What is a DIN number?

There are various sets of standards in the tool world.  In America we have The American National Standards Institute or ANSI for short.  On a global level, there is the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO.  Since this is a blog about specifically German made tools we will look at the German version: DIN.

DIN stands for Deutsches Institut Für Normung or German Institute for Standardization in English.  They have been operating for literally 100 years and have always been highly regarded in the standards community.  Though the name implies an exclusively German operation, the DIN standards have been adopted across the world and influenced many other standards organizations including the ISO.  The best example of this is the DIN standard 476 from 1922 introducing the A sizes of paper which would later become ISO 216 in 1975.

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DIN Number On Nippers

Though it may seem obvious, it bears questioning why we need standardization. Many standards, including DIN, are completely voluntary, but it is beneficial to use standards to prove that you are manufacturing something to the highest quality and uniformity.  DIN standards are developed by experts in the respective fields and are reviewed every five years to ensure that they are up-to-date and still “State of the Art.”  They are used for a wide range of things too, from metric fasteners to car stereos.

You will see many examples of DIN standards amongst the pages of the KC Tool website.  For instance, this Gedore Engineers’ Hammer has two standards it lives by, one with the hickory handle and the other with the forged hammer head.

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The best part about standardization is the future.   Not only do DIN (and ANSI and ISO) standards insure that your 10mm socket truly is 10mm, there are multiple programs and research facilities who are constantly improving the current standards and innovating new ones.  Check out the DIN website for more information and as always shop KC Tool for all your DIN specific needs!

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Penta-What? Pentalobe!

What is a pentalobe screw and why would you need a pentalobe screwdriver?  Let’s examine a brief history of this little beast.

Firstly, like a Pentagon (shape with five sides) a Pentalobe is a screw or screwdriver with five points.  They come in six sizes from 1 to 6.  The nomenclature of this can be confusing though, as different companies have different ways of naming their pentalobe sizes.  You will see TS1, which can easily be mistaken for Torx size.  You will also see variations on the letter P (P1, P2, Etc..) and PL (PL1, PL2…).  There even some who make it as clear as possible and call it Five Lobe.

Pents up close 2.jpgThe confusion doesn’t stop there, though.    In 2009 Apple launched the pentalobe screw, and that’s about all they did.  There was no regulatory sizing so the brains at iFixit reverse engineered the screw and made a driver to work with it.  Since it was similar in size to a Torx T2, the called it a P2.  After they did this, Apple released sizing information and revealed that iFixit’s P2 was actually a size 1.  It was after all this commotion that WIha released their set of pentalobes (to Apple Standards), so their PL1 is actually the same size as iFixit’s P2.  Did you get all that?  To keep things simple (and since this is the GERMAN tool blog) we will use Wiha’s sizing standard, PL1-PL6.

So now that we have sizes under our belt the ultimate question is why?  Why would someone need a five-pointed precision screwdriver?  The answer is simple.  Apple.  Not the fruit (though I suppose you could use a pentalobe screwdriver for digging out apple seeds).  Apple, the modern-day tech conglomerate which made Steve Jobs a household name.  Do you have a Mac Computer?  Or an iPad?  Or iPhone?  Do you want to get inside of that device and play around with the guts?  Then you are probably going to need a pentalobe precision screwdriver.

Which one you might ask?  Let’s take a look.

Do you have an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus?  You need a PL1 pentalobe.
Do you have an Apple Watch?  You will need a PL2 to change the band.
Do you have a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with Retina Display?  PL4 is your guy.
To be specific, do you have a 15” 2009 MacBook Pro?  To get to the battery you will need a PL5.

Or if you are in doubt, Wiha has this nice 6-piece set that has all the sizes you need:

Pentalobes

What you really need is the PL3 and PL6 size drivers though.  What are they used for?  Nobody knows.  But won’t they look great on your bench?

Shop for all your pentalobe needs at KC Tool:

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