If you're meticulous, the job can perfectly be done, without any of the recommended tools. I hadn't the time to order them, so I opened my iPod with the large blade of my Victorinox swiss army knife. By just following the instruction I succeeded in releasing all of the metal tabs all around the iPod, and didn't damage any of them. You can clearly hear them "declipsing". I think the blade of the Victorinox is thiner than the putty knife, the only thing you have to take care of, is not to cut the black or silver painting of the front of the case, but if you are used to cut with a knife, you should succeed. Just be aware that it is however a difficult job !