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I've seen Craftsman Bolt-Out mentioned in several questions/threads about removing stuck or rounded-off bolts, a problem I've run into many times. There's no particular problem I'm looking to solve right now, but it's something I might like to buy and have on hand for the next time I hit such a problem. But first I'd like to know if anybody has experience with this tool, particularly:

  • Does it work often?
  • How does it work?
  • How do you identify which stuck-bolt situations it's likely to work for?
  • Tools like this can really help in the right circumstances but they aren't magic spells: mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/3742/57 – Bob Cross Apr 11 '13 at 15:57
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    Also keep in mind that the material they're made of is most likely harder than anything else you have in your garage and that includes your drills... – Timo Geusch Apr 12 '13 at 0:09
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These work when the head of the bolt has the corners rounded-off, usually from a wrench slipping. If the head is broken off and completely gone, they are not an option.

Generally they work best if you pound the bolt-out tool onto the damaged head with a hammer. So obviously it's best when there is room to swing a hammer at the bolt head. Easier with bolts that have a lower grade and softer metal.

Another option - if you have a welder - is to weld another piece of metal on the damaged bolt head and use that to turn the bolt out.

  • The welding part also puts a fair amount of focused heat onto the bolt, helping break it free. But even a cheap welder costs a lot more than a set of bolt extractors and a Mapp gas torch. :D – dannysauer Aug 30 '16 at 20:53

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