#436 – Micro

I have my main screwdriver that fits 90% of the screws I come across. Then there is the occasional really large or really tiny screw that I have to go find another tool to fit. The ones that are the problem for me are the screws that are just slightly too big or slightly too small. Those are the frustrating ones that wind up ruining my screwdriver or stripping the screw making it impossible to loosen or tighten. I need some sort of screwdriver that can temporarily liquefy and flow into the grooves of any size screw making a perfect fit every time.


52 thoughts on “#436 – Micro”

  1. Micah says:

    I bet Biff’s antennae could unscrew that thing.

  2. Sleepingorange says:

    There’s a comic device that describes a situation wherein the humor comes from understatement and misdirection… I wish I could remember the word…

  3. MoosePhysh says:

    If you ever find such a screwdriver, please let me know. I could definitely use one.

  4. PsychoDuck says:

    Damn. It really sucks when you go to do a job, only to find that you brought a standard sized screwdriver to tackle a monster sized screw… Happens to me all the time.

    The Duck Has Spoken.

  5. SGrahambo says:

    I have a dandy pocket knife that can take care of those nasty small screws. but it always aggrovates me when I come across one of those darned hexagonal screws…

  6. FriskyF says:

    OH MY GOD…..I just read every single one from where it says first to here…in a single day. Cause today marks the begining of my Watching of Biff. I bow to thee Chris. 😀

  7. pieman says:

    biff has a new follower! lets all have a Party!

  8. RFPT says:

    there sorta is a way to make a screwdriver to fit any hole: melt a ball-point pen with a lighter and stick the molten plastic in the hole. then it hardens, and you can use it as a screwdriver.

  9. DEC says:

    Oh the screw, the horror!

  10. TikkiTaff says:

    I wanna know what the screw is -for-…..

  11. colin says:

    I think theres a device that tightens around a screwhead, but only if its out a bit, and then theres one thats a bunch of small pins that fit in the grooves, but their both for drills. i think…

  12. Fred says:

    @ FriskyF: Welcome!
    @ pieman: (clack) Roger that (clack)
    @ RFPT: It would be too brittle. But doing that with a tougher material would also require to melt the screw because of the temperature
    Idea: temporarily weld the screw to a handled bar with a rigid material with a lower melting point than both the screw and the bar =)

  13. Chris says:

    @FriskyF – Hey thanks for stopping by 🙂

  14. MaskedMan says:

    I’ve heard of Liquid Wrench(TM, and all that rot), but Liquid Screwdriver? So… What you’re saying is that you need a good stiff drink to deal with those non-standard screws?

    Biff-tastic Idea!

    BTW: I bet that size-mongo screw is what holds Biff’s house to the earth. If he undoes it, he’s going to get another Biff-tastic surprise!

  15. SpacemanSpiff says:

    Torx screws are really nice. That star shape they have is really hard to strip out. They are starting to replace phillips head screwdrivers for some electronics, like the X-Box.

  16. The one scat man says:

    Thats a good idea about the liquefying screwdriver, It could almost be like a soldering iron but you’d have to find a way to get every tiny bit of the lead off of the screw

  17. Gobbledegook says:

    I have a real problem with those tiny screwdrivers…
    Usually the screw is in too tight and I end up breaking the screwdriver in some fashion. They never make those things strong enough.

    Chris: This isn’t exactly what you asked for, but it is a way to get stripped screws out… Get either a metal epoxy (works best) or some crazy glue and a thin rod that will fit into the stripped screw. Put a generous amount of adhesive onto the rod’s end and put the rod into the socket. Make sure none of it seeps into the screw’s hole or it’ll be in there until armageddon. Rig it so it will dry in an upright position. Once it’s dry, just get some pliers or something and twist out the screw.

    MaskedMan: OMG I bet you’re right!

  18. Pilgrymm says:

    I solved that problem… I just bought every screwdriver set known to man. Of course it can take me days to find the perfect driver for one screw… =/

  19. Clyde says:

    maybe Biff should turn it be hand… O_o

  20. Seraphine says:

    There’s a cosmic law that says
    the more important that screw is,
    the more likely you are to strip it.

  21. Graceofbass says:

    I used to work for my university theater dept. as a light tech, but sometimes I got to use the carpentry power tools. I learned that girls are pretty wimpy about power tools. I was always afraid to push too hard or break it or something. Needless to say, many a phillips screw was stripped.

    …that just didn’t sound right… ‘_’

  22. Towns says:

    I hate it when that happens….

  23. Jon M. says:

    I read this comic every day at work and I usually silently chuckle to myself, but I could not help but laugh out loud when I saw this one. Especially since I have a tiny monitor and I have to scroll down to read the caption. I saw the comic and thought “What the heck?” and then I read the caption and lost it! Great stuff, as always. Thanks and keep up the good work. 🙂

  24. Pipe Organ Wolf says:

    I’ve never had that problem. Of course, I am the only female I’ve ever met with more screwdrivers than shoes. And I am the only person I’ve ever met with a #4 phillips bit.

