Magnetic-tipped screwdrivers are extremely handy and make working with screws much easier when they stick to your screwdriver.
It’s really frustrating when the screw falls on the ground and you have to wander around looking for it to drive a screw into a hard-to-reach corner or when you are working with screws for small electronics.
You can always purchase a magnetized screwdriver, but what about your old set? Would you choose to throw it away?
There is no reason to spend money on a new set because it’s easy enough to magnetize a screwdriver yourself. Any type of screwdriver can be easily magnetized.
However, the shaft of the driver must be made of a ferromagnetic material ( iron, nickel, cobalt, or a rare earth element, such as gadolinium or ruthenium ). Fortunately, most screwdrivers are ferromagnetic.
This article is going to be very informative because we will be learning step-by-step how to magnetize your screwdriver yourself.
Different types of screwdrivers and their uses
Ways To Magnetize Your Screwdriver
Basically, there are three different ways by which you can magnetize your screwdriver. We will be looking into all the ways to magnetize your screwdriver in simple steps.
1. By Using a Magnet
- Neodymium or other rare-earth magnets
Step 1: Choose a strong magnet
Weak magnets also work, but choosing the best magnet will magnetize your screwdriver for about 3-4 months and you can work hassle-free.
Neodymium magnets having at least 1/4 pound full force, available at any hardware store or online works best. But you can also go for specially designed screwdriver magnetizers designed expressly for the purpose.
Step 2: Wipe the screwdriver clean
Before doing anything else, make sure you remove all the rust and dirt from the metal surface because you want your screwdriver to be fully magnetized.
Take any clean damp cloth and wipe it off till all the dirt, debris, and especially oil is completely removed from the surface.
Step 3: Rub it Against the Magnet
Hold the screwdriver handle. Take the magnet in another hand and slide the magnet slowly in a downward motion from handle to tip along the length of the shaft.
In case the magnet is large and heavy, run the screwdriver along the length in the same motion along on magnet.
Step 4: Rotate and Repeat
Swipe the magnet in the other direction and repeat this stroke motion several times in the same direction going from base to tip. The more strokes, the more powerful the magnetism will be.
Keep swiping and turning the screwdriver over and over again and repeat the steps.
Step 5: Test the Strength of the Magnet
When you are working with small and light screws, you need less magnetic property. However, larger ones need greater strength.
Test the strength of the newly magnetized screwdriver by touching the driver to a screw and see how well it lifts and holds the screw. See for yourself if it’s sufficient for your needs.
If it’s not sufficient repeat this process unless you obtain the desired strength of magnetism.
2. By Using Battery/Electricity
- 9-volt battery
- 4 feet insulated wires
- Wire stripper
- Protection gloves
Step 1: Remove insulation from the wire
Take wire strippers and pull off at least 2 inches of wire from each end of the piece of wire. Make sure you do it carefully by not breaking off the wires and with safety.
Step 2: Coil the wire around the screwdriver
Wrap the insulated portion of the wire around the screwdriver leaving each of the ends free. Wrap it tightly and keep it secured around the screwdriver with the help of tape.
Step 3: Connect to the battery
Attach the wire to a 6V or 9V battery connecting one end to the positive terminal of the battery and another end to the negative terminal.
Step 4: Wait
Wait for 1 to 2 mins and allow the current to flow all over the wire. The current flowing through the wire will create a magnetic field and will magnetize the screwdriver.
Step 5: Test for the strength
Unwrap the wire from the screwdriver and test for the strength of magnetism by taking it close to a screw. If you are satisfied, you are good to go. If not, repeat the steps again. While repeating the steps, make sure to follow the same loop. Either clockwise or anticlockwise.
3. By Using a Hammer
- A hammer
- Screwdriver to be magnetized
If you do not have a strong magnet or a battery but still you need to magnetize your screwdriver for a short period of time, you can easily do it using your hammer.
Take your hammer and hit the screwdriver shaft often enough in order to jostle the iron atoms so that they can align in the same direction to produce magnetic fields.
Magnetizing a screwdriver is pretty easy and you don’t need to waste your money getting a new set. You can simply go for any of these ways.
Depending on your requirement and material availability, you can always choose to go with a magnet, a battery, or a hammer, and you are good to go.
Not only a screwdriver can be magnetized, but you can also magnetize spanners, wrenches, drill bits, or any other multi-tool using these really quick and easy steps.
FAQ: How To Magnetize Your Screwdriver
People have many questions about magnetizing a screwdriver. Here I am giving you answers to some important questions.
1. How Long Will a Screwdriver Stay Magnetized?
Screwdrivers can stay magnetized for a long time unless it comes in contact with another strong magnet in the opposite direction or an AD source like a transformer or demagnetizer.
Also, dropping it in your toolbox can weaken it sooner.
2. Is It Safe To Use a Screwdriver With a Magnetic Tip To Disassemble a PC?
In the era of floppy disks, magnetized screwdrivers around computers were forbidden but these days there’s very little in a modern PC that is magnetically sensitive at all. So, it is quite safe to use a magnetic screwdriver around your PC.
3. Does The Magnetic Field Of a Magnetic Screwdriver Help Turn The Screw?
Its sole function is to keep the screw in contact with the screwdriver until the screw is deep enough that a regular screwdriver can be used. No matter how strong the field is, it can in no way help turn a screw.