My house's basement has wood shelves that are firmly attached to the basement's concrete walls. I need to remove these shelves (because of molding issues) but my drill is not strong enough to detach the screws. Can anyone recommend a suitable type of drill for this job. Thank you so much.

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  • 1
    How about some pictures? Have you considered a rotary tool with a cutoff wheel, like a Dremel?
    – JACK
    Jul 17, 2021 at 13:56
  • Some masonry screws have heads compatible with hex sockets as well as more common screwdrivers. Post a close-up picture of the screw. Jul 17, 2021 at 14:03
  • Thank you. I added photos of them. Some are Phillips and are flushed against the wood. Others have a flat head and are hexagonal. Those stick out. They have been in place many years. I tried the manual method described by crip659 but they didn’t budge at all
    – Mauricio
    Jul 17, 2021 at 20:52

2 Answers 2


Would use a hand screwdriver with a square shank that fits the head of the screw. Can place a wrench on the shank to give more power to turn screws out. If screws are lag bolts, a wrench should do it. After screws are loosen, then drill can finish the job.

  • Thank you for the tip. I tried but the screws didn’t budge at all. I think those shelves were out in place many, many years ago.
    – Mauricio
    Jul 17, 2021 at 20:51

For the first one, an appropriate sized 6-point socket, and a ratchet (wrench)

For the second one, the correct size of Phillips bit (likely a #3) and a socket to fit that bit, and a ratchet.

i.e. not a drill at all.

Depending on age and corrosion, the screws may break rather than turning. In that case, remove the remains with a cutting disk in a grinder, doing so at a time when you will be present and awake for hours afterwards, lest a spark from cutting should lurk somewhere and start a fire.

The color and application suggest that these are Tap-Con® screws directly into concrete.

  • Thanks so much for the detailed answer! I’ll try what you described
    – Mauricio
    Jul 17, 2021 at 21:18

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