Personal computing discussed

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nemesis

 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:49 am

Anyone have a good recommendation for a power precision screwdriver? I've got a laptop whose internal screws are so tight that I can't loosen them with my manual precision screwdrivers. These are tiny screws, so it needs to be a precision screwdriver.

(In case you're curious, it's an Asus X553MA laptop. Celeron N2930 (Atom-based). I want to upgrade the RAM from 4 GB to 8 GB, but that requires unscrewing the entire motherboard to flip it over, and the jerks at Asus used such tight screws that I can't budge them.)

(Also, the mechanical hard drive was was screwed to its caddy-adapter so tightly that I can't remove the caddy from the hard drive. Luckily, I was able to remove the caddy itself from the laptop, so I was able to install an SSD, but there's nothing screwing it into the laptop. It's just an SSD connected to the SATA with no screws. But I'd like to remove the hard drive from the caddy so that I can use it as a USB backup drive. Amazingly, it's a 500 GB hard drive - remarkable for such a budget laptop from so many years ago - so I'd really like to salvage it.)
 
DPete27
Silver subscriber
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3334
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:17 am

I've never had any problem using my Stanley combo screwdriver with the fine tip phillips head. Having the larger handle will probably give you the torque you need. They're less than $5 at most/any store that sells tools.
Image
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod
 
arunphilip
Gold subscriber
Gerbil First Class
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:46 am
Location: India

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:50 am

mikewinddale wrote:
I've got a laptop whose internal screws are so tight that I can't loosen them with my manual precision screwdrivers. These are tiny screws, so it needs to be a precision screwdriver.

Aren't you worried about stripping the screw heads, given they're tiny and tight? The risk is higher with a power tool, as you're unlikely to be able to control the torque as effectively.

Chances are, the screws aren't just overtightened, but that a faint patina has formed, locking the screws in. I've seen this happen in the screws used to secure 2.5" drives, and have been lucky that hand torque was sufficient to break it. .
 
farmpuma
Silver subscriber
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2574
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:33 am
Location: Soybean field, IN, USA, Earth .. just a bit south of John .. err .... Fart Wayne, Indiana
Contact:

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:22 am

I've found that adjusting the clutch on my cordless drill turns it into a variable torque impact driver.
Image Image
.* * M-51 * *. .The Whirlpool Galaxy.
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:15 pm

Thanks everyone.

"Aren't you worried about stripping the screw heads"

Yes, I was definitely worried about that, but I have to do something to get these screws out.

I decided to try a ratcheting wrench screwdriver to see if that lets me get more leverage before I try a power tool. Hopefully a wrench will give me more leverage than a typical screwdriver, without the danger of over-torquing that might come from a power tool.

I'm going to try out this wrench:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073V ... UTF8&psc=1

with these bits:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009M ... UTF8&psc=1

We'll see how well it works.
 
ludi
Darth Gerbil
Posts: 7723
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:47 pm

Just to deal with the obvious: make sure to apply firm, perpendicular pressure when turning. Screw heads often strip when the drive bit pops out of the head under torque.

Another point, it's kind of hard to torch a screw the size of a pinhead, but a clean soldering iron might do the trick. Heat the screw for a couple seconds, then let it cool again. That might break any oxide (or, more likely, thread lock compound) that is binding the screw.
Abacus Model 2.5 | Quad-Row FX with 256 Cherry Red Slider Beads | Applewood Frame | Water Cooling by Brita Filtration
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:09 pm

Ludi, that's a cool idea, thanks!

Any good recommendations on a cheap soldering iron? I've used a soldering iron before (I took a basic electronics class in high school), but I won't be actually soldering anything, so I don't want to spend too much on features I don't need. I care about safety, but that's about it.

Any particular specs I should look for? Wattage? Again, I want the cheapest thing that's safe. Unless you can give me a reason otherwise.
 
arunphilip
Gold subscriber
Gerbil First Class
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:46 am
Location: India

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:39 pm

mikewinddale wrote:
Any good recommendations on a cheap soldering iron?

Hakko is a popular & reputed brand, here's an entry-level Hakko.

TIL: thread lock compound. Didn't know this was used even in electronics.
 
JustAnEngineer
Gold subscriber
Gerbil God
Posts: 17914
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:13 pm

My Asus ultrabook had blue threadlock on the itty-bitty torx screws. Applying lots of vertical pressure with a good bit and a hand tool is more likely to work than using a power driver.
i7-8700K, H100i v2, RoG Strix Z370-G Gaming, 16 GiB, RX Vega64, 960Pro SSD, 5TB HDD, Define Mini-C, SS-660XP2, C32HG70, RK-9000BR, MX518
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:42 pm

Oh, is that what that blue stuff is? Most of the screws came out extremely easily, but they had blue stuff on them. I wondered what that was! Apparently they all had threadlock that didn't work?
 
