Removing Damaged Nuts and Bolts | Tools 101

By Karel Kramer, Photography by Karel Kramer

If you work on motorcycles that are not absolutely brand-new, you will run across a bolt or nut that is too damaged to be removed with an ordinary wrench or socket. Recently, bolt-removal tools have been introduced through most of the quality tool outlets. These look something like an ordinary socket, but are made of hardened tool steel and have internal helical flutes. As you turn the tool counterclockwise with a wrench or socket, the flutes bite into the damaged bolt head or nut. To a point, the more you turn the tool, the harder it bites. These specialized tools easily remove bolts and nuts that are too far gone to remove with regular tools. They are compact and reasonably priced, and don’t require other specialized tools to work. The downside is sizing: We had to buy two sets to get a range that fits common motorcycle fasteners from 8-19mm. Finding one for a large nut like on an axle may be problematic.

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