PDA

View Full Version : Magnetic screwdriver


mekon
09-03-2009, 01:59 AM
What's your take on using a magnetic screwdriver (I'm talking about your standard ordinary screwdriver with a magnetic tip, not something that has been specially magnetised)? I've always used one yet it seems to freak some techies out. Has anybody ever actually ever damaged a drive or a board using one? I've heard all the stories but I have never, ever, met anyone who has actually had a problem. I understand the science, but cannot believe that the amount of magnetism in the very tip of a screwdriver is ever going to damage a drive especially given that most casings are some form of alloy or coated.

NYJimbo
09-03-2009, 02:09 AM
I always use magnetic screwdrivers when I work on laptops. You just have to remember to keep away from magnetic storage. It doesnt take much skill. :p

NickCat11
09-03-2009, 02:17 AM
Same here, never had any problems. They make things a lot easier.

Kenhelms
09-03-2009, 03:13 AM
yea I use em too. I think its just paranoia about the negative fakes

anonymous Mac Tech
09-03-2009, 03:56 AM
Couldn't imagine doing laptops without them or anything for that matter. Never any issues to speak of.

georgenoise
09-03-2009, 02:11 PM
15 years and I haven't messed anything up yet, at least not with a magnetic screwdriver...

freythman
09-03-2009, 02:19 PM
10 years using them here, and not one problem yet.

schwags
09-03-2009, 02:33 PM
The small amount of magnetism in the tip of a screw driver is not going to damage magnetic media. The ferrous case of a drive will stop any flux from penetrating to the media surface. Besides, you would have to almost touch the tip to a platter before it got close enough to do any damage. I actually tested this theory with a high power magnetic retrieval tool (magnet on a stick) and a standard WD hard drive. I imaged the drive before and after and compared the contents. There were no corruptions or changes. It wasn't the most scientific test, but it showed me that the minimal magnetic properties of a screw driver tip will not do damage.

Tip: in case anyone didn't know, you can magnetize a normal screw driver by running a high powered magnet back and forth along the shaft of the blade a few times. To un-magnetize it, whack it on a concrete floor or another hard surface. This works great with my set of small precision screwdrivers that I use on laptops.

Edit: Yes, I do know that some HDD cases are aluminum, but the distance from the platters to the tip of a screw driver should still be too much to cause damage.

nj_computer_repair
11-03-2009, 09:38 PM
Never had an issue with magnetic screwdrivers damaging components.

I am looking to get a nice precision set that does NOT have bits - can anyone recommend a decent set for laptops? I would need the torx also, they do not have to be magnetic. I am tired of the cheap bit sets - the bits are always falling out especially when unscrewing the bottom of a laptop.

I was also looking into power precision tools. Anyone have experience using them for delicate hardware?

Iconic
11-03-2009, 09:48 PM
I actually tested this theory with a high power magnetic retrieval tool (magnet on a stick) and a standard WD hard drive. I imaged the drive before and after and compared the contents. There were no corruptions or changes. It wasn't the most scientific test, but it showed me that the minimal magnetic properties of a screw driver tip will not do damage.

Nice test, I would have to say that was scientific enough to pass in my mind.

studiot
11-03-2009, 10:37 PM
You can get a magnetiser / dmagnetiser from any good toolshop for a couple of quid. Just pull the shaft through the magentising or demag hole as appropriate.

Non-magnetic alignment tools are/were used in radio and TV servicing for tuned circuits, mostly in the past. These circuits were tuned by turning a powdered iron slug inside a coil.

These days such curcuits are set by crystals or other resonators and no tuning is needed.

Magnetic tools are perfectly safe to use in and around modern circuitry.

JosephLeo
11-04-2009, 12:18 AM
You can actually rub a magnetic screwdriver on a hard drive case and have zero effect on the drive and data. In fact- I tested it before with an external hard drive and a variety of magnets and magnetic screwdrivers...my heiarchy went like this...
Magnetic Strip (fridge magnet)
Magnetized Screwdriver (Small)
Magnetized Screwdriver (Large)
Small Magnet (Those little circles)

then a series of more powerful magnets...but I never got to test them since the small magnet is what killed the drive. So- a screwdriver is completely 100% harmless...maybe on the atomic scale you might be affecting SOMETHING- but nothing damaging.

