Every tool box needs a pair of screw removal pliers

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/20/every-tool-box-needs-a-pair-of-2.html


Alas, they won’t work on my Fisher-Price PXL2000 TV. They used a custom screwhead and recessed the screws so that pliers wouldn’t be able to grip them. Bastards!

Eventually I’ll use a screw extractor.


Screw removal pliers are very good, but a well-stocked toolbox should also include some power-driven extractors – say, Speed-Outs or Grabits – and a big set of security bits. Power extractors are gonna run ya $20 for three pieces, but well worth it for PITA screws that can’t otherwise be reached by fat-fingered hands.

My best source for security bits is the clearance/skivy tool bin at the hardware store (or the appropriate aisle at Harbor Freight ; -) $6 or so scores a nice set with 30+ pieces.


God, now there’s a piece of technology that I haven’t heard about for years. I got one of those too. First time I saw it, I was intrigued to the point of finally grabbing a used one out of a thrift store bin and doing the ol disassembly on it.
BTW, you can hardly even find the metal based blank cassette tapes anymore as well.

I had to run that through a search engine; never knew this thing even existed… Probably never made it across the pond. Brilliant. I really could have used that at the time it came out.

The problem is the non-functional TV. If I’m lucky, there’s a hidden fuse inside that died valiantly protecting the circuit. If not, well, it’d make a nifty RPI case with a display replacing the picture tube. But first I need to get the two custom screws out in the back, under the handle.

(Mine isn’t as badly scratched.)

1 Like

I’m guessing a blown cap. (Still, a straightforward enough repair.)


As ficuswhisperer said, could be a popped e-cap, some don’t age well.
Drill the screws out if you can’t get a good grip on them. Although sometimes glueing a piece of metal on the head of the screw using epoxy works.


Remember, this was made in the era before shitty China caps. Caps that “just died” were very rare. I have the feeling that it won’t be as simple as that.

Not in my experience. Capacitors go bad, even when you use high quality ones. Especially electrolytic caps on power circuitry in old electronics that haven’t been used in a long time. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s what’s going on here.


No, but it was made in the era of cheap electronics from Taiwan (or re-branded SovBloc stuff). 30 years ago. So you’re dealing with components with an age of 30 + ‘unknown amount of time in a box on a shelf somewhere’ years. In a toy for kids that was expected to last a couple of years. This is not military grade kit with a design life of 20+ years.

1 Like

Looks like the tip of my Leatherman pliers could double for screw removal, as it is flattened like the pictured pliers. The tip on the Leatherman is much thinner, though, and leverage might be an issue (not to mention that there are several screwdriver blades in the handle).

Now there’s one of the most infuriatingly wasteful issues of modern electronics. How many tons of otherwise perfectly serviceable gear gets landfilled each year because of crap caps?

This type of wire cutter is incredible for pulling out hard to get nails.

EDIT: Maybe not the greatest for electronics, however. :wink:

What’s fun is when you cam out the slots on a flat-head screw–especially the brass screws on your shiny new steampunk synth. Let’s see you grab that screw with one of these.

I wonder what these pliers said to 45? He sure looks confused.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.