I'm stuck on trying to remove a lug nut. Tried drilling it, wondering what to try next. Could a die grinder help me finish the job?

-Not my best work here. Destroyed the lock adapter, trying to get the lock nut off. Hammered a socket onto it, was foiled by the free wheeling washer around the outside. Got the socket off, which also took the top part of the lock nut off... :(

I tried drilling it - so i could pop the head of the lug off. Then get the wheel off and remove the remaining bolt. Starting with small drill bit sizes and working my way up in diameter. Got to about 9mm and the drilling couldn't get any further. Drill would either spin and overheat, or catch and lock. My dad's reckons the drill stopped working because I was reaching the hardened out part of the lug. Maybe. Bolt is 12mm diameter.

I've left two pictures here, showing where I'm at. I'm wondering if a die grinder has the strength with the right carbide tool tip to help me finish the job. Also open to any other suggestions.

-Sim Pic of drilling efforts Profile showing where it's at.

  • Hardened lug, nope. Too brittle. Go for high quality drill bits. You will have to replace the stud, but that’s inexpensive.
    – zipzit
    Nov 18, 2019 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


I would drill a 2mm hole each side and then split it open with a chisel - should either split or use a large screwdriver to turn it.

I would also make a template to hold the drill steady so as not to add to the damage.


You can get tools just for this job - Do a search for "locking wheel nut removal tool"

For example this one from Laser Tools -


enter image description here

enter image description here

  • @SolarMike Yes, it is exactly what it is for and have also seen one used.
    – HandyHowie
    Nov 18, 2019 at 14:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .