Introduction: DIY Screwdriver Hack

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.


toothpick5 (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.

karcsika922 (author)toothpick52014-05-07

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

Yonatan24 (author)karcsika9222015-12-30

Use a smaller screwdriver...

Manu Waro (author)2015-10-17

Simple to do, and clever !

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

DeepakR6 (author)2015-07-17

Good and useful post

DeepakR6 (author)2015-07-17

DavAnt (author)2015-03-13

did that to open a toaster!

Imetomi (author)2014-11-01

Szintén erdélyi magyar vagyok, ügyes instrukció.

karcsika922 (author)Imetomi2014-11-01

Koszonom szepen!

Imetomi (author)karcsika9222014-11-07

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.

Mrs Fixit (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.

karcsika922 (author)Mrs Fixit2014-05-12

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!

samm008 (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.

karcsika922 (author)samm0082014-05-10

Thank you :)

Kasm279 (author)2014-05-07

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

karcsika922 (author)Kasm2792014-05-07

Thank you!

jf_blanco (author)2014-05-06

Kasm279 (author)jf_blanco2014-05-07

I think you forgot something. (:

toothpick5 (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!

hackney1 (author)2014-05-06

Adjusting spokes wheels too.

karcsika922 (author)hackney12014-05-06

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').

Manny B (author)2014-05-06

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

karcsika922 (author)Manny B2014-05-06

I like your thinking! Thank you!

mistrem (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!

karcsika922 (author)mistrem2014-05-06

Thank you for the good tips.

bgipson1 (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

karcsika922 (author)bgipson12014-05-03

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 - a 32 bit set,surely i would buy it.

karcsika922 (author)karcsika9222014-05-03

Here is that picture


jcook20 (author)karcsika9222014-05-06

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.

DasBigfoot (author)jcook202014-05-06

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

jcook20 (author)jcook202014-05-06

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

Common$ (author)karcsika9222014-05-06

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.

karcsika922 (author)Common$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.

Common$ (author)karcsika9222014-05-06

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.

alexglow (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 :)

karcsika922 (author)alexglow2014-05-06

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 .

lbrewer42 (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.

karcsika922 (author)lbrewer422014-05-06

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

gymdandee (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

karcsika922 (author)gymdandee2014-05-06

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

kost (author)2014-05-06

I made the same mod using Dremel.

karcsika922 (author)kost2014-05-06

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.

shouseillo (author)2014-05-06

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

karcsika922 (author)shouseillo2014-05-06

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

inthegroove (author)2014-05-06

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

Philip J Fry (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

killbox (author)Philip J Fry2014-05-05

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.

karcsika922 (author)killbox2014-05-05

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.

Rhowryn (author)karcsika9222014-05-06

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.

karcsika922 (author)Rhowryn2014-05-06

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




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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