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How to Fix Stripped Threads in Metal

July 19th, 2022Generated with Avocode.Ellipse 1By E-Z Lok

Stripped threads are a problem for metalworkers and mechanics alike. Over time, threads are stripped and fastenings will loosen, creating potentially unsafe operating conditions. Knowing how to fix stripped threads in metal using threaded inserts can save companies money on expensive replacements and lost operating time. Learn more about stripped thread repair and the common causes of thread stripping so you can fix it as soon as possible.

What Are Stripped Threads?

Stripped bolt threads generally occur over time. Metal fastenings using threaded bolts wear out and loosen, becoming insecure and potentially unsafe. The additional movement and vibration from loose fittings cause more wear until the fastener eventually fails.

Stripped threads are most common in zinc and other soft alloys but occur in all kinds of metal applications. Either the bolt or the fastener will become worn and need to be replaced. However, stripped bolt threads wear out through friction in the same way and both should be looked at for routine maintenance.

Common Causes of Stripped Threads

Threads are stripped for different reasons depending on your application. Knowing how to fix stripped threads begins with determining the cause of wear. Here are the most common reasons for thread stripping:

Misaligned Bolts and Components

Parts that are misaligned during fastening can result in cross-threaded or deformed bolts. Misaligned parts result in loose fittings that cause stripped threads to appear due to vibration and torque shearing.

Mismatched Hardware

Using a bolt whose threads don't match the hole it is placed in or using SAE-sized bolts in metric holes will result in increased friction under torque. Stripped threads from mismatched hardware are very common and easily preventable.


Moisture, erosion and the environment lead to corroded fastenings and bolts. Fixing stripped threads caused by corrosion can be more time-intensive than other causes. Repairing stripped threads in corroded parts should be done with caution and under the supervision of an expert technician.

Fixing Stripped Threads in Metal

Stripped thread repair is a lot easier with the proper tools. Using a thread repair kit can provide you with everything you need to get started. Once you have the proper equipment, fixing stripped threads is easy. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Measure the Hole

Stripped thread repair using threaded inserts requires you to clean out the hole and measure it to determine whether a new pilot hole needs to be drilled.

2. Drill and Tap the Hole

Using threaded inserts to repair stripped threads requires a slightly larger hole so the necessary hardware can fit together. Drill out the hole to break down old, worn-out threads, and then tap the hole to install fresh new threads.

3. Place the Insert

Using an optional drive tool, you can easily place the insert into the tapped hole to create a strong fastening for your hardware. The metal insert will provide superior anchoring utilizing standard OD threads.

4. Reinsert New Hardware

After fixing the stripped threads, use new hardware for your fastenings to ensure superior grip strength.

Repair Stripped Threads With E-Z LOK Threaded Inserts for Metal

Need to know how to fix stripped threads in wood and plastic? E-Z LOK is a primary supplier of threaded inserts for a wide variety of industries, materials and applications. Our E-Z Coil™ helical coil inserts are ideal for stripped thread repair and reinforcement in softer metals. Made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, our helicoil threaded inserts are durable, long-lasting solutions to your fastening problems. For more on how to fix stripped threads in metal, contact us to speak with a knowledgeable representative today.

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