9 Questions With Magnetic Screwdriver (Explained)

Magnetic screwdrivers create a connection between the tip of the screwdriver and the screw. This magnetic pull settles the tip into the slot of the screw, holding the fastener in place securely until it can be driven into or out of the desired surface. Not only does this eliminate the need to hold the screw with one hand and the screwdriver with the other, but it also pretty much solves the pesky problem of dropping fasteners

If you have questions about Magnetic screwdrivers, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will share the most common concerns faced by Magnetic Screwdriver.

Table of Contents

What is a magnetic screwdriver?

Magnetic Screwdriver
Magnetic screwdrivers hold metal screws on their tips, preventing them from falling to the ground.

A magnetic screwdriver is a screwdriver that contains a magnetic steel screwdriver blade or Phillips head and shaft attached to a wooden or plastic handle. The use of the magnetic screwdriver allows the user to place a screw onto the tip of the screwdriver and have it remain attached to the screwdriver while being inserted and installed into the fastening position.

Most of the best magnetic screwdrivers come as sets with multiple magnetic screw tips (also called bits), with some containing tip storage compartments built into the handle for convenience.

Do screwdrivers have magnets?

Not all screwdrivers are equipped with magnetic tips. That depends on the industry you need and also your brand preference. Sometimes we need a magnetic screwdriver, other times we need a non-mag driver for work near electronics. I don’t think electricians would like magnetized screwdrivers. In some instances, they can damage other things if they are magnetic.

Magnetized drivers and bits can damage some equipment. There is also the reason that there are far more different materials used for screws than magnetic steels.

Magnetic Screwdriver
Screws stand on a wooden background and one rests on a magnet with a screwdriver

Are screwdriver bits magnetic?

Magnetic Screwdriver
Close-up of a plastic box with various screw attachments, bits, and hexagonal nuts for precision mechanics work

Some screwdriver tips are magnetic, so that the screw (unless non-magnetic) remains attached to the screwdriver without requiring external force. Many screwdriver designs have a handle with a detachable tip (the part of the screwdriver that engages the screw), called bits as with drill bits.

Is a screwdriver handle magnetic?

Usually, screwdriver handles are made of materials considered to be non-conductors, i.e. insulators, wood, or plastic and are not magnetic.

Any magnetic attraction comes from the screwdriver tip.

Why does a screwdriver have magnetic power?

Magnetic Screwdriver
Magnet Screwdriver with Black Wooden Screws

Some are intentionally magnetized to aid in holding screws in place, while others become somewhat magnetic if used near strong magnetic fields. This can become a problem if working near magnetically sensitive equipment.

Are magnetic screwdrivers good?

Whether a screwdriver is good depends on your needs. The screwdriver with strong magnetism is good at fixed stuff. However, it is troublesome to remove the magnetic, and non-magnetic ones that are the opposite.

The magnetic screwdriver can be used to retrieve steel screws from a bin. While it works with steel screws, the screwdriver is unable to pick up aluminum or other metal screws, such as copper, due to the inability of these materials to be magnetized.

Generally, hand tools don’t have magnetic tools, otherwise, it is easy to suck iron filings during use, but also not easy to clean up, which will affect the work efficiency. Only a screwdriver head with magnetic, on the screw can also be more convenient. Other tools should not be magnetic.

Magnetic Screwdriver
opening a hard drive, computer repair using magnetic screwdrivers

Electricians and other mechanics commonly use a magnetic screwdriver when working in hard-to-access areas. By using the special screwdriver, screws are easily removed once unscrewed by simply lifting the screwdriver out of the workspace. This is extremely helpful when the screw is located in a location that prevents the worker from placing a hand into the area to retrieve a screw. The same holds true when reinstalling the screw. There are certain conditions when the use of a magnetic screwdriver is not advised, such as when working with sensitive electronic devices, as the magnetic tool may be detrimental to the electronic components.

How to magnetize a screwdriver with a magnet?

First, make sure the screwdriver can be magnetized, not all are. If a magnet won’t pick it up then you can’t magnetize it.

Magnetic Screwdriver

Use a rare earth magnet. You can usually find them at hardware stores. Run the magnet along the tool you wish to magnetize in one direction repeatedly. This helps the ions cling to the tool. If you rub it back and forth, the charged ions just remain on the magnet. You shouldn’t have to do this much.

Take one permanent magnet select any one of the 2 poles as picture shown below, and repeat for few times.

How to magnetize a screwdriver without a magnet?

If there isn’t a magnet around, you can magnetize a screwdriver using a battery. Just follow the steps below.

Wrap a large coil of wire around the screwdriver blade and momentarily connect the ends to the battery posts using a ballast resistor. WARNING if the coil is too small or the wire gauge is too thick, the coil will get extremely hot and may melt.

Is It Safe to Use a Magnetic Screwdriver on an electronic component?

Some sensitive electronic components can be damaged if exposed to magnetic fields, even those as minor as the magnetic properties possessed by the magnetic screwdriver. Some manufacturing plants that have assembly line stations that involve the driving of screws utilize a power magnetic screwdriver in either an electric or air-powered version. The use of this special magnetic tool allows the worker to place and tighten screws much faster than a conventional screwdriver would allow. The worker needs only dip the screwdriver into a bin of screws and the magnetic tip will attach to a screw, which can be properly positioned on the screwdriver and driven home in the workpiece.

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