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The Curse of the Rounded-Off Bolt


We've all had the "opportunity" to round-off a frozen bolt or two. A socket might split, or we might have wished we had used a 6-point socket instead of a 12-point for just a little more surface contact. That's just before it rounded-off a few corners.

If you've been using a 12-point socket, switch to a 6-point. That extra contact might save the day. If not, and you're working with U.S.-size bolts, try the very next size smaller, but from a metric set (for example, go from a 9/16" to a 13mm). Gently tap it onto the bolt. If you've rounded it off enough, it may fit, giving you a fresh start. If not, the next step may be the heat wrench.