Let’s talk about the right tools, wrong tools, and how not to be a tool in the phone repair business.
The age old saying of "use the right tool for the job" fits perfectly in the cell phone repair industry. Not only does the right tool make the job easier, but in many cases, makes it safer and prevents damage to parts and devices.
So, what makes a tool the right tool? The right tool can be determined using 3 factors: quality, safety, and price.
Finding the perfect balance of these items, is essential for finding the right tool. The quality of the tool being used determines its usefulness and longevity when repairing. A good quality screwdriver, for example, will have a fine tipped head made of high grade metal ensuring that it grabs screws correctly, prevents stripping, and will last after repairing hundreds of devices before showing any signs of wear. The safety factor is also important not only for the user but for the device itself. Factors such as ESD safe, weighted handles, and durability will protect you tool related mishaps.
At this point you may be thinking that a safe, high quality tool must cost an arm and a leg. However, this is not often the case. Although a higher quality tool that is safe to use for repair may cost more than other variants of the same tool, this investment will save that money tenfold in the prevention of damage.
Nothing is ever free, right? This could not be truer with tools that come free with replacement parts. Although the advertised price is free, the cost you can end up paying is that of a replacement device to due to damage caused using these tools. This is also true of the closely related screwdrivers that cost $1. These screwdrivers are not meant to be used repetitively and often cause stripped screws which prevent the rest of the repair process from occurring.
How do we prevent ourselves from being a tool when repairing a cell phone? This is simple: use tools as they are intended and follow instruction from a reputable source.
Using a flat head screwdriver to disconnect flex cables, or a spudger to pry out a battery are prime examples of being a tool. These scenarios can easily cause severe damage to the device requiring board level repair or render the device unrepairable. Following a guide or a video from a reputable source keeps you one step ahead when repairing a mobile device. We know that mobile device manufacturers are not shy of throwing curve balls are way so let’s make sure we are looking before it hits us in the face (home button flex on an i5S anyone?).
To succeed as repair technicians, it is vital to stay ahead of the game by constantly reviewing our tools and procedures. We are only as good as what is in our toolbox, so making sure we constantly have the best pushes us closer to being the best.