That’s why you should stop using cheap screwdrivers

Getty Images/Luis Alvarez

“Why should I spend money on expensive screwdrivers when the cheap ones look the same? Aren’t all screwdrivers the same?”

Simply put, no, they’re not all the same, and I have a good example of why having decent tools is important, especially when you need to fix other people’s devices.

Also: My favorite electric screwdriver for heavy work

The DJI Mini 3 Pro drone’s propellers are held in place by some really tiny screws. Not only are they tiny, but they’re bonded with a screw locking compound to prevent the screws from loosening and the rotors flying off in flight – which would have devastating consequences for the drone.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And those screws are notorious.

Drone groups and forums are full of tales of woe where people have chewed up these screws trying to remove them. And once they’re damaged, taking them back becomes an even more sinister project.

Also: This is the perfect mini electric screwdriver

It seems even the screwdriver that came with the drone isn’t up to the task.

I have a Mini 3 Pro drone that needs to change the props. So I decided to see how easy it is to take them off—or how easy it is to make a mess when you take them off.

Also, this stuff is better than superglue

First I tried the included screwdriver and as I suspected it didn’t fit right at all.

The supplied screwdriver does not fit the screw properly

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Worse, the screwdriver actually damaged the screw and chewed off some metal, which is not good at all!

The screwdriver actually damaged the head of the screw (note where the black paint was removed) which is not good!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I won’t be using that screwdriver again, that’s for sure.

Luckily I have some decent screwdrivers. For example, I have this amazing Lifegoo Mini Electric Screwdriver. This screwdriver bit fits perfectly on the tiny propeller screw!

This screwdriver fits perfectly!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

It’s easy to see the difference in quality between the screwdriver that DJI shipped with the drone and the Lifegoo screwdriver bit. The included screwdriver bit head is rough and poorly made.

But this Lifegoo screwdriver bit is so good, it had no problem removing the fastener that I damaged with the screwdriver that came with it.

The inferior supplied screwdriver (right) compared to the precision bit from the Lifegoo Mini Electric Screwdriver Set

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I also tried my very favorite screwdriver set – the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit – and as I expected, this set also has a screwdriver bit that fits perfectly. This set has seen a lot of use over the years and is still like new.

The iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit is another great toolkit of screwdrivers you can rely on

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

If you’re in the business of fixing other people’s devices, you need really good screwdrivers. You can’t do more damage when trying to fix something. I had to follow in the footsteps of someone who had previously used poor quality tools and the amount of extra time it takes to do a job is staggering.

Also, this must-have screwdriver has two cool hidden tricks

For example, I spent a good 30 minutes removing a tiny screw holding the motherboard in an iPhone that had previously been damaged by a “repair person” who had returned the iPhone to the owner in worse condition than it had received was at the beginning.

Such a thing is unacceptable.

Save yourself a lot of headaches – and embarrassment – and get some decent tools.


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