The first model of iPhone, Model A1203 with 4, 8, or 16 GB capacity and an aluminum back. Repair requires a significant amount of prying, and may require some soldering.

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An alternative to a dental pick?

I am trying to replace the battery in my iPhone - but I don't have the steel dental pick suggested in the teardown. Any ideas what I could use?

I used the metal spudger which was too big and a paperclip which was too soft.

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thanks - will try. Hope I find a big one somewhere in the house

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This should be a comment on the answer you are referring to.

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he made a mistake man- just upped that post to reverse ur down vote. No reason in penalizing somone for an honest mistake

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Ya. I'm trying to find a way to promote comments where needed without angering people too much. Down voting without saying anything depresses people, while explaining that I'm doing it because it is a comment angers them. Not doing anything also gives people the idea that it's ok. If you have any suggestions on better ways to approach this, send me an email at nat@ifixit.com or post something in the feedback area (link is on the left).

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unfortunately you need 20 reps to comment (and 500 to edit your own post) - and when you are new ....

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits

9 Answers

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A small fork works. Try a little cocktail fork with two prongs.

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Would a sewing needle cut it? I haven't tried, but they tend to be quite rigid if you get a large one.

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Jewler's screwdriver. They come in several sizes. None too big, some too small.

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Go to a hardware store and they make heavy duty pick tools for mechanics and such. I use the Craftsman brand pick set, they are about 6" long and have clear plastic handles. The whole set was like $10 at Sears Hardware and has 4 different style picks with handles on them similar to a screwdriver grip. One of the picks in particular has almost like a double bend to it, it is nearly perfect for a 1st gen iPhone disassembly, no bent aluminum housings or broken fastening tabs anymore!!

This type professional pick is WAY better than dental picks because they always seemed have to much flex in them to actually pry off a stubborn 2G back housing.

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Half a pair of medical tweezers.

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I recently had this same problem. I took a straightened paperclip and bent the end 90 degrees (with pliers) so that it looked like an "L" with a tiny "foot" - about 5mm or 0.2 inch. I left most of the other end of the paperclip coiled up as it was a good "handle".

This was an excellent tool for taking the cover off my iPhone. You can poke it into the tiny square hole on each side of the cover and twist so the foot turns outwards and the cover just releases. It released almost too easily!

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I have a selection of a tool called an awl if you happen to have one of those. They are very rigid and have a pointed end, so might help.

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Depending on the difficulty of what you need to pry (and the material you're prying) I've used a few things.

First off, for a good dental pick set, you can use the Craftsman one mentioned above, since they're a decent brand and I'm assuming they'd have a lifetime warranty. If not, I know you can go to Lowes and get a Cobalt 4-piece set for $6, including a normal hook shape, a right angle hook, etc. Link to item: http://www.lowes.com/pd_239658-930-32462...

Another really useful thing I use and lasts quite long, is guitar picks. Currently I just use the freebie medium thickness ones from Sam Ash, but for something more of a point instead of a curved point, I bought a pack of Tortex Sharps, the green color ones. Those can help more since the point can assist with the insertion where you're going to pry. Plastic picks are the way to go in certain cases like opening up laptop LCD trims, etc, since they run the smallest amount of risk of breaking the plastic latches, and will not scratch up metal trim of let's say a 1st gen iphone (of course you may need a thinner pick than the green ones, those are medium.

Bottom line, if using guitar picks, I'd rather them be damaged themselves than scratch and carve metal that you would end up needing to file down and then it looks worse. I use both these options depending on what needs to be opened.

Good luck with your search.

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I used an ice pick. Worked fine.

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