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Tools: The Right, The Wrong, and How Not To Be One - Tech Bob

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.

-Tech  Bob

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