How to Remove a Seized Bolt with No Head: In 8 Easy Steps

Working with a seized bolt without the head is frustrating and time-consuming. However, knowing how to remove a seized bolt with no head can be time and money-saving.

It’s not difficult to remove a seized bolt without the head, as long as you have the proper tools and know what to do.

Sometimes you can use a power drill and a hammer to unscrew the bolt, and if all else fails, you can resort to hammering the bolt and retrying it. Here is the easiest way you can remove rusted screws.

How to Remove a Seized Bolt with No Head

1. Considerations

Considerations Before Removing a Seized Bolt with No Head. Before removing a seized bolt with no head, consider the following: 


Removing a stuck bolt with no head can be dangerous, so take the necessary measures. Wearing safety glasses, gloves, and other protective gear, and ensuring the area is free of risks, may be required.


Specialized tools, such as penetrating oil, pliers, a wrench, a drill, a tap and die set a left-handed drill bit, or a hacksaw, may be required when removing a stuck bolt with no head. Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary tools. 

Bolt’s size

Consider the bolt’s size and position, as well as if it is in a difficult-to-reach area. This can influence the methods and tools required to remove the bolt. 


Before attempting to remove the stuck bolt, consider if the seized bolt might cause damage to the area or the components it holds together, as well as whether removal will cause damage. 

Time and effort

Removing a stuck bolt with no head can be a painful and time-consuming task. Prepare for the effort necessary to remove the bolt and have a backup plan in case it fails. 


Consider if the seized bolt is a crucial element of the equipment or structure, whether removing it would create any major problems, or whether it is preferable to replace the complete item rather than struggle with the removal. 


If you are new to removing seized bolts, it is a clever idea to seek the advice of an expert or professional to prevent inflicting damage or danger to yourself or the surrounding environment. 

2. How to Remove a Seized Bolt with No Head?

Since you can use bolts for a wide variety of applications, one can find bolts in many places. To maintain bolts, one must ensure that bolts are not rusty. 

The bolts found in machines or other places tend to be made from metals that can rust. Rust can degrade a bolt over time. 

But if one is patient, examines the situation, and applies a proper strategy, they will have a greater chance of removing the rusted bolt successfully

Step 1: Examines the Situation

But if one is patient, examines the case, and applies a proper strategy, They will have an increased chance of removing the rusted bolt successfully.

Carefully inspect the steel bolt for signs of rust. If you see rust, it’s time to check the torque so it doesn’t snap.

“Avoid a deadbolt at all costs.” If you think that the bolt is worth saving, it will be better to change it. However, most people can save screws and bolts by using locking pliers on the J-nut.

Step 2: Removing rust on your metal surface

If you think you can still save the bolt, but an effort to take the rust off the threads as much as possible. By doing so, you can be sure to have it done much quicker.

Rust can quickly accumulate on metal surfaces, but removing rust doesn’t have to be hard! Try these three helpful tips for removing rust on your metal surface:

  • First, make sure to use a scrubber. Do this after removing the threaded bolt.
  • Next, apply some water. Using this instead of abrasive or solvent-based scrubbers, you’ll get the rust off much more manageable.
  • The last thing you should do is get a wire brush. 

Step 3: Choosing the most appropriate tools

In the following, I will discuss the process of selecting the most appropriate tools for a job. There are a wide variety of factors to consider when choosing the correct device for a position. There are a wide variety of factors to consider when choosing the correct device for a position.

A wrench with an open-ended jaw will likely provide a better grip for a bolt. A wrench with a six-pointed jaw will be a more efficient choice for bolts that are not symmetrical.

Enhance your bolt removal skills with our article “How to Choose the Right Impact Wrench: Bolt Like a Pro.” Master the art of effortless bolt removal and level up your DIY projects. Don’t miss out!

Step 4: Directions

Do not confuse right with left or left with right, or you will have a stubborn bolt to unscrew. Use your left hand to turn the bolt clockwise. If you are facing the bolt, your right hand is facing away from the bolt.

Step 5: Apply a liquid thread loosened

Here are three ingenious ways to loosen a stubborn rusted bolt. Try liquid thread loosened, penetrating oil, or acetone and liquid ATF. You can also mix acetone and liquid ATF for an even stronger liquid solvent.

Step 6: Soak the bolts

Soak the old, rusty, stubborn bolts with Penetrating oil for two minutes before you try to unscrew them. Repeat the soakings liberally with the best-quality penetrating oil you can find. 

Suppose the bolt is particularly stubborn, even making an overnight soak. In that case, some patients might give you more time before you have to resort to more drastic measures.

Tossing the nut on the ground will not be helpful. Luckily, the residual heat present in the nut helps us out, making the process of breaking the bond much more straightforward.

Step 7: Use Heat

Heat can be an effective method to loosen seized bolts. Expansion caused by heat helps break the bond between the threads and the bolt, allowing for easier removal. Use a heat source such as a propane torch or a heat gun to heat the area around the seized bolt. Be cautious not to overheat or damage surrounding components. Once the area is adequately heated, try turning the bolt with a wrench or pliers.

Step 8: Utilizing Impact and Vibrational Forces

Impact and vibrational forces can aid in freeing a seized bolt. Position a chisel against the edge of the bolt and carefully strike it with a hammer. The impact should help break the bond and loosen the bolt. Alternatively, use a wrench or pliers and apply rotational pressure while simultaneously tapping the bolt with a hammer. The combined vibrational forces can often overcome the bolt’s resistance.

