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Repair guides and disassembly information for PC laptops of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

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Unscrewing Many Laptop Screws

I've been tasked with replacing the wifi cards on all the company laptops, and I'm trying to come up with ways of streamlining unscrewing (and then screwing back in) thousands of laptop screws.

First question, what's the best power screwdriver for this kind of work?  I'm guessing I need something with very granular torque settings.

Next, I need a way of storing the screws upright while I have the case open- and I might have a few cases open at the same time, so I need to be able to keep tens of screws upright and ready to pick up with my screwdriver.  I get the feeling that this does not exist, but I was thinking it might be nice to have a screwdriver where the magnetism could be turned off with a button.  That way I could drill holes in a plank of wood, turn the magnet on to pick up the screw after unscrewing, place the screw in the hole in the wood and then release it.  That way, the screw would be ready to be picked up once I put the cover back on.

For those of you who repair laptops for a living, what are the tricks to fast bulk screw removal- and reinsertion?

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The Essential Toolkit

The most helpful tools in our most compact kit.

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The Essential Toolkit

The most helpful tools in our most compact kit.

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I would get this great driver! I got one a few months ago and love it!

SainSmart ES120 Electric Motion-Control Rechargeable Screwdriver Kit, Repair Tools for Small Devices. It senses which direction and you can set the torque.

Get some anti-static foam (Black) press them in as you take the screws out. Black Insertion Grade Conductive Foam and here’s one source: Digikey - Conductive Foam

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That's a very sexy screwdriver, but, 95 bucks... that might be a little too rich for my blood. At the bottom of the link, I found this:

No adjustable torque... but, the laptops I'm opening all have the same exterior screws, and I'm not sure who in the company ordered them, but we have boxes of extra screws, so I'm not too wary of the occasional strip.

If the foam's grip is strong enough to counter the magnetized grip when depositing the screw, how will the magnet counter the grip while picking the screw back up?

I'm guessing that there isn't much of a tool market for folks removing 1000s of laptop screws, but, I would think something could be put together.

Can I drill holes in a thin steel plate and then magnetize the plate in such a way that it's a stronger pull than the magnetized bit? Then when it's time to reinsert them, I can turn off the magnetized plate and the bits will be ready to picked up.


@scott1234 - Trust me you really want the better unit! This was the third one I had gotten as the others were either to unwieldy or used custom bits. Having a torque clutch also prevents you from snapping the screws when you put them in and prevent you from cross-threading. Unlike doing it by hand you don't have the same feel.

I have no problems with the foam. This foam is a bit different to what you are likely thinking, it's more like styrofoam. All I do is press the screw in from the driver. Screws are easy to remove or if you have a magnetic one a driver can pluck it out.

Who's paying for your tools? Your company should!


I agree with dan, shouldnt the company pay for it?


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