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.Read More »

Wiha PicoFinish Pentalobe Precision Screwdrivers

New & In-Stock: Wiha PicoFinish Pentalobe Precision Screwdrivers in sizes P1 PL1 P2 PL2 P3 PL3 P4 PL4 P5 PL5 P6 PL6 iphone
New & In-Stock: Wiha PicoFinish Pentalobe Precision Screwdrivers in sizes PL1-PL6 (P1-P6) – November 2015

Wiha (Germany) recently announced their new Pentalobe lineup of PicoFinish screwdrivers. KC Tool is happy to be the first in North America to have them available for sale (link). Wiha’s PicoFinish is the top of the line finish available in their precision screwdriver selection. The smooth spinning caps on PicoFinish screwdrivers are labeled with the tip size and style for easy reference. The handle is slightly tapered for a comfortable, ergonomic grip with the ability for rapid rotation.

ToolGuyd listed the Wiha PicoFinish series on its list of Best Precision Screwdrivers.

The Pentalobe screw was developed by Apple as a proprietary security fastener (side note: anyone else catch the Apple reference in the recent film, Steve Jobs?). It’s similar in profile to the Torx screw but with one less lobe (total 5, “penta”).

There has been some confusion over what size Pentalobe screws are found in Apple devices. Wiha currently makes six sizes from P1 (smallest) through P6 (largest). We have not confirmed any uses for the P3 or P6 but would love to get your feedback in the comments.

Pentalobe Sizing Guide:

  • P1: iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus (Wera equivalent IPR1 screwdriver)
  • P2: Apple Watch Band
  • P3: None
  • P4: MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display
  • P5: 2009 MacBook Pro Battery – 15” Only
  • P6: None

Pentalobe Screwdriver for Apple iPhone will be available in a High Quality version from German Tool Manufacturer

Update 4/10/14: Pentalobe bits are now available in this precision bit set and will be available separately soon.

Update: Newer post here.

The only readily available Pentalobe screwdrivers are currently produced in China.  These Pentalobe screwdrivers may be acceptable for occasional use but those of you who are repairing Apple products will be excited to learn about a higher quality tool currently being manufactured by Wiha.  It’s widely accepted that Wiha, a German tool manufacturer, makes the highest quality precision screwdrivers in the world and we are thrilled to report that they have begun manufacturing six Pentelobe screwdrivers in sizes IPR1 through IPR6. These will certainly be the tool of choice for iPhone Repair Technicians around the world!

The Pentalobe screw was first used by Apple in 2009.  It’s been used in Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 as well as the MacBook and Macbook Air.  It’s classified as a temper proof fastener and is meant to stop unauthorized opening or repair of the devices. The design is very similar to the six point Torx screw except it only has five points.

Wiha was not able to give us a firm date for the release of this new driver but we do know they have begun production on six sizes that will first be released in their standard precision screwdriver handle and ESD safe insert blades for their ESD Safe Torque Screwdrivers.

iphone opening tool pentalobe screwdriver by wiha

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