Fix bent plug prongs

If the prongs on one of your electrical gizmos is bent and you can’t plug it in, there’s hope. Here’s how to fix bent plug prongs.

Fix bent prong plugs with a pair of pliers

fix bent prong plugs
My new-to-me table saw came with a bent prong on its plug. It only took seconds to fix though. Metal bends more readily than it may seem.

This surprises some people, but don’t be afraid of metal. Metal will bend. Depending on the kind of metal your plug prongs are made of, you may be able to bend it back with your hands. Brass, for example, bends rather easily. White metals usually put up more of a fight.

But to keep from hurting yourself, don’t do that. Just find a pair of pliers. Grip the prong near the bend with the pliers. Then slowly and carefully bend the prong back. Start slowly and gently, then lean into it more if required. It’s much better to start with too little force and have to add more than to manhandle it and break it.

You don’t have to bend the prong perfectly straight. Just bend the prong enough to fit back in the socket.

The round ground prong is harder to bend back than the rectangular plugs. Just work slowly and carefully, and if you deform the prong a bit, that’s OK. As long as it still fits in the socket, it will work.

fix bent plug prongs
Here’s what a good plug should look like. But you don’t have to make yours perfect. As long as it fits the socket, it’s fine.

Once you get it close, plugging the plug into the socket is usually enough to force the metal back to where it needs to be.

You can repeat this several times if you have to. Eventually the bending back and forth will cause the prong to break, but if you don’t do this often, it will be OK.

What if the prong breaks off?

If the one of the prong ends up breaking off while you’re trying to fix bent plug prongs, here’s how to replace a plug. I’ve probably replaced half a dozen plugs over the years. If the prong breaks off in the outlet, here’s how to get the prong back out.

An ounce of prevention

To prevent bent prong plugs so you don’t have to fix them in the future, just protect the plug. When you store the device it belongs to, wrap up the cord so you can set the plug out of harm’s way, where it won’t get stepped on. Avoid setting heavy objects on it too. Taking those precautions is usually enough to ensure years of service out of the plug.

3 thoughts on “Fix bent plug prongs

  • February 15, 2018 at 6:57 pm
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    THANK YOU! My NINTENDO GAMEBOY is saved! (:

    • February 16, 2018 at 7:24 am
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      I’m glad that helped!

  • August 15, 2019 at 11:03 pm
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    “You don’t have to make yours perfect. as long as it fits the socket, it’s fine.” This is reassuring. I just bent 2 prongs from a 3-prong cord, and when I began to re-bend them to their original places (as close as possible), the outlet produced sparks the first couple of times I tried re-plugging the prongs in. The prongs are close to straight, but not perfect, but now they can fit in the outlet without producing sparks. I was worried something would be wrong for leaving an imperfectly straight prong inside an outlet, but, as I said, your quote/statement is now reassuring. Thanks

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