Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Magnetic Nut Drivers

It’s fantastic that magnetic driving technology has been developed. By using them, you may simply drop a sheet metal screw into your drill bit or handheld driver and turn it in to drive it in. What’s even better is being able to get to screws and nuts in inaccessible places without risking dropping one of them into an unsafe location or having it vanish forever. MAGNETIC NUT DRIVERS

Its sole negative aspect is that… All sorts of metal shavings are drawn to the magnets, and before long the bit can scarcely hold onto anything. You end up losing screws and bolts as if they were not magnetic to begin with because of this. To make matters worse, when the metal shavings accumulate, it becomes more difficult to maintain a firm grasp on the hex heads. When the driver’s magnet becomes too corroded, it strips heads and rounds off fasteners. As fasteners are stripped, metal shavings are produced, compounding the issue. I have no doubt that everyone has felt this level of frustration before.

I was wondering if anybody knew a good way to remove debris from a magnet.

I’ve seen HVAC technicians pounding their tools against a hard surface, attempting to knock the metal shavings out, but it never seems to help them get back to working order. Putting a lot of force into a collision with a magnet will have a negative consequence. The strength of a magnet may be diminished by tapping or hitting it, which causes the atoms to realign their magnetic fields.

The next thing I usually see is a technician using a little screwdriver to try to scrape out the metal shavings in their nut driver. You could get a few shavings out if your nut driver tool is very clogged, but the magnet will only draw them back in as soon as you attempt to clean it. It’s excellent news that there are more efficient methods to clean your magnets and other magnetic instruments. Because of the varied nature of an HVAC technician’s work, they often keep a sizable supply of tools and parts in the back of their service vehicle.

For cleaning your nut drivers and hex drill bits of metal shavings, I keep a little container of plumbers putty handy that I seldom use. Use a dab of putty to fill the hole left by the bit. The putty that has collected most of the metal shavings may be removed using a tiny controls screwdriver. This procedure is preferable to using a bit stuffed with metal shavings, but it may be unpleasant and time-consuming to clean up the remnants of the solution.

Plumber’s Putty

While plumber’s putty does the job, there are more efficient approaches. An alternative would be to use a tube of fast-curing silicone or caulking, which you could find in your truck’s toolbox. Inject a generous amount of caulking into the driving bit and let it dry. To make sure the caulk gets into all the cracks of the nut driver and catches all the metal dust and shavings, I like to use a little pick or flathead to mix it in. As was previously indicated, a rapid curing glue is generally the most effective; after waiting for it to firm for about 5 minutes, I then pull out the ball of caulk, adhesive, or metal shavings. Consistently effective, no complaints here.

Caulk appears to hold together a bit better and comes out in one piece, while putty may be a little more effort to remove, thus this is the way I like to use it. This is still my preferred way when I’m out in the field, despite the fact that some adhesive particles may be left behind. You can also use a hot glue gun, but I don’t have much need for one and hence don’t keep one in my vehicle. Bits and drivers may be polished to seem like new with the use of an air compressor, compressed nitrogen, or carbon dioxide. 


 While using this technique, be careful to use the necessary safety gear. A pressure of 120 psi is where I generally have the regulator set. A couple of short blasts from a fine-tipped air nozzle (seen below) should have your magnetic nut drivers looking like new. As I said before, it’s important to wear personal protective equipment. As a precaution, I usually put on my goggles. Shrapnel from the metal will fly in all directions, and it would be dreadful to have even a little fragment of metal in your eye if you could have avoided it.

Potential Substitute Techniques

Duct Gum, which I assume is similar to plumbers’ putty but has a bit more firmness to it and may perform a little better, is another solution I’ve heard about from other experts in the business. Given how difficult it is to remove Pookie/duct sealant, I’m not sure I’d be willing to load the end of my tool with it. In a bind, I think mastic tape would do the job well. I’ve even heard of folks utilizing ordinary chewing gum; talk about being resourceful and versatile.

Powdered magnets

To utilize magnetic particles, a magnetic brush is required. A magnetic brush uses a magnet in its head to attract particles made of iron and pigment particles, causing the iron particles to coalesce into a brush. Once it’s time to put the powder back in the container, the magnet is retracted. Iron particles are deflected away from the magnet by the magnetic brush’s wide ring surrounding the brush’s head. The bristles lose their ability to hold dust and other particles as time passes. The particles and the magnetized brush are not suitable for use on steel. MAGNETIC NUT DRIVERS

Strongly Attractive, Jet Black Magnet

A very dark, tenaciously sticking powder that produces great clear separation. This widely-appreciated magnetic powder has various potential applications. Aluminum, candles, and polystyrene foam are just a few of the many examples. This powder may also be used to generate very recent fingerprints on paper. Sole impression comparisons are one useful use case. A little quantity of silicone oil (for instance, from the SLM spray) is applied to the soles, and an imprint is produced on paper, which is then viewed using Magnetic Jet Black.

Black Magnetism

Magnetic Jet Black’s rival, although it doesn’t stick as well. Yet, when developing prints on filthy surfaces, adhesion to the backdrop is diminished. Ironically, silver’s magnetic properties make it an ideal candidate. It’s a sticky powder that sticks well and stands out well against dark backgrounds. 

Magnetic Gray

It doesn’t stick as well as Magnetic Silver, but prints won’t smudge as easily when using this material.

The Grey Magnetism Special

This powder is unique in that it is effective on plastics and has high visibility on both bright and dark surfaces. If you happen to apply too much powder, a regular fingerprint brush will do the trick.

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