Introduction: Removing Security Torx (Star) Screw With a Flathead Screwdriver


Security Torx screws, the six-pointed star-shaped screw heads with the pin in the middle, are used in many digital objects to prevent tampering. Removing a security torx screw can be a hassle for those without the tool. Once, however, I broke (NOT broke into, broke) a safe in a hotel room and, not wanting them to charge me excessive amounts of money for a simple repair, decided to take it apart myself. I discovered that only a small flathead is required. Oddly, this method only works on security torx, not on non-security ones.

Step 1: Aquire Your Items

To remove a security torx screw, you will need:
1) A small flathead, depending upon the size of the torx head. It will probably be a flathead.
2) The device you are attempting to access.

Step 2: Remove the Screw

Insert your small flathead into the space within the screwdriver head as shown here, and simply turn clockwise. The screw will easily come loose. Congradulations!

Comments

author
OmarJ3 (author)2017-07-04

Re the diagram, to summarize, if possible, chip the center stud out and insert a flat blade across 6 to 12 o'clock. Otherwise, try for 6 to 2 o'clock. On most cheap assemblies, the screw will loosen anti-clockwise. Step #2, replace with equal size Allen socket head, Hex or Phillips head screw.

author
MarkE162 (author)2017-03-29

I just tried your suggestion. the small flat-head broke off the security "post" and i was able to use an ordinary Torx.

author
jeremyC134 (author)2017-02-03

Im about give it a go

author
gemcaster0 (author)2017-01-22

I did this and the middle of the srew broke off

author
gemcaster0 (author)gemcaster02017-01-22

So can any help me because I still need to get the srew off

author
PhreakOneTwo (author)2016-10-01

Just to note : This will only work if your screws a lightly torqued. Otherwise, you will probably bend the sh*t out of your small flathead. So bye bye flathead, and still no torx screw removed.

You can purchase an "8 in 1 Torx Screwdriver Set - T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T15" for $3.08 CAN from Amazon. This is the smarter choice.

author
russ_hensel (author)2016-09-01

Just a note to let you know I have added this to the collection: Difficult Dis-assembly: Taking Things Apart for Repair

>> https://www.instructables.com/id/Difficult-Dis-ass...

There are a lot of things that are hard to take apart and lot of methods.

author
DavidB941 (author)2016-08-24

Worked a treat. Thank you. (My screw turned anti-clockwise to remove).

author
CGDaveMac (author)2016-07-25

Yep! Here is my video that shows the same thing, especially for those commenting that it doesn't work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doHYppOBbf4

author
Ty516 (author)2016-07-10

Used this method on a PS3. It did the trick with a 1mm flathead and some visegrips. Good tip. Thanks!

author
AngieD32 (author)2016-05-09

Thank you so much, your tip was a life saver it worked perfectly for me, 1st try!!

author
Jack-meoff (author)2016-05-01

sorry to say this did not work for me...I tried another method of taking a screwdriver that fitted across the star and ground a groove into the center of it to accommodate the little gizmo in the middle...this should have worked but the screws were just way too tight and ended breaking the screwdriver. Anyone know where to buy a TORX key that has a tiny hole in the middle?

author
bsancken (author)Jack-meoff2016-05-03

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Torx-Driver-Security-T-10-T-40/dp/B0002SPLQ8

author
RincewindT (author)2016-04-23

Fantastic thanks ! (Mine was anti clockwise)

author
Jack-meoff (author)RincewindT2016-05-01

Cool tip...never thought of that !

author
NigelT10 (author)2016-04-27

Brilliant tip re using a flat bladed screwdriver instead. Worked perfectly. Job done in blink of eye. Just had to be careful not to shear the head of the screw.

author
Laral (author)2016-03-05

Just what I needed. I kind of wore my good electronics screwdriver
because it barely fit, but it worked for all but one tight screw. For that I used a lock-grip needle-nose.