3. Alternative Methods

If the above methods fail, there are alternative techniques to remove seized bolts. Bolt extractors, also known as screw extractors, are specialized tools designed to grip the inside of a bolt and facilitate its removal. Another option is to use a drill with a cutting tool or a cutting torch to remove the seized bolt carefully. These methods require precision and caution, so follow proper instructions and safety guidelines.

Attaining Batter Leverage

The best way to loosen a tough bolt is with a breaker bar. The key is to use finesse, applying pressure evenly. If you pull too hard, you might strip the threads, so start with light pressure and increase as needed.

If the resistance becomes unnoticeable, it means either you are stripping the thread, or you’ve destroyed the bolt. To protect your fingers, wear gloves.

Paraffin as a lubricant

Here is how experts go about removing rusted pipe plugs from cast iron:

  • Heat the iron and melt a candle over the threads.
  • Paraffin will cover the threads and act as a lube.
  • Use a snug-fitting and properly sized socket.

Last Resort

In the tight space, where a nut stuck because fastened it too tightly. It is essential to use a pneumatic or electric impact gun to free it. 

The best option is to make sure you wear protective gloves and glasses when using this high-powered tool and only for the larger nuts.

If you can, try to use the gun to loosen the wedged nut and hold the bolts with a wrench.

Seeking Professional Help

Sometimes, removing a seized bolt without a head becomes too challenging or risky despite your best efforts. In such cases, it’s wise to seek professional help. A qualified mechanic or technician will have the expertise and specialized tools to tackle even the most stubborn bolts. They can save you time, prevent further damage, and ensure the job is done safely and efficiently.

4. Quick ways to remove a Rusted Bolt

Rust remover spray

Rust can be difficult to remove without making it worse. Many rust remover products are on the market, designed to target the bond created by rust.

Spray on the bolt head and wait patiently for the product to work its way into the threads. After soaking the screw and bolts for 10 minutes, you can attempt to disengage it.

Use Hammer

Some people believe that a powerful strike of a hammer can remove rusted bolts. However, a powerful strike of a hammer can do much damage to a surface many times. 

Always wear an eye-protective shield before carrying out a powerful hammer strike and carefully hit the top of the bolt using a hammer. When trying to remove the bolt with a screwdriver, be careful not to use a powerful strike of a hammer.

Use duct tape

If you’re looking to be extra sure that your fastener doesn’t come undone, cover the head with a couple of layers of duct tape and insert the screwdriver. Once the screwdriver grips the duct tape, you can turn and remove the fastener.

5. Tips for removing a seized bolt without a head

  • Apply penetrating oil to the bolt and allow it to set for a few minutes to release any rust or corrosion that may be keeping the bolt in place.
  • Hold the edges of the bolt with pliers or a wrench and spin it counterclockwise.
  • If pliers or a wrench won’t budge the bolt, consider using a drill to create new threads on the bolt. This may be done by drilling a hole in the middle of the bolt and then creating new threads using a tap-and-die set.
  • If none of the above methods work, you might try removing the bolt with a left-handed drill bit. These drill bits are designed to revolve counterclockwise, which can help with bolt removal.
  • As a final option, you can cut the bolt and remove it using a hacksaw or cutting wheel.

It’s crucial to remember that using heat to loosen the bolt is not suggested since it might harm the surrounding area and make the bolt weaker.

6. Maintenance ideas

  • Keep bolts lubricated: Applying a lubricant to the threads of bolts, such as oil or grease, will help prevent rust and corrosion from growing, making it easier to remove the bolts later. 
  • Use an anti-seize compound: Applying an anti-seize compound to the threads of bolts can help prevent rust and corrosion while also making the bolts simpler to remove afterward. 
  • Avoid overtightening bolts: Overtightening bolts might cause them to seize, therefore use the proper torque when tightening bolts. 
  • Environmental protection: If bolts are exposed to the elements, they must be protected from rust and corrosion. This can be done by applying a rust inhibitor to the bolts or by painting them. 
  • Regular inspection: Inspecting bolts and other fasteners regularly can help uncover concerns such as rust or corrosion, which can be remedied before they get seized. 
  • Remove, clean, and reapply lubrication and anti-seize, as needed: If the bolts have been in use for a long time, remove, clean, and reapply lubrication and anti-size. 

By following these maintenance guidelines, you may help avoid seized bolts with no heads and make future removal easier. 


How fast does vinegar remove rust?

It usually takes about 30 minutes to a few hours for vinegar to properly get rid of rust, depending on how bad the rust is.

Will heating a bolt loosen it?

Yes, you can use heat and fire to break the rust bond and melt the locking compound.

How do you unscrew a rusted bolt without wd40?

To remove a stripped screw, put a splash of vinegar or soda on the screw. Hang it by the tip for a few minutes. Please give it a tap with the hammer now and then. Keep waiting.

How do you loosen a bolt in a tight space?

When you’re in a tight space, always beware. If you fasten the nut too tightly, you’re in for a tough time. Use a pneumatic or electric impact gun to free it.

8. Conclusion

Leaving bolts and screws unattended can lead to rust and seizing. Knowing How to Remove a Seized Bolt with No Head is beneficial before it starts to cause you lots of time and money to call the experts.

The key to being successful in the process is to start with the right tools. Apply the proper tools, tips, and tricks to have a hassle-free experience when removing rusted bolts.

Hello. You've come to the right place if you want to learn more about power drills and how to make your home improvement projects go quicker and easier. I'm Jacob P., the founder and content writer of Anyone who needs assistance with a project or has a query about how something works (or doesn't) can count on me to share my expertise.