Introduction: DIY Screwdriver Hack

In this instructables I will show you how to turn an ordinary flat screwdriver into spanner slotted screwdriver, with a file(tool).

Step 1: The Idea

The idea for this mini project came with the need of a very unusual type of screwdriver.

Just the other day, I had to repair a child proof power-strip.The plastic covers for the holes were broken,the spring mechanism was also damaged ,but if I can take those out, I can normally use it ,like a regular power-strip.

When I wanted to disassemble it,I saw that very unusual screw. After looking up in Google,I identified it ,as spanner slotted screw-head (correct me,if I am wrong ,I am not 100% sure). I seen once this type of screw on a battery charging unit,it is not common.

I have a lot of tools,all kind of screwdrivers,but here I am with no suitable tool for this. No problem. I make one !

Step 2: Materials

You will need :

1. One regular flat head screwdriver ,that you will turn in spanner slotted screwdriver.

2. Files - I used two small triangular files ,this are really old,over 40 years and still useful.
                
              - If you don't have this,a regular small square file can do the job

Step 3: How It's Made

I made the pilot line with the smaller file,and I started to file-it down. It is slightly off center,but it turned to be a good tool.

When I made some progress I changed the files,using the other for finishing.

It is enough to use just one file if you don't have any other.

The depth is 1.2 mm.

Step 4: Done

It is done. Screwdriver hack mod is finished.

The time taken to do this job: 5 - 10 min.

Difficulty level: easy project.

Now you can make your own special screwdriver,to unscrew this type of screws.

Comments

author
toothpick5 made it!(author)2014-05-07

a twist on this would be to use the file on the screw instead, removing the security tab so the normal screwdriver would work on it, unmodified.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-07

But if the screw is deeper in the plastic case? How get out to modify?

author
Yonatan24 made it!(author)2015-12-30

Use a smaller screwdriver...

author
Manu+Waro made it!(author)2015-10-17

Simple to do, and clever !

A circlip plier can help too but not anytime...

author
DeepakR6 made it!(author)2015-07-17

Good and useful post

author
DeepakR6 made it!(author)2015-07-17

author
DavAnt made it!(author)2015-03-13

did that to open a toaster!

author
Imetomi made it!(author)2014-11-01

Szintén erdélyi magyar vagyok, ügyes instrukció.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-11-01

Koszonom szepen!

author
Imetomi made it!(author)2014-11-07

Még iskolás diák vagyok Csíkszeredában és lenne pár kérdésem a villamos mérnöki szakmával kapcsolatban. Egy elérhetőséget tudna adni (e-mail)? Nagyon érdekel az elektronika, fizika, és nem tudom, honnan tudok tanulni.

author
Mrs+Fixit made it!(author)2014-05-12

very clear instructions and pictures.

I've done similar things, but I'm not good at setting up for photo's etc.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-12

Thank you. It is simple,and try to remain simple is the key here. The photos are done by a handy-camcorder and a little color correction. Try posting something simple. Good luck!

author
samm008 made it!(author)2014-05-10

I appreciate your courage to post a simple, interesting and helpful
hack like this; can be useful for everyone as most of the posts and ideas you
can see here only can be benefited for people who are having 5-star workshops.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-10

Thank you :)

author
Kasm279 made it!(author)2014-05-07

I've done something very similar to open things that use the "gamebit", such as the Gamecube. Great 'ible!

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-07

Thank you!

author
jf_blanco made it!(author)2014-05-06

author
Kasm279 made it!(author)2014-05-07

I think you forgot something. (:

author
toothpick5 made it!(author)2014-05-07

wow thanks! sometimes instructables blows me away with these "why didn't I think of that?!" ideas! This is the best! Hope it gets featured im the mailer!

author
hackney1 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Adjusting spokes wheels too.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

That is a good idea. My father did that many years ago when no commercial tool was available in the market and where many different sizes of spoke nipples (Russian type,Czechoslovakian type bikes back in the 70' 80').

author
Manny+B made it!(author)2014-05-06

Nice I did the same for triangular screws found in toys. If no tool exists, then it will be made!

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

I like your thinking! Thank you!

author
mistrem made it!(author)2014-05-02

Thanks for the 'able'. The same effect can be achieved with a dremel cutoff disc (if you have access to one). This overcomes the issue of hardened/tempered screwdriver blades damaging your file(s). It also leaves square shoulders like the "real" tool would have. Remember to wear safety specs!

