Feb 03, 2010

How To: Make a Keychain Screwdriver for Tinkering on the Go

I mean it. At least once a week, I find myself out and about and in the need of a screwdriver. I keep a multitool in my on-the-go bag, but I simply never seem to have it when the need strikes.

I have a key that will fit in most flat-slots, but a good old #2 Phillips head has come to be a must. I looked around, and found these for $10.00, but they're out of stock everywhere, and cost $6.95 to ship, I thought I could come up with a cool DIY solution for much less.

created at: 2010/02/02

I started with the plan to simply attach a driver bit to my keys, but that failed for two reasons: one, there's not much torque available through spinning between my fingers; and two, these things are made of titanium, and after four broken drill bits, I realized there's no way I was going to get through one.

But, eventually, I came up with a solution that works quite well, and isn't much a burden to have in my pockets.  


  • 1 finger bit - available at Sears/Craftsman in the rachet section. They were $1.99 each at my store.
  • 1 hex-shank driver bit
  • 1/16th drill bit
  • Electric drill or drill press
  • 2-part metal epoxy, such as JB Weld [this stuff is awesome, and the kind of thing you should totally keep on hand]
  • Key ring

1) Grasp the finger bit firmly in a pair of pliers, channel locks, or a clamp to keep your fingers safe, and load up the 1/16th bit.

created at: 2010/02/02

2) Carefully drill a 1/16th hole in the male ratchet shank to accomodate the key ring.

created at: 2010/02/02

3) Mix up the epoxy and dip the hex end of the driver bit to coat, then insert into the finger bit.

4) Then, attach a key ring, and you're on your way.


It'd be cool to actually have different shapes and sizes of drivers and hang them on the ring, but those dudes are still made of titanium or super-hard steel, and I wasn't able to get through them. Any ideas?

Still, this thing has worked perfectly so far. So...sweet.




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Katherine on Feb 26, 2010:

You should sell these on Etsy (or somewhere)! I was looking for tiny tools for a mini tool box Christmas gift and this would have been perfect. Awesome job!

Dave on Feb 10, 2010:

Awesome, think I need to go make one right now.

Anonymous on Feb 04, 2010:

I bet a ventilated shelving end-cap would fit over the Phillips bit and prevent getting a hole in the pants pocket.