Tracking the mysterious 'black stick'

Robert Palmer
R. Palmer|06.20.08

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Robert Palmer
June 20, 2008 3:30 PM
Tracking the mysterious 'black stick'

In its hardware repair instructions and videos, Apple frequently mentions the "black stick," a plastic tool that can be used to pry things apart without damaging our precious glossy exterior finishes (or the sensitive electronics inside). The problem I've found is that nobody seems to have these, instead opting to use credit cards, pens, screwdrivers, chisels, circular saws, or whatever else is handy to crack open the case.

My beautiful girlfriend Michelle is a chemist, and she brought home a giveaway nylon lab spatula (pictured) from a trade show. I found it perfect for use as a black stick. Best of all, it was free.

Other companies sell black tools online. PowerbookMedic offers black nylon "flat probe tool spudgers" for $2.90 apiece. These, they claim, are the same style as Apple uses in its repair videos and documentation.

Stanley also offers a nylon soldering tool that works just as well, and it's less than half the price at $1.30 each.

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If anyone else knows of any other ESD-safe, non damaging pry tools (especially for cheap!), feel free to share in comments.

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