Guitar Pick – Indespensible Electronics Tool
I need to get to the capacitors inside monitor, but I’m having trouble with the plastic clips that hold the case together. I’ve got the screws out and the base off, but I don’t want to screw up the plastic by prying on the wrong spot or in the wrong way.
The best way to do this is to pick up some guitar picks – real guitar pics taper to an extraordinarily strong and thin point. Slip the pick in, and once you do, gently slide it around the edge. As you do this, you can work your way up to the thicker part of the pick and just go all the way around. This works not just with this monitor but with other electronics as well. What you probably don’t want is something that is “made” for doing this sort of thing (a pick-shaped electronics tool) because they are usually made out of injection molded plastic, tend to bend and crumble, and just won’t do the trick.
A “spudger” might work, too. They come as kits in both nylon spudger kits and metal spudger kits– I definitely prefer the metal, but it’s good to have both since you metal isn’t safe to use on all surfaces. In fact, there are nice professional spudger kits for people that will be doing frequent repairs. They include metal and nylon tools along with some other goodies. Even so, I would still use it in conjunction with a pick. A real guitar pick is an indispensable tool.
What you do want is a real guitar pick made of a material like DuPont Delrin or Ultex,
Cellulose Acetate Nitrate, polyetherimide, or even real tortoise shell. If you have a local Guitar Center, you can get them there – they are cheap, strong, and usually well polished. All the things that make them good guitar picks make them good at gliding through the seams and separating the clips without damaging them. It sounds silly, but it’s one of the most useful tools in repairing electronics. You’ll probably only have to buy a handful of these in your lifetime to always have one when you need it.