What Is a Security Screwdriver?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A security screwdriver is a tool that a technician can use to unscrew a security fastener, a type of screw that has a design that prevents vandalism and unauthorized access. Electronics often use such fasteners, and they can be seen in some other settings as well. If someone does not have a screwdriver that has the correct head, he or she will have difficulty removing the screws without potentially stripping them or setting off an alarm. Technicians who work with systems that are likely to have security screws might carry a set of security screwdrivers with them.


The two most basic configurations for screw heads are Phillips and standard designs. Security screws, however, might have starred or circular designs, or they might have other unusual features. This makes it necessary to have a special screwdriver to safely and quickly remove the screws. The security screwdriver might have an interchangeable head to allow a user to buy a single screwdriver and a set of bits for a variety of projects.

As with other kinds of screws, security fasteners come in a range of sizes and profiles for different projects. A security screwdriver can have multiple heads of the same design to allow the user to select the bit that is appropriate for a given screw size. In a security screwdriver kit, the user might also have access to tools that can be used to pop off covers and other protective gear. Likewise, additional tools might allow the technician to remove components from a system that has extra security features; car stereos, for example, sometimes require the use of a special pronged device to be taken out of the dashboard, for security reasons.

Some security screws are relatively generic, and it can be easy to find the correct security screwdriver. Others are more rare, and companies can increase security by limiting distribution rights on the screwdrivers and making them very expensive. An electronics specialist or dealership can afford the security screwdriver needed to release the fasteners, but the cost might be prohibitive for other people. This reduces the incentive for theft or attempted modification, because people might lack the tools that they would need.

Technicians who are in the market for security screwdrivers might be able to buy a whole system that includes fasteners, drivers and accessories. These items also can be purchased separately from the manufacturer. These devices should be stored in a secure location, because they can be very appealing to thieves who might not want to pay the reatil price for a security screwdriver.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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