How many times have you ever tightened a screw, only to realize you went too far and stripped the screw? How many times have you tried to loosen a screw only to find that it was rusty and you stripped it? How many times, ok we will shut up, you get the point. No matter how good you are, there are times you will strip a screw, it is just the way the world is. While some people deal with broken pencils, we deal with stripped screws and bolts. Well let us introduce the Grabit Pro by Alden. The Grabit can save you a lot of time, but most importantly, it saves you a lot of frustration.
If you are not familiar with Grabit or a screw extractor system, the Grabit is a two step process. First a user will use one side of the bit to drill a shallow hole into the head of the screw or bolt. Then the user flips the bit over and drills the screw out. The bit actually sits in the first hole and grips the side of the screw to extract it. Yes it is that simple. Just remember you are extracting a screw, so make sure your drill is in reverse when you use the system.
We started to hear about the Grabit Pro, so we went to our local big box store and bought the Alden Grabit Pro set model number 8430P. This set comes with three screws and bolt extractors. The bits are self centering , so you don't get any walking or wondering. Since you are using this system metal on metal, one of them will have to give. In order to make sure the Grabit system doesn't wear out first, Alden uses a system where the metal is tempered twice for extra hardness. The bits are made from M2 HSS steel. What we like best is that they are made right here in the good old USA.
You can use it on damaged screws such as Phillips, torxs, square drives, plastic or metal screws up to 3″. A user can not only use these on a cheap soft screws, but it will work up to grade 8 or 19.9 fasteners. You can also use this on bolts sizes 10 – 5/16″ which is 5mm – 10 mm. We headed back to the marina to find some good screws and bolts we could test the system on. We used the Grabit it on a lot of bolts and screws and each time it performed perfect. We probably found about twenty different screws and bolts we could actually test it on. There were a couple of times it didn't work, such as when we drilled down too far and the head of the screw broke off, but we are going to chalk that up to user error. We made a small little video below, so you can see the Grabit Pro in action. For the video we drove a couple 3″ screws into some wood. We then stripped the heck out of the heads. As you can see the Grabit system didn't take long before we were able to extract the screw and get onto the next screw.
The Grabit Pro system is great. Very easy to work with and great results. While there were a couple times we couldn't get the screw out, which was more due to user error, the screw extractor worked great. Most importantly it will save you a lot of frustration and aggravation, which you can save up for this year when the cubs let us down again.
Long Term Note – Today 2/19/11 we were using the Dewalt 12V Max screwdriver and ended up breaking one of the Grabit tips. We first started using the Grabit on 2/1/11 and have taken out about 30 screws. We still think the Grabit is a tool everyone must have in their tool arsenol.