author
artyvic (author)2015-12-07

Great tip, Thanks

author
tel81966 (author)2015-11-01

Just bought a 33 security bit set from Screwfix for £1.69.

author
djdtapefreak (author)2015-10-01

My question is, has anyone found a hack for these screws that are used on a vehicle? Mine hold the multifunction switch to the steering column and have a lot of torque applied. Ty

author
bobguerra (author)2015-09-21

thats how you break outa jail

author
DavidG90 (author)2015-08-14

won't work if screw is too small (torx security 07 for example). I broke my little screwcriver trying that... Maybe you need a VERY solid screwdriver but I guess it's still best to buy the proper screwdriver :)

author
KristenF1 (author)2015-08-11

Worked for me! However, my screws were counter clockwise to remove. Thanks for saving me from having to buy a security torx bit set!

author
gardenpunk (author)2015-04-08

did you mean counter clockwise?

author
thoraxe (author)gardenpunk2015-06-30

security screws turn right

author
Adaladala (author)2015-05-13

author
rogueakula (author)2015-01-01

Hahaha...awesome! Worked like a champ. Thanks!

author
RIFATI (author)2014-12-06

Is this for any screw? I want to know how to do it for the ps3

author
RandyR2 (author)2014-09-30

Thank you for this idea. It worked so well. Thanks again.

author
imrobwhite (author)2014-09-21

if you do not have small enough flat head. you can use a razor blade from a box cutter. its more tedious. but thats how i take my ps3 apart.

author
ErkanT2 (author)2014-09-14

It'is very useful trick. Thanks a lot.

author
ikm (author)2014-05-20

Thanks. Done

author
FerroSwine (author)2014-03-24

Fantastic!Thanx a lot. :)

author
georion (author)2014-02-20

clockwise is turning it RIGHTY ! (righty thighty ????)

author
krishnamurphy (author)2013-10-09

I tried it with the small screwdriver, as I was not able to find the security bit in a small enough size for my laptop back (needed for a memory upgrade.) It was torqued down hard, and the post broke off! Now needed a much larger screwdriver to fit all the way across from edge to edge.

author
bighead51 (author)2013-07-10

you can also take a punch and a hammer and break the center pin out of the screw , doesn't very much pressure at all!

author
nerd7473 (author)bighead512013-10-08

didn't know that, where would I even run into these screws anyway

author
finton (author)2013-06-30

Good idea quinxorin. I drilled a hole in my Torx driver big enough to take the pin. It is easier to do this with a drill press, but it can be done with a handheld drill. Cutting a notch out of a flathead screwdriver also works for flathead or combination screws.

author
streetrod5 (author)2013-06-29

If you can acquire an actual Security Torx Allen wrench, congratulations! They are normally sold in anti-theft license plate fastener kits. I recommend turning most screws counter-clockwise to loosen (widdershins).

author
bertus52x11 (author)2010-04-05

 Clockwise to unscrew?

author
Blofish (author)bertus52x112010-09-29

Its righty tighty, lefty lousy

author
alterator (author)Blofish2012-03-21

not always though

author
Blofish (author)alterator2012-03-22

That is true. Most left-hand screws are used when there is a torque (twist effort) in a counter clockwise rotation... that will cause a bolt to come loose...

author
Paki7491 (author)2010-10-02

Righty tighty Lefty loosey is true 9/10 times, but some special screws, like security screws, are backwards.

author
aeray (author)2010-04-25

The prison method is to heat up the back end of a plastic toothbrush until it is soft, push it into the screw and wait for it to solidify. Voila! Custom screwdriver.

author
TheParadox (author)aeray2010-09-16

Tried that already. Unfortunately it was not strong enough to remove screws from a HDD Platter.

author
hg341 (author)2010-04-05

i wish i had tryed this when i was takeing that microwave apart

author
DIY Dave (author)hg3412010-04-05

me too

author
hg341 (author)DIY Dave2010-04-05

i tried to drill out the center

author
DIY Dave (author)hg3412010-04-12

I just bought some security torx bits from sears

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