In a hurry? If you’re looking for a comprehensive set of bolt and screw extractors, I highly recommend checking the Irwin Tools Hanson Master Extraction Set. It’s a quality product made by a household name that includes various sizes of three different types of extractors. As such, it will help you remove virtually any fastener you might damage while working on your projects.
That’s why, if you use a lot of screws and bolts, you will want to keep a tool designed to remove them when they cannot be loosened the standard way handy.
In this article, I will briefly review what I consider to be the best bolt and screw extractors for a variety of different purposes. I will also tell you how I chose the featured products and what other products I considered. Before doing so, though, here’s a quick overview of the winners.
HANDYMAN’S WORLD TOP PICK
Irwin Tools Hanson Master Extraction Set
Includes 48 pieces which will help you extract almost any bolt or screw. Comes with a storage case.
BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTION
Ontel SpeedOut Extractor Set
Lower quality, but generally much cheaper than the other options. Works with most common screw sizes.
BEST SCREW EXTRACTOR SET
Alden Pro Grabit Damaged Screw Extractor Kit
Works with most common screw sizes. Each of the four bits has a drilling and an extracting side.
BEST BOLT EXTRACTOR SET
ROCKETSOCKET Extractor Set
A set including 11 extractors that fit 19 of the most common bolt sizes. Can be used with pan head screws too.
BEST SCREW EXTRACTION PLIERS
Vampire Tools VT-001 6.25″ Vampliers
A very convenient tool developed in Japan. Comes in a variety of different sizes and shapes.
BEST FOR SMALL SCREWS
Alden 4507P Grabit Micro 4-Piece Kit
Includes four bits similar to its full-size counterpart. Ideal for working with electronics.
BEST STUD EXTRACTOR
ARES 70016 Bolt and Stud Extractor Tool
Features a chuck that you can adjust to the size of the stud or broken bolt you need to remove.
Handyman’s World Top Pick: Irwin Tools Hanson Master 48-Piece Extraction Set
Being made by one of the best-known tool manufacturers and including three different types of extractors, it was impossible not to choose the Irwin Hanson Master Extraction Set as the best bolt and screw extractor set.
This monster includes 6 spiral flute extractors, 13 multi-spline extractors, 13 bolt extractors, and 16 left-hand cobalt drill bits for a total of 48 pieces.
The spiral flute extractors are suitable for regular screws and bolts while the multi-spline ones are useful for applications that require high torque or lower profile. The bolt extractors can help with removing exposed fasteners – whether that means bolts, nuts, or partially tightened screws.
As for the drills, you can use them to drill out bolt and screw interiors before using the extractors above. Because they are designed to drill counter-clockwise – something that is important when trying to remove a fastener – they sometimes extract the hardware by themselves without the need to use an actual extractor.
The extractors are made in the United States and the drill bits are made in Brazil. They cover most of the commonly used imperial and metric hardware sizes.
Things I Like About This Product: The set is very comprehensive – it not only includes the most commonly used sizes, but also different types of extractors. As such, with this set in your toolbox, you will rarely encounter a situation when you don’t have the right tool to remove a damaged piece of hardware. All of those pieces come in a neatly organized storage case.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Just like all other extractors, you will not have a 100% success rate using this product. However, it will work most of the time if used properly and will save you a lot of frustration. Also, the set is very expensive relative to the other products on this list.
I reviewed this product in more detail here.
Best Budget-Friendly Option: Ontel SpeedOut Damaged Screw and Bolt Extractor Set
If you are stuck with your project because of a stripped screw but don’t need a screw extractor beyond that, or if you are on a tight budget, I recommend the Ontel SpeedOut. You might have seen it on TV in the past under the name Grabit.
The set includes extractors in four different sizes and comes with a convenient storage case. The product is made in China with each of the extractors being made of carbon steel.
The four pieces can extract screw sizes number 4 to 24 as well as 3/16″ (5 mm), 1/4″ (6 mm), 5/16″ (8 mm), and 3/8″ (10 mm) bolts. They are reversible with a drill bit on one side and an extractor bit on the other.
Things I Like About This Product: The product is convenient to use as it does not require a separate set of drills. Generally, it’s the most affordable one on this list.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The build quality is not as high as that of the other products on this list. As such, they might not last you more than two or three extractions.
