How to Magnetize a Screwdriver

As a DIYer or a professional, you might find it quite frustrating to drive a screw into tight places only to have it fall to the ground as you are trying to line it up. Fortunately, the solution is fairly simple; you have to magnetize your screwdriver so it can lift and hold the screws in place while you work.

So, basically, there are three different methods through which you can magnetize your screwdriver. The first one is using a magnet in which you’ll need to stroke the magnet on the surface of the screwdriver. The second one involves the usage of a wire and a battery; you wrap around the wire to the screwdriver and then attach its ends to the battery. The third and final method requires you to hammer your screwdriver until its magnetic domains line up with that of the earth.

This may seem like a lot to take. However, fret not, our guide below contains the breakdown of each of these methods. So, let’s begin!

From required supplies to the testing of the magnetized screwdriver, below, we have streamlined everything that you should be aware of for each of the three methods to magnetize a screwdriver.

Method # 1 – With a Magnet

How to Magnetize a Screwdriver

Required Supplies

  • A Screwdriver
  • A Strong Bar Magnet
  • A Clean Rag
  • Some Screws (for testing)
  • Appropriate Safety Gear (gloves, goggles, etc.)

Step 1: Choosing a Strong Bar Magnet

The first thing that you need to do is get yourself a strong bar magnet. The stronger it is, the better will be the results.

It is best if you opt for a rare-earth magnet, such as a neodymium magnet, with a pull force of at least ¼ pound. If you don’t have one already, you can purchase them online or from nearby hardware stores.

Step 2: Wiping the Screwdriver Clean

Using a dry rag, rub off all the dirt or grime from the screwdriver. If you need to use a damp rag, be sure to allow the screwdriver to dry afterward before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Slide the Magnet onto the Screwdriver

Holding the magnet in one hand and the screwdriver in the other, touch the magnet to the metal shaft of the screwdriver right next to the handle, Then, drag the magnet all the way to the screwdriver’s tip, causing the magnetic domains in the metal shaft to align in the direction of the magnetic field.

Next, take the magnet off the metal shaft of the screwdriver, and repeat the process several times, going from the handle to the tip. (Note that going the other way around will reverse what you are trying to achieve.)

Now, rotate the magnet by a quarter turn and repeat the stroking process as before. You’ll have to rotate and stroke a couple of more times in order to fully magnetize the screwdriver.

It is worth mentioning that the more you stroke on each side of the metal shaft, the more powerful the induced magnetism will be.

For larger magnets, instead of trying to stroke the whole metal shaft, choose the half that is closer to the tip for convenience.

Step 4: Testing the Screwdriver

With your screwdriver magnetized, it’s now time to test whether or not it fulfills your needs.

Use your screwdriver to lift a screw and see how well it lifts and holds it. If you want a stronger pull or if your screwdriver simply can’t pick up the screw, repeat step 3 using a stronger magnet.

Normally, if you properly follow the aforementioned guidelines, your screwdriver should stay magnetized for at least three months. To demagnetize it, you can use a magnet and drag it along its metal shaft the other way around i.e., from tip to handle.

Apart from that, if you beat your screwdriver against the wall numerous times, its magnetic get disassembled, causing it to lose magnetism.

Method # 2 – With a Battery

How to Magnetize a Screwdriver

Required Supplies

  • A Screwdriver
  • A Piece of Wire
  • A Wire Stripper
  • A Household Battery of 6-9 V
  • Some Screws (for testing)
  • Appropriate Safety Gear (gloves, goggles, etc.)

Step 1: Obtain a Piece of Wire

While using a battery to magnetize a screwdriver, you will first need to acquire a piece of wire that is at least 3 feet in length.

Make sure that it is around 0.6-1.3 mm in diameter; wires thinner than that can overheat while thicker ones won’t be as effective.

Step 2: Strip the Insulation from the Wire

From each end of the wire, strip approximately an inch of insulation. If you have got an enameled copper wire at your disposal, you can rub it with 220-grit sandpaper and strip the enamel off both ends.

Step 3: Wrap the Wire Around the Screwdriver

Next, coil the wire around the metal shaft of your screwdriver, making as many turns as possible.

If you have still got a good portion of the wire left after a single layer, you can double it back. However, keep in mind that the direction of the loops is always the same i.e., if the direction of the loops in the first layer was clockwise, the direction of the loops in the second layer should be clockwise as well.

Step 4: Connect the Wire to a Battery

Obtain a household battery in the range of 6-9 V and attach the ends of the wire to its terminals. As a result, a current will start to flow through the wire, creating a magnetic field and thus, magnetizing your screwdriver.

While the battery is connected, the screwdriver is almost certain to behave as a magnet.

For your safety, if you are new to using batteries for DIY tasks, it is best if you steer clear of batteries of more than 9 volts.

Step 5: Disconnect the Battery and Test the Screwdriver

After about a minute, disconnect the battery from the wire and touch your screwdriver to a screw to test its magnetism.

In most cases, the screwdriver will retain its magnetism after the battery is being detached. However, if it happens to lose the magnetism, try wrapping a few more loops of the wire before repeating step 4.

Method # 3 – Without a Magnet or Battery

How to Magnetize a Screwdriver

If you neither have a magnet or battery in your arsenal, what then? Well, it is still pretty much possible to magnetize a screwdriver with a hammer, though the magnetism acquired this way won’t be as powerful.

So, firstly, tap your screwdriver down such that its tip is pointing towards the north. Then, strike its metal shaft with a hammer repeatedly. As a result, its magnetic domain would get scrambled enough to align with the earth’s magnetic field.

This method is the least reliable of the three and your screwdriver will lose its magnetism in the passage of days.

Important Safety Considerations

While equipping the safety gear is a must whenever you are trying either of the methods, mentioned above, to magnetize a screwdriver, there are several other safety considerations that you need to factor in.

  • Neodymium magnets are quite powerful and can pinch your fingers hard enough to cause an injury. So, be very attentive while handling them.
  • While applying the battery method, make sure that the wire that you use is insulated. Otherwise, a short circuit can occur and you can get electrocuted upon touching the wire.
  • Magnets can damage various electrical components. Although a magnetized screwdriver is normally not capable of causing issues, be wary of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t I Also Magnetize a Screwdriver Using 2 Magnets Aligned the Same Way?

You only really require a single, strong bar magnet. Just stroke it along with the metal in the same direction several times. The greater the number of strokes, the greater will be the magnetism attained.


If you have read thoroughly up to this point, you must have realized that magnetizing a magnet is pretty straightforward.

Depending on the method that works for you, besides a screwdriver, you either need a bar magnet, a battery, or a hammer, and you are good to go. Then, you need to implement a few essential steps in order to get your hands on a magnetized screwdriver.

In any case, though, be sure to stick to the safety guidelines as there is nothing that trumps your health and well-being.

Liam Weissman

Hello and welcome to PowerToolGenius! My name is Liam and for the last 9 years, I have worked extensively with various power tools and accessories. I have tested hundreds of different brands and models and understand the industry extensively and have been working with tools my entire life!

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