How to Magnetize a Screwdriver Tip

A miniature slotted, or flathead, screwdriver.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10
What You'll Need
A very strong magnet

There are always going to be occasions when you will wish your screwdriver tip was magnetic. Reaching into tight corners or screwing upward can be a nuisance if the screw won’t sit in the head of the driver properly. There are constant issues with getting a screw out of a deep drilled hole where the tip will reach in but you can’t grab it to pull the screw out.

Fortunately, there are quite a few methods by which you can magnetize your own screwdriver at home safely. One is a wired version which incorporates a battery and the other, the method we recommend, uses a simple magnet.

Step 1 - Prepare and Clean

You will need an extremely strong magnet to achieve a good adhesion so find the best and strongest magnet that you can. Set the magnet down somewhere, being careful not to place it near anything which will be affected by its presence. Clean the screwdriver shaft and tip to make sure it is dirt and debris free. In order to get the best quality of magnetic adhesion, the shaft should be wiped clean with a cloth and dried as well. Any loose particles which can affect the process need to be removed.

Step 2 - Test

Test to find out if there is any natural residue magnetizing already. You can do this by simply touching the screwdriver tip to any small metal object (like a metal screw) and seeing if you get a pulling feeling when it touches. If there is none, then your screwdriver is completely demagnetized.

Step 3 - Magnetize

Take the magnet in one hand and take the screwdriver in the other. Start by placing the shaft end (near the handle) of the driver onto the magnet, and then run the length of the shaft along the magnet to the tip. Do this slowly but not extremely slowly. Come back and repeat the same motion four or five times.

Test again by touching the tip of the screwdriver to a metal screw. If it responds by lifting up on the tip of the screwdriver, you will have achieved a good level of magnetism. If there is a light lift but the screw doesn’t pick up, try running the screwdriver shaft along the strong magnet a few more times and then test again.

Step 4 - Demagnetize if Needed

Your screwdriver should stay magnetized for quite some time after this procedure but if you wish to undo the process you can also demagnetize it after you are finished. This is exactly the same process in reverse. Start by holding the tip of the screwdriver against the magnet, and then run the magnet up the shaft until it reaches the handle. Repeat this a few times to affect demagnetization.