How To Drill Out A Broken Tap (You Read That Right)

I was directed to this video by a link someone supplied in a Mini Lathe forum I joined a few years ago.

As long as I have been turning wrenches, I had never heard of this technique.. While I have to admit it’s pretty brilliant, it’s also a lot of hard work and it’s not exactly cheap either.

Still beats the hell out of the alternatives.

I especially liked the drill guide idea, that could be handy all by its self.

It took this guy a long time but he did eventually drill an intentionally broken off tap, in a broken off bolt, clear out of a hole in an aluminum oil pan without damaging the original hole.

11 thoughts on “How To Drill Out A Broken Tap (You Read That Right)

  1. Who has ever been lucky enough to break an extractor below the surface? I’d like them to rub a lottery ticket for me.
    It’s either flush or nothing in my experience. Sometimes to the point of using the electric wrench (plasma cutter) to blow the center out of it. Drill and tap it one size bigger and add another wrench to your onboard tool kit.


  2. Use a left handed drill, most of the time the local heating from drilling will spin the broken bolt right out. Like the guide though.



  3. How many hours have we cussed and swore and banged a head against a wall getting a broken bolt out? This technique would save hours.


  4. Saw a welder I know use a cutting torch to get a busted bolt out of an engine block, a little heat, one short shot of oxygen, and the broken bolt was gone and the threads were clean and undamaged…not trying that one on anything I care about..


  5. That was painful to watch. Many options at the 30 sec mark. Here’s one, place the pan at 50-100 meters from your favorite shooting bench. Using a well zeroed rifle, in this case, a 5.56 round is called for. After a new hole is made, rethreading can be done. This is multitasking with purpose. You’re all very welcome. Ohio Guy


  6. If the parent material is aluminum just get a few drops of nitric acid put on the tap and in a couple of minutes it’s gone with no damages to the aluminum just rinse with baking soda water to take out the acid and your back in business


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