How To Unscrew Three-Pronged Screws Without a Three-Pronged Screwdriver?

I have a Gamecube controller I want to take apart, but it has triangle screws. They're like Phillips (four-pronged) but only have 3 prongs instead. I don't have a screwdriver for this, so I need a way to unscrew them.


UPDATE: Not trying to be impolite, but I am NOT looking for a place to buy this kind of screwdriver. I am looking for a way to unscrew them WITHOUT the specific screw driver.

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AlecO51 year ago

Sorry but I totally fail to see why one would go through all the trouble if a suitable bit or screwdriver can be bought for less than 2 bucks....
You can even get sets of so called security bits for under 20 bucks covering almost all screw heads considered to be a pain without the right tool - including these oval heads.

It's really easy to remove them. Simply find the right size flat head screwdriver that will fit across 2 of the points. Push in firmly with the screwdriver and turn slow and steady to avoid camming out (slipping), or stripping the screwhead. I have never had an issue with them. Just remember, firm pressure, screwdriver fitting tight between 2 points and go slowly. Hope this helps...cheers!

JoranG12 years ago

So, just to put this up for anyone needing this in the future: I just took apart a DS Lite with the same evil three-pronged screws, luckily only 4 and they weren't too tight. I couldn't get them to turn with a small hex screwdriver at first, so I rammed in two (yes, two screwdrivers at the same time) small flathead screwdrivers and fidgeted around until I could spin the screw a little bit, about 1.5 rotations, after which forceful application of a hex screwdriver managed to get it out.

The screw design is quite devious, because if you try it with a normal flathead, the flathead rotates inside the screw towards the different points of the three-pointed stars. There is no way to counter this with one screwdriver, but with two small flatheads, both about the same size as one point of the star, you can use one screwdriver to keep the other one stuck inside a single prong. I could try to describe how to do this exactly, but it's quite impossible to see the screw while you're poking at it with two screwdrivers so any actual tactics are out of the question. Just poke around and try spinning both screwdrivers until it feels like you're turning the screw. You have to spin both screwdrivers as if they are one giant screwdriver, so not both screwdrivers individually.

After about 1.5 rotations a single hex or perhaps Philips screwdriver that fits tightly inside the center hole of the three-pronged screw should be enough to get it all the way out when pressed down onto the screw tightly.

Good luck

Jeez thx for the tip I was trying to open a fan, but those devious 3-pronged screws just were so annoying, I tried your tip and it worked with ease.

No problem, I'm glad you're a fan of this tactic ;P

(I'm so sorry)
kego902 years ago

I drilled the screw's head with an electric drill untill the screw's head disappeared. (So actually I just sanded it down to little pieces with the drill) After that I was able to open the boxing of the device which I wanted to disassemble. By assembling I used new screws.But absolutely no three-pronged screws.We don't like them ,dont we? ;)

Good luck!

LukedoggM2 years ago
msmith276 years ago
A small enough hex bit might do the trick.
Rayjo msmith272 years ago

I used your idea and it worked for me! Thanks!!

I have a complete hex key set (imperial and metric) and I kept trying different sizes until I found one that went into the very middle of the head of the screw and was able to slowly loosen the screw out.

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