Best Screw Extractor Set: Alden 8440P Pro Grabit Damaged Screw Extractor 4-Piece Kit
If you work a lot with regular wood and metal screws – and you strip them from time to time – then you should keep the Alden Pro Grabit 4-piece kit in your workshop or garage.
It’s essentially a higher-grade version of the SpeedOut reviewed above.
In a nutshell, though, the four ProGrabit bits are the same sizes and come in more or less the same storage case as the SpeedOut. What differentiates them, though, is that they are made out of a higher-quality material – M2 high-speed steel. Also, rather than being imported, they are made in the United States.
Things I Like About This Product: Unlike products of similar build quality, they do not require a separate set of drills. The set covers the whole range of screw sizes that you will commonly encounter in most regular, non-specialty situations.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Even though is of higher quality than SpeedOut and can last multiple extractions, some users still reported the bits going useless after only three or four extractions.
I reviewed this product in more detail here.
Best Bolt Extractor Set: ROCKETSOCKET Impact Bolt and Nut 13-Piece Extractor Set
If you are looking for a tool to remove rusted, stripped, or otherwise stuck nuts and bolts, look no further than the ROCKETSOCKET 13-piece extractor set.
The set comes in a storage case and includes 11 extractors that fit 19 of the most common bolt sizes (both imperial and metric). The extractors are equipped with a standard 3/8″ drive that you can use to attach them to a socket wrench or other similar tool. The set also includes a hex adapter that you can use to attach the bits to an impact driver and a knockout pin to get stuck hardware out of the sockets.
Each ROCKETSOCKET is made in the United States and equipped with RazorGrip technology. Thanks to that, the grip the socket has on the nut or bolt gets stronger with each turn of the tool.
Things I Like About This Product: The set includes an extractor for all of the nuts and bolt sizes you will commonly encounter. Each of the pieces is made from high-quality steel. The sockets can be used to remove stripped pan head screws as well.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: This is a relatively expensive option. As such, you might not get a good cost-performance out of it if you rarely encounter a situation where you need it. That said, chances are it will last you a lifetime.
Best Screw Extraction Pliers: Vampire Tools International VT-001 6.25″ Vampliers
Screw extraction pliers like the Vampire Tools International VT-001 6.25″ Vampliers are considerably easier to use than traditional screw extractors. Among their reasons, because their use doesn’t require drilling.
The Vampliers are made in Japan out of carbon steel. They are equipped with sharp jaws that can get a grip on whatever small part of a screw is sticking out of the material. In addition to the pictured 6.25″ version, they come in several other sizes and shapes as well.
In fact, if you want to splurge a bit, I recommend getting this set of five different models which comes with a storage case. The set also makes for a great gift to any handyman you might want to surprise.
Things I Like About This Product: Having been using this product for a couple of years, it saved me hours of time. It’s excellent for removing screws that stripped just above the surface of the material they are being screwed into. They are also useful for gripping other hardware with limited surface area to grip – like bolts with round heads or washers.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The steel they are made out of is fairly soft, and so the jaws can get blunt fairly quickly. Because it relies on gripping the head rather than creating a drive inside it, it doesn’t work with wood screws that have their heads below the surface level or flat head screws that have their heads flush with the surface of the workpiece.
Best for Small Screws: Alden 4507P Grabit Micro Broken Bolt Extractor 4-Piece Kit
If you find yourself with a small stripped screw, like one of those that are often found in electronics, get yourself the Alden 4507P Grabit Micro 4-piece extractor kit.
Just like their full-sized counterparts, the Grabit Micro stripped screw removers come in four different sizes. With this set, you can remove screws sized between No.5 and 6 (3 mm) and 1/4″ (6 mm) from any material. The bits can screws up to grade 8 (class 10.9) strong.
Each of the bits is reversible and can be used with a standard 1/8″ or adjustable chuck. On one side it features a self-centering drill bit. On its other side, it features an extractor.
Things I Like About This Product: It’s manufactured in the United States out of M2 high-speed steel. The set has all the sizes you might need for working with most electronic devices like laptops. It comes with a convenient holder.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: If you are not sure how to use this tool properly and are working on an expensive device, consider taking it to a professional instead. If you do decide to give it a try yourself, make sure you drill very, very slowly.
