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What Is a Micro Screwdriver?

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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A micro screwdriver is a screwdriver designed to be used with very, very small screws. This type of screwdriver, which is sometimes referred to as a miniature screwdriver or a jeweler’s screwdriver, is commonly used when fixing jewelry or eyeglasses. Such tools are also often needed when working with delicate electronics and are commonly employed by model enthusiasts to work on the miniaturized components that are used in their creations.

The body of a micro screwdriver is typically small but not tiny, as they must be large enough to be operated conveniently. Typically, they feature a long, narrow shaft leading up to the tip of the screwdriver and are often designed with textured grips to minimize slipping during delicate work. These tools are often sold in sets. Such sets may contain six or more separate tools, or they may contain a series of bits and a single handle into which those bits can be mounted.

In theory, any style of screwdriver could be manufactured as a micro screwdriver. In practice, however, Phillips and standard style predominate. The exact contents of a set varies, but a micro screwdriver set usually includes Phillips screwdrivers of sizes #00, #0, and #1, and standard screwdrivers of sizes 5/64 inch (2 mm), 3/32 inch (2.4 mm), and 1/8 inch (3.2 mm). The very small size #000 Philips may also be included.

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This variety of screwdriver is often referred to as a jeweler’s screwdriver, because many small pieces of jewelry use a small number of tiny screws. Pocket watches, in particular, typically include several tiny screws, and anyone needing to open and service or repair a watch would need a micro screwdriver. Other sorts of jewelry, such as brooches and lockets, may also employ miniature screws to hold hinges or other components in place. Any wearer of eyeglasses knows that most glasses frames use several micro screws to hold lenses in place.

Electronic devices often contain micro screws as well, and a micro screwdriver is needed to fasten and unfasten these tiny components. Small model vehicles also often use micro screws, because their components must be miniaturized. Specialized insulated screwdrivers are available for such work, and make it less likely that a random electrical shock will be transmitted through a screwdriver during work on an electronic device, a process that could damage delicate electronic components.

Using a micro screwdriver is fundamentally no different than using a normal screwdriver. Micro screws are threaded in the same direction and can be tightened and loosened in the same manner as normal screws. The most important thing to remember when working with such tiny screws is the fact that they are much more fragile than their larger counterparts. A hasty twist of the wrist can easily severely damage the head of a micro screw.

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