Stainless-steel screws can be a hassle to deal with when installing decking. On a recent job, a screw head would occasionally strip out just before I buried it into the decking material. When my Vise-Grips failed to remove the screw because they slipped off the bevel of the screw head, I removed the bit holder from my drill and tightened the chuck jaws around the screw head. Being careful not to scratch the decking, I slowly backed the stripped screw out of the hole. Once the screw was extracted, I reinstalled the bit holder and set another screw in its place. The technique is actually faster than removing stripped screws with Vise-Grips and also can be used for screws with snapped heads.
Austin Ledoux, East Greenwich, RI
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #249