I need to replace vinyl shutters on my brick-front home. I will replace the existing ones with identical sized new ones that will use the same drilled holes.

The problem I had before was that when I took off the old shutters the old Shutter-lok fasteners often broke off with nothing to grab on to. At ground level I had been able to drill them out by pressing with all my body weight while drilling. I will not be able to do this for the higher ones since I have to be on a ladder.

Is there a effective tool I can use to extract these plastic fasteners from the pre-drilled holes in the brick without applying significant force? Is there better ways than drilling?

  • If it is brick, using a torch and a screw embedded in the molted plastic as a handle to pull out the piece. It may work in theory, but.....
    – Jack
    Jun 12, 2017 at 4:47
  • That soft plastic should not require much force at all to drill out. I'd think you could do it one-handed with a sharp bit.
    – isherwood
    Jun 12, 2017 at 15:49

5 Answers 5


Shutter-lok fasteners are just made out of plastic (polypropylene), and typically anchor into a 1/4" predrilled hole. They should not be hard at all to drill out with a sharp 1/4" drill bit.

An alternative is to:

  1. Find a long metal screw, and pick a drill bit appropriate for pre-drilling that screw.
  2. Drill into the remaining shank of the Shutter-lok, all the way to its end.
  3. Screw the long metal screw into the Shutter-lok.
  4. Grab the metal screw with locking pliers.
  5. Pull the metal screw out. (Ease it out, rocking and twisting if it resists.)

If you drilled the metal screw far enough into the Shutter-lok, they will come out together. If any Shutter-lok plastic remains it will now be even easier to drill out with a 1/4" bit.


Drill out the middle of the shutter-lok with a 1/8" bit, then use stainless shutter screws and caps. The old shutter-lok works like a wall anchor in brick.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Aug 6, 2020 at 1:02

I have the same situation and it seems to me that a properly sized roll pin could be hammered over the pin to compress the fins or shear the fins.


I use a #6 or #8 X 1 1/4 sheet metal screw. Drive the screw into the edge between the plastic fastener and the brick. Screw it to within an 1/8-1/4 inch of the surface of the brick. Using the claw end of the hammer pull the fastener out just like removing a nail. No need to drill a hole. IT REALLY WORKS!


Wayne's answer is the correct one. I just use a 1-1/4 drywall screw. Works perfectly and doesn't damage the mortar in any way. Drilling, etc., caused problems and did not release the anchor nearly as well as Wayne's suggestion.

Thank you sir!

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