How to Remove Stripped Screws on a Camera

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

Digital cameras share something with their outdated mechanical cousins in that screws are used to hold the outer shell together. These tiny screws are difficult to remove in general, but become impossible when they have become stripped so that putting a screwdriver into them does nothing. Removing a stripped screw without damaging the screw or the camera it's attached to can be done at home. The process requires a few parts from a hardware store and enormous patience if it is to be done without damaging the camera.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Jeweler's screwdriver kit
  • 100 watt bulb lamp
  • Hands-free magnifying glass
  • Camel's hair brush
  • Needle-nose pliers

Step 1

Put a soft cloth down on a work surface. Hold the camera with one hand so that the area with the stripped screw is facing you. Turn on the 100 watt lamp. Position the 100 watt lamp next to you so that the shadow from the camera and your body falls off of the area where the stripped screw is located. Adjust the hands-free magnifying glass so that you can see the stripped screw on the camera through the glass.

Step 2

Select a screwdriver from the jeweler's screwdriver kit that is one size smaller than the stripped screw. Gently press the screwdriver into the stripped screw's hole. Turn the screwdriver counter clockwise very slowly while pressing down firmly on the screwdriver.

Step 3

Continue slowly turning the screwdriver counter clockwise until the screw begins to come out. Grab the head of the screw with the needle-nose pliers and pull the screw out of the hole in the camera.

Step 4

Apply a drop of bonding glue to the tip of the screwdriver if the screw refuses to budge. Put the screwdriver into the stripped screw and hold it there until the glue sets. Turn the screwdriver very slowly counter clockwise until the screw begins to come out of the body of the camera. Grab the head of the screw with the needle-nose pliers and pull the screw out of the hole in the camera. Discard the screwdriver that is now bonded to the stripped screw.

Step 5

Clean the screw hole with the camel's hair brush. Take a screw from the jeweler's screwdriver kit that matches the size of the stripped screw. Replace the screws you removed.

Step 6

Take a screwdriver from the jeweler's screwdriver kit that fits snugly into the screw that is now going into the hole vacated by the stripped screw. Screw the screw into the hole. Turn off the lamp.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't tighten the new screw into the body of the camera too much so that it will be easier to remove at another time if necessary.
  • Have another person hold the camera for you while you are using the screwdriver if you find it difficult to do both.
  • Do not apply too much pressure to the stripped screw as too much force can cause it to break apart.