Many electronics manufacturers now assemble their gadgets with triangle-headed screws. The concept is that the user shouldn’t operate the items independently because screwdrivers for opening triangular-headed screws aren’t available in most homes. A specific tri-wing screwdriver is also offered in some places for this purpose.
If you ever need to disassemble a Nintendo device, you’ll notice that the screws aren’t accessible with a standard screwdriver. You’ll need a triangle-headed screwdriver, which is difficult to come by. Because of their limited use and sale, hardware stores rarely have them in stock.
We can also see in an electronic shop that triangle screwdrivers are used to repair electronic devices. However, it is exclusive for their use and not even for sale.
On the other hand, a stripped screw of a three-wing screw can also be difficult to remove, so choosing an alternative can be difficult. (Learn How To Untighten A Stripped Caliper Bolt)
What is a Triangle Screwdriver?
A triangle screwdriver is a tool for setting and removing triangle recess or TP3 screws, which are specific, and rarely used types of screws and bolts. These are a form of security screws that can be found in various toys and battery packs.
A TP3 screw has an indented triangle with slightly rounded sides, and the tip of a triangle screwdriver is designed to firmly fit the TP3 screw head. The screw can’t be turned without the correct driver because of the rounded sides.
This also makes the triangle screw hard to unscrew using a replacement or alternatives. But luckily, we have prepared some tips that may apply to you. But before that, let us know why triangle screwdrivers are challenging to find.
Why Is Triangle Screwdriver Difficult to Find?
Because triangle screwdrivers are one of the most uncommon varieties of security screwdrivers, finding one can be challenging. They are not sold at most home improvement stores or local hardware stores, but they can be ordered through online sellers specializing in security fasteners.
The screws and the drivers have a higher price than the more common ones. When available, a few triangular screwdrivers mimic the more common sorts of screwdrivers; usually, these are the #8 and #10 sizes. (Learn How To Unscrew A Tri Wing Screw)
Steps on Unscrewing Triangle Screws without Screwdriver
1. Use Melted BIC Pens
This procedure works great for some types of screws but fails when removing a three-wing screw. The basic process is to soften the plastic at the end of a BIC ball tip pen. When the plastic has softened enough, the pen is inserted into the screw’s head and held there until the soft plastic hardens again.
The outcome is a screw recess plastic mold. After that, the pen is utilized like a screwdriver. It’s a tiny screw that can’t generally handle the torque required to unscrew triangle screws.
2. Try Using Allen Keys
Allen keys resemble an L-shaped piece of metal with hexagonal ends rather than a traditional screwdriver with a distinct head, shaft, and handle. They go into three wing screw holes. You can use a 1/16 size. Then, put it inside the hole and turn it clockwise until it loosens.
3. Metal Nail File
The slopes of the grooves in the screw are matched by the sharp end of the metal nail file. Any other pretty rigid piece of sheet metal with a thickness of about the same will suffice. If the screw requires much tension, use vice-grip pliers to grab the sheet metal slightly above the tip.
You can also use a butter knife that can be found inside your kitchen. They fit the tip of the butter knife into the hole. Then, turn counterclockwise. Continue until it loosens.
4. Screw Extractor
A screw extractor is a tool used to remove seized or damaged screws. Screw extractors are made of hard, brittle steel, which can break off inside the screw being extracted if too much torque is applied.
Because the extractor is made of a tough substance that cannot be drilled into with a standard home shop drill bit, the initial screw extraction project is made more difficult.
Drilling a hole entirely through the screw is one approach to avoid this added complexity. If the fastener breaks, a punch can be used to push the easy out of the screw from the back or end, thus, making it more effective to unscrew a three-wing screw counterclockwise.
5. Dremel Rotary Tool
The Dremel Driver’s ergonomic fit is unlike any other. Because it allows for fine fingertip control when driving small screws and firm pressure grips when driving large and triangle screws. If hand-tightening is required, the tool’s automated collet lock lets users turn the tool like a manual screwdriver and unscrew the three-wing screw.
6. Cold Chisel
You can use a cold chisel to cut into the edge of the head nearly tangentially to the edge, then hammer or mallet the screw out.
7. Metal Paper Clip
Shape the metal paper clip according to the size of the triangle screw. To remove the screw, use pliers. Apply force and grip while putting it inside the whole. Remove it in a clockwise manner.
What Will You Do If None of These Tips Works?
Triangle screws are sometimes tricky to remove. If you don’t find any of these tips working, you better go to the nearest hardware and purchase a triangle screwdriver. If it is not available, the following tools can be used.
- Flat head screwdriver
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Torx screw
- Small Torx screw
- Hex screwdriver
- Security screwdriver
- Matching screwdriver
The main challenge of using a flathead screwdriver, hex screwdriver, and matching screwdriver is finding a small enough to fit into the tri-wing screw’s Y-shaped depression in the center. Then it’s only a matter of using enough effort to spin the screw without overdoing it and slipping the screwdriver out.
The major disadvantage of this procedure is that the fit screwdrivers are insufficiently strong to complete the work. After you unscrew a few screws, the screwdriver is likely to be damaged.
If you want to try all these tips, do not forget to apply precautions to avoid accidents. Alternatives indeed will cost you less rather than purchasing the appropriate tool. However, it will be challenging to find a suitable option, so you have to be patient. (Read How To Make Socket Sizes Readable)
You also have to remember that devices and toys that use triangle screws want to prevent people from fixing things independently. They encourage consulting experts or, in some cases, buying new toys. That is to keep you away from possible harm.
But still, try to follow carefully the steps above and look for what applies to you.