PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Have you ever been frustrated trying to remove a stripped screw? It can seem like whatever you try makes it worse.
A product called Speed Out claims to solve your stripped screw extraction issues in 10 seconds or less, but does it really do that?
KDKA-TV news morning anchor/Does It Really Do That? reporter Jennifer Antkowiak recruited a celebrity tester for this one.
You may know Bubba from “The Bubba Show” on Star 100.7. But, did you know he’s an infomercial junkie?
“I have loved infomercials for as long as I can remember,” he said.
Bubba’s been eager to help with a “Does It Really Do That?” test, and Speed Out was just the thing for him, because he’s been dealing with a very rusty mailbox. Bubba’s tried to replace it, but he stripped the screws in the process.
“I was prepared to spend the rest of my life with this horrible mailbox,” he laughed.
Even those old, rusty screws should be no trouble for Speed Out. The commercial, and the packaging, promise that with Speed Out, you can easily remove any stripped screw in 10 seconds or less.
Speed Out is a set of four double-ended drill bits. Side A is a drill, side B is an extractor.
You see it working on the commercial, and the announcer says, “You simply drill out the damaged area with the cutting head, then the extracting end pulls it right out. It’s that simple. It’s that easy!”
Bubba wants a new mailbox. He was feeling skeptical, but hopeful as he got ready to give Speed Out a try. The instructions say Speed Out works with any drill except an impact drill, and they show you how to select the right size drill bit, and insert it in the drill to first drill a hole in the stripped screw, and then switch sides and extract it.
Bubba got it all set up and started drilling, but the drill battery seemed to be running low. So, Bubba tried it with another drill.
“Alright, we’re rolling through,” he said.
Bubba and Jen could see that the Speed Out did drill a hole in the screw and the surface rust came off to expose the silver screw underneath.
For step two, Bubba flipped the Speed Out drill bit to the extraction side, and with increasing skepticism, he started the drill. The extraction bit spun around, but the stripped screw didn’t budge.
“Nothing,” Bubba said.
He switched out drill bit sizes to see if that changed things, but no matter which bit, or which stripped screw Bubba tried, nothing worked.
He didn’t want to stop there, though. In a last try, Bubba borrowed a neighbor’s power drill and dragged out the extension cords.
Would another new drill do the trick?
Again, the Speed Out seemed to be able to drill a hole in the screw, but when it came time to extract it:
“Nothing,” Bubba said, shaking his head.
So, Speed Out promises to remove any stripped screw in 10 seconds or less.
Does it really do that? That question gets a big no from Bubba.
“There is no way that this does that. It just doesn’t happen,” he said.
But we weren’t yet ready to give up on Speed Out. We saw this product tested in a similar segment at a TV station in Colorado and it worked for them. They used an expert at a hardware store. So we enlisted the help of Andy Amrhein from Evey True Value in Bethel Park.
He intentionally stripped five screws in a block of wood and then tried to use Speed Out to remove them. To Andy’s surprise, Speed Out didn’t work. Andy said all it was doing was stripping the head of the extractor.
Andy told us he’s seen several similar products, sold under different names and every one that he’s tried in the past has worked. He thinks maybe the steel used to make the Speed Out bits is a softer, low-grade steel, making the grip on it less effective.
So Speed Out gets a thumbs down from both of our testers.
Antkowiak bought the Speed Out set online for about $8.