iFixit Essential Electronics Toolkit and Pro Tech Toolkit Review
I’m a fan of iFixit. They’re a cool, maker-friendly company on a mission to help people repair their own electronics. In full disclosure, I approached them early on when I started my Maker Update show to see if they would consider sponsoring it. And while they politely declined, they seem to appreciate what I’m doing enough to send me a few freebies to check out. That’s how I ended with these two gorgeous toolkits.
First, let’s talk about the one you’re more likely to pick up — the $20 Essential Electronics Toolkit.
Essential Electronics Toolkit
This kit is a crazy value for $20. With amount of tools provided, their quality, and the high-touch design of the kit, I can’t imagine iFixit is squeezing much profit from this. I suspect that by offering it at such a low cost, it helps remove some of the hesitation people have in undertaking their own gadget repairs.
Customers probably come to iFixit looking to fix a cracked phone screen, they find the replacement screen and then just add a kit like this to the cart to take care of all the tools they need in one click. It’s smart.
Inside the kit you’ll find a few staples necessary for opening up any modern smartphone or tablet. These include a spudger, opening tool, suction cup, and a collection of the 16 most common driver bits for modern electronics (including those pesky Torx and Pentalobe types that Apple likes to sneak into their designs).
In addition, you get a metal Jimmy, great for more stubborn separating of adhesives, a set of precision tweezers, and a handful of opening picks ideal for delicately forcing open the series of stiff internal clips that often hold compact electronics together.
Bottom line: if you’re undertaking a repair of some type of handheld electronic device, this is a no-brainer kit that elegantly gathers up the most common and useful tools for the job — and at a great price. But even if you don’t have a daunting repair in front of you, this toolkit is a great resource for tinkerers and hardware hackers, and even just a symbolic acknowledgement that we’re not powerless to fix our devices when they break. We just need the right tools.
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
For anyone who really wants to feel like a professional gadget surgeon, there’s the $70 Pro Tech Toolkit from iFixit. You get more bits, more tools, and a few extras of items that typically wear out, such as the opening tool and spudger. This kit has the same high design touch as the Essential Kit, but because it’s a tool roll it makes you feel like even more of a badass. When I bust this out I feel like I’m going to crack a safe or diffuse a bomb.
Unlike the essential kit, the Pro kit includes a grounding strap for working with static sensitive electronics. The driver is also different and offers a wider handle and a flexible extension for accessing hard to reach screws. The $70 price tag isn’t cheap, but it’s clear that a ton of thought has been put into this and there isn’t a single part of the kit that feels cheap.