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Community repair events come in all shapes and sizes. Below is a list of items that have come in handy. Please help us by adding to this list:

Venue Setup

  • Extension cords and outlet strips
  • Computer Access / Laptops to research problems and access disassembly guides, order parts on the internet
  • Signage / Banners
  • Check-in table
  • E-mail signup
  • Have Business Cards out
  • Sign in Sheet / Waiver

General Disassembly

  • Jewelers Screwdriver Sets, both phillips and flat head (Lots of good 0 and 00 phillips)
  • Specialty screwdrivers and bit heads - torx, security torx, metric hex, pentalobe, tri-wing (for cell phone disassembly). etc. Tamper proof fastener tool set
  • Wrench and hex nut drivers of various sizes
  • Pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Clamps and hemostats
  • Small saw / Hacksaw / coping saw
  • Drill and drill bits, bit gauge
  • Dremel tool
  • Goggles to protect eyes when using power tools like the dremel tool
  • Old credit cards and guitar picks as "spudgers" to pry open tabbed plastic things without marring (like you would with a screwdriver)
  • Lighting! - Anything providing light, especially lighting that can deliver a focused beam of light like a flashlight or headlamp will be very useful.

Troubleshooting / Research

  • Multimeter - VOM - continuity tester
  • Alligator clip test leads, small sizes
  • 91% drugstore isopropyl Alcohol (and, ideally, an eye dropper to apply it), Q-tips to apply alcohol. If you can get it, 99% isopropyl alcohol's even better. It's usually available in specialty stores and not drugstores.
  • Compressed air
  • Clean paint brush for dusting things off, old toothbrushes, rags/towels for cleaning things
  • Batteries: AA and AAA, at least 4 of each,
  • Button cell batteries of various sorts is a plus
  • Eraser for cleaning electrical contacts, battery contacts
  • Steel wool for cleaning electrical contacts, battery contacts
  • Emery board for cleaning electrical contacts, battery contacts
  • Files (particularly jeweler's files), fine sandpaper
  • Contact cleaner spray
  • Freon spray to test thermal behavior of components
  • ¼” to ⅛” stereo adapter, and vice versa, to use earbuds with older stereo equipment, older headphones with new stereo equipment
  • Colored sharpie magic markers to mark electrical wires before pulling them (or different colors of nail polish)
  • 1-3 music CDs to check CD players (and changers)
  • 1-3 DVDs to check DVD players (and changers)
  • Small monitor (or TV) with line input to display video, appropriate RCA cable for video input


  • Healthy assortment of lubricants e.g. WD-40, lithium grease
  • Healthy assortment of glues and adhesives, super glue for sure
  • Hot glue gun
  • Clear packing tape, scotch tape, electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Soldering Kit - iron and solder, rework station would be great (and someone comfortable with using it)
  • An assortment of DC power supplies: 5V, 6V, 9V, 12V, (?), both to test things and to offer as replacements
  • paper clips
  • assorted wire, various gauges and lengths
  • AC zip cord, plugs (some sort of way to determine if the AC line cord and/or power switch is bad)
  • Shrink tubing

Laptop / Computer-specific trouble shooting/repair

  • IDE and SATA hard drive external housings
  • VGA cable, computer monitor (to test laptops with bad LCD panels)
  • Windows Install / Recovery CD
  • Ubuntu Install CD and/or USB

Bonus Items

  • Rework station (Iron + Hot-air). A heat gun can be a good substitute.
  • Extra bench iron
  • Bench power supply
  • Logic analyzer
  • Handheld Oscilloscope
  • Signal generator with various cables
  • DVM
  • Assorted hose clamps
  • Inner tube rubber of various diameters (to make rubber bands, insulating sleeves)
  • Lamp cord wire and a light bulb socket


  • Directions to the nearest hardware store and/or electronics store (e.g. Radio Shack)
  • Information about the community repair organization


We created this handy PDF with 'Tips for successful smartphone and small electronic device repair'.

Tips for successful smartphone and small electronic device repair

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