Critical to any repair is having the right tools. Manufacturers often make that harder by using security screws and fittings, in some case proprietary to themselves to make access hard.

A basic toolkit might include –

  • tools to see – magnifying glass, a lamp or torch, your smartphone
  • tools to open it – good selection of screw drivers (and ideally a precision security bit set)
  • tools to pry things open – jimmy, opening picks, prying tools, spudger
  • tools to cut – razor blade, knife or scalpel, scissors, cable stripper
  • tools to grip – pliers, tweezers
  • tools to clean – old toothbrush and paint brush, cloth
  • tools to keep everything sorted – magnetic board, plastic trays
  • tools to help put it back together – glue, tape (and a pen and paper to make notes)
  • tools for more sophisticated electronic repairs – digital multimeter, soldering iron, hot air gun, flux, solder wire, solder tip cleaner and desoldering pump.

Many specialist tools can be sourced in places like iFixit.  Their toolkits provide a wide range of drivers to fit the many types of security screw.  But it is not necessary to buy everything, a few basic items is a good start, the rest can be loaned or borrowed.  There are now ‘tool libraries’ or Library of Things opening where you can borrow the item for a nominal fee for a few weeks.

There are many opportunities to create similar libraries across the world.  Each instance can help us take a step to build capability, increase reuse and reduce our negative impact.