ScrewGrab Review


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WingAdmin
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ScrewGrab Review

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 29, 2014 9:31 pm



I read about ScrewGrab in Motorcycle Consumer News, my favorite motorcycle magazine. ScrewGrab is a friction enhancing gel, specifically intended to help with stripped fasteners. And if you aren't using JIS screwdrivers when working on your Goldwing, I can pretty much guarantee you have stripped fasteners on your bike!

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The idea behind ScrewGrab is a gel that when applied to metal surfaces, enhances the friction between them significantly, allowing you to use regular tools to loosen and remove a stripped fastener. I decided to do both a quantitative and qualitative test on the product. For the test, I used three different types of fasteners: A standard Philips screw, a hex head bolt, and a socket screw:

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To measure the torque required to turn each stripped fastener, I used a simple beam torque wrench.

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Just for fun, I also thought I would compare my old standby for hopelessly stripped fasteners: a Gator Grip socket. This socket has a set of pins inside it that are sprung individually. These pins retract when the socket is pressed onto a bolt or nut head, gripping the bolt.

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For the test, I ground down the points of the bolt head, and took a drill to the socket screw and the Philips screw:

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I clamped each fastener in a vice, then put the torque wrench on the fastener and attempted to rotate it in the vice. I measured the amount of torque the fastener would accept before the tool slipped on the stripped fastener heads. The results:

Hex bolt: 1 ft-lb
Socket screw: 1 ft-lb
Philips screw: too small to measure
Hex bolt with Gator Grip: too small to measure

Obviously these fasteners were severely stripped - had they been fastened tightly into something, they would be next to impossible to remove. As a qualitative test, I was able to very easily rotate each of the tools over the fasteners without it grabbing much - and in the case of the Philips screw, the screwdriver just rotated uselessly without imparting any torque to the screw at all.

Next, I applied a drop of ScrewGrab to the top of each fastener as described in the instructions. Note in this picture I haven't remembered to snip the top off of the cap yet, which is why none is coming out!

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ScrewGrab comes out as a thin, gritty gel. I put a drop of it in the socket screw:

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As well as spreading it around the circumference of the hex head bolt:

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The results were definitive:

Hex bolt: 8 ft-lb
Socket screw: 9 ft-lb
Philips screw: 3 ft-lb

A significant improvement for all of the fasteners.

I also tried my Gator Grip on the hex bolt after the ScrewGrab was applied:

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Interestingly, I got only 3 ft-lb from this - far less than the regular 6-point socket I was using to test with - but still far more than I got using the Gator Grip with no ScrewGrab at all.

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By far the biggest felt improvement was the Philips screw - it went from utterly unusable, to providing enough torque that I'm pretty sure I could have removed it from pretty much anything. Once I filled the stripped out screw head with a drop of ScrewGrab:

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...turning the screwdriver felt like it "locked in" to the screw - you could feel the grit providing friction and cranking the screw. Using a screwdriver, I was actually able to apply enough force that I rotated the screw while it was held in the vice jaws!

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Once you have removed the fastener, the remaining ScrewGrab wipes off both the fastener and the tool quickly and easily.

Overall I can say that ScrewGrab is a keeper, and it will definitely be staying in my bag of tricks. I can highly recommend it.

Here is the promotional video from the screwgrab.com web site:






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Mag
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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby Mag » Sat May 31, 2014 12:25 pm

I have always had probs with "back-outs" and other stuff, and me being just a newbie garage monkey, that frustration drives me immediately to a cold beer to think about another solution if I could to do it.

Will definitely look in to this, also interested in the Gator since I heard about this, but have not found any around, will need to look.

Thx for review as always!

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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby ljdriver » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:56 am

Hello everyone. I would just like to add a comment or two about the Screw Grab product. I worked for a Michigan company starting in 1981 through 1998 and served as their Chief Pilot and mechanic. I had been an A&P Mechanic since about 1970. The company started a new "Technology" area and encouraged employees to come forward with ideas that the company could produce and sell along with their other product lines. I submitted two ideas that they produced, one being Screw Grab and the other a voltage monitor for servicing NiCad batteries. The screw grab was an immediate success and was on the market in short order, the battery monitor took longer to develop but was produced and sold about a year later. This Technology section was not a success for the company and it was abandoned within two years or so. Sometime after they stopped selling the products I found out that the Screw Grab product was sold to someone who marketed it under the same name. Imagine my surprise when I read the Screw Grab review this morning! And it's produced very close to me, in Grand Rapids, MI, my home town. Anyway, this product really does work as advertised, it's a very old mechanics trick used for many years in the aviation industry, where stripped out Phillips head screws are very common. A mechanic friend showed me this trick in the 60's and I've never claimed I invented it, just used it and told others about it.

Here's a simple and inexpensive way to accomplish the same thing. Get yourself a tube of valve grinding compound and put a dab of that on the tip of your screwdriver or wrench. It works in exactly the same way because it's the same product! Here's another bit of advice. If you use Screw Grab or valve grinding compound and still cannot get the screw out so you decide to drill the head off, make sure you clean the product off the screw thoroughly or you will ruin your drill bit when you drill into the valve grinding compound. That advice is from experience.....LOL

triwing
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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby triwing » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:50 am

That's great info to know! Thanks to you

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Oldbear
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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby Oldbear » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:48 pm

My valve grind compound just got moved up on the shelf...
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

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Ed Z
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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby Ed Z » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:47 am

I would think this also adds a bit of wear and tear to the tool being used... Thinkin my expensive ones would not be used in this case... Might be a good place to use the tools obtain via Christmas present...

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WingAdmin
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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:09 am

Ed Z wrote:I would think this also adds a bit of wear and tear to the tool being used... Thinkin my expensive ones would not be used in this case... Might be a good place to use the tools obtain via Christmas present...


That's a good point. Perhaps one of those Harbor Freight screwdriver sets obtained by their endless free coupons would be a good candidate.

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Oldbear
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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby Oldbear » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:26 am

I'd have to take them out of my kids tool boxes... :D
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

Deckard7
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Re: ScrewGrab Review

Postby Deckard7 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:03 pm

Thank you to ljdriver for recommending using valve grinding compound. I had a very stubborn screw to remove from my tonneau cover frame. My screwdrivers, including my JIS drivers just kept slipping when I tried to turn it. I did not want to drill it out as I was going to need to replace it and didn't know how much of a pain it would be to find a replacement for it. I read the post about the valve compound and thought I would give it a try. I could not believe how well it worked, I put a small amount into the top of the screw and inserted the screwdriver. It was amazing, no slippage, the screw came out with no damage. I was able to replace the broken piece and then reuse the original screw to put the parts back together again.


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