How To Magnetize A Screwdriver Tip With Magnet?

how to magnetize a screwdriver tip with magnet
how to magnetize a screwdriver tip with magnet

Imagine my frustration when I had to spend over 10 minutes struggling to line up the screw with a screwdriver. Apparently, I wasn’t aware of the fact that essential hand tools like screwdrivers lose their magnetism over the months, and you have to magnetize the tip again.

Luckily, it doesn’t take an expert to magnetize a screwdriver tip as long as you have an excellent neodymium magnet.  However, keep in mind that you’ll have to magnetize the screwdriver tip every now and then to retain the magnetism.

This is not a one-time process. Instead, you gotta be proactive and keep a close eye on the maintenance and cleanliness of your tools. Usually, it takes about five or eight minutes at max to magnetize a screwdriver, so have that in mind when you’re working with an old set of hand tools.

How To Magnetize A Screwdriver Tip With Magnet?

I use a fairly simple method when it comes to magnetizing a screwdriver tip. My only focus is on sliding the screwdriver across the magnet a few times. So, you don’t need any expert knowledge, and a few basic materials will do the trick.

screwdriver pick

Materials Required

  • Screwdriver
  • Cleaning Cloth
  • Mineral Oil
  • Neodymium Magnet

Step 1 — Prepare The Screwdriver

Before you jump into the magnetizing routine, you gotta start by preparing the screwdriver. This includes cleaning away any gunk or debris on the hand tool. If you have a habit of not cleaning your hand tools after every use, and your storage system is poor, then you need to focus primarily on this step.

preparing screwdriver

Grab a clean cloth and wipe away all the gunk. Use a metal brush if you have to but make sure that all the debris is brushed away. From there, you can wipe away the metal dust and ensure that there is nothing lodged on your tool. 

Some people also recommend that mineral oil protect your screwdriver. However, you can choose to add that after you’re done magnetizing the tip. Just make sure that the mineral oil layer is not too thick if you do decide to add it before the magnetizing routine.

Step 2 — Place The Neodymium Magnet

You may proceed to your workshop and set the neodymium magnet after preparing the screwdriver. Make sure that you’re using a powerful neodymium magnet that has a pull force of close to a pound. That will be optimal for the majority of screwdriver sizes.

place magnet

The magnet is heavy enough on its own, and you will not have to clamp it down. Just place it on a secure spot, and then you can start magnetizing the tip of your old screwdriver.

Step 3 — Slide The Screwdriver Across The Magnet

You just need to take your screwdriver at this point and begin moving it from the bottom to the tip. You can start by simply placing the bottom section on the magnet and forcefully pulling the screwdriver towards yourself until you reach the tip of the shank.

You’ll have to keep repeating this process for a couple of minutes (five to eight). Make sure that you’re covering all sides one by one, and take it slow. Rushing through this process will only yield poor results where the screwdriver won’t have any pull strength.

slide screwdriver

Step 4 — Test & Repeat

After sliding the screwdriver along the magnet for about five to six minutes, you can then use it to pull some screws from your workbench. You should ideally be capable of detaching at least two to three screws. Otherwise, you will need to continue sliding for a few minutes more.

Keep in mind if the magnet is weak or you’re not getting any pull strength from the screwdriver, then it might be time to buy a new one. A strong magnet will yield better results, and everything comes down to your choice of neodymium magnets.

Note: This temporary fix for magnetizing a screwdriver tip is simply a short-lived method. Depending on how you use it, you may need to magnetize it again in a few weeks or months. So, keep the magnet handy, and don’t just throw it away.

While some people would prefer using the electromagnetic method to permanently magnetize the tip of their screwdrivers, it barely takes a few minutes to magnetize the tip with this method. So, there is no need to overcomplicate the situation if you use the screwdriver set rarely.

try testing magnet

All that you gotta do is set aside a few minutes every week for maintenance, and you’ll have a perfect screwdriver with a strong pull force. But, employing the electromagnetic approach is a better choice if you want to prevent this problem.

Last but not least, you may also offer your tools to your neighborhood workshop and ask them to assist you. They will only charge you a minimal fee, and the experts working there will do a better job at magnetizing your screwdriver.

The Takeaway

It can be frustrating to get out those annoying screws when the pull strength on your screwdriver is diminished. Luckily, magnetizing the tip of your screwdriver is not that hard. You just have to get a magnet and slide the screwdriver from the bottom to the tip.

Repeat this process a couple of times, and the screwdriver should develop decent pull strength. The sweet spot is around the pull strength that can pull three screws at the same time. However, any less than that, you will have to magnetize the tip once more.

One thing that you gotta keep in mind is that you can’t start the magnetizing routine without first cleaning the screwdriver. The gunk and the metal dust will only complicate the situation, and you need a fresh cloth to get rid of the debris.

On a last note, just slow down the sliding motion, and don’t just yank the screwdriver toward yourself. That will only yield poor results, and the pull force from the screwdriver will be suboptimal, to say the least. Hopefully, you will not have to go to the workshop to get the desired pull strength.

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