STG Machine has published a few articles on key inserts, so we thought it would be helpful to share how to remove key inserts. Removing inserts is not the most common request, but it does happen on occasion. The process is very similar to the removal of a helicoil, but there are a few differences.
How to Remove Key Inserts:
- Drill out the inserts. Refer to the manufacturer spec for what drill size to use and how deep to go. Make sure not to damage the internal thread and the surrounding parent material
- Bend the keys inward and break off. This may require a screwdriver and a pair of pliers
- Remove the old insert using a screw extractor set or something equivalent
- Clean out the hole
After the removal of a key insert you may need to re-chase the tapped hole to help clean up the threads. However, depending on how cleanly you have removed the insert this may not be required. For removal tools please contact your local reseller or go online. We always recommend companies like Mcmaster-carr and Misumi for your hardware needs.