Ifixit repair kits: everything you need to fix everything

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2015/12/02/ifixit-repair-kits-everything.html

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The manufacturer-specific screw heads are a royal pain. If I’d rule the universe, using a nonstandard head (and there’s plenty of standards to choose from already) without a REALLY good reason would be a firing-squad-at-dawn grade of offense.

I tried to in-situ cast the screwdriver head mating bits from Wood’s metal.

The shape went well but the low melting alloys are apparently mechanically WAY too weak. Which, in hindsight, was to be expected. I wondered if it could work; would not. Not in this simple way.

There’s more hope in EDM machining. If the rig I am working on (or not as I am away now and it will require some more mods on the printer) turns to be capable of machining bulk metal, we have no more issues - we will be able to use a thin brass wire to EDM-sink any shape, including those to mate with vendor-specific heads, on a humble 3d printer. I wonder if the head actuators’ accuracy will be sufficient.

Death to vendor-specific heads.

(Of course, you can always just buy the bit - but then it is costly, you have to wait, and then you have just the amount you buy, usually one; which is liable to get stripped, wander around, be lost, borrowed or loaned, or otherwise disappear. In-situ manufacturing is a better bet. Just download the SCAD files for the tool heads and you’re in business.)


Oh my, you didn’t go there, did you…

Ruling stuff is boring. Not really for me.
If facing that situation, I’d prefer the role of the Advisor.

Is that the whiskey talking?

As someone who has the slightly nicer version of the kit pictured, it can be okay for somethings. The main problem is that they actual body of the screwdriver is a bit shitty and you’ll often find yourself having to find one that you can actually grip to break the screw’s hold. I don’t think I’ve found something that the set doesn’t have a head for, though, so that’s nice.

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I’m assuming you pay $130 for the case and not the bits, because I believe I got almost all these same bits at Harbor Freight for $8. I haven’t found a machine I couldn’t disassemble yet.


My workbench has a screwdriver rack with about 40 of these bits rendered as individual screwdrivers, which is WAY more practical to use in actual equipment.

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For portable use, they can be made as keychain ornaments. Just weld a flat nut on the top.


I like their tweezers. Such nicely scalloped tips!

I was skeptical, but boy was I wrong, dangerously wrong. Having seen BoingBoing offers like this set of 15 iFixit jeweler’s screwdrivers for $59 (A $100 value!):

Includes 15 fixed-bladed drivers, eliminating lost & misidentified bits

I’ve been a bit wary of being charged high prices for the iFixit brand - but that was before I tried the $130 128-bit Universal Bit Kit that fixes everything.

The first thing I fixed was an old Elgin pocket watch. Thanks to the kit the watch finally kept perfect time, and it no longer needed winding. I was amazed! So, I decided to finally assemble that perpetual motion machine DIY project I bought as a joke. Thanks to the iFixit kit, the machine actually worked. It not only continued to move without need for outside energy, it produced surplus energy, which sounds like a great thing, unless that energy has nowhere to go. The machine went into thermal run away, and set my house on fire as it melted through the floor of my workshop, and the concrete slab. All that is left of my home is ash, and a 12" diameter melted, smoking hole. I don’t even have the watch I fixed anymore. I only hope that the repair to the perpetual motion machine was temporary, and that it stops working before it reaches the magma layer.

So. Lesson learned. The iFixit kit really does fix everything, for the low price of $130. But be careful what you wish for.


not sure if this already exists, but what aboout a screw driver with a head based on this principle?

What you are looking for is a mini version of the Gator-Grip Universal Socket.


or at least the screw driver version of that wrench.

Everything? EVERYTHING?


So, how long do you think that it’ll take to fix your house using the iFixit repair kit?

I wish I knew, but the fixit kit went down with the house (it was probably helping to fix the fire into being a better fire…) At this point I’m afraid to buy another one and try…it might try to revive the house from the dead - I’ve never heard of a revenant house, but with the iFixit kit, anything is possible, or what if my house is built on a Native American grave yard? Shudder…

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Thanks to a not-so-subtle hint to the lady, my first iFixIt kit will be under the Christmas tree. :wink:

My god! It’s an excitable man advert! Selling a product that might just work! I mean! Assuming it can handle that torque! More than once!