Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits
Most of us reach for the pliers or vise grips to remove studs, but Matco shows us a better way with these installer and remover kits. The price might be higher than you'd like for occasional use, but I can think of many times where these kits would have saved me a lot of time and money!
I’m sure if you asked those witty Shop Tool Reviews guys how to remove studs, they’d say just ask us to leave. Around the shop, there’s no shame (but maybe there should be) in picking the low hanging fruit from the ol’ Joke Tree. Anyway, unlike the wooden members of a building so often talked about over at Pro Tool Reviews, studs in the mechanical world refer to threaded rods without a hex head. Really, it’s just what we’d call a common hex bolt if the threads had a head that you could put a socket or wrench on. Studs are used for mounting one part to another. During assembly, they must be inserted into threaded holes and, during disassembly, must be removed. But therein lies the challenge: studs don’t have a head for a wrench or socket to grip and time and heat can make them seize up. Studs can also break off, leaving few (if any) threads left to grip. That’s no laughing matter – even less funny, if you can believe it, than the jokes heard around the shop! So today I have what might be a helpful solution: the Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits.
The most common way to get ahold of a stud is with pliers or vise grips. But that’s not a great solution because the grip is poor and the threads inevitably get damaged. There are ratchet based tools that can grip a stud, but some of them put the leverage point far from the stud’s center where you tempt fate by asking the stud to break or even shear off. That’s a bit of a nightmare scenario as you’d either have to drill out the center of the stud and use an extractor or even weld a nut to the drilled out stud for extraction. Other ratchet-based stud removers might require workspace you just don’t have. Sometimes you can back two nuts up against one another tightly and turn the innermost nut. It’s the simplest solution, but again, might now work depending on the space available. So let’s see if the Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits is the best solution!
Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits are available in both SAE and Metric versions. Both versions include installers and removers for five of the most common stud sizes (see specifications below). The installers have a simple yet clever design with an elongated body and set screw. It effectively creates a temporary hex head on the end of the stud.
Matco’s stud remover design recreates the two opposing hex nuts strategy I mentioned earlier but with two important differences. First, the nuts are fused together but can spin independently. Second, the inner nut is larger than the outer nut. You might be able to imagine how that will allow you to use a socket and long extension in tight spaces that would be impossible with the same-size opposing hex nuts.
All five installer set screws use the same hex wrench included in the kit. The only other tools needed are the common wrenches and sockets you use every day. Like I said, it’s all pretty simple.
Can I Phone A Friend?
I must admit that I don’t run into the need to install or remove studs every day. You may have the need more often than I do. But once I got the Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits for this review, it was nice to know I had a tool designed for the job! I usually don’t think about a tool like this, but I felt more prepared for whatever came my way with them around. They are a bit of a lifeline.
My first opportunity to put the installer and remover to the test was on the fuel tank strap of an older Grand Marquis. The strap is held in place by a stud located in a fairly tight space. The stud goes through a hex nut on the bottom and a speed clip/not on the top. It’s designed to break off after installation – you can see the break-off point in the stud’s unthreaded section. Normally you’d grab it with some pliers, damage the threads in the process, and then just replace the stud. Perhaps it’s a bit wasteful and tedious, but that’s just how we’ve always done it, right?
But the Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits allowed a better way. Using the remover’s opposing nut design, I threaded larger, “inner” nut onto the stud. I tightened the smaller, “outer” nut against it with a socket. Finally, I used a larger socket for the larger nut to unscrew the stud, dropping it down slightly, out of the speed clip/nut on top.
When it was time to reverse the process, I removed the remover and threaded the installer onto the stud. Using the hex wrench included in the Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits, I tightened the set screw against the stud’s end. If you find that the installer only has a few threads to grip, back out the set screw to access more threads and avoid damaging the stud.
Once the set screw is tightened down, I used a socket to tighten the stud back into the speed clip/nut. In doing so, I didn’t have to awkwardly and tediously use pliers to remove the stud, damaging it in the process, and replacing it. See – I told you it was simple!
If you’ve got a particularly seized up stud, or if it sticks out several inches from the block, I’d forgo the wrenches or ratchet/socket and use a power tool (if possible). This way you can ensure that you’re applying only rotational force and not exerting shear force that could snap the stud. Matco recommends you use some penetrating fluid, too.
Feel the Tension
With the installer creating a temporary hex head on the stud, bear in mind that you can use a torque wrench for proper tensioning. That means more meticulous work – you can eliminate the guesswork and protect the threads. You’ll be rhetorically asking who is the real stud around here, anyway?! Alright, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The Bottom Line
The Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits are the best kind of tools (that you probably don’t have) for the job! So many of us go after studs with pliers or vise grips only to damage threads and add a few quarters to the swear jar. But with simple yet effective functionalities, both the installer and remover get the job done better, quicker, and with less waste than using the wrong tool. Now, both sets are north of $100 each, so you might decide you just don’t run into enough studs. But for those of us who do, these sets are worth their weights in gold.
Matco Tools Stud Remover and Installation Kits Features
- Unique design allows the removal and installation of studs without damaging the threads
- Each stud size uses one tool for removal and one tool for installation
- The install tool allows use of a torque wrench for proper installation
- Includes hex key and blow mold case
- Item Numbers:
- SAE: SR202
- Metric: SR201
- Fits the following sizes:
- SAE: 5/16 x 18, 5/16 x 24, 3/8 x 16, 3/8 x 24, 7/16 x 14
- Metric: M6 x 1.0, M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5
- SAE: $118.40
- Metric: $106.05