How to Get Lock Nuts Off

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Lock nuts can be very difficult to remove.
Lock nuts can be very difficult to remove. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

A lock nut will not loosen, even under intense vibrations. They are different on each side, making them very difficult to get off. Lock nuts come in various sizes for many different applications and are most often used by mechanics and engineers to hold wheels in place. There may come a time when you need your lock nut removed; this task could require some patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Sockets
  • Socket wrench
  • Butane torch
  • Hacksaw
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Hammer

Slide sockets over the lock nut until the proper size is found. Attach the socket to the wrench and place it over the lock nut. Push it firmly onto the nut.

Turn the nut clockwise, until it begins to loosen from the bolt or screw it is attached to. Continue turning until it comes loose and can be easily pulled off by hand.

Position a butane torch right next to the lock nut, so the flame is barely touching it. Hold it in place until you smell the nylon in the center of the lock nut beginning to melt. Turn the torch off and set it aside.

Fit the socket wrench over the lock nut and turn it counterclockwise to remove it. Loosen it until you can pull it off by hand.

Cut the nut with a hacksaw -- directly across the center -- so it is split on the face and not along the diameter. Press the edge of a flat head screwdriver into the cut you made and hammer the screwdriver into the cut, until the nut splits off the bolt or screw.

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