Author Topic: Best way to permanently color metal screwdriver bits for easy identification.  (Read 948 times)

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Offline Psi

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I have collected a lot of loose screwdriver bits and am looking for a nice way to color code them for quick identification.  eg, maybe one color for hex and another for torx.  or Philips vs pozi etc.

Does anyone know what might work for this. Maybe some liquid I can dip the bits into that will color the metal in various colors?
Best idea I can think of atm is a very light spray paint. Just a light mist of paint, not enough to add any meaningful thickness.

I have tried to simply sort them but it never works for very long.  A color code would be much better.

Any ideas?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 12:29:58 pm by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Online artag

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Mask the ends so you just get a paint band around the middle ?


« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 12:57:17 pm by artag »
 

Online artag

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Looks like Wera use a plastic band like a cable marker, but I think the bit is thinned so it will still fit a holder
 

Online Ranayna

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I like the way Wera does this.
A cheap homemade solution, if you just need the type and not the size, may be to use small pieces of colored heatshrink.
 
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Offline kripton2035

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there are brother cartridges for stamp printers that accept heat shrink tubes in it. but they don't have much colors for them only white and yellow
 

Offline james_s

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Just spraypaint them, you probably don't want to paint the very tip, but the rest should be fine, or make a jig to mask the ends and spray a band around the middle. Another alternative is anodizing but that's kind of a pain for DIY.
 

Offline Ian.M

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You cant anodize - they aren't aluminum or titanium.
You also cant high temperature heat treat them to color the steel as they'll loose their temper, resulting in bits that either are too soft or too brittle to use.  Avoiding paints and metal plating, there are only a few non-exotic and durable surface finishes that are within the reach of a DIYer.  Rust browning and bluing, zinc and manganese parkerizing and mid-temperature black oxide are probably the most accessible options.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_coloring_of_metals has some links at the bottom that may be helpful.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 06:16:11 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline rdl

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Use Sharpie markers. It's not permanent but it can last quite a while and is quick and easy to redo. I use them to color pins and such on various connectors to indicate polarity or whatever. I colored the "up" side on the micro USB connector I use to charge my phone because it seemed like I would always try upside down first. The color is still there after over a year.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Buy something like this and sort the bits by type and size. Works fine for me with 4 different bit types and many sizes in one holder:


https://olsatools.com/products/hex-bit-organizer

These can be bought from many brands. They are also magnetic so they'll keep the bits in and stick to steel surfaces.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 08:32:47 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Nusa

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Something like this should work: https://www.amazon.com/Paint-Painting-Ceramic-Acrylic-Markers/dp/B07485T22B/
Or you could ask the women in your house for nail polish colors they didn't like. They always have a few, and the bottles have brushes built in.

Deciding where to mark and what color code is on you, of course. Either dab the non-working end or paint a band in the middle are common choices.
 
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Offline notsob

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If you have the $$$ you could get them ceramic coated

https://www.cerakote.com/
 

Offline SmallCog

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I use paint markers such as this to identify tools
https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/uni-px-20-paint-marker-white-mipx20we]
[url]https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/uni-px-20-paint-marker-white-mipx20we
[/url]

They leave quite a thin layer of very durable paint and come in various colours.

 

Offline RJHayward

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>>>>>.      NAIL.     POLISH.  <<<<<<<
 

Offline tooki

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I have collected a lot of loose screwdriver bits and am looking for a nice way to color code them for quick identification.  eg, maybe one color for hex and another for torx.  or Philips vs pozi etc.

Does anyone know what might work for this. Maybe some liquid I can dip the bits into that will color the metal in various colors?
Best idea I can think of atm is a very light spray paint. Just a light mist of paint, not enough to add any meaningful thickness.

I have tried to simply sort them but it never works for very long.  A color code would be much better.

Any ideas?
FWIW, what I’d do is bite the bullet and replace them with PB Swiss bits. Not only are they colored (it’s hardened spring steel colored in a plasma process, their catalog states), but they are IMHO hands-down the best bits money can buy. They’re insanely precise, and are very durable.

Here’s a pic of a small set I have:
 

Offline jmelson

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I color-coded all the hex wrenches with oil-based enamel.  It has worn VERY well in home machine shop use.
i  used one color stripe for imperial and two stripes for metric.  I also put one or two dots next to hex head screws that need to be adjusted frequently, to match the hex wrench colors.

Jon
 
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Offline TheBay

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Edding Paint Pen Markers, used these forever in industry and a bugger to get off.
They come in a variety of tip sizes and colours.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Some that I have used simple spray enamel on have lasted ten years.  They don't have all the paint on them after this time, but there is plenty for identification.  One of the secrets is thorough cleaning before painting.
 

Offline tooki

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Edding Paint Pen Markers, used these forever in industry and a bugger to get off.
They come in a variety of tip sizes and colours.
I have these and have not found their paint to be particularly durable, neither mechanically nor chemically. :/

I use the fine ones in white, perhaps the thick ones (or other colors) use different paint??
 

Offline LaserSteve

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Buy Marked bits from Chapman Manufacturing  and get a pair of glasses / put a magnifier in the set? That was my solution, works great.

https://chapmanmfg.com/

Steve

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Offline Psi

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I like the way Wera does this.
A cheap homemade solution, if you just need the type and not the size, may be to use small pieces of colored heatshrink.

Yes!  perfect solution.

Thanks everyone
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline Psi

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>>>>>.      NAIL.     POLISH.  <<<<<<<

Not a terrible idea.  :)
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 


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