LEGO Tools, Tips, and Techniques

LEGO Tools: A Paperclip


paperclipA what? A paperclip? As a tool for use with LEGO? Yes, indeed.

Paperclip as a LEGO tool

What kind of LEGO tool is a paperclip good for?

In a word: tiles.

In five words: tiles on a big baseplate.

Have you ever tried putting a tile on a baseplate or other large LEGO and noticed that it’s hard to get off? About the only  time it’s easy is when it’s right on the edge of the baseplate.

Take a close look at some of your LEGO tiles. Around the bottom edge there is a nice little groove  for you to access. Just position the paperclip under the groove and move.

tiles-on-baseplate tile-close-up paperclip-under-tile

Some Caveats


Fingernails are another viable option if you have strong nails and if you’re willing to risk breaking a nail. Not me. Give me a paperclip.


Do we even need to go there? Yes.

Many of my legacy LEGO pieces (i.e. the bricks I still have from my childhood) have teethmarks because it had not occurred to me to use some other type of tool. Half of this problem was solved when the Brick Separator was invented. But not for tiles. Andthat’s what the paperclip was invented for. 🙂


On the other hand, you still want to keep in mind that this is a hard object you’re using against a soft object. Metal versus plastic. And therefore there is the possibility that the paperclip will scratch or in some other way damage the LEGO. Just be careful!

Where a Paperclip won’t work.

Okay. If you were “smart enough” to bury a tile in the middle of a bunch of other bricks taller than it, get ready to tear apart a portion of your creation to get to it, if you decide that tile is the wrong color, or that you want something else there. And don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