6 Best Bolt Extractors – Removal Tool Reviews And Buying Guide 2020
Being able to safely remove broken bolts without damaging the machinery surrounding them is a vital part of any mechanic's work, be they professionals, motorists and homeowners.
While this used to mean drilling into the bolt and largely hoping for the best, modern extractor sets mean you can take the guesswork out of the job, saving yourself a lot of time, grief, and possibly money.
As well as being broken, bolts can be stuck by old paint, rust and numerous other hindrances. Bolt extractor will help overcome any such problem.
Table Of Contents
- 5 Best Bolt Extractors 2020 Review
- 1. IRWIN HANSON BOLT-GRIP Bolt Extractor Base Set
- 2. IRWIN BOLT-GRIP Extractor Expansion Set, 5 Piece, 394002
- 3. Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor Tool | ARES 70016
- 4. Craftsman Impact Grade Bolt Out 10 Piece Damaged Bolt/Nut Remover Set
- 5. Irwin Tools Bolt-Grip 1859147 Irwin Tools Impact Performance Series Bolt Grip Deep Well Bolt Extractor
- Bolt Extractor Removal Tool Buying Guide
- Using Bolt Extractors
- Final Note
5 Best Bolt Extractors 2020 Review
1. IRWIN HANSON BOLT-GRIP Bolt Extractor Base Set
First up, from trusted tool maker Irwin, comes this solid five piece extractor set for removing bolts from 11mm to 5/8”, with six specifications in between, metric and otherwise.
The fluted grips on the inside of these high carbon steel extractors have a reverse design which bites into the bolt head in the opposite direction to the one the bolt was originally screwed in, before it became rusted and covered in paint.
This design means the extractors will grip bolts which have stayed stuck despite other attempts to free them, causing the edges to become rounded and otherwise impossible to grip.
2. IRWIN BOLT-GRIP Extractor Expansion Set, 5 Piece, 394002
Another rock solid Irwin tool set, this five piece is some of the best value on the market, taking out stuck bolts from as small as 8mm through to 3/4”.
With big, chunky reverse grips to bite into the most stubborn bolt head, these no nonsense extractors will make short work of the unmovable, and should last a lifetime.
They have a 3/8” square power drive attachment, plus the traditional hexagonal head for use with ratchets and even pliers. The design and quality of materials make this extractor set a superb product, capable of removing any bolt it comes across.
3. Damaged Bolt and Stud Extractor Tool | ARES 70016
This extractor tool from Ares is just that; one tool, singular. Unlike other extractor sets, which usually have bits in five different sizes, this handy remover is one size fits all.
It is designed to grip and remove old bolts and studs without you having to worry or guess what size the actual bolt head is. This is very handy when you can't get close enough to see the offending piece; you just know that a vital piece of equipment is bolted into place and it won't move.
This great gadget will grip the head of the offending bolt or stud, whatever its size and condition. It can be used with power tools or hand operated ratchets, which is even more helpful in tight spaces. This one is the best damaged screw extractor set.
4. Craftsman Impact Grade Bolt Out 10 Piece Damaged Bolt/Nut Remover Set
For those worried that a five piece extractor set might be found wanting just at the wrong moment, Craftsman have produced this 10 piece kit designed to cover all bases.
Using spiral flute technology, this kit will remove fasteners which you thought had beaten you. Especially useful for taking on car repairs, the versatility and range of this set make it ideal for removing everything from cylinder heads to rusted old wheel nuts.
The design spec of this kit means you can use each size of extractor head with impact power tools, if you have enough room to work in.
5. Irwin Tools Bolt-Grip 1859147 Irwin Tools Impact Performance Series Bolt Grip Deep Well Bolt Extractor
Another kit designed for use with power tools with impact drives, Irwin have produced this extractor set with an amazing 14 tool heads.
The set comes with an adaptor to make it usable with either square or hexagonal heads, so you can be sure you'll be able to use it no matter what situation you're in.
After all, power tools are great, but they don't always fit the space you're working in. The extractors have a deep grip designed to hold any type of bolt head, and are finished in black oxide to keep them from rusting over the years you will have them. Now that's forward thinking. According to my personal experience this is the Best broken bolt extractor on the market.
