Allen Key Screw Won’t Turn – Causes & Solutions

Allen Key Screw Won’t Turn – Causes & Solutions

The Allen key screw won’t turn if it’s rusted or you’re using the wrong wrench. To remove the screw, clean the rust and use an Allen key to pull it out.

Allen Key Screw Won't Turn Causes & Solutions

Technicians and motorcyclists are familiar with Allen key screws. They’re screws or bolts with hexagonal sockets standard in motorcycles, bikes, and furniture.

If your Allen key screw won’t turn, it’s stuck and will require extra effort to loosen. This article outlines the causes and simple solutions to stuck Allen screws.

Allen Key Screw Won’t Turn – Causes

Common reasons Allen key screws may not turn could be rust or dirt. If the screw is rusted, it becomes hard to remove from the furniture or motorcycle.

Another reason the Allen key screw won’t turn is if you use the wrong wrench. These screws have hexagonal shapes; if the wrench doesn’t fit, it won’t turn.

If the Allen screws on your piece of hardware refuse to turn, it’s because of one of these reasons.


If there is debris such as rust or dirt between the Allen screw and the bolt hole on the material, the screw will not turn.

Rusted metal parts are hard to disassemble, except the rust is cleaned.


Get rid of the rust. You’ll need a nail, screwdriver, harmer, and lubricant or rust penetrant.

What You’ll Need

Hammer The Allen Screw

  • Insert the nail into the Allen screw hole and hit it with the metal hammer till it separates from the surface it was installed.

Use A Wire Brush

If the Allen screw head is covered with rust, you can scrub it off with a wire brush. Wear gloves before using a wire brush so you don’t harm yourself.

  • Hold the wire brush by the handle and scrub the screw head.

After cleaning off the rust from Allen key screws, try turning them again with your Allen key.

If they still don’t budge, you’ll need to apply lubrication so that they turn more easily next time you try to use them.

Use Lubricants Or Rust Penetrant

You could use WD-40® Multi-Use Product as lubricants for your stuck Allen key screws.

Penetrating oil also works, but you’d have to let these products soak into the screw and rust.

  • Spray the lubricant on the Allen screw head and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the Allen screw with a wrench.

Wrong Wrench

Allen screws have hexagonal shapes; if you use the wrong wrench, the screw will not turn.

Even when using Allen keys for removing Allen screws, if it’s the wrong size, it won’t turn. Some types of screws require specific keys that aren’t compatible with others.


Find the correct size wrench. Allen keys usually come in a set of different sizes.

Each one fits into a specific screw socket.

  • If you’ve tried turning the Allen key screw with an Allen wrench, and it doesn’t work, you’re probably using the wrong size.
  • Try other keys until you find the one that fits.

Note: Not all wrenches fit into the Allen screw. Due to their hexagonal sockets, only specific wrenches can turn them. However, there are alternatives to the Allen key if you don’t have one.

The Screw Head Is Stripped

If the Allen key screw has become worn over time due to repeated use or improper storage conditions such as high temperatures or humidity, it won’t turn when you want to tighten or lose it.

Screw holes also strip when you use too much force on them or the wrong tool for the job.

Allen Key Screw Won't Turn


Try other tools. The Allen wrench won’t fit if the Allen screw head is damaged.

Use A Torx Wrench

The Torx wrench has six sides, too, so you may be able to turn a stripped Allen screw with it.

The hole in which the screw fits should be slightly smaller than the bit of your wrench so that it grips the head properly without slipping off.

  • Place the tip of the wrench over the head of the screw and turn it counterclockwise until it is loose enough to remove with your fingers or pliers.

Use Pliers

  • Place the jaws of the pliers over the head of the screw and pull.
  • The plier jaws should be right at the base of where it meets with the metal shaft of the screw. It will give you maximum leverage for removing it without damaging or getting injured by slipping off and dropping it on yourself.

Note: Use pliers if the Allen screw is a bit projected from the surface; otherwise, you won’t be able to pull off the screw.

Use A Center Punch

  • Place the center punch on the sides of the screw. You want to ensure you use enough force when using your center punch. If you don’t use enough power and hit only one side of the screw head, the screw will not come out quickly.
  • After you’ve tapered the Allen screw, remove it with pliers.

Use A Screw Extractor

A screw extractor is a unique tool that removes broken or stripped screws. Screw extractors are available in many different sizes and styles.

Their size correlates with the diameter of the bolt head or nut you’re trying to remove.

They come in two designs; you need the one with a spiral flute shape to remove the stripped Allen screw.

  • Fit the screw extractor into a T-handle and place it in the screw head.
  • Turn the extractor counterclockwise to remove the screw.

The Allen Screw Is Stuck In The Material

The screw doesn’t turn because it’s stuck on the wood. It is widespread with furniture.

Once the screw reaches a thick part of the wood, it stops turning.


Pull out the Allen screw and drill the pilot hole. A pilot hole is a small hole drilled into the material’s surface before a giant hole is made.

A pilot hole is typically smaller than the diameter of the Allen screw you want to install.

If you had started drilling the Allen screw and it got stuck, remove it and drill a pilot hole first.

  • Pry the Allen screw with a putty knife or pliers but be careful not to taper the screw head.
  • Use a drill bit to create the pilot hole on the surface of the wood.
  • Place the Allen screw into the pilot hole and tighten it with an Allen key by turning it counterclockwise.

What If Nothing Works?

Sometimes, the Allen key screw won’t turn after trying these solutions. As a final step, try drilling another hole in the material.

All you need is the right tools, including a drill bit and Allen keys.

  • Mark the spot you want the screw with a pencil.
  • Place a drill bit onto that point and turn it.
  • Place a new Allen screw onto the pilot hole and tighten it with the Allen key.

How Do You Get An Allen Screw-Out Without An Allen Wrench?

If you want to fix your bike or furniture and you don’t have an Allen wrench to remove those stubborn Allen screws, try any of these alternatives:

  • Torx wrench
  • Torque wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Center punch


The Allen key screw won’t turn if it’s rusted, and the solution is to get rid of the rust. You can achieve this with lubricants and rust penetrants.

If the screws are stripped, try removing them with other wrenches like the Torx.