Using a screwdriver is especially challenging when you are inserting screws into a deep hole, or when you are inserting screws into your ceiling. The solution: use a magnetized screwdriver that holds screws into place. Here is how to magnetize a screwdriver to help you insert screws into places that are inaccessible with a normal screwdriver.
- Prepare your items. To magnetize a screwdriver, you need the following: a screwdriver, a large battery, thick copper wire, wire strippers, a large magnet, and protective attire such as gloves and glasses. Buy these items at your hardware store or search online.
- Wear protective clothing. Wear your gloves and glasses to prevent injuring yourself while magnetizing the screwdriver. Make sure that you have worn the clothing properly to prevent them from slipping off during use. Magnetizing a screwdriver involves using the wire strippers and producing sparks from the battery.
- Strip the copper wire. Using your wire strippers, peel off the copper wire’s casing to expose about an inch of the wire’s inner core at both ends of the wire. Be careful not to injure yourself while stripping the copper wire. Hold the wire strippers properly and watch where the wire strippers are cutting.
- Attach the wire to the battery. Fasten one exposed end of the copper wire to the battery’s negative terminal. Afterwards, quickly tap the other exposed end of the copper wire to the battery’s positive terminal. Watch out for the sparks that will be produced, and keep flammable items away from the area you are working in.
- Take off the copper wires. Carefully disconnect the copper wires from the battery terminals. Place the copper wire and the battery aside. Your screwdriver is already magnetized. Keep the copper wire and the battery because you might need to magnetize the screwdriver again in the future.
- Use a magnet. An alternative method for magnetizing your screwdriver is by using a magnet. Glide a magnet along the length of the screwdriver. Use only one direction—from the base of the screwdriver towards its tip. Don’t stop the magnet at the end but continue gliding the magnet for a few inches away from its end. Repeat this ten times in a row until it is fully magnetized.
- Test the magnet. Test the screwdriver to see whether it has magnetic properties. Place the screwdriver near screws and see if these are attracted towards the screwdriver. Take note: the screwdriver can only attract steel screws. Screws that are not made of steel such as copper, brass, plastic or aluminum screws will not be attracted to the screwdriver. Test whether the screws are made of steel by using the magnet to attract the screws. Separate the steel screws from the non-steel.
A magnetic screwdriver may lose its magnetism; if this happens, magnetize your screwdriver once again. If the screwdriver doesn’t become magnetized, your screws may not be made of steel. Replace your screws with steel ones. If the screws are steel, your battery or magnet may not be strong enough. Use a fully charged battery or a stronger magnet to magnetize your screwdriver adequately.