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These handy tools can diagnose and fix your broken iPhone

Having the right tools can mean the difference between a successful fix and breaking the gadget even more.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
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AVHzY USB-C Power Meter
AVHzY USB-C Power Meter on green and yellow grid.
AVHzY USB-C Power Meter
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SE LED-illuminated head-mounted magnifier
SE LED-illuminated head-mounted magnifier
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Dremel VersaTip soldering iron
Dremel VersaTip soldering iron
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Ulefone Armor 9 with built-in thermal camera
Ulefone Armor 9 with built-in thermal camera
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So, the new iPhone 14 is the most repairable smartphone since the iPhone 7, according to the experts over at iFixit. This makes sense, since not only has Apple been working to make it easier for owners to repair their devices, but it also helps Apple technicians when they are repairing iPhones.

What's strange is that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max lines aren't as easy to repair. Perhaps Apple has decided it prudent to test the new design for durability before rolling it out across the board.

There are two things that you need to be able to carry out successful repairs: Know-how and the right tools.

And iFixit has both.

For know-how, visit the company's extensive repair guides. Simply the best information available, and all free.

But what about tools?

Let's take a look at some of the tools I use. Not all of these are specific to the iPhone, but these are the things that I use the most when diagnosing or repairing faulty gadgets.

Review: iPhone 14 Pro wins with substance over sizzle this year

My toolkit of choice for a number of years now is the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit. Pretty much everything I need, all stored in one place and in a convenient carry case. I've owned -- and have been using -- my set for many years, and it's still going strong.

If I had to describe the new iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit in one word, it would be "perfect."

Kit contents:

  • 64 bit driver kit.
  • Anti-static wrist strap.
  • Small suction cup.
  • 3 x iFixit opening tool.
  • iFixit opening picks x6.
  • Nylon-tipped reverse tweezers.
  • Angled ESD tweezers.
  • Blunt ESD tweezers.
  • 2x spudger.
  • Metal spudger.
  • Jimmy.
  • Magnetic pad.
  • Tool roll.

Here's a detailed listing of all the bits in the driver kit:

  • Phillips 000, 00, 0, 1, 2.
  • Flathead 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4 mm.
  • Torx T2, T3, T4, T5.
  • Torx Security TR6, TR7, TR8, TR9, TR10, TR15, TR20, TR25.
  • Pentalobe P2, P5, P6.
  • JIS J000, J00, J0, J1.
  • Hex 0.7, 0.9, 1.3, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 mm.
  • Tri-point Y000, Y00, Y0, Y1.
  • Nut driver 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 mm.
  • Square 0, 1, 2.
  • Gamebit 3.8, 4.5 mm.
  • Spanner 4, 6, 8.
  • Triangle 2, 3 mm.
  • SIM eject bit.
  • 1/4" to 4 mm driver adapter.
AVHzY USB-C Power Meter on green and yellow grid.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

USB power testers have become a staple of my testing equipment. A good tester can test if USB ports are outputting the right amount of power, check the power draw of devices, measure how much capacity a battery has, check what loads USB-C cables can carry, and much more. 

This is one of the easier to use USB testers out there. It comes with quite good instructions, and there aren't too many buttons and controls to get all confusing.

In addition to the display this tool can save data to a PC logger, which means that you can carry out longer tests.

This one tool does so much that it's indispensable!

  • Display: IPS 1.14-inch 240x135 pixel.
  • Connector: Full 24-pin Type-C ports with USB3.2 Gen4 10Gbps pass through.
  • Voltage Current Range: DC 4-26V(0.1-26V PC) 0-6.8A.
  • Resolution & Accuracy: 0.0001V 0.0001A 0.1%+2d.
  • E-mark reader: Support.
  • Gravity sensor: Support.
  • VBUS Oscilloscope: 8Msps, 1mV resolution.
  • Fast-charge trigger for PD, PD PPS, QC2.0/3.0, FCP, SCP, AFC, VOOC, SuperVOOC.

Also: This USB-C tester will tell you if your Apple chargers are genuine

My eyes aren't what they used to be. Well, to be honest, my eyes were never that good, but I managed. Since I was finding tasks involving small things to be a bit problematic, it was time to do something about it.

Enter this cheap magnifier, which not only features magnification lenses, but also comes complete with LED lights.

  • The headband is adjustable and super comfortable.
  • The twin-LED lights powered by two AAA batteries are bright, and can pan left and right, or be angled up or down.
  • Comes with three lenses (a fixed 1.9x stereo lens, a drop-down 1.9x stereo lens, and a 4.5x loupe) allowing for four magnifications up to 8.3x.
  • The lenses are high quality and distortion-free.
  • It's lightweight yet durable.

I've used mine now for well over a year now, and I have no complaints. I really love the pan and tilt LEDs, as this allows me to get the light exactly on what I'm doing.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

When the diagnostics are done, it's time to start repairing things. And while most components these days are disposable, it's nice when I come across something that's repairable. 

Maybe it's a cable that's come loose, or a component that needs replacing. 

This is when a soldering iron comes in super handy. I use a butane-powered iron because that gives me flexibility to repair things when away from a power supply.

  • Cordless butane soldering torch, perfect not only for soldering but also pyrography, shrinking heatsink, cutting plastic, heating, and other hobby and craft projects.
  • Integrated ignition trigger with safety lock to prevent accidental ignition.
  • Variable temperature control for precise control, from 1022° F - 2192° F.
  • Flame lock-on mechanism keeps the torch on a continuous flame for simpler operation.
  • Versatile 14-piece accessory kit.
  • Refillable tank with a 75 minutes burn time.

Also: The best night vision security cameras: See in the dark

My favorite Android smartphone is the Ulefone Armor 9. It's rugged. It's chunky! It's tough. And it has a built-in FLIR Lepton thermal camera!

I used to think that thermal cameras were a cool toy for people with more money than sense. But having used one for a few years now, I'm finding it invaluable to have the "superpower" to be able to see in infrared. 


Because when it comes to electrical repairs, excess heat means that there's something wrong, and this camera allows me to see this overloading directly.

I've been using the thermal camera in the Ulefone Armor 9 to spot bad connections and overheating components, and it's a great tool for spotting heat buildup in PCs. It's also great around the home for a myriad of things, from spotting heat escape points to finding airlocks in the heating system.

  • MediaTek Helios P90 octa-core processor, up to 2.2GHz.
  • 6.3-inch 2340 x 1080 FHD+ 410 PPI LCD multi-touch display with IPS technology.
  • 8GB LPDDR4x dual-channel RAM.
  • 128GB UFS2.1 ROM.
  • SD card Up to 2TB.
  • FLIR Lepton thermal camera with -10℃ - 400℃ range (assisted by a 5-megapixel rear camera).
  • Samsung 64-megapixel rear camera.
  • 2-megapixel secondary rear camera.
  • Quad-LED flash.
  • 8- megapixel front camera.
  • 6600mAh battery.
  • 18W fast charging supported.
  • Fingerprint unlock.
  • Dual-SIM support.
  • Headphone jack.
  • Endoscope port.
  • USB-C port.
  • IP68/IP69K/MIL-STD-810G rated.
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