For the times when a stubborn fastener wins out over brute force and becomes more circular than it should be, there are a few more options these days than just the old standby of drilling. The Twist Out set from KD Tools is one such option.
The Twist Out set contains five specially-designed sockets that grip rounded bolts, studs, carriage Bolts and cap Screws for easy removal. They’re are made of hardened tool steel for long life and durability, and sizes cover the range of 5/16″ to 5/8″ for standard and 8 mm to 15 mm for metric.
The operation is pretty simple. Just use the closest-sized socket to grip the rounded fastener — as the bolt or nut may not exactly be the correct size after your earlier “discussion” with it. Once engaged, turn the Twist Out counter-clockwise to remove the fastener.
KD also states that some additional rounding with a use of file may be needed to allow the Twist Out to grab the fastener, though in our experience we don’t seem to have a problem getting them all the way round without any additional assistance. (Doh!) KD also claims that the fastener won’t get stuck in the socket after removal with their new “no-wedge” internal spiral design that doesn’t allow the newly freed fastener to dig into the interior socket walls.
The Twist Out Set works with both hand and impact Drives. Prices seem to vary a great deal online, but it looks as if some careful shopping can snag a set for around $30. It certainly sounds better than drilling — or a pair of pliers — to us.