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Start a Cell Phone Repair Business in 30 Days - Day 2 - Buying Equipment

Updated on May 9, 2015

Overview

Now that you have been introduced to the cell phone repair industry and have learned about the importance of purchasing practice phones, we can start learning about the elements of starting a repair. The next step is purchasing the right equipment for the particular device you are repairing. Depending on which device you plan on fixing, the equipment type and cost will vary. We will start with the basics, the essential tools required to fix any device and then branch on to more specific tools that you will need to fix certain devices.

Screwdrivers

The essential tool you need to fix anything electronic are the right screw drivers. Certain phones use proprietary screwdrivers while others use standard screwdrivers. Let's go over the screwdrivers you are going to need.

Phillips Screwdriver

This is a no brainer. Every device that you will fix will have phillips screwdriver screws either on the outside of the phone or on the inside of the phone. Keep in mind though, not every size of phillips screwdrivers work. Considering you are working with very small screws, you will have to size your drivers accordingly. There are many cell phone repair kits that list the sizes of screwdriver within them. While this is a good place to start, keep in mind that the kits you see online are often priced cheaply and subsequently have cheap drivers. Use the sizes provided in the kits to purchase the drivers individually. It will save you the headache.

Pentalobe Screwdriver

This is a type of screwdriver that is used to fix Apple iPhones. There are two screws that hold the screen of an iPhone in place and are located on the bottom of the phone outside of the charge port. It is very important that you purchase a quality driver for these screws. A cheap one may strip the screws which render the phone essentially obsolete. The size you should be looking for on this screwdriver is 0.8 mm.

Flathead (Standard) Screwdriver

This one is entirely optional. Within the iPhone there are riser screws that hold the motherboard in place. They have a head on the screw that is a bit confusing. Using a standard screwdriver will get the job done, but can be a pain when putting the screw back in place. You can use the pentalobe screwdriver for this operation if you apply enough pressure.

Broken iPhone & Tools
Broken iPhone & Tools

Spudgers & More

Spudgers are pry tools that help you remove the screen from a phone as well as safely removing the ribbon cables that connect certain components the phone. Let's talk about the two different kinds of spudgers you will find.

Plastic or Nylon Spudger

The plastic or nylon spudger is great for removing cables that are connected to the motherboard of the phone you are fixing. Be careful though, a lot of the nylon screwdrivers are very fragile and break easily. Do not use a nylon or plastic spudger to remove batteries or the screen itself.

Metal Spudger

Metal spudgers can be used to either pry up a screen or remove glass. Some technicians use a suction cup to lift the screen from a device, others use metal spudgers. The danger of using a metal spudger is that a lot of components are located at the bottom of the phone so you have to be careful do not damage any of them when prying. Some phones, like Galaxy phones, are held together with UV glue which must be pried up before installing a new screen. You can use a metal spudger to lift the glass if you are careful.

Plastic Razor

On phones that are held together with UV glue, the plastic razor is the safest way to remove the left over glue without scratching the display of the device.

Business or Playing Cards

When removing the glass from a phone that is held together with UV glue, sliding a business or playing card under the glass is a safe way to remove the glass without scratching the display. Remember that the metal spudger can be used to initially pry up the glass.

Tweezers

Tweezers are good for placing or shifting small components in place. Most tweezers are metal so they should be used with caution on the inside of the device. Having a good pair of tweezers can save you a lot of stress and time when your hands are too big to get the job done.

Broken Galaxy Phone
Broken Galaxy Phone

UV Glue & Adhesive

Glue or adhesive is pretty self explanatory. Some devices need to have their screens glued down, others are mechanically put in place by screws. Some components require additional security to stay aligned.

UV Glue

UV glue is used to glue down screens that aren't mechanically placed by screws. A lot of Android and Windows devices have to be repaired this way. iPhones are held together by a frame that is secured by screws. In addition to UV glue, you need surrounding adhesive to keep the screen centered and secured on the edges. Once the glue has been placed, you need a UV lamp to dry the glue. These are cheap and easily found online.

Adhesive Tape

Adhesive tape can be used to glue components that cannot be secured by UV glue. Small brackets, batteries and even screens can be held in place by adhesive tape. It comes in multiple sized but the most popular are 1mm, 2mm and 3mm.

Broken Windows Phone
Broken Windows Phone

Cleaning Tools

Microfiber cloths

Microfiber cloths can be used to clean screens after a repair or remove any types of smudges or dirt on displays before applying new screens. It is important to purchase quality microfibers as poor quality cloths can result in more lint being created.

Pec Pads

Pec Pads are small white cloths that can be combined with alcohol to clean displays. They're are virtually lint free and do a really nice job. They are also really cheap.

Compressed Air

Compressed air can be used to blow all broken glass, dirt and dust out of a phone before beginning a repair. This is definitely a must have.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a noncorrosive solution that can be used to clean anything inside of a phone. It is also very useful in repairing water damaged phones. Make sure to buy alcohol that is 99%.

Digital Hot Plate

This tool is required to fix devices that must be heated before removing the screen or any other component. They tend to be rather expensive ($200-$600) but are a one time buy. Do some shopping around eBay, Amazon and Alibaba/Aliexpress before purchasing one and see which one will work the best for your budget.

Conclusion

This is just an overview of the types of tools you might need when repairing phones. These are also only the essentials. Over time you will find new ways of making the repair process better with higher quality tools. Also, as devices evolve over time, new types of tools might be necessary.

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