How To Remove Torx Screws Without A Screwdriver

by Mario Garcia
How To Remove Torx Screws Without A Screwdriver

You probably wanted to unscrew Torx screws from a device to do some light repairs. Unfortunately, you just discovered that you don’t have the right screwdriver to get the screws out. Now it seems you’re going to abandon the project, all because of a screwdriver.  

The good news is you can remove your Torx screws even without a screwdriver. There are myriads of ways to get it done.  

Now let’s take it one step at a time. Firstly, let’s provide the answer to the question.

How to Remove Torx screws without a screwdriver

Firstly, know that this is possible. You can use alternative methods such as flat tools. However, these alternative methods are effective if the screw head is not too tight or stuck to the device. 

Again, you can use household items such as a nail file, a pair of tweezers, or a pair of nail scissors. Just make sure they’re strong enough and can get to the screw head. 

Furthermore, if the screw is not fully inserted, you can remove it with a pair of pliers. It’s also best to understand Torx screws and their various forms. It’ll help you to identify them correctly and remove them without damage.

What Is A Torx Screw?

A Torx screw is a screw-type that has a six-lobed star design. It looks like the hex socket, but it has six points instead of sides. It’s also called a star screw because of its star pattern. Additionally, its generic name is hexalobular screw.

Furthermore, it commonly has an internal screw head, but it also has an external type. You can drive it with a Torx screwdriver. Also, recent designs are more tamper-free than older ones. So, you won’t be able to remove it easily without a Torx screwdriver.

It’s primarily used in the automotive, consumer electronics, IT, and construction industries.

Forms Of Torx Screws

Standard Torx screw:

This is the most common form of the Torx screw. It’s also the original form. Also, it’s known as hexalobular internal (often written as 6lobes). Other forms are improvements of the standard Torx screw.

Pin-in Torx screw:

It’s also known as security Torx or tamper-resistant Torx. It has a pin in the middle of the head. This feature prevents the use of a standard Torx bit to remove it.

External Torx screw:

It has the same shape as the standard Torx screw, only outward. Therefore, it looks like the original Torx screw bit. And so its screwdriver takes the form of a standard Torx screw head.

Additionally, it’s used mainly in automobile and transmission engines. It’s also popular in some machines and is often an alternative for hex screws.

Torx plus screw:

It was developed in 1990, at the expiry of the original Torx patent. It has lobes that are squarer than the standard. So, standard Torx screw bits can drive it but not to full torque, but its screw bit can’t fit into a standard Torx screw.  

Sometimes, it’s a pentalobe, with five lobes instead of six.

Torx tap screw:

it’s a form of Torx screw and more of an upgrade to the standard format. It was released in 2005, and its main feature is the stable drive that sticks fit. It’s also has a very high level of cam-out elimination. So, it doesn’t need magnetic bits.

Also, you can’t use its bits for standard Torx screws, but you can use standard bits to drive it.

Audi-Torx: Like other forms of Torx screw, it is tamper-free. Unlike others, it has a break-away Torx screwdriver which snaps off when it reaches the required torque level. You can’t remove it quickly. Also, it’s helpful in the railroad industry.

Sizes Ranges Of Torx Screws

Torx screws come in varying sizes. It’s usually shown by a capital letter and a number that indicates the dimension of its screw head. You have to be sure of the screw size when choosing a screwdriver. When you choose correctly, the bit will fit perfectly with no chance of damage.

Standard screws are designated with a capital “T,” and the number follows. It ranges from T1 to T100. Some popular sizes are T10, T15, and T25. So, the smaller the numbers, the smaller the screw heads. However, pin-in Torx is written as TR.

External Torx screws are written as “E.” It doesn’t have the exact sizing as the standard Torx. So, an E10 screw is too large for a T10 bit. But an E5 is equivalent to a T25 Torx. External Torx screws range from E4 to E44.

Torx Plus is written as “IP,” which stands for “Internal Plus,” or “EP,” which stands for “External Plus.” IP ranges from IP1 to IP100. Also, EP runs from EP1 to EP42.

You can quickly get the dimensions by applying metrics, SAE thread dimensions, and other thread systems.

Ways To Remove Torx Screws Without A Screwdriver

We have discussed these steps before. But here, we’re going to provide more details, so you can get it right. 

You also have to be very careful when using an alternative tool to unscrew a Torx screw, or it might get damaged.

Some alternative means of removing Torx screws without a Torx screwdriver include

Use a flat-head screwdriver:

To use a flat head screwdriver, ensure that the bit can fit the size of the screw head. First, insert the screwdriver in a way that it enters two edges of the Torx screw head. Then turn it slowly to unscrew the Torx screw without damaging it.

However, for a pin-in Torx screw, insert the flat head screwdriver against one of the edges and the center pin of the screw head. Then turn it slowly in the clockwise direction.

Use a hammer and punch: 

You can remove a pin-in Torx screw using a hammer and punch, nail, knife, or other related tools. You have to knock the pin to various sides until it comes off. Then you can remove it using a standard Torx screwdriver or other alternatives for removing a standard Torx screw.

However, this method damages the screw. So, you may have to replace it with a new one when fastening the device or machine.

Use a non-slip fluid:

You can also add a non-slip fluid to the screw. It can easily add gripping power to the tool you’re using to remove the Torx screw. You can utilize a flat device that can fit into the edges of the screw head.

You have to add the fluid to the screw head. Then gently place the flat tool on it and turn it slowly to remove the Torx screw.

Use a plastic toothbrush:

You can also make use of a plastic toothbrush. Use a lighter to melt the end of the toothbrush slowly. Next, insert it on the screw head once it’s soft. And leave it for a few minutes till it hardens. Then, turn the screw to remove it.

Benefits Of A Torx Screw

Security features:

Torx screws have security features that make them difficult to drive without suitable screwdrivers. One of such features is a hole or pin in the middle of the socket. So, any other thing apart from the right screwdriver will not fully enter the screw but will slip over it.

That makes the design common in automobiles, various machines, and devices. They’ll require professional help or the right equipment to take them apart. You can prevent unauthorized persons from opening up the equipment because it limits access without the specific bit.

Ease of use:

The shape of Torx screws makes them easy to use. Also, the way the screw aligns with the driver enables you to use more torque (effectiveness of the rotational force) when screwing in or out of a device.

Furthermore, it has a stable drive system, so the driver won’t easily come off the screw. Even if the screwdriver doesn’t have a magnetic holder, you can still screw it with ease. You won’t need to put one hand on the screw and the other on the screwdriver, especially for Torx screws with holes (Torx tap).

Its high torque capacity is also functional when there’s corrosion, increasing the amount of torque needed to remove a screw.

Minimal or no cam-out:

It’s annoying to experience cam-out when tightening or removing screws. It damages the screw head or screw bit. However, Torx screws have minimal cam-out, but the recent ones with pinholes have no cam-out. That’s why you won’t need to apply much pressure on the screwdriver.

Enables extended tool life:

It also extends the tool life. Therefore, the screw bit won’t wear quickly. It easily engages with the screw.

Furthermore, it ensures that the device lasts long. It’s possible because of the broad engagement surfaces of the screws. That enables you to rotate the bit without wearing the screw. The consistent wearing of a screw can lead to damage to the device in a bid to remove it.


You can use other means to remove a Torx screwdriver, but you have to be careful not to wear the screw head. You’ll pull it off quickly if the screw isn’t stuck to the device.

However, it’s safer for you to use the proper screwdriver when you want to remove the screw, especially in cases where you can’t remove it quickly. That way, you won’t have to damage the Torx screw and do your work with ease.

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