Best Stud Extractor: ARES 70016 Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor Tool
If you need to remove a stud bolt (a bolt with threads on both sides) or a regular broke that you broke the head off, the ARES 70016 extractor tool will come in very handy.
Unlike traditional extractors that come in fixed sizes, this one is adjustable. It’s equipped with a chuck – just like a drill – that can fit studs between 1/4″ and 1/2″ (6 – 12 mm) studs, nuts, bolt heads, and so on.
The tool is equipped with a 3/8″ drive that can be used to secure it to an impact wrench or a ratchet. It also has a hexagonal flat for use with flat and adjustable wrenches, sockets, and locking pliers. It can be used with manual, electric, and pneumatic drivers.
Things I Like About This Product: It’s made out of high-grade, heat-treated alloy steel, and so, it can last a long time. The vast majority of its users seem to have had success easily removing the studs they needed to with this tool.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: One buyer reported that the tool did not actually fit their 1/2″ studs. Some buyers also reported that the tool is not very effective with studs that are stuck hard. So, if that’s what you plan to use the ARES 70016 for, you might want to consider some other extractor instead.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Products Featured Above
When coming up with the perfect pick for each of the categories, I looked at how the products fare in terms of the criteria below. I also considered how important each of those criteria is to the specific category.
Price: Of course, I considered price as one of the ranking factors. However, I took it into account relative to how they performed on the other criteria. As such, the only category where the price of the extractor set was the deciding factor was the “best budget-friendly option.” And there, the Ontel SpeedOut stood out the most.
Quality: The more important criteria to consider was the quality of the product. While the country of origin does not necessarily speak for the quality of a product, in case of bolt and screw extractors, products made in the United States are generally preferable. One of the ways to guess a product’s quality is by looking at the reputation of the brand that makes it. The other way is to go thoroughly through both positive and negative reviews. After doing both, the top pick, Irwin Tools Hanson Master Extraction Set, seemed like the highest-quality product of all the researched ones.
Versatility: Having a damaged bolt and screw remover is useless if it’s not the right size for whatever job needs to get done. As such, it is important for an extractor set to be compatible with as many different hardware sizes – both imperial and metric – as possible. It’s also ideal if it includes multiple types of extractors, each suited for a different situation. The Irwin Tools Hanson Master Extraction Set stood out significantly in this regard.
Convenience: The last main factor I considered was how convenience – how straightforward each tool is to use. One of the things to consider here is whether the extractor works by itself or whether it’s just an attachment that requires a separate tool like a ratchet. I also considered whether the extractor can be adjusted to a specific hardware size or whether there are multiple single-size extractors. The products I found the best in this regard were Vampliers and the Alden Pro Grabit.
The Alternatives: Other Products I Considered Declaring the Winners
Throughout the process of picking the best products to feature in the list of top picks at the beginning of this article, I researched in detail more than 25 different bolt and screw extractor sets. Below are a few of those that didn’t make it to the list above, but are worth mentioning for one reason or another.
For the best screw extractor category, I considered this Irwin set of double-ended screw extractor bits as well. However, I went with Alden Pro Grabit instead mainly for two reasons – it includes four instead of three sizes, and it comes with a storage case.
While I featured the ROCKETSOCKET in the “best bolt extractor” category, I was also considering the more affordable Irwin Hanson BOLT-GRIP set which offers good quality as well. The main reason I went with the former was the more comprehensive size range included in the set.
Finally, when picking the best extractor set for working with small screws, I was torn between the Alden Grabit Micro (which I chose in the end) and the Tacklife DSE01 set. While the latter has an extractor for 2 mm screws and includes more sizes overall, it lacks the convenience of having both the drill and the extractor on the same bit.
Whether you like tinkering with your car or doing DIY woodworking projects in your spare time – or work professionally as a handyman – there will be times when you will strip a screw or when you will have to remove a damaged bolt.
There are several ways in which you can try to remove the hardware, however, the most efficient way is usually using a bolt or a screw extractor. To have all bases covered, I recommend getting the Irwin Tools Hanson Master Extraction Set in combination with Vampliers.
If you are on a budget, though, you might do just fine with the Ontel SpeedOut.
Finally, make sure to also check my guide on left-hand drill bits – a favorite tools for extracting broken bolts.