You may have noticed by now that I’m going in order with these tool suggestions. First, torque wrenches for tightening things properly. Then, JIS screwdrivers for those fasteners that look like Phillips but aren’t. Now, something that might save you from drilling out those JIS fasteners: Screw Removal Pliers.

We’ve all been there, and it’s mostly when we’re trying to disassemble carburetors. Japanese manufacturers tend to use fasteners made of cheese. At first, you took a Phillips screwdriver to your carburetor assembly and didn’t have any luck. Then you remembered your JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard)-compliant screwdriver but those did not comply either. Now the center is stripped and that screwdriver isn’t helping.

What are Screw Removal Pliers?

They are, as the saying goes, what it says on the tin. You’ve probably put pliers to your stripped fasteners as a last resort, but that trick never works. Fear not, friends; these are different.

They’re on the expensive side for pliers and, depending on the brand, will run you on one side or the other of $30 USD. The first time you use them with success, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated.

Why Are They Different?

These things, forged in magic and machined with pixie dust probably, are that good. They have hauled my sorry self out of more than one situation that looked destined for a drill bit. The teeth of these pliers are sharp and will dig into the heads of those very old pot-metal fasteners. They are so good they have a permanent spot in my on-bike tool roll.

Once you get a good grip on the head of that fastener, squeeze and turn. More often than not, you’ll be rewarded with that satisfying “CRACK” when years-old threads give up their grip. Now, off to McMaster-Carr with you, to replace those cheesy fasteners with type 316 stainless steel socket-head cap screws.

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