Close up of screwdriver tips

How to Magnetize Your Screwdriver

Anyone who has ever taken anything apart or put something together can relate to the frustration that comes from trying to reach into a tight space or dropping a screw. Of those that fall some are too small to see while others bounce out of sight, but regardless of how big they are or how far they fall the project at hand grinds to a halt and time is lost. There are a variety of magnetic tipped screwdrivers available on the market today in all shapes and sizes but there is a much easier solution to the problem: magnetize your screwdriver yourself, in just a few simple steps.

Method 1

Materials :

  • Rare earth magnet, or another strong magnet
  • Non-magnetic screwdriver

Step 1: Before you invest your time and effort into magnetizing your screwdriver test it to make sure it doesn't already have magnetic properties. This can be done using a magnet, screw or other small metal object and placing it close to the tip of the tool. If there is no indication of a pulling sensation proceed to step two.

Step 2: Prepare the metal surface of the screwdriver by wiping it with a clean damp cloth and drying it completely, ensuring no particulate or grime remains.

Step 3: Holding onto the handle of the screwdriver, take the magnet and run it in a downward motion from handle to tip along the length of metal, or in the case of a large magnet run the screwdriver shaft along the length of the magnet. Repeat this motion several times and then test the effectiveness of the magnetism by touching the tip of the screwdriver to a screw and seeing if it sticks. NOTE: If the attraction is weak, you may need a stronger magnet, or you may need to repeat the procedure several more times.

Step 4: If you need to demagnetize a screwdriver for any reason, simply repeat the procedure outlined in Step 3 but in reverse, maintaining contact between the metal part of the screwdriver and the magnet from the tip towards the handle. Repeat as many times as needed and test the effectiveness of the demagnetization with a screw or other small metallic object.

Method 2

Materials :

  • 9-volt battery
  • Three feet of insulated wire
  • Insulated gloves
  • Non-magnetic screwdriver

Step 1: Remove approximately one inch of insulation from each end of the piece of wire.

Step 2: Leaving the ends of the wire-free, tightly wrap the center section around the metal portion of the screwdriver between 10 and 20 times depending on the length of the shaft. Tape it securely if needed to ensure the wire remains tightly wound.

Step 3: Wearing gloves to protect from shocks or sparks, wrap one of the exposed ends of wire securely around the positive terminal of the 9-volt battery, and the other end to the negative terminal.

Step 4: Wait between 30 and 60 seconds before disconnecting the wires and test the screwdriver to ensure it is magnetized. If not, repeat the procedure wrapping more of the wire around the shaft while making sure all loops follow the same direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise.

When performed correctly, either method will result in the temporary magnetization of your screwdriver which will fade over time. Repeat the above steps as needed.

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