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Kyle Wiens
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What alternative iPod opening tools have worked for you?

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We sell iPod opening tools. They're all right-- they're soft because we don't want people to scratch the case as they open it, but that means they break easily.

I have seen guitar picks and razor blades work in the past. What works for you? What size guitar pick would you recommend?

A .88-mm guitar pick seems to work the best compared to thinner and thicker picks.

Chris Green,

Thanks! I've always thought guitar picks were a great option, but I haven't taken the time to test a wide variety of thicknesses.

Kyle Wiens,

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David Iwanicki
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I like "black sticks" - the hard nylon probes available from Apple and others:

http://mac.macrecycling.com/apple-nylon-...

They are softer than metal spudgers, yet firmer than the tools usually offered as "iPod opening tools". They will at least last thru the repair of a product, while the softer tools have failed on me before even getting a repair started. If you can get a source for these and offer them at iFixIt, it will be a win for anyone working on product repairs featured here!

The source listed above has been confirmed to offer the exact same part used by Apple, I am not sure if they are the same item offered by iFixIt: http://www.ifixit.com/Apple-Parts/Heavy-...

the iFixit part is the regular spudger.

Ben Eisenman,

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rdklinc
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You will laugh, but for opening a lot of electronics, I have used the metal covers that fill the opening to PCI slots of desktop PCs. They have a nice thin flat end about 3/4" wide that nicely fits into small spaces, they are generally made of pretty strong metal that does not easily bend, and they are long enough that you can get a good grip on them while prying. Of course, they don't have a soft edge, so care must be taken to avoid scratching plastic.

On a side note, my favorite tool of all time is the Tweezerman tweezer -- these can be found in higher-end beauty supply stores, and there are a few different sizes (super pointy, flat end, etc.) They are more expensive than cheap tweezers, but after a few moments of use you will realize why they are infinitely better. They are by far the most precise tweezers in existence, and I use them for countless functions such as picking up screws, holding aside small cables, etc. The handle end of the tweezers is also great for prying. Typically when fixing just about any Apple product, I'll have my tweezers in my left hand and a screwdriver in my right.

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Edited by: rdklinc ( )

Wow, 190 listings on eBay for tweererman tweezers. Would you go over, in order of preference, which ones to have?

mayer,

The best way is to go to a store like Ulta, and ask the girl where the tweezers are (as she gives you a strange look). I favor eBay for most things, but tweezers are about the same price in person, plus you get to look through the selection. There are two basic types -- the fine point, and the slanted point, and both are useful for different functions. Also, there is a longer version and a shorter version of each (not much difference, something like 3.5" vs 4"). They sell a two-pack, which has the shorter version of both the fine and slanted points, for about the price of a single longer one. This is a great place to start. The two-pack does not come in exciting colors, so if you want hot pink, you will just have to shell out the extra $$$. I personally have all four variations, and I get new ones every few months...I don't know how anyone gets along without them, honestly. By the way, the fine-point version is the PERFECT tool for "jumping" the power on MacBook logic boards!

rdklinc,

And also, while I'm at it, the x-acto knife is an awesome tool. For some reason I spent 2.5 years using regular razor blades, and slicing myself open now and then. A $5 x-acto knife seems to have solved that problem. Duh!

rdklinc,

UPDATE: My new tweezer preference is the Excelta 00D-SA. It's just as precise as Tweezerman tweezers, but much stronger and therefore lasts longer.

rdklinc,

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tabormeister
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I have a ziplock bag of tools designated specifically for iPods that I've amassed over the years. The contents are as such-

-various guitar picks, ranging in size from two (indispensable).46 mm picks to a 1.0 mm I use to hold iPods open while I release the other clips.

-a razor blade, for pulling the foam off the hard drives, and occasionally cleaning glue.

-Revlon tweezers, don't laugh.

-two double-ended engineer screwdrivers, with very small phillips and flathead tips.

that's it, and to second leah4-patience is the key.

-John

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mayer
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MacHale Enterprises

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My favorite for opening is a single sided Pal razor blade. It has reinforced metal top. Also surgical mosquito hemostats and diamond handling locking tweezers. My "can't live without" tool is a Snap-on ratcheting magnetic multi-tip screwdriver, I have a long and short one. http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?...

Edited by: mayer ( )

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leah4
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I used a 2-tool approach. A metal spudger to wedge the case open just the tiniest bit and get the job started (iPod video). Then the black one mentioned above ($2.95 from iFixit) to go all the way around. The metal may have dinged the very inside edge of the plastic case, but it can't be seen except on closest inspection. Both tools have survived to make other repairs.

The real trick is to be relax, focus and take your time.

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lemerise
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I don't know for iPods but for iBook cases a smooth guitar pick is the best to unclip the case. It would probably do a great job for opening iPods if your sharpen a bit the pick edges. With this easy to find and cheap tool you'll never damage a case. When working inside a machine the spudger tool is what you need to avoid damaging the internal components and to easily disconnect the small connectors from their socket. I also use magnetised screwdrivers. I have a bowl with a magnet inside and that's where i keep my screwdrivers.

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Clement
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I replaced the hard-drive on my Late 2008 Macbook Pro twice (don't ask). Both times I sanded down the sides of a Chick-fil-A plastic knife as a spudger because I didn't have the patience to wait till I order the proper tools first. I sanded the plastic knife to adjust its thickness and never bothered to keep the home-made tool around. Anyway, the MacGyver method worked.

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Craig
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I use the isesamo tool on just about every ipod I open it works great.

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Danny
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I used a butter knife on my generation 5 iPod and it worked great lol

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jakedidion
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dunlop, jazz III, guitar pick, used several times, still holding up

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Peter25
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I used just a screwdriver my family bought me from the dollar store haha. it's the right size to fit between the case of the video, and the one I was already working on the cover is damaged. But I didn't actually scratch it during so it's all good.

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Tim Bruin
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The plastic bubble pack my daily contact lenses come in works fairly well on my 4th Gen iPod.

Edited by: Tim Bruin ( )

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essteaeye
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LOL @ the PCI slot cover tool. I was looking for a puddy knife and found one of them and was all like.. hmm... lol Worked PERFECT for my 6th gen Ipod Classic.

I use - iFixit's Tool kit(the one with the Spudger and the screw driver set and all that amazing stuff[WORKS WONDERS!!!! highly recommend]) And I also use that PCI cover plate! lol

One thing I have found that works PERFECT with out damaging the iPod classic is this little hard HDPE box thingy with a very soft edged pyramid type shape about 1/4 high off the corner of it. What you do is put the iPod in the middle, press down on the iPod GENTLY! but with a good amount of force, and the sides will open like Paris Hiltons legs. :D

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the tip, but who is Paris Hilton and why should we care about her legs?

oldturkey03,

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