How to Stop a Bolt From Spinning

If you’ve ever watched a bolt spin on its head, you know it can be frustrating to stop. Methods like hitting the top of the bolt with your hand or using pliers are time-consuming and messy. You could also put something heavy on top of it, but this may not work if there’s no other object nearby to place the weight on.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to stop a spinning bolt that doesn’t require special equipment. One Way is to grab one end and use your body weight to pull it down until it hits bottom.

How to Stop a Bolt From Spinning

Not only does this method take less than five seconds, but because you’re pulling instead of pushing, there’s no chance for dirt or debris from the floor getting into your hands! If you want to know more about these methods then read this article on how to stop a bolt from spinning.

What Causes Bolt to Spin?

The five main reasons for a bolt to spin are:

  1. High friction on the breach threading caused by poor finish (rough surfaces), dirt, and foreign material, such as paint or grease. Bolt lugs don’t seat perfectly square onto the receiver face when pulled down by the extractor. As a result, a burr develops at the edge of the lugs, causing high spots that cause the bolt to bind. Cleaning up burrs on both parts will remove this reason for binding.
  2. The rifle is out of time. This condition occurs when firing pin protrusion into the primer exceeds the maximum or minimum specs during firing-pin fall, which can happen with dirt/grit in the firing pin channel or extreme tolerances in a match grade/tight chamber. This bolt binding is more noticeable when with a suppressor because of reduced gas volume and faster action cycling.
  3. Friction between lugs and receiver causes lug setback during ejection, especially if the surface finish is rough, leading to an excessive protrusion on one or more lugs, causing it to bind. A high polished finish will reduce or eliminate this condition.
  4. A rough bolt face and oversize firing pin hole in the bolt can cause excessive lug setback during ejection, which causes binding when closing the action.
  5. The extractor has too much tension or is damaged, causing high spots to develop on its engagement surface with an oversized rim of a cartridge case. This condition will create a binding in the fast action. Polishing out any high spots on both surfaces corrects this problem.

7 Ways on How to Stop a Bolt From Spinning:

1. Use a Flat Head Screwdriver:

A flat head screwdriver can be a cheap and easy way to stop a bolt from spinning. All you have to do is use it as leverage against the wrench when trying to loosen or tighten a nut.

2. Use Lock-Tite:

If your bolts are always coming loose, try putting some lock-tite on them before installation. If they are already open, remove the bolt and put some lock-tite on it before reinstalling. The easiest Way to apply lock-tite is with a needle or tube attached to the bottle’s nozzle.

3. Use Teflon Tape:

Teflon tape has many uses. It can be used to stop a bolt from spinning, but it’s usually not as effective as lock-tite. Wrap the Teflon tape around the threads of the bolt before installation. Tape both ends of the bolts. Tape should go around the bolt nearest to the nut. The tape should start about 1/8″ to 3/16″ away from the end of the threads on that side. It’s best to use 2 or 3 layers of Teflon tape for this.

That Works Is Using a Spacer.

4. Use a Spacer:

If you can’t apply lock-tite or Teflon tape to a bolt, another option that works is using a spacer. This is especially effective if the nut of your bolt is spinning while you try and tighten it. To do this, all you have to do is place something with a thickness close to the bolt diameter between the nut and the bolt. An aluminum or steel spacer works best, but you could even use a washer if it is thin enough.

5. Use a Longer Bolt:

If you have two bolts that aren’t long enough to fit properly, all you have to do is put them in the hardware section of your local home improvement store and ask them for two longer bolts that will fit. And now you know why those extra-long screws are always collecting dust in the corner of the hardware section.

6. Use a Helix-Washer:

If all else fails, try using a Helicoil or helix washer. You can buy these at the hardware store, but it’s much cheaper to buy them online. These were washers with a thread wrapped around the outside of them and one or more ridges on the inside. You can either drill out the holes in your bolts or use Helicoils, which look like short screws.

7. Drill Out Your Bolt:

If your bolt is so stripped out that it won’t tighten or loosen, the only option you have left is to drill it out. This will involve drilling several holes in the side of your bolt with a Dremel and then using a screw extractor to remove the remaining debris. This can be time-consuming and difficult if you don’t have the right tools.

Will Wd-40 Loosen Rusted Bolts?

Often You Can't and End Up  Having to Drill the Bolt Out

Rusted bolts are the bane of any hardware store or do-it-yourselfer. You can’t get them out right now, so you use some penetrating oil to loosen them up later, but it doesn’t work. What’s worse is that once you finally break the rusted bolt loose, you have to get it out if it isn’t rusty anymore. Often you can’t and end up having to drill the bolt out.

To stop a rusted or stuck nut from spinning while loosening or removing, try spraying a little wd-40 on the nut before reducing. Since wd-40 contains petroleum distillates, it will create. This spreads the gripping power over a wider area and will prevent the nut from spinning once it is loose.

Final Words:

Act quickly to stop a bolt from spinning. The first step is to identify the problem and isolate it, determining if any other bolts might also be affected by this issue. You can do this with a visual inspection of the area where you found the one loose nut or bolt. If not, then take another close look at all of them for damage such as cracks in their threads or corrosion on their surfaces- these could indicate problems elsewhere.

Next, check your torque wrench; make sure its calibration is accurate! Then find some fasteners like nuts and washers, preferably ones made out of stainless steel (or higher strength material), so they’ll resist corrosion better than traditional materials will over time.

We have also covered many ways on how to stop a bolt from spinning by applying tension in different areas. Which technique did you find most helpful when trying to figure out how to stop that pesky spinner from turning? Let us know what your favorite method in the comments below was!

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