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I am talking about those small and narrow screwdrivers with a thin handle. I can't get a tight enough grip on the handle to generate enough torque to remove a small screw. Do I have to use something else with it?

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This question belongs on SuperUser,with a title like "how do I remove the screws on a MacBook Pro? – Jay Bazuzi Oct 21 '11 at 2:11
No the question is still valid. How do you apply torque on needle like scewdriver? – Johny Oct 21 '11 at 6:36
Really Baz? Nothing better to do? – Evil Elf Oct 21 '11 at 14:04
Yea those screw drivers are used for clocks, watches and jewellery where very little torque is required! Those are tinkering screw drivers-- and as you have witnessed not designed for the job you want them for. Get those @Niall Suggested. – ppumkin Oct 21 '11 at 16:32
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are precision screwdrivers available that have larger handles, such as this one from Home Depot:

Home depot precision screwdriver set

In general, you press down on the tip while you screw in or out: this helps to hold the screwdriver in the slots in the screw head and allows you to use more force to turn the screw.

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I happened to buy the exact same one (without knowing about the answer). They did a great job. You need philip head #00. #000 wont do it. – Johny Oct 21 '11 at 6:32
I'd recommend against -interchangeable- precision screwdrivers with plastic parts, especially if you need extra torque. I've had sets like this break on me. I prefer the all metal sets now. – Hemm Oct 24 '11 at 0:10

Use a pair of pliers to grab the screwdriver, and while applying downward force to the screwdriver (so it doesn't slip and strip your screws), carefully apply pressure using the pliers.

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I was thinking on the same idea but if you are working with laptop, avoid this method as it can easily scratch the laptop surface. The above pair does a very nice job. – Johny Oct 21 '11 at 6:35
I agree. It's better to have the right tools (bigger handles), but in a pinch pilers will work. You do absolutely have to be careful though, as you do no matter what tools you're using to work on anything you don't want to break. – gregmac Oct 21 '11 at 16:26

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