Any recommendations for a good, varied set of screwdrivers?
September 28, 2016 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Any recommendations for a nice, varied, good quality set of "screw" drivers of various different types of screw heads that I might find on IDE HDDs?

I have a bunch of IDE HDDs that are pretty much useless to me nowadays. I'd like to disassemble them to remove the rare earth magnets (and smash the platters).

I'm guessing I'll encounter many types of screw heads, so I'd like to get a screwdriver set that has oodles of different screw head types.

I like Wiha tools and have been very satisfied with them in the past, but any manufacturer is OK.

Any mefites have a recommendation for a set that covers lots of different screw head types? And hopefully won't cost a fortune? (I'm asking a lot here, I realize)

Regarding tools, my philosophy is usually to suck it up and spend the extra cash up front to get a good quality set that will last.

Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've never found very much difference in the quality of screwdrivers. Just find the ones you need, or a set and buy them.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:39 PM on September 28, 2016

My go to screwdriver set for computer work is this MaxTech set. It's got Torx and Hex so it can deal with the HDD screws.

One thing to note, always use the extension shaft.
posted by zinon at 12:40 PM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck with the previous incarnation of this iFixit driver kit.
posted by zamboni at 12:45 PM on September 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Came here to mention the iFixit kit. It'll probably have the head for any small electronics you might throw at it.
posted by msbutah at 1:07 PM on September 28, 2016

Any decent Torx set will do it. IIRC most of the screws in those things are T6, although you might need other Torx sizes or the occasional mini-Phillips if you insist on disassembling everything.

You can get Torx sets for dirt cheap just about anywhere. Quality doesn't matter too much since it's pretty light duty stuff. I recently found a set similar to this at Micro Center and it's been quite handy (harder to lose the tips). iFixit also sells good quality stuff (for a bit extra) if you don't wanna shop around.

You probably also want a big flathead screwdriver for leverage. Those magnets can be tough to get out.

(source: have dissected my share of hard drives)
posted by neckro23 at 1:16 PM on September 28, 2016

I've been reasonably happy with the same set gregr mentioned. Good case.
posted by supercres at 1:58 PM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ooh, I have something of a hand tool fetish so I can tell you about screwdrivers. If your only criteria is to take apart hard drives pretty much anything is OK. The MaxTech set, the iFixit set, or even the crappy sets from Lowes or Home Depot will probably do the job. All of these, however, use cheap Asian metal and wont hold up to any long-term serious use and the first time you cam out a screw or one of the Torx bits starts shredding you wont be happy (ask me how I know!).

If your philosophy is to suck it up and buy the tool just once then the Wiha stuff, which uses German tool steel, is much, much better quality. I have this Wiha set and it has held up really well but it is 3x as much as the MaxTech set. NASA used Wiha screwdrivers on the Space Shuttle because of their tight manufacturing tolerances.

I know you said you don't want to spend a fortune - but say you won the lottery one day - then the absolute best screwdrivers (the screwdrivers to rule them all) are PB Swiss. These are what CERN uses to fix the Large Hadron Collider but, as you would imagine, you will pay multiples of what the Wiha sets cost.

On balance I'd get a Wiha set. It will last far beyond your Hard Drive project.
posted by codex99 at 4:37 PM on September 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wihas are a delight.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 10:36 PM on September 28, 2016

I have a Wiha set of teeeeeensy bits, and also a Chapman set of various normal-size bits as well as a Chapman packet of Bristol bits. The Chapman tool sets are pretty awesome because you get a big handle, a small handle for low-clearance areas, and a tough box to hold them.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:45 AM on September 30, 2016

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