Ingenious ‘Knife Edge’ screwdriver bit can easily remove stripped Phillips screws

If you’ve ever used a Phillips screwdriver, you know firsthand just how frustrating they can be to work with. Turning a screw should be a pretty straightforward task, but for some reason, the shape of a Phillips bit makes it a delicate affair. You know what I’m talking about — one false move and the bit will push itself out and mangle the screw head, making it difficult (or downright impossible) to drive/remove the screw.

Ever wonder why this happens? Well as it turns out, it’s because that’s exactly what Phillips screwdriver bits are designed to do. They were invented back in the 1930s for use on automotive assembly lines, and their creator Henry Phillips deliberately designed them to “cam out” or push themselves out of the screw at a certain point so that they wouldn’t damage cars on the assembly line. The screws used back then were made of higher quality steel than the ones you currently buy at Home Depot, so this was an important feature at the time. Thing is, we use Phillips screws for a totally different purpose now, and the fact that the bits tend to “cam out” is more annoying than it is helpful to most users.

philips driver patent drawingRelated: Brilliant new bearing design spins with 10x less friction, doesn’t require grease

To remedy this problem, inventor Dan Pinckard has developed an ingenious new Phillips bit, dubbed the Knife Edge, that not only prevents cam out from happening, but also allows you to turn damaged and otherwise unusable screws.  As you’ve probably guessed from the name, the bit’s unique geometry causes it to dig into the screw head and lock in place when lots of torque is applied, so instead of slipping out and demolishing your screw head, it actually gets tighter. Check out the video to see it in action.

You won’t be able to find it at your local hardware store yet, but Pinckard has filed a provisional patent for the bit’s design, and launched a Kickstarter to jumpstart production. Unsurprisingly, the project has already blasted past its initial $35K funding goal, and is currently sitting at well over $50K. There are only a few days left before the campaign concludes, and all the “early bird” backer rewards have been snatched up at this point, but if you back the project now you can still lock down a set of four Knife Edge bits for a pledge of $48 bucks.

Emerging Tech

Purdue’s robotic hummingbird is nearly as nimble as the real thing

A team of engineers in Purdue University’s Bio-Robotics Lab have developed an impressively agile flying robot, modeled after the hummingbird. Check it out in all its robotic hovering glory.
Home Theater

Sonos Beam vs. Sonos Playbar: Which home theater soundbar should you buy?

The Sonos Playbar and Sonos Beam: United by all of the features that make Sonos superb, they're two soundbars intended for very different situations. Which one is right for you? We put them head-to-head to find out.

Take on the forces of nature with one of the best backpacking tents you can buy

Whether you're headed out for the weekend or a thru-hike, these are the best backpacking tents you can buy. A proper backpacking tent allows you to stay comfortable no matter the weather, and won't weigh you down.
Product Review

DJI's dual-screen Osmo Action is a serious attempt to dethrone GoPro

With two screens, screw-on filters, and a very GoPro-like user interface, DJI's first real action camera takes a stab at dethroning the king. And it just might succeed.

OnePlus 7 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Is the Pro worth the extra dough?

If you're wondering about the differences between the OnePlus 7 Pro and the plain, old OnePlus 7, you're in the right place. Join us as we put the two head-to-head and reveal precisely what sets them apart and which one you should buy.
Emerging Tech

USC’s penny-sized robotic bee is the most sci-fi thing you’ll see all week

Engineers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have built a bee-inspired robot that weighs just 95 milligrams and is smaller than a penny. Check it out in action here.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Insect drones and kinetic sculpture robots

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Watch this drone dodge an incoming soccer ball autonomously

Most drones aren't very good at avoiding incoming objects. But now a team from the University of Zurich has developed a drone which can dodge, swoop, and dive to avoid an incoming football.
Emerging Tech

Experts warn 5G could interfere with weather forecasts, reducing accuracy by 30%

Experts and officials have warned that interference from 5G wireless radios could seriously compromise the ability to forecast weather, including the prediction of extreme weather events like hurricanes.
Emerging Tech

Chang’e 4 mission may have found minerals from beneath the surface of the moon

China's Chang'e 4 mission has made a major discovery: minerals that could be from beneath the surface of the moon. The lander spotted two unexpected mineral types which match what is believed to exist in the mantle.
Emerging Tech

See the impact site where the Beresheet spacecraft crashed into the moon

An image of the crash site of SpaceIL's ill-fated Beresheet spacecraft has been captured by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and is being analyzed for information about the moon's soil.
Emerging Tech

See a fly-over of Mars and track the path Curiosity will take up Mount Sharp

A new animation from NASA shows a fly-over of Mount Sharp on Mars, the location where the Curiosity rover is currently exploring. It also shows the path that Curiosity will take over the next few years.
Emerging Tech

Two galaxies play tug of war in this spectacular Hubble image

Hubble has captured evidence of a nearby galactic neighbor affecting the the shape and star production of a galaxy. The irregular galaxy NGC 4485 has been pulled into an unusual shape due to the nearby and much larger galaxy NGC 4490.
Emerging Tech

The moon is shrinking as it loses heat, new images reveal

New research suggests the Moon is shrinking. NASA scientists have used data from their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera to look at wrinkles in the surface of the Moon which are formed as it loses heat and shrinks in size.