Bolt Extractor Removal Tool Buying Guide
Buying bolt removing kit need not be that big a deal. There are some great brands to choose from, big names and some not so well known; but you can be sure they will be manufactured to standards high enough to rid you of old, rusty bolts. These extractors will save you the trouble of having to saw off old heads and drilling out what's left.
High quality materials also come with high quality design; as we have seen in the reviews, the great reverse grips give tremendous leverage when applied properly. While you might not want to abandon the lubricant and hammer just yet, here are some tips when looking for great modern bolt extractors.
As we all know, bolt and stud heads come in a wide range of sizes and calibrations. There are metric diameters, as well as those measured in odd sixteenths and eighths of an inch. Basically, they can range from 8mm to 3/4” of an inch and all points in between.
There is one tool in our reviews which claims to be able to cope with any head, whatever its dimensions. This is a rarity, however; most extractors come in sets, usually of five, but sometimes 10 and even 14.
The chances you will ever have to remove this number of different sized bolts is remote, unless you are a specialized mechanic. For most extractor sets, five heads is standard. These will give you the capability to remove up to nine different bolt sizes.
Extractor sockets are designed to be adaptable, ready to use in different situations. Although the standard square fitting for a power tool is 3/8”, this may not necessarily be the case. Before buying your extractor tool or set, make sure you will be able to use it in conjunction with other tools.
As we have seen, best bolt extractor heads also come with external, hexagonal heads like the traditional bolts you are trying to remove. This could well come in handy for working in enclosed spaces, such as under your car. You may want to check your socket set if you have one, or other spanners and ratchets, in case you need to use a certain size of extractor head.
Another consideration might be adaptability to impact tools. One of the products reviewed has extractor heads which can be used with a special adaptor for this purpose. Impact specifications may vary from your standard electric tools, and this kind of adaptor might be needed. Again, this is probably not something many will need to worry about.
There is not a colossal difference in price at the lower end of the range we have reviewed; all the same, cost is always a consideration. At the end of the day, if a one piece bolt extractor can do everything you need it to do, why buy a five piece set?
At the other end of the market, the 10 and 14 piece sets are a great deal more expensive, by a factor of between three and five. For specialists only, we suspect.
Using Bolt Extractors
The great thing about using the type of bolt extractors in this review is, it's so easy. Designed as an external version of the “easy out” remover, instead of drilling into the threaded piece of machinery to remove the bolt, the extractor heads grip the outside of the bolt so you don't have to.
Sometimes known as “Turbo Sockets,” they are an extension of either your hand ratchet, lineman pliers or power drill.
While you may want to remove any extra paint or other blockage at the top of the bolt or stud head, you don't have to use heat, and there is no point bothering with lubricant. Badly stuck bolts are probably immune to either of these anyway, but these socket sets make them redundant.
Try For Size
All you really need to do is get the right size of extractor socket for the bolt you want to remove. These will often be rounded from previous attempts to try to unscrew them. All the same they would have been a standard size originally.
Try to get a spanner or ratchet head to turn your bolt. If it feels like it would be the right size on a new bolt, but just spins on the worn one, then you've hit the jackpot. Going off the size of the standard grip you've found out, pick a socket from your set to match (or, if you buy the single head retractor we reviewed, just follow its instructions).
Just using your fingers, place the retractor socket over the bolt head. As this will be worn, there will be room to manipulate your retractor socket to start getting a decent purchase. You may need to give it a couple of taps to drive it home.
Using a hand tool, try to turn the socket. If it won't budge, use whatever you have to give it an extra boost. You'll be amazed how easy it is.
These type of bolt extractors are so good at what they do and so easy to use, people wonder why it took so long to invent them. That's what they say about a lot of other things, of course.
The most important part really is the reverse spiral grip on the inside of the extractor head. As bolts and studs are made from one piece, the head will stay with the shaft unless you saw it off. Getting a decent grip is all that really matters, and these retractors do that perfectly.
We hope our best bolt extractor review helps you choose the right one for you.