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What Do You Need in a Mobile Phone Repair Tool Kit

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What Do You Need in a Mobile Phone Repair Tool Kit
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What Do You Need in a Mobile Phone Repair Tool Kit

Mobile phone companies would like us to believe that once a phone is broken, that's it, and there's no alternative except to buy a new one, or perhaps to go back to them to get a very expensive official repair. However, that isn't the case. It's possible to build up an inexpensive kit of tools that enable even non-experts to fix many of the most common mobile phone problems. The easiest way to begin is to buy one of the ready-made kits available, though it's also possible to build one up from scratch. But what should such a kit contain? This is a guide to all the essentials and more.

Screwdrivers

A good mobile phone repair kit will contain a selection of different screwdrivers of different types and sizes. Most mobile phone screws are either 'Phillips' (that is their head is a cross-shape) or 'Pentalobe' (for which the head is a five-pointed star). If the kit is required for a particular model of phone, then it's a good idea to research the kind of screws it contains before getting a kit to ensure the correct screwdrivers are included. One useful feature on the more expensive screwdrivers is a built-in light. This can make it much easier to see inside the phone.

Opening Tool

There are lots of tools available specifically designed for opening mobile phones. It's not a good idea to use any kind of metal implement for this purpose (for example, don't be tempted to use a screwdriver), so most of them are made out of some form of plastic. One popular design is the shape of a guitar plectrum, but others are more stick-like. It's a matter of personal preference which to choose, and as they are inexpensive, a kit including several different types is often a good option.

Tweezers

Tweezers are extremely useful for getting to the smallest parts within a mobile phone. Models with very thin, needle-like ends are the most useful, and many phone repairers prefer elbow tweezers, which have a bend in them.

Scratch Tool

A scratch tool, similar to those used by dentists, can come in very handy for removing small quantities of adhesive, or moving small parts around.

Suction Cup or Pump

A suction cup can be used to remove screens from mobile phones without damaging them. It's not a good idea to use any kind of suction device not specifically designed for this purpose, as they may not be strong enough, and there will be a risk of the screen breaking.

Instructions

It's important not to try to repair a mobile phone without a good knowledge of what needs to be done. Some repair kits come complete with instructions, but if one that doesn't has been chosen, or if someone is assembling a kit from scratch, there is no need to buy any instructions as there is plenty available on the internet. It's a good idea to be prepared in advance, however, especially for people who often have to rely on their mobile phone for internet access, for example when travelling. Consider printing out instructions for the most common types of repair, remembering to check they're for exactly the right model of phone.

Drying Pouch

One particularly difficult form of mobile phone damage is that caused by water. There are special products available now for drying water-damaged phones out: usually pouches in which the phone must be totally submerged. It may be a good idea to keep one handy in case something is spilt on the phone, as the quicker it's done, the more likely it is to be effective. One more traditional alternative is to use a bag of rice for this purpose. However, specialist products are generally thought to be more effective.

A Bag or Box

Don't forget something to keep the finished kit in. It can be tempting to see this as an optional extra, but if a phone is broken, it's very annoying to have to search all around the house to find the necessary tools for repairing it, and so something to keep them all together is a good investment.

Spare Parts

For many people, there is not much point in most people keeping a stock of spare phone parts around. But for professionals, those who see a particular part is already on its way out, and those with a record of breaking their screens, it might be worth doing so. Otherwise, just buy things as and when they are needed. Be very careful that the part ordered is exactly the one needed. For example, iPhone 3G screens are different from iPhone 3Gs screens.

What Kind of Phone Problems Can Be Fixed At Home?

The DIY option works for many different kinds of phone problem, although some are beyond the skill of the average layperson. Here is a guide to some of the most common problems and basic advice on fixing them.

Shattered Screen

The touchscreen of a smartphone consists of three different layers: a glass layer and a digitiser, which are always stuck together, and an LCD screen, which is separate. One of the most common problems is when the glass screen shatters. This is possible for even inexperienced phone owners to replace, although it is a fiddly job and may take up to two hours. It's possible to tell whether it's just the glass that's broken or the LCD too, because if it's just the glass the phone will still work, but if it's the LCD, it won't. Replacing the LCD is not normally something that can be done by an amateur.

Water damage

Getting the phone splashed or - worse - submerged in water is very easy to do, and unfortunately there is no guaranteed fix. The important thing is to get the phone dried out as soon as possible, either by submerging it in something that will draw the water out (either a bag of rice or a pouch specially designed for the purpose) or by taking it apart. The latter can be more effective, but it also runs the risk of causing further damage.

Broken Camera

How to fix a broken camera depends on exactly how it is broken. If the lens is scratched, it's possible to replace just that. However, if the entire camera needs to be replaced, it is usually better to leave it to a professional.

Broken Buttons

Although most phones nowadays are controlled primarily by touchscreens, there are usually still buttons for some functions; for example, volume control. One option that works for some models of mobile phone is to simply get an app that replicates the function of the broken buttons; for example, Button Saviour for android phones. iPhones using iOS 5 and above have a function called AssistiveTouch, which performs a similar function. Some buttons, for example the iPhone home button, can also be physically replaced.

Finding Mobile Phone Repair Kits on eBay

Mobile phone repair kits and the components that make them up tend to be a lot less expensive online than in bricks and mortar shops. eBay is a good place to look for them. To browse, begin first of all at the eBay homepage and then go toElectronics & Technology, using the menu on the left. Then select Mobile Phones & Communication. Then (still using the left hand menu), select All Categories, and from there go to Replacement Parts & Tools. Not everything on eBay is categorised correctly, of course, so it's also worth looking inMobile Phone Accessories, followed by Other Mobile Phone Accessories.

Conclusion

Getting a mobile phone repaired professionally can be an extremely expensive business. Replacing it can be even more so. For simple jobs, the DIY option will always be preferable. No expert skills are necessary, just patience and the right tools for the job.

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