K007
11-04-2009, 01:03 AM
I cannot imagine even starting to take a laptop apart without magnetic bits.
The ones that I found to be the best were made by Compaq back in the days before the merge with HP.
You could never ring a screw, because the bits apart from being magnetised, were made of a soft alloy, and if you forced the screw you would actually "screw" the bit.

JosephLeo
11-04-2009, 02:17 AM
I cannot imagine even starting to take a laptop apart without magnetic bits.
The ones that I found to be the best were made by Compaq back in the days before the merge with HP.
You could never ring a screw, because the bits apart from being magnetised, were made of a soft alloy, and if you forced the screw you would actually "screw" the bit.

Man, I remember before I did those test how scared I was of magnetic screwdrivers and laptops. For some reason I felt that laptops motherboards shouldn't even be touched by a magnet...silly rabbit.

Now I know better and I make sure that I use magnetic whenever possible. Although I will still admit that I am a bit cautious around the hard drive area still and carry around non-ferrous screwdrivers with me.

Tweak
11-04-2009, 02:31 AM
I have and like the Wiha Micro Precision sets. :cool:


http://www.wihatools.com/

And as everyone else, never seen damages related to magnetic tools.

JosephLeo
11-04-2009, 02:53 AM
I have and like the Wiha Micro Precision sets. :cool:


http://www.wihatools.com/

And as everyone else, never seen damages related to magnetic tools.



....why....why....why.

Please, do me a favor and just send me a backup of your bookmarks so you can stop surprising me with all these fantastic links. I swear, I spent $250 so far because of you...looks like I'm going to be doubling that tonight.

nj_computer_repair
11-04-2009, 02:57 AM
I have and like the Wiha Micro Precision sets. :cool:


http://www.wihatools.com/

And as everyone else, never seen damages related to magnetic tools.

http://www.wihatools.com/900seri/92190Rack.htm

This set looks SOOO nice, I want it!

JosephLeo
11-04-2009, 03:26 AM
http://www.wihatools.com/900seri/92190Rack.htm

This set looks SOOO nice, I want it!

$240 for a piece of acrylic and $2/pc. screwdrivers? I can probably build that kit myself for $50 at Home Depot and use the extra $190 savings to buy other stuff from this website ;)

Tweak
11-04-2009, 03:53 AM
LOL@ Joe, I like the quality they offer, only spent $250...hmmm I gotta dig up some more links....haha. :p :D

Ask Mushin for a loan, he appears to be making the big bucks! Be nice if we could all do as well. (No one flame that not intended to be anything but a comment that having a good amount of $ is appealing, too much is never enough ya know)

JosephLeo
11-04-2009, 03:58 AM
LOL@ Joe, I like the quality they offer, only spent $250...hmmm I gotta dig up some more links....haha. :p :D

Ask Mushin for a loan, he appears to be making the big bucks! Be nice if we could all do as well. (No one flame that not intended to be anything but a comment that having a good amount of $ is appealing, too much is never enough ya know)

:P Well, these are tough times and cash is pretty tight. So I'm being as frugal as possible and avoiding all impulse buys...although some things do slip through the cracks...like the pawn shop finds recently....I might even stop in again soon as they had some other stuff that wasn't on sale yet. My ultimate dream is to find a sealed Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana :F

Graystar
11-04-2009, 07:29 AM
$240 for a piece of acrylic and $2/pc. screwdrivers? I can probably build that kit myself for $50 at Home Depot and use the extra $190 savings to buy other stuff from this website ;)

I am the owner of a Wiha #261 for a couple of months now. I paid $5 for it at the electronics supply retailer near me and I am pleased to say that upon inspection after I wipe off dust and dirt it still appears to be "as new".
I thought the handle was cheap and cheesy but now I think it is the steel that makes the difference.

In the words of the Sham Wow guy
"Those Germans make good stuff"

studiot
11-04-2009, 08:24 AM
A magnetiser / demag was listed in Tweak's link, there was even a picture.