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Thank you for the good tips.

author
bgipson1 made it!(author)2014-05-02

Very resourceful on your part might I suggest a kit amazon has it and some ace hardware stores stock them it called a whatsall kit
Just about every bit you can imagine only about 8
dollars U S

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-03

Thank you ! Yes i saw some similar kits at the local hardware store,but they had like 300+ tool pieces ,the majority of tools contained I already have. But if I find somewhat like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Set_of_security_screw_driver_bits.jpg - a 32 bit set,surely i would buy it.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-03

Here is that picture

(source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screw_drive)

800px-Set_of_security_screw_driver_bits.jpg
author
jcook20 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Those kits cost about $2 on Aliexpress or a bit more at any generic hardware store. I have dozens of them lying around because they came with just about every other tool I've ever owned.

author
DasBigfoot made it!(author)2014-05-06

I think they also refer to those as "security bits".

author
jcook20 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Also, it's definitely preferable to trying to cut through carbide like you did.

author
Common%24 made it!(author)2014-05-06

I've got this kit. Mine came with an extension piece in that middle empty slot. I use the torx bits all the time. Very handy to have in the toolbox.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Nice.The torx are more common,but there are those torx bits with a hole in the middel, now that is not very common.

author
Common%24 made it!(author)2014-05-06

I had to buy this set when I was working on the spider injectors on a 4.3l chevy engine. The torx bits work the same on regular and tamper-resistant torx bolts. I think that I have only used the torx bits from that kit, but I do mostly auto mechanic. I may never need the others, but I have them.

author
alexglow made it!(author)2014-05-06

Awesome instructable! In a pinch, I've also used a needlenose pliers to open these: just stick one jaw in each side of the head and rotate the tool. Of course, it isn't practical if you're doing a lot of work, but gives you nice leverage :)

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

In service mode you have to use professional tools,but for one or two ,or even more screws it can do the job well. Thank you .

author
lbrewer42 made it!(author)2014-05-06

The reason I like this website. It shows me there are actually people out there who still can use their heads to solve problems like this instead of shelling out $mucho for the "specialized" tool/item/plan/etc. that so many people get suckered into. God job.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Thank you very much.I am very glad that you like it.

author
gymdandee made it!(author)2014-05-06

Yes, they are called Spanner Head screw drivers. I have a complete set and it didn't cost me a dime as my employer supplied the set

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Thank you for your confirmation. That is good when the employer supply the tools. I always worked with my own tools.

author
kost made it!(author)2014-05-06

I made the same mod using Dremel.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

Yes,that is a option to. I don't have dremel,maybe in the future i will buy one,it looks like it is very good tool.

author
shouseillo made it!(author)2014-05-06

Thx so much. I could have never imagine such an useful hack

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

You welcome. I am very happy when I can help others with useful ideas.

author
inthegroove made it!(author)2014-05-06

Years ago I made a set of these for removing/instaling check-valves in carburetors...

author
Philip+J+Fry made it!(author)2014-05-05

I did this mod with one of my screwdrivers, only took about 30 seconds, using a bench vice, and an angle grinder

author
killbox made it!(author)2014-05-05

an angle grinder with a face shield and a cutoff wheel, can do some amazingly precision steel cutting, and quickly too! had a bike lock locked to a rack for years the owner wanted off, i was amazed i was able to cut between the letters of HARDENED stamped on the 3" shackle. was able to cut between letters leaving the letters untouched. and the hasp re asemblable with just a papers width missing.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-05

This kind of steel tools are tampered to form good steel structure. If
you work with a grinder,you heat up the steel in the process and can
modify the steel structure and looses his properties. I tested it.

author
Rhowryn made it!(author)2014-05-06

Tempered tools can lose their durability under high heat, but the solution there is pace your cut and keep the tool from heating to a low-medium red. In any case, the loss point for tempering is high enough that the steel would become somewhat malleable; you would physically deform the disc you are using before the temper is lost.

author
karcsika922 made it!(author)2014-05-06

I agree in the first part and in the second to ,but sometimes in different kind of steel that point is not that high. You have to cool it constantly and grind it very carefully to not reach high temperature. Thax for the comments guys .

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi, I am an Electrical Engineer from Transylvania. My main hobbies are electronics, playing the guitar,riding bike, fishing, woodworking and crafting all kind of ...
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