Disassemble Your Tech Gear with the iFixit Pro Tech Base Toolkit

 I have a confession to make. I love to take things apart. Back when I was a kid I had a super-sweet Milton Bradley Star Bird toy, an early electronic noisemaker with revving engines and laser blasts. In the course of kid play, something inside broke loose and rattled around, driving me nuts. Spaceships off to do ground assault ought not to have a broken piece giving away their stealth attack so I, being young and adventuresome, decided to put my Star Bird in space dock (Dad’s table vice grip) and haul out a trusty Sears Philips screwdriver and effect repairs. I was successful, and so launched my interest in taking gizmos apart. More recently, with the advent of increasingly miniaturized electronics, particularly in the areas of personal computing and mobile communications, more specialized tools are required to take apart and repair such devices. In examining an iPod or iPad for example, the notion of taking apart a device that lacks and obvious screw holes or the like can be daunting, if not impossible. Enter the iFixit Pro Tech Base Toolkit.

This toolkit is just what the tech doctor ordered for prying open and unscrewing components within your device of choice.

Here’s what is included:

  • Pentalobe Sizes 2, 5, 6 (iPhone, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro)
  • Slot sizes 1, 1.3, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4 mm
  • Phillips sizes #000, #00, #0, #1, #2
  • JIS Sizes 000, 00, 0, 1
  • Torx sizes T3, T4, T5, T6
  • Torx security TR7, TR8, TR9, TR10, TR15, TR20 (Compatible with non security)
  • Hex sizes 0.7, 0.9, 1.3, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 6 mm
  • Square sizes #0, #1, #2
  • Triangle size 3 mm
  • Tri-wing sizes #0, #1
  • Nut Driver 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 mm
  • 2x Plastic Opening Tools* Made of soft plastic, these help you pry open the trickiest enclosures scratch-free.
  • Spudger Handy tool for all types of poking and prying at tough to open enclosures, delicate components, opening ZIF connectors, and is heat-resistant for soldering applications. Also sold as Apple’s “Black Stick” tool.
  • Metal Spudger Set Assortment of metal poking and prying tools for when plastic just doesn’t cut it.
  • Precision Tweezers Set Assortment of stainless steel precision tweezers for handling small wires, screws, and working in places your fingers can’t.
  • Anti-Static Wrist Strap Protects delicate circuits from harmful static electricity while you work.
  • Small Suction Cup Makes quick work of lifting front panels off of phones and media players.
  • iFixit 6 Inch Metal Ruler Makes measuring parts easy. Handy for hardware store trips too!
  • The kit also includes a magnetized driver with a metal shaft, swivel top and rubberized grip, 4 mm to 1/4″ adapter, a 60 mm extension, and a 130 mm flexible extension.

Ha HAH! In your face, aesthetically designed mobile tech! Check and mate, you screwball screw types! I’m just itching to go back to work and do a Crocodile Dundee-esque “That’s not a mobile tool kit, THIS is a mobile tool kit!”

Rolled up, the tool bag is approximately 10”x5”x1.5”:

 The bits and driver set are secured behind a stretch band:

Right side flap opened showing bits exposed:

 Right side metal spudgers, “black stick” tool, and metal ruler for measuring part sizes:

Left side showing tweezers, plastic opening tools and anti-static wrist strap compartment:

 The bit set and drivers:

 View of the rest of the tools outside the case:

 This kit has a great array of tools to service your various mobile tech needs. In fact, iFixit has a site here where you can view a number of device teardowns done with their various toolsets by end users. This is a pretty handy resource for research as well as getting a good idea of how your device is actually laid out before cracking it open. It also lets you observe which tools are the right tools to use. It’s nice to have a trail into the unknown blazed for you.

In addition, iFixit has an additional number of useful tools to add to your repertoire of equipment. For example: I have an iPad 2. In using the above end user teardown resources I discovered that to pop the front panel I may likely need a heat gun to loosen the glue. Not to worry, if you lack a sufficiently hot hair dryer iFixit has for those teardowns! If not for such resources it could potentially ended up as a tearing and a downer to make the unfortunate discovery that oops, maybe a heat gun would have helped.

iFixit Pro Tech Base Toolkit

MSRP: $59.95

What I Like: Wide variety of tools to open, unscrew, unseat a variety of mobile (or other) devices; Great assortment of bits for various screw types and sizes.

What Needs Improvement: My only real concern is about the hard black plastic tip on the end of the metal driver; For most items this may not be a problem, but I wonder how well this would hold up against a tightly-set screw without potentially stripping; Also, one VERY minor quibble is that the bit case box is contoured such that if you remove a number of bit sets and don’t put them back in the right order the case may not close securely; Again, this is minor, and is to a large degree offset by being held firmly in place by the stretch band.

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1 reply

  1. Heh.  I LOVED my Star Bird when I was a kid.  I think I may still have it up in the attic somewhere…