What sort of tool to remove screens

I see from other threads in relation to removing screen from windows.
I have alumium sliders with screens that are tightly fitted.
Is there a tool out there that can get these screens out without bending them or scratching the frames of the screen and the window frames.

I use a combo of a stiff thick blade putty knife and a thin flexible one (with a homemade bend at the tip across the first 1/8-1/4"), each about is about 2" wide

I have really got lucky and not needed anything to remove screens. However just yesterday I did a job that I used my Fuel perks card on my key chain to put them back on. It was to speed things up. I cleaned the window and placed the screens on from the outside. Worked out well.

My fist works pretty well to get them out lol.

Actually, I’ve never had a problem getting them OUT, its getting them back IN that will drive you up a wall

I have heard of guys using paint can openers to pop screens out.

Like Chris said getting screens back in can be a real treat.

TIP Older home, don’t mix the screens up. They may not go in any window but the one they came out of. TIP


I just finished a $900.00 screen rebuild because the handy man window cleaner bent 18 screens using a screwdriver. I hate Millguard window screens. They make them so they will stay on in a tornado even though they are a California Company and we don’t have tornado’s here.

I notice something when doing the rebuilds. Even though these Millguard screens are factory made, the same size window screens can vary by as much as 1/4 of an inch from one window to the other (that’s height and width). No wonder they are hard to remove.

I always insist on removing the screens from the inside because even if the tabs are gone I can at least push on the frame to release the screen from it’s tract.

P.S. I did a window bid for this 5 building estate and the bid came out to $645. The homeowner said that she paid the Handy Man guy $20 an hour to do the work. Probably a 6-7 hour job so that would be $120-$140 + $900. to replace 18 bent up screens. Well that’s over $1000 to clean the windows when all is said and done and I was still to expensive for the client. Actually I was at least $355 cheaper and she still baulked. Go Figure!!!

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I use a paint can opener from any hardware store… They are curved at the bottom and fit in my pouch.

Grab one bottom edge pull up and out it comes.

For tough screens, I use two 1 1/2 inch flexible putty knives – one can use in a perpendicular manner on a corner for either removal or replacement.

On some older aluminum sliders, the screens are made to be taken out from the inside, sometimes you can do it without removing the sliding pane, most times not. Towel down for the dirty edge on the removable pane, watch the sills so you don’t scratch them up, sometimes the house has settled and the pane won’t come out and the screen is stuck in place unless you bend and possibly break trying to remove. Had a few of those a couple weeks ago, I just inform the ho that “this pane won’t be cleaned”, unless…you don’t want the screen. Sometimes a remodel or whatever, they will tile the sill up to the frame edge, and that too will make it impossible to remove the pane, see it mostly in the bathrooms.

My favorite, like others, is a 2-3 inch putty knife.

My second favorite( and this usually comes into play when I forgot/dropped my putty knife) is my regular old swiss army knife. The big blade or the flat head screw driver work like a champ.

Keep in mind, it sometimes helps to put pressure with a couple of fingers on the opposite side of the springs. So if your having a hard time getting the putty knife in between the screen and the frame, carefully push on the opposite side of the screen frame to give yourself a little “gap” to get the tool in there.

Another note: I have several paint can opening tools, I just think their too thick on the prying end for most screens. However, some of our guys love using them and no damage so far, lol.

This is the tool I have used for years. I’e tried other tools and this one works the best. Its better than a screw driver because it has a curve to the tip so it will grab behimd the screen without prying. It works better than the putty knife because it is stiff like a screw driver. No matter what you use you can always bend the screen if not careful, but this tool is a must have for screens.

Amazon.com: Tool Aid (SGT87820) Tack Puller: Home Improvement

I have a design for a tool specifically for removing screens. It will easily remove screens without bending or scratching. Would WCR be interested in distributing it?

Yes larry for sure… Please contact us!

Sometimes I use putty knives like when removing security screens with pins, but most of the time I find a 90 pick (see below, mine is a litttle duller) works best. This is especially useful when removing really tight screens that seem impossible to get off. Like Josh said, push on the frame at the top opposite the spring to make a gap at the bottom. Just be careful not to tear the screen at the edge in the process. Then you can usually get your tool in at the bottom or sometimes the side of the bottom corner is better to start and work your way across.

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4 Piece Pick and Hook Set

P.S. - That complex bend pick looks useful too, may have to try that.

Once I have the design finalized, I will for sure

How about the painters 5 in 1 tool? I like that tool the best.

I can’t imagine a better “screen tool” than this:

A miniature pry bar fits nicely in a pouch, costs $5, lasts forever, and has saved us a whole lot of trouble.

90 degree end for high, in-close leverage. 30 degree angled end for fast-starting. Made of high carbon steel.


Putty Knife works great, we mark every screen. If you get the right screen that goes back with each window you hardly have problems with the screen.

I have used a painters 6 in 1 tool for years. Great for taking out screens, getting debris and grass out of tracks, moving the tilt buttons to clean large commercial windows, bending things back into place (Like those tricky grids that have the pins that can bend.) It has millions of other uses. If i go out on a roof to do a double hung, and I can’t get the window to open from the outside, the painters tool is thin enough to act as a lever to open the window again. I make My guys carry it around. Also, We don’t bend screens when we take them out. If we do, its usually because we are rushing. The painters tool can move virtually any clip from the outside with the right amount of shimmy. I highly recommend it.
In general, I separate screens by what floor they came from. triple track screens can sometimes be tricky sizewise, but other than that I find most screens don’t vary too much unless they are homemade. Hope this is helpful

He’s the Man,

Melody has a pretty efficient tool there, I use the same kind and It comes in handy for lots of things.

It’s a universal tool…You realize she is a “Daughter of Ettore”.

This is the tool Mike D. is talking about, the 5 in 1…