Captain Ned
Gold subscriber
Global Moderator
Posts: 26907
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:51 pm

mikewinddale wrote:
Oh, is that what that blue stuff is? Most of the screws came out extremely easily, but they had blue stuff on them. I wondered what that was! Apparently they all had threadlock that didn't work?

The blue stuff is designed to keep the screws from working out on their own due to the usual abuse/flex/temp changes a laptop takes, but still be breakable for repair purposes. If you want to lock a screw down until the heat death of the universe (or don't mind plasma-cutting it out if need be), use the red stuff.
Death is a side effect of birth.
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:11 pm

Thanks again, everyone. Between a better screwdriver (with more leverage) and a soldering iron, I'm more optimistic now.

But this is making me appreciate my Lenovo Thinkpads even more. Every time I've ever had to do work on them, it's been the easiest thing to open them and access their parts.

Are there any other brands that are known for being particularly easy or hard to work on? If I ever have a reason to buy something other than a Thinkpad, I want to know what else is out there.

This Asus has been a pain in the ass. I have to remove the entire motherboard and flip it over just to access the RAM. I also had occasion to work on a Sony Vaio laptop recently, and that was even worse. I don't even know how to describe that Vaio. It was like . . . the chassis was composed of several layers of chassis, each with its own screws. And the outer chassis was connected to the inner chassis with screws from the inside. So you had to wedge a screwdriver into the chassis and unscrew it from the inside of the chassis in order to remove the outer layer. It was insane. It was a 10 year old laptop and I just wanted to salvage the bluray burner and transplant it into another laptop, so finally, I just tore the laptop apart with my bare hands, ripping the plastic apart until I was able to access the bluray burner and remove it. It was easier than trying to unscrew it. I figured, a 10 year old laptop isn't worth any more time than that. The SATA bluray burner was the only part worth anything.
 
ludi
Darth Gerbil
Posts: 7723
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:28 am

mikewinddale wrote:
Are there any other brands that are known for being particularly easy or hard to work on? If I ever have a reason to buy something other than a Thinkpad, I want to know what else is out there.

All of the Dell Lattitudes I've been inside came apart fairly neatly, although the ultraportables gets progressively less serviceable in the thin-and-light design category, and all bets are off if you start playing with 2-in-1s like the 7275.
Abacus Model 2.5 | Quad-Row FX with 256 Cherry Red Slider Beads | Applewood Frame | Water Cooling by Brita Filtration
 
Aranarth
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:56 am
Location: Big Rapids, Mich. (Est Time Zone)
Contact:

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:07 am

It's typically not the handle or driver that is the issue but the screw driver bit.

Be sure it is the right siz and fits snugly into the screw head.
If you put the bit in the head and it sticks then its a good fit.

I've had to buy a new phillps bit to back out over tightened screws.

The trick with the soldering iron is a good one. I'll have to remember that. I bet it would also help with laptop put together with locktight.
Main machine: Core I7 -2600K @ 4.0Ghz / 16 gig ram / Radeon RX 580 8gb / 500gb toshiba ssd / 5tb hd
Old machine: Core 2 quad Q6600 @ 3ghz / 8 gig ram / Radeon 7870 / 240 gb PNY ssd / 1tb HD
 
nico1982
Gold subscriber
Gerbil
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:19 am

Sometimes, putting a thin piece of rubber - cut a piece from a balloon - between the screwdriver bit and the screw head helps.
 
roncat
Gerbil
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:29 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:43 am

For the future, some WD-40 applied with a cotton swab or toothpick will work. Give it a few hours or overnight to do its magic. Works as good as heat, without the potential to melt something.

You can see the blue stuff during an uninstall... there is red thread lock, but you only see it at the install, lol.
 
Veerappan
Gerbil
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:06 pm

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:20 am

nico1982 wrote:
Sometimes, putting a thin piece of rubber - cut a piece from a balloon - between the screwdriver bit and the screw head helps.


Ooh, I like that one.

