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I recently sheared two bolts off in two recessed holes, so I ran over to Home Depot and bought a set of black and decker easy outs and a drill bit set. The first bolt came out without a problem. While backing out the second bolt, however, the easy out broke off below the surface of the hole.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get out the bolt and easy out without enlarging the hole that they are recessed in?

Clarification: The hole is about 1/2 inch in diameter, and the bolt is about 1/4 inch.

asked May 26 '11 at 10:57

festizio's gravatar image


edited May 26 '11 at 13:58

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I don't know how big a bolt you're working on there, but if you can drill some small holes around the easy-out it may help in loosening it. Also, it sounds like you might be able to break the easy-out into pieces with a punch. This is all a bit tedious, but it's a tedious kind of job. Of course once you get your easy-out removed, you've still got your original problem to solve. If you have access to a left-handed drill bit or one of the all-in-one drill/extractors, that might help get that part done. Some penetrating oil, heat if you can use it, and judicious hammering can help, too. Good luck!


answered May 26 '11 at 13:09

Dave's gravatar image


Thanks, Dave. I knew it was going to be a PITA from the start. I should have known it would go south when the first one came out easily. Since it broke, I got a set of the combined drill/extractors. I will try breaking the easy-out and using the extractors with some krano kroil.

3 years, 8 months ago
festizio's gravatar image festizio

1) rare-earth magnets 2) vacuum suction



answered May 28 '11 at 18:10

Christopher's gravatar image


The easy-out is still lodged in the bolt.

3 years, 8 months ago
festizio's gravatar image festizio

So knock the easy-out free, remove it, try again. I'm a little confused as to the exact situation though. Is this an engine block? A countertop? What?

3 years, 8 months ago
Christopher's gravatar image Christopher

The most painless (for you) but expensive method is to EDM it out. You can search for machine shops that do tap removal but basically you're looking for someone with this piece of equipment: http://www.metal-disintegrators.com/ I've had to use a service like this before for a broken tap. You may be ok drilling out the easy out yourself, but you'll tear up bits, and probably need to sharpen them constantly, since the easy out is hardened steel. If you can afford what they charge, this is the most straightforward way.


answered May 31 '11 at 10:18

shroppy's gravatar image


How about a diamond burr on a Dremel then a larger easy out ?


answered Jun 01 '11 at 22:55

Chloe501's gravatar image


I'm an A&P mechanic (aircraft) we have this same problem from time to time, only for us removal of the screw without damaging any other parts is mandatory. The easy out is much harder than the screw so with that in mind you MUST be very careful. You will need a dremel or an air pencil grinder and you will need a small ball type grinder that is slightly....very slightly larger than the diameter of the easy out. Next you must have very steady hands and with the tool vertical to the broken easy out, grind straight down through the easy out (not to one side or you will be screwed). You must be careful not to put too much pressure on the easy out because the grinder will "skid" off the broken easy out and you will damage adjacent areas. It can take as long as 2 or 3 hours to carefully grind through the easy out (depending on how much was broken off) but you will know when you it is gone when you see the original drilled hole. After that is completed you may need to drill the hole deeper and try an easy out again...only being more careful on your twisting force! Good luck!


answered Jan 20 '12 at 07:35

Michael's gravatar image


Get a metal punch and hammer. See if there is a ridge on the bolt or easy out that the punch will seat against at an angle and start tapping with the hammer and see if it moves. If there isn't a ridge use the punch to create a dimple by hit it straight into the part. The dimple might only hold for a few taps. If so, create another dimple and continue. With patience this might work. A machinist taught this to me when I had a sheared off easy out that laughed at drill bits. He claimed that the shock from creating the dimple helps to loosen the parts.


answered Sep 21 '12 at 08:21

griffinme's gravatar image


Getting a broken easy out out of a recessed hole is about as hard as getting your wife of 30 years to make love to you. Good luck!


answered May 16 '13 at 20:52

luvbelize's gravatar image


Getting out a broken easy out is just about as hard as getting your wife of 30 years to make love to you on any day besides your birthday, anniversary, etc. On the bright side, if you have been married for 30 years you should have plenty of time to work on it. Good luck!


answered May 16 '13 at 20:57

luvbelize's gravatar image


Snap-on makes a special drill bit for drilling out broken easy-outs however it costs around $30 and comes in various sizes. I used one and it worked wonders. Key is drill very slow and use cutting oil.


answered Sep 17 '13 at 19:45

Mike%20bill's gravatar image

Mike bill

gettin a easy out is about as hard as reading all these commets screw the screw JUST SILICON IT


answered May 26 '14 at 08:30

IGT's gravatar image


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Asked: May 26 '11 at 10:57

Seen: 55,935 times

Last updated: May 26 '14 at 08:33

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