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.

jdoe91 month ago

Sweet! the 2mm screwdriver worked, good thinking! Dunno why people love to not answer a question when it is asked, they like to give 100 other reasons why you shouldnt do what your asking. Just stfu and answer or dont! ..I..

123 mr lee2 months ago

Does anyone know where to buy a HOLT 3 prong security bit?

Aeshir (author)  123 mr lee2 months ago

no. why are you in here. this thread is seven years old. i was 15 when i made it.

123 mr lee2 months ago

I need a number 6 Holt 3 prong security bit

trialex6 years ago
Not trying to be impolite, but you can't do a proper job without the right tools. A small monetary investment would give you an infinitely better result.
I want to do this job today, not tomorrow, and not drive 45 minutes to a hardware store. Is it so much to ask to find an alternative method laying around the house? I don't think it's any of your business why a person wants to find an alternative. I also know for a fact that using a slightly different screwdriver than the real security bit isn't going to give 'an infinitely better result'. It's not a cake. It's a screw. It goes in and it comes out.
"I want"? So you created a new account, replacing the "Aeshir" account which actually posted this question? Interesting. Otherwise, I presume you've responded to this six year old comment (to which the actual, real original author already replied) just to be a troll. You've certainly waited long enough.
Aeshir (author)  kelseymh8 months ago
yo i'm just poppin in to say i have no idea who that guy is
Aeshir (author)  trialex6 years ago
I've unscrewed stuff without the right screwdriver before, and I'm not willing to spend money on a set of screwdrivers i'll only use once. I'm just fooling around anyways.
Drophau52 years ago
I find it easiest to just take a Dremel, put on medium-high speed and jam it right into the screw.
The screw will be driven in, yes, but once the toy/gamecube/etc comes apart the screw can be removed and replaced with a normal one.

Caution: This can f**k up the outside, so if it's for a delicate project or you want said (thing that you're opening) to be clean and fine to look at, it's not a good idea.
Nice information!
Win Guy2 years ago
Man, this helped me out heaps! I wish I'd found this before I special-ordered a tri-wing on eBay... Thanks a million!

I <3 Instructables!

Win Guy
hgreen12 years ago
Torx screwdrivers work.
sladdon3 years ago
amazon has it all!
msmith273 years ago
A small enough hex bit might do the trick.
you can use a 2mm flathead screwdriver
see here
spranger6 years ago

Hey all, I myself am in need of some security bits.
And I knew they would have it: Harbor Freight
They're a GREAT hardware store, online and location. Check out their 100 pc Security Bit Set for $6.00 Sooooo Buying one right now!
100pc security bit set.gif
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Dremel or angle grinder + stipper screwdriver = new screwdriver
I have made my own before to open a transformer
good luck
Get a plastic rod, melt the end and push it into the screws head, that works for me.
BadBobbo6 years ago
It would be best to just purchase the particular bit that you will need... The construction of the screw is strong, and if it is built like I immagine, the screw is below the surface of the plastic... You can't get to it with dikes, vice grips, or any type of plier... You probably can't get to it with anything to cut a slot to use a regular screwdriver... Anyway you look at it you will strugle without the bit... The plastic that the screw is screwed into is cheap and if you are struggling with it will damage the plastic thread... Then you are going to have big trouble keeping the controller back together after you are finished...
Kiteman6 years ago
You can buy sets of security bits, designed to open almost every supposedly-unopenable screw fitting. However, there is only one security screw I would like to be able to open, and I cannot find a driver to fit it - the triangular-holed screws used to hold McDonalds and Burger King toys together. I tried contacting both companies, both in the UK and US, and neither company would help.
Could you not just dremel/sand/file down the sides of an allen key? Or use one on it's own with no modification?
Kiteman, do you mean something like in the following pic ?

if so, then the bit looks like this: Security Bit
That seems to be the very thing!
zieak Kiteman6 years ago
I have read that some people have had luck heating plastic up to where it just starts to melt and then pressing the plastic onto the screw head so that it forms to the irregular shape. Let cool and then you have a custom screwdriver. I doubt this would work on all but might be worth a try if you're in a hurry.
Aeshir (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
A flathead works for that.
Goodhart6 years ago
Is this security screw the one you are speaking of? If so, they are constructed in such a way as to not be able to be removed in the normal way.

The bit for this screw may be able to remove it, but it looks like it may also only work to tighten the screw.

If you are not out to destroy the fastener, it may be difficult at best.

I have had to remove my share of Phillips head screws that were rounded out, with a hacksaw (to make a slot) and a regular screw driver.
Aeshir (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
Yeah, I think it's that one.
Goodhart Aeshir6 years ago
Well, the one linked to is, as has been mentioned, not able to be removed without either the special bit (also linked to) or, if it is a domed head as in the picture, a slot can be hacksawed into it for a screwdriver's use. If it is flush to the box.....well.
If it's flush to the box, use a screw extractor! If you can't get the extractor started, drill a small pilot hole in the screw head so the extractor has something to bite into. I think the hacksaw method as identified by Goodhart is the fastest and most positive method. It also would not ruin the fastener unless you were a bit messy with the hacksaw! :) Happy tampering!!
Yep, sorry I was being eclectic.
jtobako Aeshir6 years ago
Two options: One, use a small strait screwdriver that fits some of the hole or two, grind/file a nail to make your own bit. If you use the screwdriver, it tends to round out the screws and it's difficult to use because it doesn't center itself on the screw. If you make one out of a nail, bend the nail to make it easier to grip. I've used both on Gamecube and McDonald's toys. They both work, the screwdriver is faster if you only have to deal with one or three screws, but for more than that, it's worth the time to make a bit.
Aeshir (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
Well, it's not quite like that. It looks like a Phillips, but it only has three prongs. It's not twisted like that.
Not quite -- that is constructed to be impossible (ha!) to remove. This is just designed to not be opened by the average joe.
sugg226 years ago
using the file or sharpen attachment on a dremel, or a sander, you might be able to sand off one of the prongs of a Phillips head, and then try to jam it in the hole.
trebuchet036 years ago
Vice Grips
zachninme6 years ago
Use a smaller flathead. It sort of works... but its not great.
trialex6 years ago
Or buy yourself the proper screw driver. The type of screw is known as "tri-wing" or "trigram"

A quick ebay search for "nintendo screw" gives heaps of results

Anways here is a cheap example

Ebay auction
Yeah, thats what I did.
Brennn106 years ago
I had the same problem with the GameBoy Color. Nintendo modded the screws to make it harder for modders to take them off. I have a small screwdriver set (those in the yellow case), and it works fine.
CameronSS6 years ago
We have this set of security bits, and the one they call the "tri-wing bits" open those screws. They really do, I did it last weekend.
LasVegas6 years ago
If you can reach the screw with a small pair of Dikes (Diagonal Cutters), you can bite into the outside of the screw and remove it.
I'm partial to spiral flute screw extractor, just cram the best fitting one into the head and spin, replace with a "real" screw.
BoomGuy6 years ago
Do you need to preserve the screw? If not then use a Dremel to cut a slot along the diameter of the screw. Then use a screw driver.
jtobako BoomGuy6 years ago
Which Dremel accessory can cut a slot in a screw at the bottom of a hole (as most screws seem to be)?

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