    In any case, I’m so glad phillips and slotted are on the way out. Torx (star) and Robertson (square) are so much easier to deal with. I’ve never stripped out one of those.

  25. Laminack says:

    Just use a table chair. I have used flat tips with Phillips before.

  26. Evil Pickles says:

    I would like to meet the man named Phillip with a head like that!

    That Screwdriver idea you have… hmmm… you could do it. but you’d need a really hot blow drier.

    (first post i’ve done for biff. Awesome Comic!)

  27. Taz says:

    This is hilarious if you’ve been in this sort of situation.. and sadly I have. .. or is it a good thing, because I find the comic hilarious? I can’t tell. :

  28. Tony says:

    wow u need the perfect tool

  29. speearr says:

    Well that’s an understatement if I ever saw one………!

  30. Chris 2.0 says:

    Well, if it’s on a larger (read: non-flammable) object, it’s possible to weld a nut to a screw (or bolt) head in order to remove it.

  31. Reg says:

    I wonder if they sell power screw drivers for that at Home Depot… wait what is he even screwing in in the first place?

  32. They make that. It’s called Gator or something.

  33. the Scarf says:

    @ Stuart
    I saw an infomercial for that…I think…It may have been called something else…It’s a double sided thing…one side drills a hole in the stripped screw, the other is perfectly to fit with the hole the one side drilled…..

  34. Silfedac says:

    The only screws I ever need to remove, unless you count screw caps, are to battery compartments. So yeah, not much trouble with stripped screws.

  35. Warcrime says:

    Stuart P. Bentley, are you perhaps thinking of Gator Grip? I used to have one of them.

  36. Cakoluchiam says:

    Remember Moon Goop? Also known as “Oobleck”? I believe it’s some weird concoction of corn starch and water or something, but it has the neat property that its surface tension is proportional to the force applied to it. So, theoretically, if you put a drop of it onto the screw head, you could poke your smaller screwdriver in and turn hard and the Moon Goop’d harden into a shell.

  37. Flump Pod says:

    If that is the screw holding his house to the Earth why would it be in the side of his house? …I would like to see that “Biff-tastic surprise” though.

  38. Lisa says:

    they do have a thing that removes stripped screws, you need a drill for it though…. but if you have one of those it’s all peachy keen!

  39. calan says:

    chris, this could very well be my favorite biff ever…idk maybe still the hand puppet scare…or…whatever…i have a lot of favorites, but this one is definitely one. 🙂

  40. Alex says:

    There should just be one universal size for screws. Everything would be easier then.

  41. Jackson says:

    Man! If Biff can’t find a screwdriver that works…he’s screwed!


  42. MOD says:

    @ the newcomer

    does this mean you lost your post virginity on a page about screws?
    how conveniant lol

  43. @ Sleepingorange I believe you’re talking about hyperbole.

    I hate using screwdrivers because I’m in constant fear that I’ll strip them. It’s sad.

  44. MechChix says:


    Impossible, man. How can ONE standard screw size be used both to hold your CD-ROM’s laser generator in place and still be strong enough to hold your car’s engine in place? It’s just so far outside the remotest possibility.

  45. Psymon says:

    Hyperbole is exaggeration for effect. I am afraid I do not remember the word for understatement humor; however, a reverse dictionary could probably find the word.

  46. Torg says:

    @Sleepingorange: Caricature?
    @Graceofbass: Those were some pretty creative euphemisms.
    The screw is for Biff’s 10-story remote.

  47. tyrannius says:

    I’ve just been reading The Book of Biff’s archives today, from #33 (that I had read earlier but didn’t have time to keep reading at the time).

    Now, I saw a guest strip link that you’d done on diesel sweeties, so I started reading the archives of that at the same time. It freaked me out so much when I read http://www.dieselsweeties.com/archive/151 and then tabbed over and read this strip. SOO much that I went and got a gravatar and everthing just to comment about it!

    Now, on with the archives!

  48. nupanick says:

    Yet another application for nanotechnology: tools that always fit. Of course, then the market for triangular screws not meant to be removed by the customer would drop out. What is with those? And the weird hexagon screws too. It really seems to me like some toys are deliberately designed NOT to be disassembled without specialty tools.

  49. mrmeval says:


    They of course do not call it the cool name of Octodriver and while Octoscrew sounds perverse it does have a certain ring to it. They chose neither name afaikt

  50. BrainpanSonata says:

    My chair has screws that require an Allen key… which sucks because the left arm is close to falling off.

  51. Arcan says:

    I hate the screws with the ‘Y’ shaped indentations that Nintendo uses. I’ve so many systems that Ive had to replace or send away to repair just because of a little dust that I can’t get to.

  52. Marscaleb says:

    This one made me laugh out loud.

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