How to Remove One-Way Screws: 4 Ways

One-Way Screws

This post will introduce four ways to Remove One-Way Screws.

Excellent security is provided by one-way screws, irreversible screws, and clutch head screws because they are difficult to undo with standard tools. How then do you take out these screws when the time comes?

Clutch Head Security Screws

Clutch head security screws, also known as irreversible screws, feature a specially designed screw head which can be tightened using a regular, flat-bladed screwdriver, but cannot be undone due to the head design. Due to the sloping screw-head faces and removed half of the drive slot, it is impossible to turn a screwdriver counterclockwise.

This type of clutch head screw is intended to be a permanent fixture that can never be undone. But circumstances change and the need to remove these security fixings can arise. The clever screw head design makes it impossible for a regular screwdriver to make contact with the clutch head screw, making any attempt to remove it unsuccessful.

How to Remove One Way Security Screws

People frequently ask us how to remove security screws, and more specifically, how to remove clutch head screws. If security screws were easily removed they wouldn’t be very secure, so removal takes some effort, but it can be done.

There are many different types of security screws, each with unique security features and designs. This article is specifically about one-way clutch head screws, which can be tightened with a standard screwdriver but not loosened due to the design of the screw head. There are basically 3 options to consider when you need to remove these security screws:

  1. Use a special Clutch Head Removal Tool
  2. Modify the screw head to create a screwdriver slot
  3. Use mole grips or something similar to firmly grasp the screw head.

There is a fourth option – which would be to use a drill to drill-out the security screw. But since drilling out is likely to result in damage, this method should only be used as a last resort after trying the ones described here.

Read more: How to Remove Rusted Bolts

Use a Clutch Head Removal Tool

Clutch Head Removal Tool

Clutch head removal tools will work with stainless steel clutch head screws, but you must use the correct sized tool that matches the size of the one way screws. Tools for removing clutch heads have two extremely hard tungsten carbide tips that are effective at digging into the screw head. The security one-way screw can be loosened by applying pressure with the removal tool until it has enough grip to budge.

As mentioned, it’s crucial to use a removal tool that is the right size. For instance, a clutch head removal tool such as the RT61 works well with screws that are 13 and 14 gauge.

Modify the Screw Head to Create a Slot

By carefully sawing a slot into your one-way security screw head, you can convert it to a flathead screw head that can be used. A small hacksaw or rotary tool with high speed, like a Dremel, can be used for this. Once you have cut a suitable slot you will be able to use a regular, flat-bladed screwdriver to loosen and remove the security screws.

Grip the Screw Head Tightly

The third option is to firmly grasp the screw head with some locking pliers or mole grips while pressing the teeth of the pliers into the metal of the screw head. By doing so, the security screw may be able to be removed. If the grips continue to slip, another solution is to file the screw head so that it has two flat sides. This will make it simpler to get a firm grip and loosen the screw.

Read more: How to Remove a Screw With No Head: Ultimate Guide

Drilling through the Head to Remove the Screws

Pick a drill bit with a ¼ screw head diameter. By doing this, it will be made sure that the screw shaft and drill bit have about the same diameter. This drill bit can be used to drill through the screw head and all the way to the screw shaft. The screw can be successfully removed using this technique, but the screw head will be damaged.

  • If you don’t already have a power drill and drill bits, you can buy them at your neighborhood hardware shop.

The one-way screw’s center should be counterclockwise-drilled. Drill straight through the screw while holding the drill bit’s center over the screw’s center. Make certain to drill against the clock. To change the direction that the drill bit rotates, most drills have a switch you can flip.

  • This process is messy and will leave a pile of metal shavings below the spot where you’re drilling.

Continue drilling counterclockwise until the bit is 14 inch (0.64 cm) deep. The idea is to keep drilling until the drill bit passes through the screw head and into the part of the screw that has threading. Since you’re drilling counterclockwise, the drill bit will catch the screw threads and begin to extract the screw.

Using locking pliers, remove the screw shaft. Take a pair of locking pliers, and fasten them securely around the top of the screw’s shaft. Turn the screw counterclockwise so that it begins to loosen. As soon as you can fully remove the shaft from the hole, continue to unscrew it.

  • Once you have removed the screw, clean up any drilling debris.

Read more: 5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Hex Head Screw

Replace Damaged Security Screws

If you have been forced to remove one-way security screws using any of the techniques summarised here it’s important to remember that you need to replace the damaged screws in order to maintain security. A security screw must always be replaced because once it has been broken to enable removal, it no longer offers trustworthy security.

Conclusion: Remove One-way Screws

The most frequent type of security screw used in safes, security gates, bolt locks, and hangings in public spaces is the one-way screw. While they’re easy to install, they’re much more difficult to remove.

Smooth slots on one-way screws make it difficult to hold onto screwdrivers. One-way screws are intended to be screwed into a surface and never removed, as their name suggests. The left-hand sides of the screw heads are curved, so they cannot be extracted with a regular screwdriver. But you can do it if you have some tools and the will to do it. Learn how to remove one-way screws by reading the advice provided above.


How Do You Remove a One Way Screw from a Security Door?

Simply saw away and slot the one way screw using a high speed rotary tool with a cutoff wheel. This essentially turns your security screw into a flathead screw. Afterward, use a wide-blade flathead screwdriver to remove the screw.

Is There a Tool to Remove Security Door Screws?

Clutch head removal tools feature two, super-hard tungsten carbide tips which can effectively dig into the screw head. It is possible to get enough purchase on the security one-way screw by applying pressure using the removal tool.

How Do You Remove Stubborn License Plate Bolts?

  1. Utilize an extraction device. Given that different screws call for different ones, these are difficult to find but do a good job.
  2. Create a slot. Create a slot in the screw. …
  3. Create a grip. Use pliers, superglue, etc to get more grip on the problem screw.