I have several switches that have the push wire in the back and I'm going to replace each one with new ones. However, nearly all of them are using the push wire technique and its deep.

I have on a set of these screwdrivers, but apparently, they don't go deep enough.

Any technique I might be missing in trying to remove the wires?

  • 2
    Why not just snip the wires? You'll only lose ~3/4".
    – Tester101
    Oct 28, 2012 at 14:02

4 Answers 4


I use one of the flat blade screwdrivers from this tool set from General. This is available from many better hardware stores or directly from the General Web Site.

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I have found that the flat ends on these are formed much longer and the poke down into the slot on the back of the outlet much better. The flats on the type of screw driver bits that you pictured generally get thicker within a much shorter length.

When you replace the outlets / switches with new ones do use the screws instead of the poke in wire holes. This will produce much more reliable connections. Another thing to watch for is to place the wire hook under the screw head so that the end of the hook goes around the screw in the same direction that you use to tighten the screws.

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I used a set of eyeglass repair screw drivers.


I use a nail. A finishing nail. It is a little pry bar against the spring action. The slot is made for it. If you stick something in it you will get it.


Best tool I’ve found for this better than any screwdriver is a tire tread depth gauge. Don’t ask me why--it just works.

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