How to Break Breakaway Screws

Updated on December 2, 2017
Source

What Is a Breakaway Screw?

A breakaway screw is ideal for mounting kitchen or bathroom cabinet knobs and pulls, especially when the thickness of the cabinets varies. It is a long screw that has notches in it at quarter-inch intervals. It easily breaks off at the notches, so you can choose the length you need for your build.

Having recently become a do-it-yourselfer, I removed my kitchen cabinets to paint them, but when it came to putting them back, I realized the screws were in bad condition and needed to be replaced. I needed three different lengths of screws for the job. I also needed a cabinet pull for a new cabinet I was to install. At my local hardware store, while waiting for a clerk to reassure me that I was buying the right screw sizes, I discovered a package of breakaway screws. I purchased the screws and a cabinet pull.

When I opened the package for the cabinet handle, I saw that it also came with breakaway screws. However, neither package had directions on how to use them. If you've run into the same problem, you've come to the right place. This guide will explain what should be extremely obvious but isn't: how to break breakaway screws.

Breakaway screws.
Breakaway screws. | Source

Tools You (Supposedly) Need

Besides the breakaway screws, of course, you need only three simple tools to break the screws.

  • Measuring tape
  • Two pairs of pliers

If you don't have these tools, don't fret. I found an alternative way to break breakaway screws, which I describe below.

These are the parts of the screws that were broken away.
These are the parts of the screws that were broken away. | Source

How to Break Breakaway Screws

  1. Measure the object into which the screw will go to determine how deep the screw must reach. (Note: Measure not only the thickness of the cabinet or object, but also the part that will be used to fasten it.)
  2. Using this measurement, determine where you want to break the screw. It is notched at every quarter inch, so simply decide which notch to use.
  3. Use on pair of pliers to hold the screw. Hold this side tightly Use the other pair of pliers to grab the end of the part you want to remove.
  4. Wiggle the end of the screw up and down and side to side with the pliers until the piece breaks off.

Video Tutorial on How to Break Breakaway Screws

My DIY Experience With Breakaway Screws

The design of my cabinet made it difficult to use measuring tape. Instead, I simply put the screws into the holes and visually marked where the screw needed to be broken.

I had a hard time breaking the screw by myself, so I enlisted some help. We also did not have two pairs of pliers. For most of the drawers, we used a pair of pliers and a wrench. That's it, that simple.

We also added a new cabinet to the other side of the dishwasher. For this drawer, we broke the screw while it was in the drawer. We put the screws in, but not all the way, so that the part we wanted broken was close to the edge of the drawer. We didn't have it all the way to the edge, as we wanted to avoid scraping the drawer.

Doing it this way, we only needed the pliers to bend and break them. You do run the risk of ruining the cabinet if you use this method, so only use it if you are sure the cabinet is sturdy and can take this kind of pressure.

Have you ever used breakaway screws?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Shasta Matova

    Comments: How to Break Breakaway Screws

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        jorge 

        2 years ago

        You can kill (or wound) the working part of the thread this way.. :) better grip the head

      • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

        Shasta Matova 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks Sheri, Tolovaj and Roberta. I think that when people are in a particular industry, they assume that everyone knows what they do, but you're right, I think this is a relatively new product, and with DIY movement, there are a lot of people who don't know these types of things even if they were common. It seems like a simple explanation on the box would be helpful.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        4 years ago from the short journey

        For manufacturers to assume that everyone is familiar with such a product seems a little silly, especially now that so many more people are interested in DIY projects and are willing to step out of their comfort zone to accomplish tasks. Glad you had good success in your project and were able to share what you learned here!

      • Tolovaj profile image

        Tolovaj 

        4 years ago

        Sounds like a very practical solution for a lot of problems from the real world. I am not very handy, so this info is completely new to me. Thanks!

      • Sheri Faye profile image

        Sheri Dusseault 

        4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

        Well aren't you just the clever one. Good to know!

      • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

        Shasta Matova 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks for your vote and comment Carolyn. Glad to be of help.

      • carol3san profile image

        Carolyn Sands 

        4 years ago from Hollywood Florida

        Nice Hub. Thanks for the info, it is good for me to know...especially since I am a widow living alone.

        Voted up and useful.

        Carolyn

      • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

        Shasta Matova 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks Dianna. I am feeling quite empowered with tackling projects I didn't think I could do before. I am learning quite a lot.

      • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

        Shasta Matova 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks Koralee. I'd be happy to put together your desk after I am done with my list of things to do. It might take a decade or two...

      • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

        Shasta Matova 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks Bill. It may seem like something intuitive to someone who is a handyman, but for me, it took me some time to figure out how to break a breakaway screw.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        4 years ago

        You are amazing! I have taken on many projects around the house but not with as great a challenge as this. You have my admiration on how well you solved everything and got it all back together.

      • KoraleeP profile image

        Koralee Phillips 

        4 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

        Great information! I have a desk I could use your help putting together :).

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        This is one of those things that nobody thinks to write about but everyone wants to know. Great information here my friend.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)