FAQ's - STRIPPED SCREWS - Good tools can save you much misery!! :)

Jan 25, 2007
I got a message from a customer with stripped out screws this morning - I don't hear this all the time, but I know it can be a problem. I feel that this information is worth a sticky so here we go:

First off - don't be embarrassed. Most of us have done it before, even if we won't admit it. Here are a few tips to help get this problem solved and prevent it happening again in the future.

1. THE PROBLEM - If you have stripped screws, they will need to be replaced. Feel free to call our Warranty department - they are always happy to send out replacements. If you can't get the screw(s) out, let them know and they will advise you on the best course of action.

- Most people blame the screws, but this is not usually the case. The cheap multiple-bit torx tools from the hardware store are usually the problem. They are imprecise and are often under or oversized, and they are soft and deform. This leads to stripping.

- Many of our customers have never known the joy of using good, high-quality, torx tools. Quality torx drivers by Wiha will help you avoid stripping screws in the future(there are other brands as well, but I can't remember them at the moment). We use Wiha brand torx drivers in the factory - they are precise and the tips are hardened. It makes a big difference. They cost $5 apiece on Amazon and will last just about forever for the average knife collector.

Almost all Kershaws and ZT's use a combination of T6 and T8 screws, so these two wrenches would be a wise investment. Pivots are almost always T8, clip screws are almost always T6, and handle screws can be T-6 or T8. There are a only a few oddballs out there:

- The ZT 0560 handle screws can be adjusted with a T8 torx tool, but a T-10 is the best fit for these screws. The pivot screw needs to be adjusted with a T8. T6 for the clip screws.
- The ZT 0200 and ZT 0300 use a 3/8" hex wrench to adjust the pivot nut (that's right it's a nut), and a T8 to adjust the handle screws. T6 for the clip screws.

5. WHERE CAN I FIND THESE GLORIOUS TOOLS? - Here are some links to these tools on Amazon - they're about $5 each. They can be had with big or small handles, but you really don't need the big ones for working on knives. The little ones help keep hamfisted goons like myself out of trouble:




Look upon their majesty!!


Last edited:
Jimmer...I believe the other name you were searching for is WERA. I have used WIHA tools since I discovered them and have never had an issue stripping screws. I learned about WERA from Chris (CRK) and haven't had the opportunity to utilize them, but based on his reputation I have no doubt regarding their quality.
This thread is awesome! I can attest to the use of cheap torx bits. The T6 I have right now is on it's last legs. I was actually looking into getting a Wiha Torx Set but could never find the individual drivers. Now I'll save $35.
I use Wiha tools, never had any problems with screws since I got them.

Good advice Jim :thumbup:
jimmer_5, what about the torx/phillips tool kit I got from KAI/Kesrshaw directly, the one that stores the bits inside the handle for your keychain ?

I hate to ask but I was wondering about the KAI/Kershaw bits quality as related to say the Wiha bits quality.

It's funny this came up, because I was just about to use it to change the clip on my ZT0200 to tip up carry this afternoon.

Thanks for you help and information.
I have a quick question. Will a T6 work for the clip screws on the Chill? I want to change it from tip-down, to tip-up.
I use snap on and matco then they have worked fine. I only use them because the trucks come to work once a week.
Great thread. Gorilla grip torx from the same place are also an alternative if you want them in a folding configuration. Haven't had on fail yet. Having them all in a compact folding set was the deal maker for me.
My Chill uses "Hex" screws not "Torx". I think it was like 1.5mm, but I could be wrong about the size. Most Chinese Kershaws use Hex. But my older OSO does use torx.
I have a quick question. Will a T6 work for the clip screws on the Chill? I want to change it from tip-down, to tip-up.
My Chill uses "Hex" screws not "Torx". I think it was like 1.5mm, but I could be wrong about the size. Most Chinese Kershaws use Hex. But my older OSO does use torx.
I knew they were Hex screws, but I read in another thread that someone used Torx bits and they worked. He said that he called Kershaw and got mixed answers multiple times whether or not a Torx will work. That's why I was asking.
The main reason screws strip is because the tool doesn't fit the screw head properly or it is too soft for the amount of torque applied. So using a torx tool in a hex screw or a hex tool in a torx screw is asking for trouble. While it can work there is risk. Use the proper tool.
Very informative. I never really thought of the cheap Torx drivers damaging the heads on the screws themselves (always just figured it was the other way around). I've been using one of the GorillaGrips plus a cheap-o electronics store set. A couple on the cheap-o set are pretty worn. Looks like I'll have to pick up a few of the Wiha Torx drivers.
I've got a lifetime warrantied set from Ace Hardware. Every time they start wearing out, I just trade them in for a new set. I am going to have to look into those Wihas though... unless Kershaw decides make a set. I'd buy them even if they weren't orange. ;)
I have a precision screwdriver set from wm with torx bits that's working great. Always make sure that bit is all the way in the screw, and don't let it slip out while turning it. A little pressure make a big difference when it comes to stripping screws!
I fully agree that Its very useful to use a precise Torx bit for your knives. Finding the right size bit is paramount and you should NEVER settle for bargain bin tools. Honestly it simply doesnt make sense to use bargain basement tools on expensive tools. But I think one thing needs mentioning. If you use the Wiha bits 1. Make sure you use the correct size. 2. Make sure your screw heads are in good enough condition to handle the tool. You see torx bits apply alot of torque (hence the name) on the screw head. And if your screw has all ready been damaged by an inferior tool the hardened tips of the Wiha bits may just mangle the head of your screw. I definitely recommend Wiha tools. But only if you know what your doing. For the beginner I usually recommend the Husky all in one torx driver. The reason is that the head are precise but they are not harder than most bolts found on a ZT. And if anyone has tried to remove a problematic screw with a Wiha might also be able to tell you that it definitely will teach that screw a lesson. So much that you WILL be calling kershaw for replacements. But in the end, in many cases I sometimes would rather strip a $5 tool than strip a not always easy to get screw. Plus removing a stripped screw from a knife is a PITA I hope most on this forum will never need to endure.

Edited to add: also if you do end up stripping a tool like the husky on a knife consider replacing the screw anways. Even though the tool is softer than the screw you still may have damaged in gripping points of that screw and this can damage tools down the road.
Last edited: