It’s best to avoid stripping screws in the first place. However, from time to time, even the most experienced handymen will damage a screw head. While there are multiple ways to remove stripped screws, using a damaged screw extractor is oftentimes the easiest and most efficient way to do so.
When it comes to damaged screw extractors, Alden Pro Grabit is one of the best-known products. In this review, I take a closer look at what it is, how it works, and whether it’s worth getting among other things.
Alden Pro Grabit Damaged Screw Extractor
A set featuring extractors of four different sizes. One of the best known tools for removing stripped screws.
What Is Alden Pro Grabit?
Alden Pro Grabit is a tool for removing damaged screws. It’s essentially a double-sided attachment to drills. One of the sides creates a smooth hole in the damaged screw head, and the other side threads into it and spins the screw out of the material it’s stuck in.
The individual sizes are as follows:
- ProGrabit #1 (8401P): The smallest of the four. Works with screw sizes number 4 to 7 as well as 3/16-inch (5 mm) bolts.
- ProGrabit #2 (8402P): Works with screw sizes number 8 to 10 as well as 1/4-inch (6 mm) bolts.
- ProGrabit #3 (8403P): Works with screw sizes number 11 to 14 as well as 5/16-inch (8 mm) bolts.
- ProGrabit #4 (8404P): Works with screw sizes number 16 to 24 as well as 3/8-inch (10 mm) bolts.
The sets are as follows:
- ProGrabit 2-Piece Kit (8420P): Includes ProGrabit #1 and #2.
- ProGrabit 3-Piece Kit (8430P): Includes ProGrabit #1, #2, and #3.
- ProGrabit 4-Piece Kit (8440P): Includes all four sizes.
Unless you work a lot with screws of the same sizes – and even then – I recommend you get the ProGrabit 4-Piece kit to have all bases covered. It will also often be cheaper than if you bought different sized bits individually.
The Pros and Cons of Alden Pro Grabit
Now that you know what the Pro Grabit tool is, let’s take a look at why you should – or shouldn’t – get it.
Starting with the pros, it’s a tool that is very simple to use and that is made from high-quality double-tempered steel. As such, unlike some of the other similar tools, it’s more durable and will last through multiple extractions.
It’s also convenient to use since both of the steps – burnishing the damaged screw head and extracting the screw – can be taken care of with a single bit. Using the tool doesn’t require any grinding or center punching.
Finally, the Alden Pro Grabit comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The company will replace – free of charge – any Pro Grabit that is damaged due to the use of defective material or workmanship. It will not, of course, replace bits damaged due to improper use, and so on.
All of the above aside, just like any other product, the Alden Pro Grabit is not perfect.
Some users actually reported having a hard time extracting screws using the tool.
While many of those situations likely arose from using the wrong-sized Grabit or not using the tool properly, you should still be aware of it. If for nothing else, then to make sure you pick the right sized bit before you try to use it.
And, the Alden Pro Grabit tends to be more expensive than other similar products. However, that’s mainly compensated for with the overall better build quality that can withstand multiple uses.
Frequently Asked Questions
I tried to include all of the important things about the Alden Grabit Pro Extractor in the earlier sections. However, if you are looking for some additional information, I answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the product below.
Can the Alden Pro Grabit Be Used with Any Drill?
The Alden Pro Grabit can be used with most drills, as long as they are equipped with a reverse function (meaning they can spin counterclockwise). They can also be used with quick-change chucks.
How Do I Use the Pro Grabit Extractor?
The Alden Pro Grabit stripped screw extractor is easy to use. As mentioned in the review above, removing a screw with the tool is a two-step process.
After picking the right size Pro Grabit, insert it into your drill with the sharper burnishing (drilling) end sticking out. Set the drill to rotate counterclockwise, and slowly burnish the damaged screw drive.
Once you turn the screw drive into a smooth cone-shaped hole, remove the bit from your drill, flip it around, and re-attach it with the threaded remover end sticking out. Press the drill against the hole, and press the trigger slowly. The bit should thread into the screw head and start removing it.
One thing to note is that in both of the steps – burnishing the hole and removing the screw – the drill should be set in reverse, counterclockwise direction.
You can download the full Alden Pro Grabit instruction manual here.
Can the Alden Pro Grabit Bits Be Reused?
Yes, the Alden Pro Grabit bits can be reused. The exact number of times you can use one will depend on the types of screws you are extracting with it, the material you are extracting from, and so on.
Are Grabit and Grabit Pro the Same Product?
The Grabit (nowadays marketed as SpeedOut) and the Grabit Pro are not the same products.
The Grabit – which you might have seen in an infomercial starting with “If you’ve ever stripped a screw or broken off the head of a bolt, you know how frustrating that can be. Well, not anymore!” – years ago is made in China while the Grabit Pro is made in the US.
The Grabit Pro is also better built overall, being made of harder steel than the standard Grabit.
Damaged screw extractors are just one way of dealing with stripped screws, but they’re oftentimes the most efficient solution. And, when it comes to the specific model, the Alden Pro Grabit is one of the best options.
In fact, even though it’s pricier than many other similar products, it’s still worth getting due to the fact that it’s made in the USA instead of China, and is made of higher quality steel than the alternatives.
That results in it being able to withstand multiple uses rather than becoming useless after an extraction or two.