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Repair toolkit essentials for smartphones, tablets, Macs, and PCs

Gone are the days of being able to repair everything you come across with a Phillips screwdriver, some duct tape, and maybe a few curse words (OK, the curse words still come in handy). Modern devices mean that you have to have the right tool to do the job, or risk making a bigger problem than you've been asked to fix.
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
1 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iFixit iPro Tech Toolkit

See it now: iFixit

This is without doubt one of the best toolkits I've come across. It contains many of the tools that you need to tackle PC and smartphone repairs. 

I've had one of these kits for quite some time now, and after a lot of heavy use, it all looks and works like new.

Fantastic value.

Price: $59.99 

Disclosure: ZDNet earns commissions from some of the products featured in this gallery.

iFixit Adhesive Remover (for Battery, Screen, and Glass Adhesive)
2 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iFixit Adhesive Remover (for Battery, Screen, and Glass Adhesive)

See it now: iFixit

It's becoming a habit -- a nasty one -- for manufacturers to use adhesive to hold down everything from displays to batteries. It's a nasty thing because the temptation is to start levering at the adhesive, which is a bad idea because if you rupture the battery or explode a screen, you can be in a world of hurt.

This kit comes with everything you need to deal with the adhesive you're likely to encounter during a repair.

Price: $19.99 

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups
3 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups

See it now: iFixit

If you're in the business of repairing all-in-one systems such as the iMac, these suction cups are perfect for screen removal. Without them, you run the risk of cracking a display while trying to remove it.

Price: $14.99

Polyimide Tape
4 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Polyimide Tape

See it now: iFixit

Don't use insulating tape inside devices. The glue runs, it gasses out, and isn't as good at the job of insulating as polyimide tape.

Whenever you come across this sort of tape in your repairs, make sure to replace it with similar tape. Don't take shortcuts!

Price: $9.99 

iSesamo Opening Tool
5 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iSesamo Opening Tool

See it now: iFixit

This is the best pry tool you can buy. eBay is littered with clones, but they don't last. Don't cheap out. Get the genuine thing!

When I first came across these a few years ago, I bought a few of them, thinking that they wouldn't last long -- I was wrong! My original one is still like new, despite a lot of prying.

Price: $9.99

iMac Opening Wheel
6 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iMac Opening Wheel

See it now: iFixit

While you can cut the adhesive foam that holds the iMac display in place using razor blades and the like, I find that it can be hit-and-miss, and you might be sending the iMac back either with your blood on it, or a cracked display.

Again, this tool makes the job easier and takes much of the risk out of it. Yes, having the right tool for the right job makes all the difference.

Price: $7.99

iOpener
7 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

iOpener

See it now: iFixit

The iOpener is designed for softening the adhesive holding tablets and smartphones together. You heat it in a microwave, pop it on the display, and let it do its job of softening the glue.

While you can use a hot air gun to do the job, this does a far better job of getting the heat where you need it.

Price: $12.99

Screw Extracting Pliers
8 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Screw Extracting Pliers

See it now: iFixit

These are hands down the best pliers for grabbing onto and twisting broken screws. This tool has got me out of a lot of jams over the years.

Price: $19.99 

Battery Blocker
9 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Battery Blocker

See it now: iFixit

This tool has been specifically designed to disconnect iPad and MacBook batteries. Again, you can do without this, but this tool makes the job quicker and safer. 

If you do this job often, or just want to eliminate the risk of damaging the connector, I suggest getting the tool.

Price: $3.99 

GripStick Headphone Plug Extraction Tool
10 of 10 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

GripStick Headphone Plug Extraction Tool

See it now: iFixit

While headphone jacks might be on the way out, that doesn't mean that we're not going to be servicing devices that have them for a very long time.

While I've only had to deal with a headphone plug broken off inside the jack a couple of times, let me tell you that getting the broken piece out without this tool is a nightmare of epic proportions. There is a trick to using this tool, but once you have it figured, it' super easy to use.

Price: $22.99 

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