10 Best Mini Screwdriver Sets | June 2017
- includes clear-lidded storage tray
- high-quality flexible adapter
- handle is not very secure
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- highly affordable option
- rustproof black oxide shafts
- not a heavy-duty model
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- backed by a 2-year warranty
- handy magnetic shafts
- black paint chips off the tips
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- meets or exceeds asme standards
- handles identify tool size and type
- cushioned grips for comfort
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- durable protective case
- each bit labeled by size
- bendable to reach awkward spaces
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- features a sim card ejector pin
- convenient carrying case included
- comes with an extension shaft
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- rotating caps for fingertip control
- work well on eyeglasses
- tapered handles for fast turning
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- several long 3-inch bits
- comes with prying spudgers
- endcap is smooth and balanced
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- miniature ratchet heads included
- ball-bearing swivel top
- includes triangle pry openers
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- s2 alloy steel blades
- anti-slip telescopic handle
- well-suited to wristwatch repairs
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
The Mighty Mini Screw Driver
If you regularly work with electronics, jewelry, or small mechanical devices in the course of a hobby or for your profession, then you are well aware of the importance of owning a fine set of miniature screwdrivers. The rest of us will become painfully well aware of the absence of such a set whenever we need to replace the batteries in a small toy, tighten the arm that has shaken loose on a pair of eyeglasses, or attempt to fix a gadget in the kitchen.
With a good set of mini screwdrivers, you can tackle most of the small repairs daily life presents to you, opening up a child's toy to look for a loose wire, replacing the bulb in a flashlight or lantern, or even tinkering with a device like a laptop or tablet, provided you know what you're doing. Choosing the right miniature screwdriver set involves first thinking about the likely uses your little tools will see.
If you only predict using your diminutive phillips head screwdriver for replacing the batteries in a radio or remote control and using those little flatheads for repairing glasses or tightening loose screws on picture frames or knickknacks, then by all means choose a basic and inexpensive screwdriver kit. Most small screws encountered in common devices such as toys and speakers will easily succumb to the small tools in a basic set, which usually comes with fewer than a half dozen different screwdrivers with bits in two or three different sizes.
If, for some reason, you see no need for a more varied kit, but you will likely use these tools all the time -- perhaps you're someone who works in an electronics repair shop, for example -- then invest in screwdrivers that have hardened, reinforced tips. Tiny screwdriver bits bend easily with heavy use, and that can compromise their ability to function while also increasing the risk of damaging the hardware you're trying to service; screwdrivers that have lost their proper shape are more likely to strip a screw's head, leaving it stuck in place or unable to be reinserted. Look for tools that have been heat-treated to increase their durability or that are made from robust materials like tungsten carbide or even titanium.
For the serious hobbyist or professional who works with miniature screwdrivers on a daily basis, making the investment in a set with multiple different tips is critical. And make sure to choose screwdrivers made from durable materials. Magnetic screwdriver tips are particularly important for the person working with delicate electronics, as a dropped screw can mean a damaged circuit or resistor. Also, consider the shape and design of the driver (the handle, e.g.) your set comes with if you are considering an option with bits that can be swapped in and out. Some drivers have rotating caps that allow for smooth, constant twisting motions; others telescope outward to give extra reach to their user. Features such as these may be priceless for some craftsmen, while other people will actually want screwdrivers with a static design (non-removable heads and a single, solid handle) to ensure the highest level of control.
Tips For Removing a Small Damaged Screw
The frustration of extracting a damaged screw is magnified when the hardware in question is exceedingly small, as is the risk of inadvertently damaging the device in which it is lodged.
Once it's clear your miniature screwdriver is no longer properly twisting a screw, immediately stop trying to loosen the screw; you will only make the existing damage worse by wearing down the already misshapen metal. If you are trying to remove a small phillips head screw, you can first see if a flathead screwdriver can lodge itself into the damaged phillips hardware, catching an edge in the metal and allowing you to gently turn the screw.
If that fails, consider applying a minimal amount of lubricant, which is especially effective for a screw set into metal threading. Be sure the liquid will not damage or stain any nearby components. Another approach to try in tandem with lubrication or independently is to add a bit of extra material into the head of the damaged screw, filling in the area the screwdriver bit will enter. A piece of tinfoil, a bit of steel wool, or even a strip of a thin tape or section of a rubber band may help.
If a screw is beyond the point of loosening using these screwdriver augmentation tips, it's time to consider alternatives to removing the screw: you might have to destroy it in place. It should be easy enough to find a fine, strong drill bit that can grind up a small screw. A titanium nitride-tipped bit will make short work of most hardware, for example. You can often sink a slightly larger screw into the damaged hole created by the forced extraction of the smaller hardware to rescue the device in question later.
A Few Small Tools With a Big Impact
The craftsman who prizes his or her diminutive screwdrivers will also appreciate having a few other tiny tools in the toolbox. First and foremost, anyone who regularly makes minute repairs or adjustments should consider investing in a great work light and in a magnifying tool. The better one can see what they're doing, the more efficiently and reliably the work will turn out.
In terms of actual hand tools, a good pair of needle nose pliers with fine, slender tips is always good to have on hand. These pliers can help you place small screws in position or remove them if they need to be plucked back out of a hole before tightening. Most pairs of needle nose pliers also have a wire cutter built into the lower half of the jaws, a useful option for those working with electronics.
And if your project involves any hammering of small nails, don't attempt to use a full-sized framing hammer for the job. A miniature hammer, such as a tack hammer, is priceless when you are working with small metallic components that could easily be damaged by one strike delivered with too much force or too little precision.