Picture of Sonic Screwdriver
If you need to open a lock, or simply put up a lot of cabinets, the sonic screwdriver is the tool for you. If you don't know about Doctor Who, the most amazing sci-fi/everything series ever, go see it right now. This was my first attempt at making a sonic for myself, modeled after the 9th/10th Doctor design. I'm quite pleased with the results; it lights up, and beeps a solid tone. Producing that famous sound would require a microcontroller or the like, which just won't fit inside the body. So, here goes...

p.s. If you like this instructable, vote for it in the Celestron Space Challenge!
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Step 1: The Stuff

Picture of The Stuff
Time to gather the stuff. You'll need:

A magic marker, probably crayola, since the body is wider than others.
A cheap pen. try and get one that narrows towards the end, but it's okay.
1 push button switch. Maybe a slide switch if you want.
1 small buzzer. the round case type is important; make sure it will fit inside.
1 audio jack, female. this will be used to recharge whatever small battery you can cram inside.
1 power source. get a small rechargeable battery, or a supercapacitor. It took me some time to find one.
And, most importantly, a Tirefly. It's a little bike light that clips to the wheels somehow; it has the perfect shape for the screwdriver head. Substitute something else if you have to. You can buy a set here.

The tools: 
Get some scissors, a craft knife, and some pliers. Also superglue. And a drill. Plus the regular soldering stuff.
I love this! It's very simple, and could even be fancied up a bit by added more details to the marker before painting for added sonic-screwdriver-ness.

Definitely one of the quickest and nicest ones I've seen!
Could you try making the sonic pen from partners in crime?
ssalvosa8 months ago
The link on where to buy the things is broken
bobagby11 months ago
i' determined to do this with an IR LED for my wiimote whiteboard hack. thank you.
Dose it really open doors

No but it's cool to carry around

NSalkoff1 year ago

Wow! This is amazingly realistic! I love it! Keep it up! I just bought a sonic screwdriver yesterday and it is NOTHING compared to yours!

darlingtom1 year ago
This was great! It served as a nice foundation to work off of. Your 2.0 looks interesting, but a bit too much for my son and my own limited electronics knowledge. This was simple.


* 3/4" electrical conduit pipe instead of a magic marker. It felt more hefty, for all of the work that goes into the innards.

* Copper compression nut for the end with a clear marble superglued on the end. The LED sits behind the marble, making the whole thing glow (green, in our case).

* Exterior 9volt battery. The amount of rechargeables for the buzzer and LED to work got pricey for my first shot (I'm going to keep an eye open for junked toys, etc., for future ones). I'm interested in the capacitors you used for 2.0, but didn't really understand how they worked (I did experiment with them, to no avail.). My 9v straps on the back end, extending the tube without it being too obvious (and hides behind the wrist while being gripped).

My 7 year old son helped me make it for my 11 year old son's birthday. It helped him understand circuits and how to use a hacksaw.
Epicgamerz1 year ago
Is there a way to make a simple LED-Battery-Push button circuit because im having trouble with making circuits
It is awesome! Its not to hard to make, but it lights up!
akrishnan33 years ago
Does this sonic actually open doors or is it just a prop?
drabinowitz3 years ago
Will this make the well known sonic sound?
drabinowitz3 years ago
Hey, if you (for charging) used an audio to USB cord and plugged it in a computer or apple power converter, would it charge that way?
Alskf1 (author)  drabinowitz3 years ago
It definitely would. I would recommend a resistor on the charging part that's appropriate for your power source, in this case one that'll reduce 5v to 3.3v. I recently burned up my supercap by plugging it into a 9v battery for too long.
danielemur3 years ago
what do you mean by "Then use the knife to cut a 2cm gap in that"?
danielemur3 years ago
dont get the uv ones. the led is a super tiny one directly attached to the board. if you solder wires on to the contacts you can get it to work but it is harder.
Your Sonic Screwdriver, My K9, Now all we need is a tardis :)
avatar_i3 years ago
Beautiful, just beautiful!
I love it!
adam 1013 years ago
love it, spent 1/2 hour + looking for decent design to base my screwdriver on and then one falls in my inbox
NickGriffin3 years ago
I am sure it will work if the Tardis is up and running...
nomuse3 years ago
Or one of the ATtinys in 8-pin DIP form. Assembled dead bug style it might just barely slip inside. I've thought about trying something like that but working out wavetable synthesis is more advanced than anything I've done with one yet.
drabinowitz3 years ago
marvinsson3 years ago
Does this thing actually work, or is it just for show?
No, it's not a real screw driver. It's just a light up replica.
it's sonic. it makes a noise. *taps on door frame*
claws.333 years ago
I didn't even have to look at what this is but as someone who just recently found Doctor Who (2005 series of the 9th and 10th drs) I LOVE IT!!
ejost3 years ago
Will it work on my dead bolt when I forget my keys?
ChristinaW3 years ago
Awesome! You should gather the parts and sell them as kits. :)
You could probably get the correct sound using a 556 timer in the Atari Punk Console configuration. Make the circuit, turn the knobs until the sound's right then measure the resistances and replace pots with fixed resistors. If you used an SMD model and maybe wrapped the whole thing in heat shrink tubing, I reckon you could get that in the handle.