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Old screwdrivers - any use as a materials source?

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andrew lyner03/02/2019 16:19:47
90 forum posts
1 photos

I realise this a 'how long is a piece of spring' question but I have a number of elderly screwdrivers and reviving pozidrive drivers is not easy (I expect).

So should I consider cracking off the handles and make them into punches and other tools? I guess they would need to be hardened and tempered when I have finished messing with them.
It seems a shame not to give the metal a useful second life. There are many 'job lots' of old screwdrivers - Stanley etc. ~It could be a cheap source of metal. They do not go at silly prices so someone has a use for them.

John Haine03/02/2019 16:37:01
2500 forum posts
132 photos

I've some worn Pozidrive screwdrivers - the shanks seem to be made of nice material, I'm hoping one day to get round to re-grinding as flat-ended conventional drivers.

Tim Stevens03/02/2019 16:39:01
1019 forum posts

They make very good tent pegs


Mike Poole03/02/2019 16:54:06
1922 forum posts
46 photos

If they are a simple high carbon steel then repurposing them should be straight forward. If they are chrome vanadium then I think heat treatment may be a bit more complex.


John Paton 103/02/2019 18:05:29
152 forum posts
6 photos

Depends upon the screwdriver but if you heat the shaft and it melts the handle, pull it out and you have a good file handle for free. The rest can be machined in the lathe to make wire wool. (i.e I have never found a real use for scrap screwdriver shanks). I have bent the tip of the odd screwdriver by 90 degrees to use on awkwardly sited screws but that is about it. It always seems odd that we cannot put old tools or saucepans for that matter in the recycling bin.They must have much greater recycling value than old beans cans, especially aluminium frying pans.

Michael Gilligan03/02/2019 19:04:21
13058 forum posts
570 photos

The best repurposing of a screwdriver that I have seen was of a new one.

When I worked in the Environmental Test Lab, we bought a shock-test machine:

... an early version of this one, if I recall correctly: **LINK**

For obvious reasons, the machine was supplied with a positive mechanical safety lock ... comprising a steel pin pushed through a hole in the guide bar.

To our astonishment [having paid a significant price for the machine], aforesaid pin was a Stanley screwdriver with its Phillips tip neatly ground-off ... the bright red plastic handle was a dead give-away.

Upon reflection, we did agree that this was a fine piece of 'value engineering'.



Edit: the holes in Lansmont's guide bars are clearly visible in the video featured on that page.


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 03/02/2019 19:17:16

Nicholas Wheeler 103/02/2019 19:14:59
239 forum posts
13 photos

Don't all flat screwdrivers get turned into a universal pokey/prying/stirring tool? I don't think I've ever seen a workspace or tool box that doesn't have at least one.

Bazyle03/02/2019 20:13:35
4530 forum posts
184 photos

Assuming you are talking about modern round plastic handled things rather than nice old flat wooden handles. Apart from grinding down to bradawl, scriber, punch you can add bits for hex key, nut runner etc. The brake handle on my driving trolley is ex screwdriver as is the hand pump handle and the blowdown spanner would have been if I hadn't had a nut runner that size.

If you are making any specialist pin spanners often made out of a bit of flat sheet you can weld the functional bit onto a screwdriver to give it a better handle and save a bit of sheet.

Ian Welford03/02/2019 22:19:10
274 forum posts

grind three facets onto the end and they make excellent awls for marking wood and starting off wood screws, ie making a hole into which the wood screw can be started. They also make good levers for the up and over garage door springs when you need to tension them up, muc( better than the metal pins they send with them do the purpose.

Danny M2Z04/02/2019 08:15:52
731 forum posts
278 photos

Screwdriver handles are useful to re-purpose as fuel tanks for ancient model diesel engines (useless for glow fuel though - they melt)

Here is what I made for a '50's ED Baby, Ok, wrong shape (not worth a form tool) but right colour, Works well though.

* Danny M *

ed baby screwdriver tank.jpged baby driver1.jpg

John McNamara04/02/2019 08:17:02
1288 forum posts
113 photos

All my good quality old screwdrivers are intact. The ones that twist up like #8 fencing wire "Asianeasium" (my word) can go to the scrappy. Together with the fasteners with their smeared heads and other plasticine hardened steel gismos that infest society.

BTW I am enjoying the grumpy stage of life!


Neil Wyatt04/02/2019 09:26:48
15947 forum posts
674 photos
73 articles

Put a hex on the end, you won't regret it.

Michael Gilligan04/02/2019 09:29:00
13058 forum posts
570 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/02/2019 09:26:48:

Put a hex on the end, you won't regret it.


Witchcraft ?

not done it yet04/02/2019 10:17:51
2900 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 04/02/2019 09:26:48:

Put a hex on the end, you won't regret it.

Canadians will be putting a Robertson on theirs!?

Ady104/02/2019 10:34:28
3463 forum posts
513 photos

A knackered screwdriver is a future useful tool

As mentioned, put a hex on it

or a nice rounded end for pushing cloth through tight holes to clean them out properly

Its just a matter of time before you find a use

Ian S C04/02/2019 10:52:35
7339 forum posts
229 photos

I'v made one into a Robertson driver, too hard to file, ground it up with the Dremel, it was a Philips so the original tip was a good guide for forming the square free hand. Another was made into a 3 flute driver for a special screw. A couple more have points on them, the first one was for aligning rivet holes in aircraft skins. I have thought of using a redundant screw drive for a crankshaft for a hot air motor, but I'v never got round to it.

Ian S C

Bazyle04/02/2019 13:40:03
4530 forum posts
184 photos

Given that 90% of screws are nowadays driven in with a small replaceable bit in an electric drill one option is just a hex socket so these bits can be used by hand. Of course probably we all have magnetic socketed hand ratchet screwdrivers for this anyway.

Rod Renshaw04/02/2019 16:14:23
41 forum posts


Grind a four faceted acute point on the end of the shaft to make what an old school woodworker would call a "Bird-Cage Makers Awl" - used originally for making small holes in thin wood without splitting it in the days when the whole cage was made of wood. Lots of twist and not too much push!.

I think Marples made these awls until the eighties. Useful now for making pilot holes for woodscrews. Works better than a bradawl in my opinion.


mark costello 104/02/2019 19:44:25
510 forum posts
12 photos

If You need a tommy bar one with a nice handle works well.

Grotto04/02/2019 23:16:17
86 forum posts
42 photos

I've used old screwdrivers as handles for welding hammers (for chipping slag off weld when arc welding). Head is just a bit of mild steel (or whatever is sitting around) welded to the end of the old screwdriver.

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