8 Household Replacements for a Flat Head Screwdriver

A slotted screw driver is a necessity for all kinds of home improvement tasks and repairs, but sometimes you might not have one readily available. Do not worry; there are some very simple household items that can easily replace tools such as a flat head in a jam.

Many Choices

Unlike a Phillips head screwdriver that has two blades in the shape of a cross, a flat head or slotted screwdriver has only one, so it is much easier to find a replacement for. You might be surprised to learn that many substitutes can be found in your kitchen junk drawer.

If you open your eyes and try to use your imagination combined with some simple common logic, you will be rather amazed at how easy it is to track down a good replacement in a pinch.

Below are eight easy items you can try to use instead of a traditional slotted screwdriver.

1. Loose Coins

Whether it is a nickel, penny, or dime, almost any loose change that you might find in drawers, in between sofa cushions, or in your clothing pockets can be used in place of a flat head screwdriver.

2. Butter Knife

A dull butter knife or one with a slightly serrated edge is also a simple solution to tightening or loosening slotted screws. Be sure it is clean and devoid of any food particles, liquids, or grease before using it.

3. Keys

If you are in a real bind, sometimes a key can be useful. The flatter the key, the better it is.

4. Washers

If you have any thin, individual washers, they can often be used to turn screws when a screwdriver cannot be found.

5. Nail File

Try an old fashioned, stainless steel, pointed nail file on flat head screws to loosen or tighten them in the absence of a driver.

6. A Sharp Knife

If a butter knife does not do the job, try a knife that has a sharp, pointed end. Since the knife won’t fit perfectly into a screw slot, you run the risk of it slipping free and cutting you; this is why a butter knife is usually best to try first, but just be sure to handle it with care to prevent injury.

7. Use Fingernails

A long fingernail—real or artificial—can come in handy for tiny screws if a driver is not available or if the one you have is too large. As long as it is strong, it can take the place of the tool and either turn a little screw or loosen it without hassle.

8. Small Nail Clippers

Depending on the size of the screw, a nail clipper can squeeze, twist, and turn the screw. It is also easy to hold as it is similar to a regular screwdriver.