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Thread: Torx bit stuck in planer carbide insert

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Allentown, PA
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    Torx bit stuck in planer carbide insert

    First, I offer a tip when rotating your carbide bits: Use an impact driver if the bolt doesn't loosen easily.

    I learned this tip painfully, by breaking off a a torx wrench flush with the top of a bolt. It was stuck, so I tried drilling it out with a cobalt drill, which only made a dimple. Does anyone know how to remove it?

    In case it's relevant, I did this on a Grizzly G0454 5Hp 20" planer.

    Any ideas are welcome!

  2. #2
    Assuming you are talking about a torx bit broke off? Maybe soak in liquid wrench then try to suck the bit tip out with a strong magnet. Blast it with an air hose. If its mechanically wedged in there maybe a pointed dental pick.

  3. #3
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    I would order an extra carbide and screw now. Heat may help but you would have to direct it at a very small spot. The bit should drill.

    Lastly a carbide burr to chew out the screw head altogether. once you get the carbide out you can access screw soak it for a day or so and replace the carbide and screw

  4. #4
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    Break out the carbide so the screw is free. wear googles. Then try vise grips+heat+cold. A CO2 fire extingusher is nice to have in the shop.
    Bill D.
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 04-12-2021 at 2:45 PM.

  5. #5
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    I was in woodcraft some years ago when a guy came in asking how to get a suck bolt out. I suggested heat and cold and he got excited. Tiuns out he was a retired surgeon and he kept a sewer of liquid nitrogen around. So if you know a surgeon, maybe they can hook you up.

    seriously, there is such a thing as left handed bits. They’ve been a real life saver for me over the years. They come matched with easy-outs.

    +1 on busting out the carbide.

  6. #6
    This comes up every so often. The 3 suggestions are..

    1. Break the carbide insert. It loosens the pressure on the bolt.

    2. Soak it in PB Blaster or some other similar liquid.

    3. Heat the surrounding area, or freeze the bolt.

  7. #7
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    Was it a good quality torx bit or one from Harbor Freight?

  8. #8
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    I'd tap away at the broken bit with a center punch. Hoping to shatter it into little pieces to fall out. Do they not recommend anti-seize compound on the screw when you install it?

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone. I forgot about the carbide being brittle. I'll chip it out and go from there. I have a big can of PB Blaster, torches, a fire extinguisher,, and a variety of vise grips.

    Regarding questions about how I ended up in this mess... The torx bit was an insert in a 3/8" socket. I've tagged the rest as having dubious quality. My intention was to use an ez-out; but, the broken bit fought the carbide drill.

    I don't know why it was so tight, because I bought the planer used about five years ago and this is the first time I needed to rotate an insert. I' had no trouble with the adjoining insert using an impact driver to be safe, thus my tip. Don't worry, it was installed hand-tight. I bought a GO495x jointer from the same owner and have had no problems with those inserts, having to rotate several over the past five years.

  10. #10
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    Easy Outs work when one will come out easily. For everything else, that needs drilling, left handed Cobalt bits. Breaking the insert will work the best here, but I can't think of a reason why I would ever use an Easy-Out again. With a left handed bit, a stuck, or broken bolt with reach a critical, giving up point, and back right out on the drill bit. Sometimes, you have to keep going up in size with the left handed bits, until the bolt backs out.

    I like Wiha, and GRK driver bits. The Wiha ones seem to last forever. I also hate using short bits in an adapter.

  11. #11
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    CRC makes a product called Freeze-Off Super Penetrant, that will also cool things down

    might also be available at local auto parts store

    Amazon.com: CRC Freeze-Off Super Penetrant, 11.5 oz: Sports & Outdoors

    or this canned cold spray "chills down to -60f"

    MG Chemicals - 403A-285G 403A 134A Super Cold Spray, 285g (10 oz) Aerosol Can: Freezing Spray: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    Or check around for a chunk of dry ice, one of the grocery chains around here carried it last time i looked for it
    Last edited by Mike Soaper; 04-12-2021 at 6:20 PM.

  12. #12
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    Regarding questions about how I ended up in this mess... The torx bit was an insert in a 3/8" socket. I've tagged the rest as having dubious quality. My intention was to use an ez-out; but, the broken bit fought the carbide drill.

    Carbide or Cobalt drill bit? Huge difference. Carbide should drill a torx bit. I've drilled broken easy outs before. Busting the insert is the best bet. A center punch won't do any good if the drill bit didn't faze it. Bust the insert and then the screw shouldn't be difficult to remove. You can get pliers or vise grips on it after that. Good luck.

  13. #13
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    The best way to remove broken bolts is with a welder. You set a nut on top of the broke/rounded/offending bolt, and then fill the nut with a good solid weld to the bolt. The heat loosens the bolt and the nut can be gripped solidly with a wrench to back the entire thing out. You can use a washer under the nut as a shield if you need.

    This technique is probably overkill in this instance but it's good to know.

  14. #14
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    One option is to use a dremel with a small abrasive cutoff wheel and cut a slot in the bolt of the head, cutting across the broken torx bit, then use a slotted screwdriver (flathead) to remove the bolt.
    NOW you tell me...

  15. #15
    I can't answer your question but just a note that Byrd uses a Torx Plus bit and it is different than a Torx with broader points. Not sure what Grizzly is using but worth finding out for the future if you don't know.

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