If you were ever a Boy Scout or a Girl Guide you’ll know that it’s important to always be prepared. One of the handy little items that you were probably encouraged to keep about your person at all times was the humble paper clip. With good reason!
Cheap, malleable and always useful, paper clips can help you out of numerous tricky situations. The uses we’ve put together below are just the tip of the iceberg, so grab a handful of those little metal marvels and pop them in your toolbox as soon as you can.
A tube of glue or other hard drying putty or paste that’s become blocked could be destined for the dustbin, even if it’s nearly full. Enter the paper clip. Paper clips can be used to pierce blocked holes and push out the blockage so that your super glue is super once more.
You know those little plastic bags that screws come in with no zip lock or any other way of closing them? Keep all the contents present and correct by rolling down the top and securing it with a paper clip. Stapling the bag is an alternative, but a paper clip allows for easier access.
Finding Tape Ends
Never fruitlessly run your fingers around a roll of tape again! If you’re Sellotaping parts together as a temporary fix or working with electrical or masking tape, pop a paper clip on the tape end each time you use a new piece. You’ll easily be able to find the seam every time.
Accessing Reset Buttons
The reset buttons on electronics are usually hard to reach to stop them from being pressed by accident. With a paper clip end, reaching down inside the reset hole is simple. Be sure to insert the paper clip gently and wrap some electrical tape around it if you’re worried that the end is too sharp.
You can also use a similar method to clean small holes in electronics e.g. headphone jacks. Wrap some Sellotape, sticky side facing outwards, around your paper clip end and insert to give small openings a gentle clean.
Making Mini Screwdrivers
A paper clip end can also double as a mini screwdriver, good for tightening small screws like the ones found in glasses. Flatten the end with a hammer on a surface you don’t mind getting grooved (like an old piece of wood) and then pop the flat end in the screw head as per any normal screwdriver. Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey!
Fashioning Homemade Keyrings
If you need a quick fix to keep your keys together grab the nearest paper clip you have to hand. Straighten it out then wrap it around a battery or similar object for a perfectly round symmetrical shape. Then simply thread your keys on and you’re good to go. Bonus fashion points if you use a nice brightly coloured paper clip.
Create a Makeshift Phone Stand
It’s unlikely you’ll have a hand free whilst you’re elbow-deep in repairing your washing machine. Prop your phone up using a paper clip to entertain or inform you while you’re DIYing. How else are you going to watch our wonderful how to videos? Using rubber bands to secure your phone is also a handy option.
A Trick For Your Paper Clips!
On the topic of videos, we’ll leave you with an awesome one. Impress your work colleagues and amaze your family by instantly linking two paper clips together using nothing more than a banknote (it even works with a piece of paper).
We’ll leave YouTube channel Howcast to wow you with the magic details:
Word to the wise, one thing paper clips can’t be used for is soldering. Although a stretched out paper clip looks a lot like soldering wire, paper clips are usually made of steel which melts at much higher temperatures than the tin or lead that’s usually used as solder. Oh well, we can’t have everything.
For something that’s designed to just keep paper together, the versatility of paper clips is still pretty darn impressive.