor
There are two main types of bolt extractors available on the market. Each extractor type has its own use. They include;
- Socket extractors
This type allows the user to remove mildly stripped and heavily rusted bolts. They are overly convenient since they fit into air tools, breaker bar or ratchet without requiring any modifications.
Socket extractors tend to destroy the head of the bolt. However, frankly, the most important thing is to remove the stubborn bolts as they can be replaced later. Using them is quite easy. You just need to stick the socket extractor on the bolt and turn the ratchet or pneumatic tool to grip down the bolt.
- Spline extractors
These are destructive bolt extractors but have high chances of success when used to remove a bolt. This type removes even the tiniest bolt with a small head left on it. You will need to drill the bolt and make sure that everything is sized correctly to use it.
Size of Screws
Bolt extractors come in specific sizes. Whereas some extractors can handle any type or size of the bolt, others work with specific sizes. Therefore, knowing the size of your bolt before buying can help you determine the right size. Generally, an extractor that can handle any type or size of the screw is handy as you can use it in future projects without necessarily purchasing another tool.
Bolt Extractor Quality
The material used in construction directly determines the quality of a bolt extractor. Most modern extractors are made from hardened steel and titanium metal. These are strong and durable metals, which provide an assurance of using the tool for quite a long time.
Other features of meta quality include rustproof and corrosion resistance that adds to the effectiveness and durable stunt of the tool. Having an extractor with such features allows you to enjoy several years of stress-free extraction.
Bolt Extractor Weight
You certainly understand the stress that comes with working with a heavy tool. Similarly, a heavy bolt extractor will drain your energy, especially when working on demanding projects. You will also not enjoy the ease and comfort of using the tool.
Therefore, focus on purchasing a light tool that can be handled with ease without being overwhelmed with its weight. Besides, ensure that it features an ergonomic handle that helps in providing a secure grip. This minimizes your fatigue levels after working.
Bolt Extractor Gripping Power
Nobody wants to stick on removing one bolt for several hours. The gripping power of a bolt extractor determines how long it will take to get your bolt out. A good bolt extractor should be designed in a way that it increases gripping power with increased resistance. Consider reading customer reviews to determine the general performance of the bolt extractor.
Ease of Use
Tools are made to make your work easy. This is exactly what your bolt extractor should do. Modern removers come with matched drill bits on the case. This allows you to match your bits easily to the preferred extractor diameter to make the process simple. Bolt extractors that haven’t been organized increase confusion and waste much of your valuable time.
How to Use a Bolt Extractor
These are two things you need to know before you start the bolt extraction process. Once you know them, the process for using any bolt extractor is simple.
What is the state of my bolt?
A bolt in need of a specialized extractor is one of two things. It could be missing its head, or the head could be damaged so that typical bolt loosening tools are ineffective.
If your bolt is missing a head, what state is it in? Is it just slightly stuck or rusted? Are you trying to remove a bolt that has been glued in or cross-threaded?
What type of bolt extractor do I need to use?
Once you know the state of your bolt, the type of tool you need is easy to find.
How to Extract A Broken-Off Bolt
You need a set of easy-out type bolt extractors or splined extractors, depending on the size of the bolt.
Use a center punch to mark the center of the bolt to help make a straight hole through the center of the bolt. (If you don’t have a center punch and are confident you can drill directly into the center of the bolt, skip this step.)
Drill the bolt extractor into the bolt counterclockwise until it fits tightly. Depending on the bolt extractor, you may need to drill a pilot hole first. Go slowly to minimize damage to the bolt or over-tightening of the extractor.
Allow the bolt to back out slowly, using a lubricant to assist, if needed.
How to Extract a Bolt with a Damaged Head
A fluted socket should help you grip the bolt and remove it as usual. If this process doesn’t work, repeat the above steps for extracting a broken-off bolt.
Ready To Buy The Best Bolt Extractors?
Avoid going for the destructive method before working on a bolt. There are several things you can do to make your work easier, including the use of a bolt extractor.
Bolt extractors are must-have tools that professionals have relied on for years to remove stubborn and damaged screws easily without causing damage to the workpiece.
When using the bolt extractor, you should begin by preparing the bolt. Preparation basically involves placing the center punch in the head and gently tapping the divot for the extractor to follow. You should also apply some thread cutting oil to the bolt for lubrication.
The surge in bolt extractor brands on the market has made it difficult to find the best tool. This can be challenging, but having some grasp of our best products above and understanding what makes a good extractor comes in handy.
This will help you find the right product that suits your needs. From our list of best bolt extractors above, which one do you think is your favorite? Share with us in the comments section below!
Also, check out our buying guide for the Best Car Ramps out there!