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What alternative iPod opening tools have worked for you?

What alternative iPod opening tools have worked for you?
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 like ""black sticks"" - the hard nylon probes available from Apple and others:


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: Heavy-Duty Spudger"
"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."
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. buy1.snapon/catalog/item.asp?...
I have a ziplock bag of tools designated specifically for iPods that I've amassed over the years. The contents are as such-
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.
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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