Also, in reply to the OP:
Occasionally if I've got a stubborn screw that refuses to come out where the bit is the right size for the screw head, but my hand isn't strong enough, I'll just take my set of vice-grips, clamp them to my screw driver, and use that to increase my available torque immensely. Just be careful to apply enough pressure to the screw head to prevent the bit from popping out and/or stripping the screw head.
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:09 pm

Thanks for the ideas!
I had the vice grip idea myself, but it didn't work. I couldn't keep the screwdriver in the screw that way. That is, what I gained in leverage, I lost in dexterity.
But the rubber idea sounds interesting.
And of course, WD-40!!!! I should buy some.
 
Brainsan
Gerbil
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:26 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:39 pm

You can get #0 Phillips bits in standard 1/4" hex drive. They fit any power driver, or interchangeable bit hand drivers.

I've got a powered precision screwdriver, but it's not what your looking for in this case. It runs on a couple of AAA batteries. It will turn screws, but it doesn't have much torque for breaking things loose. It uses the smaller 4mm hex bit standard.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XZLTQO/
 
SuperSpy
Gold subscriber
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2272
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 9:34 pm
Location: TR Forums

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:40 pm

There's always an impact screwdriver if you're at a last resort with the fastener.
Desktop: i7-4790K @4.8 GHz | 32 GB | EVGA Gefore 1060 | Windows 10 x64
Laptop: i7 740QM | 12 GB | Mobility Radeon 5850 | Windows 10 x64
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:31 pm

Wow, Superspy, I didn't know that manual impact screwdrivers were a thing. I mean, I had literally never heard of them. Awesome, thanks!
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 50695
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:34 pm

mikewinddale wrote:
Wow, Superspy, I didn't know that manual impact screwdrivers were a thing. I mean, I had literally never heard of them. Awesome, thanks!

Ditto. Might need to get myself one of those.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:08 am

The one thing I can't figure out is, what size is a standard hex screwdriver bit? I can't find dimensions, but I want to make sure that my new precision bits would fit into the impact driver screwdriver.
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:09 am

Oh, I also found out that there's a special version of WD-40 for electrical contacts. So I just bought that too.
 
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 977
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 12:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:38 am

Best screwdrivers I've ever used, also can put a lot of force on it. Not powered

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QZ ... UTF8&psc=1

If you want to clean electric contacts, definitely recommend Deoxit over WD

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000 ... UTF8&psc=1
 
mikewinddale
Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:22 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:25 am

Thanks!
 
notfred
Maximum Gerbil
Posts: 4448
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:10 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:54 am

just brew it! wrote:
mikewinddale wrote:
Wow, Superspy, I didn't know that manual impact screwdrivers were a thing. I mean, I had literally never heard of them. Awesome, thanks!

Ditto. Might need to get myself one of those.

You hit the end with a hammer which drives the bit down in the screw head and also torques the screw to undo it. Mainly used on automotive stuff, I wouldn't be using something like that on anything like computers!
 
Brainsan
Gerbil
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:26 am

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:21 am

mikewinddale wrote:
The one thing I can't figure out is, what size is a standard hex screwdriver bit? I can't find dimensions, but I want to make sure that my new precision bits would fit into the impact driver screwdriver.


1/4" hex is the standard. You don't really need to worry about it, any hex drive screwdriver bit will be 1/4" hex drive.

4mm hex is the precision screwdriver standard.
https://www.wihatools.com/bits/micro-bits

And yea, you don't want that manual impact driver for computer work. You'd drive the thing completely through the laptop before you got the screw to turn!
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 50695
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:28 am

notfred wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
mikewinddale wrote:
Wow, Superspy, I didn't know that manual impact screwdrivers were a thing. I mean, I had literally never heard of them. Awesome, thanks!

Ditto. Might need to get myself one of those.

You hit the end with a hammer which drives the bit down in the screw head and also torques the screw to undo it. Mainly used on automotive stuff, I wouldn't be using something like that on anything like computers!

Agreed. But it still looks like a really useful tool to have.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Veerappan
Gerbil
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:06 pm

Re: Power precision screwdriver

Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:23 am

just brew it! wrote:
notfred wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Ditto. Might need to get myself one of those.

You hit the end with a hammer which drives the bit down in the screw head and also torques the screw to undo it. Mainly used on automotive stuff, I wouldn't be using something like that on anything like computers!

Agreed. But it still looks like a really useful tool to have.


Yeah, it's really good to have when removing rusted automotive screws (as long as you have a replacement screw handy). My old Jetta's brake rotors used a set screw that always rusted in place between rotor changes. A couple whacks with one of these things and they always freed up, but the heads get mangled.

Also, a note: Those impact drivers are hard on the bits, so try to use hardened bits that are meant for use in percussive persuasion.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests