Taking apart the device that has been assigned to you for your project would be extremely difficult without a complete toolkit at your disposal. Luckily, we provide you with all of the necessary tools for tackling almost any disassembly need.
It is very difficult to remove screws without the correct screwdriver. Our screwdriver kit includes 26 different bits—Phillips, Torx, flathead, and so much more—to cover nearly any fastener that you'll find in any device.
Precision screwdrivers are awesome; they have a swiveling top so that you can quickly and efficiently remove and install screws. Since Phillips screws are so common, and since we care about your happiness, we threw one in your toolkit. Try it! Once you go precision, you never go back.
This tool looks like a black stick, and—as a matter of fact—that's what our buddies over at Apple call it. We didn't think that was very original, so we opted for something better: spudger. The spudger is one of the most versatile tools you'll find in your toolkit. The flat end of a spudger can be used for prying and separating, while the pointed tip is good for poking and prodding. Since its ESD-safe, a spudger is the tool you should be using as a prying tool around connectors and circuit boards, not a flathead screwdriver.
The delicate cousins of the spudger are the plastic opening tools. Beautiful and blue, plastic opening tools are the go-to prying tool when you are especially concerned about scratching or breaking your device. Originally made for iPods, which had tight tolerances and easy-to-scratch outer cases, these opening tools will take a beating so that your device doesn't have to. Plastic opening tools, like spudgers, are ESD-safe and approved for disconnecting cables and ZIF connectors.
It's easy to remember where one Phillips screw came from. It's not easy to remember where 15 Phillips screws of various lengths, seven T8 Torx screws, and three tri-wing screws came from. Using a sorting tray can keep your screws and small parts in order for when it comes time to reassemble your device.
There are a number of different characteristics of screws that make them identifiable. The two that are easiest to refer to when writing your repair guides are the head type (Phillips #00, T8 Torx, etc.) and the length. Measure the length of each screw in millimeters. Try to get the measurements as accurate as possible. Using the digital caliper found in the class toolkit is preferable and will give you measurements to the nearest .1 mm.
Some devices, for whatever reason, do not like being taken apart. It is a problem that pesters repair aficionados on the regular. Luckily, though devices may try to trick us with small, hard-to-reach parts, tweezers work wonders at removing small parts. Be careful! These are sharp.
If the entire iFixit Technical Writing Project is done online, why did we give you paper clips? Well, as it turns out, a paper clip in its default state doesn't do you much good. However, when you bend one of the loose ends away from the rest of the paper clip, it becomes a very useful tool for pressing deeply recessed buttons and ejecting SIM cards.
You always want to look your best for pictures. It's no different for your device. Make sure that your device is looking sharp for each picture using the device cleaning solution and microfiber cloth. Do not be confused by the brand name of some of the cleaning solution; this stuff does not taste like apples.
Along with the cleaning solution and microfiber cloth, a detailing brush helps to keep your device looking its picture-day best. We don't suggest using this as a toothbrush. Not because it wouldn't work as one, but rather because you don't know where it's been.
Some tools may come in handy when repairing specific devices, but are either less common or too big to fit into a student toolkit. Therefore, each class will be given a class toolkit with the following specialty tools that you can check out from your instructor:
To accurately measure such small screws requires a pair of precise digital calipers. Every time you remove a screw from your device, use the caliper to measure its length in millimeters to the nearest 0.1 mm.
Many repair guides may require you to remove a soldered connection in order to install a replacement component. You can either attempt the soldering using this soldering station (recommended), or simply use the station as a prop to show a reader where they need to solder/desolder. Either way, make sure you include a link to this guide in your step text to provide readers with additional soldering instructions.
Many devices use adhesive to hold screens in place. When plastic opening tools and spudgers are not enough to free the screen, you can use the iOpener to apply heat to the adhesive until it is soft enough to loosen its grip on the screen. Be sure you first read this page for further instructions on how to use the iOpener tool.
If you just can't seem to wedge your way into a device using the standard array of pry tools, it might be time to phone a friend. That friend's name is Jimmy. Jimmy's flexible steel blade slips between the tightest gaps in the toughest devices, and the ergonomic handle makes it easy to "jimmy" devices open. Spudgers and plastic opening tools are made of softer materials, and are somewhat less likely to cause cosmetic damage—but when all else fails, Jimmy is your man.
Using correct screwdriver technique is the first line of defense against stripped screws. The second line of defense? Screw-extracting pliers. They're designed to firmly grip the heads of damaged screws. Specially designed jaws firmly grip screw heads, bolts, or nuts, allowing you to twist out even the most damaged fasteners. This tool is ESD-safe, so you can use it on internal electronic components.