Introduction: Self-Flipping Pen Drive

Picture of Self-Flipping Pen Drive

This famous "meme" is funny cos it's true.

I am sure we all have experienced this problem.

Trying to plug In a USB cable or a pen drive

It does not fit, so you flip it around
Still does not fit, you flip it again

Now it magically fits

Yes, I know. It's not hard to memorize which way the pen drive should be plugged in. You can also see it by looking at the plug, but somehow we still manage to play the flipping game.

In this Instructable I created a self-flipping pen drive.

As long as the USB port is vertical, you pen drive will flip correctly every single time.

What will you need:

  • A pen drive, that is the same size as the USB plug
  • Nylon bearing

ID: 15mm

OD: 24mm

W: 5mm

  • Fishing sinker/weight
  • Glue

Step 1:

Picture of

Find a pen drive that's the same size as the USB plug.

You can go with a bigger pen drive, but then you might need to get a bigger bearing.

Get a nylon bearing and a fishing sinker.

Step 2:

Picture of

Cut/shave your sinker, so you can fit it (together with the pen drive) inside of the bearing.

Push the sinker and the flash drive inside of the bearing


After some people suggestions, it's better to use different material weight.
Lead weight can be poisonous if you eat it or breath IN lead dust.. Even though it does not get in contact with food and we don't create any dust, it's better to use a different material weight

Step 3:

Picture of

Glue it all together.

Next time you try to plug in the pen drive in the dark, hold it by the bearing.

It will flip the correct way.


MrZeroTFennekin (author)2017-10-29

I gt the feeling that this idea could be used for other stuff, but I have no idea which....

Hambone22 (author)2016-08-22


ZachL18 (author)2016-04-11

Ha ha, this actually is useful for me lol!

Nickw50 (author)2016-03-31

Stolous (author)2016-02-20

Or... you use USB type C :D

rataman77 (author)2016-02-13



ShakeTheFuture (author)rataman772016-02-14

Well, it will only work with 1 side USB ports - horizontal or vertical.

If you have made your pen drive to flip vertically, but the port is horizontal - you'll have to hold the pen drive normally - not by the bearing.

AndersE3 (author)2015-09-10


HermanL1 (author)2015-08-22


xXDeaDXx666 (author)2015-08-14

Very useful

Ysabeau (author)2015-08-14

Very cool. Thank you for the laugh and the tip.

ShakeTheFuture (author)Ysabeau2015-08-14

Thank You!

Great Hacker (author)2015-08-13

Cool tip. The Usb logo always faces up


Does not work in dark unless you're a cat :)


nqtronix (author)2015-08-12

*as long as the USB port is horizontal and the right way around. I actually have a computer case wherre the fron USB ports are mounted UPSIDE DOWN. grrr :/

JmsDwh (author)nqtronix2015-08-14

I agree, there is a standard, but it is ignored by a lot of devices. Very cool idea though.

acabrera7 (author)2015-08-13

Pro tip: logo / light / slider / colour face side up. always.

ShakeTheFuture (author)acabrera72015-08-13

Thanks for the tip.

colour face side up?

Did not get that!

Never mind. I read it wrong.

shantinath1000 (author)2015-08-12



Monsterguy (author)2015-08-13

Doesn't fit, flip, doesn't fit....smash with hammers!

On a bad day, that could happen :)

RK8 (author)2015-08-13

i always say the best ideas are the simplest ones

desertsniper (author)2015-08-12

Lead free weight, right?

I think it's lead.

Are you asking because of any danger?

I know that it's not a good idea to put lead in your food.

As there is no food involved and I am not melting it, I thought there should be no problems.

Is there anything I have missed? :)

Or there is another reason you ask?!

Yeah, I'd be super careful playing with lead, even touching it can lead to harmful results. Wash your hands thoroughly, before touching food, your eyes mouth, beverages etc. Its generally best to use other metals if possible. Just word of caution! awesome idea though!! great job.

Good to know.

I guess I'll replace it with something else.


You can always use clear nail polish or varnish. Next time add on the other side so you can plug it in either way!

Saiyam (author)2015-08-12

Ha ha ha, that meme is really true :).

ShakeTheFuture (author)Saiyam2015-08-12

Indeed :)

Luckily in the future with new type USB ports, there will be reversable pen drives.

yes...indeed. one plus 2...the phone has already implemented it.. check it out.

btw, cool instructable.loved it...

ZDress (author)2015-08-12

Although, this idea is really cool! I actually ended up just writing the word "top" on all of my USB-powered devices.

ShakeTheFuture (author)ZDress2015-08-12

I also did it, well I marked it with Sugru, but It does not work in the dark :)

Antzy Carmasaic (author)2015-08-12

That meme thing happens to me all the time. This is a nice solution but those hard to reach ports at the back of CPU with which this happens are always sideways. And towards which side is never standard. Sigh. Thanks for providing a way for simplifying the horizontal ones.

skepticaljay (author)2015-08-12

This is a pretty great idea. Thank you.

Thank You!

somewhiteguy (author)2015-08-12

This works only if all USB ports are aligned the same, but they aren't. Also, this becomes frustrating on sideways plugs.

This would be good for someone who shakes though. It reminds me a bit of that self leveling spoon.

Well, you can hold it by the bearing until it flips and then hold it by the actual pen drive.

Yes, it is only for horizontal USB sockets.


About This Instructable




Bio: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks
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