a hinge

This door does not like to latch; to latch it I must pull sharply up on the doorknob. So I see a shim in my future. I suppose I need to unscrew the bottom hinge, but what sort of screw-driver does that strange square hole? (Alternatively, would I just shim on the door side?)

  • 5
    Someone used the wrong sized screwdriver and stripped it out. The screw originally looked just like all of the rest. You will need to use a screw extractor bit to back that one out. Then you will have to replace it. Nov 17, 2015 at 15:35
  • I have had some success in using a cuphead nailset to back this type of damaged screw out enough for a pair of locking pliers to grab it to finish the removal. It is not easy to do, but with patience it will possibly back out.
    – Jack
    Nov 17, 2015 at 15:56
  • Building on the stripped on purpose idea... Is this in an apartment or rental where they may be trying to prevent you from removing the door?
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 17, 2015 at 17:14
  • No. It's just a bedroom door in my house. It was hung during an addition over 10 years ago, I never noticed it until I noticed the need to get the latch to work.
    – bmargulies
    Nov 17, 2015 at 17:28
  • If you don't have a screw extractor, you can also drill the head of the screw off, which will allow you to remove the hinge. After the hinge has been removed, then you should be able to grab the screw with a pair of pliers and back it out. Nov 18, 2015 at 11:56

4 Answers 4


Sorry, but that is nothing more than a stripped out Phillips screw.

I'd say drilling it out is your easiest bet.

  • 1
    I don't know why you got downvoted, that's exactly what I thought too. You can see that the middle is shiny circles. There are not four or eight edges like you would see with a Robertson or combination or anything. Nov 17, 2015 at 1:16
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    @bmargulies, actually that screw looks brass where the others look like steel. Nov 17, 2015 at 1:22
  • 4
    It's so badly stripped I'm tempted to say someone attacked it with a drill! That might be consistent with OP saying that the middle screw on each of the hinges is like this, whereas the other 5 on each hinge aren't stripped at all. Maybe somebody really didn't want anyone to take that hinge off!? @bmargulies - Solution, if you're looking for one, is to drill that screw out. If you're lucky you'll be able to reattach with a slightly larger screw; if not then you only have two screws on that side of the hinge.
    – AndyT
    Nov 17, 2015 at 9:14
  • 3
    Yeah, looks like somone's done something stupid with a drill and a Phillips; the shiny centre is a giveaway.
    – Nagora
    Nov 17, 2015 at 9:16
  • 1
    12 options in this article
    – Nelson
    Nov 18, 2015 at 0:34

I agree it is a stripped Phillips screw head, and that the head should be drilled off, the hinge removed, and then the remaining screw shaft unscrewed with a pair of pliers.
"Sometimes", you can get or grind a blade screwdriver whose tip is exactly as wide as the Phillips cross. Remove all the other screws, insert the blade tip into two of the remaining tips of the cross, push on the back of the hinge to get some extraction force going, and turn the screwdriver until some of the screw head is protruding. Continue to work the screw out this way, or alternately grab the protruding head with pliers. Another trick is to remove all the other screws, and, with gently increasing force, pry the back of the hinge until the wood gives way and the screw comes out. Then repair the hole with white glue and a dowel, or a few chips of wood, or even a plastic expansion anchor or molly bolt

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    A dremel with a cutoff wheel does wonders for cutting at least enough of a slot for a bladed screwdriver. Nov 18, 2015 at 14:54

sears, has a driver set I have used several times it was 12$ for 3 sizes here is a link hope that is allowed: http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-3-pc-screw-out-174-damaged-screw/p-00952154000P?sid=IDxCMDFx20140801x001&KPID=00952154000 there have been a few times I had to drill out the head then use vice grips to grab the shaft and unscrew that way where I did not want to move a hinge. Another cool thing to have for screw removal is a small set of lefthanded drill bits, some times when drilling the head they bite in and back the screw out, but they are harder to find and more expensive than the set I got from sears


As others have said, it's a stripped Phillips Screw.

What's not quite so clear is why it's there. My guess is that someone fitted a brass screw (as opposed to the others which do seem to be steel, at any rate their heads are smaller) in that position, with a power-screwdriver. Then, realising it was proud and stopped the door closing, they tried to remove it, but being brass and soft it stripped out, so they left it.

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