Tool to Remove Screw In Tailswitch or PILL

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Last seen: 12 months 4 days ago
Joined: 12/12/2010 - 16:19
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Location: USA
Tool to Remove Screw In Tailswitch or PILL

Many lights have a screw-in PILL or tailswitch, where the part is screwed in via two depressions machined into the metal.  Is there a special tool available to install and remove those parts or some household tool that isn't coming to my mind right now?  A small screwdriver works well sometimes, but the ideal tool would sit in both depressions at once, to get better leverage and help guide the part when inserting, and it would have an adjustable width between the depressions.

Edited by: Anagoge on 03/02/2011 - 00:44
33696933's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 02/19/2011 - 01:27
Posts: 431
Location: Newburgh, NY

Needlenose pliers?

Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/26/2010 - 17:57
Posts: 494
Location: Tasmania, AUS

33696933 wrote:

Needlenose pliers?

+1......I filed down a cheap tool to ~2mm/side

Budgeteer's picture
Last seen: 9 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/24/2010 - 02:19
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Location: Slovenia (EU)

I use stainless steel tweezers found pretty much in all HK shops for 1usd or so.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Last seen: 12 months 4 days ago
Joined: 12/12/2010 - 16:19
Posts: 60
Location: USA

Thanks for all of the ideas.  Needle nose pliers work well for my lights that aren't too thin or deep.  I may also try some blunt tweezers like one of these, though I'm a bit worried they won't be able to tighten as well as the pliers:

If that doesn't work, I may try and make my own out the the clips.

brted's picture
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

Circlip pliers are ideal, but they're expensive. I use needle nose pliers.

Andi's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 01/22/2011 - 08:08
Posts: 333
Location: Germany

very easy/cheap solution:

take 2 long (~8cm) nails, or screws.

insert both in holes an works really good.

after they cross over, you can screw, for more "power" = more crisscrossing.


Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 11/22/2010 - 01:00
Posts: 367
Location: Argentina

This one is perfect and not expensive , small, short and strong,  however at least here are hard to find..


Don's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

brted wrote:

Circlip pliers are ideal, but they're expensive. I use needle nose pliers.


You can get very cheap ones - which are essentially consumables when used in automotive applications but are just fine for torch use. I got mine for about $6 from DX.

You can probably get them in just about any shop that sells tools for not a lot.


Another good alternative is a watch opening tool - they are usually under $5


The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

Last seen: 2 months 2 days ago
Joined: 01/18/2011 - 20:31
Posts: 896
Location: Bolton, UK

Put "round nose pliers" into eBay and you'll get a million economic options.  The trend for making your own jewelry has really helped on the price of these as they are used for making loops in wire for ear rings and the like.

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Joined: 11/07/2010 - 09:31
Posts: 8008
Location: Birthplace of Aviation

Cheap pointy nose tweezers less than a buck and really suck at being tweezers ..Or I use the tips of small micro schears  meant for snipping small electronics off of boards ..I have a few realy nice sharp wonderful pairs of exlite  brand  snips and some older ones that are impossible to sharpen correctly so they get abused even more .. you only ned them to break them loose after that a tiny screw driver eyc ..

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