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What to Use if You Don't Have a Screwdriver?

What to Use if You Don't Have a Screwdriver?

  • 2019-12-21

Does this situation sound familiar? You need to remove some screws from a piece of furniture, remove screws from a wall, open your laptop or computer case, but don’t have a screwdriver?

Don’t worry – you aren’t alone in this! Many of us have experienced this situation and the frustration it brings. Even fantastic plumbers, electricians, painting and decorating professionals have experienced it. The good news is that we have gathered a list of everyday objects, which you can use to complete your task without having to leave your home to borrow or buy a screwdriver.


Removing a Phillips head screw

Phillips head screws have two grooves that form a cross on the top and are the most common type of screws in use. Be careful when using the following methods as it is very easy to strip or wear down the corners formed by the grooves and the head of the screw. Stripped screws become very difficult to remove.


Flat-head screwdriver

If the only screwdriver you own is flat-headed, you can use this to remove Phillips head screws. Insert the end of the screwdriver into the longer of the two grooves and turn it counter-clockwise. Be aware that if the screwdriver is too small, you may end up stripping the corners inside the screw head.


Coin

Place the edge of a small coin (pennies work well for this) into the longest groove of the screw head and try turning the screw counter-clockwise. This method will generally only work on larger screws rather than smaller ones.


Butter knife

Similar to using a coin, place the flat edge of the butter knife in one of the grooves of the screw and try turning it counter-clockwise to unscrew. If the screw is very tight or the butter knife is of low quality, the knife may bend when you try to remove the screw.


Hacksaw

If the screw head is raised above the surface of the material it is fastened to and you don’t have a pair of pliers (or they didn’t work), find your hacksaw and saw along the line of one of the grooves to extend it. You should now be able to remove the screw using a flat-headed screwdriver or a coin.


Toothbrush

If you have an old toothbrush and a lighter, you can try this method as a last resort. Melt the end of your toothbrush with a lighter or another source of heat. Once the end is soft and melting, place it directly into the grooves of the screw head and allow it to cool down. Once the plastic has hardened, you may try turning it counter-clockwise to remove the screw.

This method is best suited for loose screws. Tighter screws will cause the toothbrush to snap, leaving some plastic inside the grooves of the screw head. When using a lighter, melt the plastic slowly and carefully to avoid any accidents and melted plastic dripping all over the place.


Old CD

If the screw is quite loose, you can use an old CD to remove it. Place the edge of the CD in one of the grooves and gently turn the CD counter-clockwise. If the CD starts to warp, immediately stop turning it. This means that the screw is too tight and the CD may break, which could lead to injury.


Pliers

If the screw is not screwed all the way through, you can try using a pair of precision pliers to remove it. Grip the screw head with your pliers and slowly turn them counter-clockwise to remove it.


Thumbnail

This method will only work if the screw is quite loose. If it is fastened tightly, do not attempt this method as this may lead to injury! Place the edge of your nail into one of the grooves and turn counter-clockwise until it is loose enough to remove with your fingers.


Of course, if you own one set of our screwdriver set, all problems will be solved. Because our screwdriver set contains most of the bits needed for home maintenance and precision repairs. Keep a set to free your life!

screwdriver set

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