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TOOL REVIEW:


Irwin Bolt-Grip Bolt Extractors

by Matt Mather

When you come across a nut or bolt that has a rounded head or is rusted beyond recognition, you don’t have a whole lot of good options. I recently ran into a situation where I was backing out a bolt from the starter on my Honda Fit. The packaging of the starter made getting a straight shot at the head of the bolt very difficult, which lead to the head starting to round over. Recognizing that the situation was spiraling out of control, I started looking for a solution to finish backing the bolt out. Some researching on the internet led me to the Irwin Bolt-Grip. The Irwin Bolt-Grip.

https://www.irwin.com/tools/screw-bolt-extractors/5-pc-bolt-grip-base-set

What do these do?

These are designed to grip bolt heads or nuts with an internal spiral flute design. Here’s a closeup of the flutes:

How well does it do it?

These are designed to grip bolt heads or nuts with an internal spiral flute design. Once I got the socket in place and worked out how to turn it (with the prerequisite 3 extensions and a u-joint), the flutes dug in to the head of the bolt, (shown on the left) and gripped it so well, I had to smack the bolt with a hammer to loosen it up. Here’s the head of the bolt that was extracted, and the chewed up thread that was the cause of the whole situation (see below. right.)

How well do these
extractors work?
:

With the single use I have with these, I would rate them much better than expected. I was surprised at how quickly the extractor locked onto the head of the bolt and then no matter how much torque I applied, there was no slippage and the bolt came out. I suspect that if you can get one of the extractors over the fastener, you will be able to get it out or even break it since the grip so good.

Notable Observances:

1. The design of these is very good. They are ?” drive and also have a hex built into the shank to allow for the use of a wrench to turn the extractor, for low clearance situations. I really like this feature.

2. These are impact rated. That is brilliant! I don’t want to have to use these again, but, if I can get an impact into the area, I am sure going to use one. The impact should help loosen up even the more crusty fasteners.

3. The larger sizes have VERY large hexagonal sections, requiring larger than usual wrenched to be used, which I think is a detriment to the product. Capping the hex size to 19mm would have been better, since you wouldn’t have to go above what a typical starter set of tools would have included.

4. The plastic case the set comes in is actually halfway decent, though it is much bulkier than the sockets themselves with space for more sockets that are available to purchase separately.

5. It has an auto-shut-off feature, so you don’t smash your fingers.

6. These are priced much less expensively than other sets I saw at the local auto parts stores.

Pros:

-Very well made

-Useful features

-Extremely effecxtive

-Priced very well

Cons:

-The hex on larger sizes is much larger than whay you'd find in a basic tool set

-The plastic case is bulky, though it is pretty sturdy

Summary:

A well priced and effective bolt and nut extraction tool, capable of being used with a wide variety of hand tools and power tools.

Are These BBA (Beaver Built Approved?)

HECK YES! I have used a variety of bolt extraction methods over the years, but these Bolt-Grips are a very good and effective design at a very reasonable price. A huge thumbs up to Irwin for these!

I hope that you found that useful! I would love to answer your fabrication related questions in future articles! Would you like advice on bracing your roll cage? Would you like to figure out the best way to fasten a body panel? Send me your problems and let me help you find a solution! You can contact me via email at beaverbuilds@gmail.com, on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/BeaverBuilt/, or on instagram@beaverbuilt. Thanks for reading!


©2018 Matt Mather
Matt Mather is a fabricator, tuner, race car builder and Honda Guru from New Jersey. He is a member of NER SCCA.

 

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