Father Fixers

Warning: Father’s Day is June 17. That’s coming up fast, folks. And this year, we’re honoring the dads, grandpas, uncles, friends, and mentors who taught us how to fix. In addition to providing much-needed support and guidance during our formative years, these relationships often serve as our first introduction to repair and tinkering.

Here at iFixit, we’ve got a whole pack of new dads and parents. So we rounded them all up to ask them about their favorite iFixit toolkits, and if they’ve recently repaired anything with (or for) their kids. Turns out, the fixer gene has not been spared with iFixit’s youngest generation. We were impressed by the sheer variety of things that dads have fixed for their kids—as well as the repair savvy their little ones possess in their own right. 

Meet the dads who keep iFixit running and see for yourself:

iFixit dad for Father's Day

Brett Hartt, Lead Tool Designer

“My daughter’s only 14 months old, so we don’t really do a lot of repair together yet. She breaks a lot of things. Usually it’s plastic components that break, so a lot of times it’s just gluing it back together. She also knocks a lot of things off that just require glue for now. She’s got a little playpen—we call it the command seat because she sits it in the middle of it and has all sorts of fun bells and whistles. So she sits in the middle of that, and it has all sorts of little screws and things, so we’re replacing screws or getting access to the battery components to install the batteries. And then after a few months, when we’re sick of all the sounds—to take the batteries back out… If it’s not in the Pro Tech Screwdriver Set, I reach for the Manta Driver Kit. Just because there’s so many bits available, I can find the right screwdriver bit.”

iFixit dad for Father's day

JC Solis, Graphic Designer

“I helped my kids fix a Doc McStuffins hospital cart that played sounds and stuff like that. The sound wasn’t working anymore—none of the buttons played sounds or anything. And we had swapped the batteries out, and nothing was working. I used the Pro Tech to open it up with them, and a prong had come loose in the battery connector. So it was one of those prongs that slid in and out, and we basically slid it back in and it was fine. It was a pretty straightforward fix. But that was one that I did with my kids. And they were super excited about it—for something so simple. But I usually go to the Pro Tech for almost everything, just because it’s so convenient. Like in case I need to take off adhesive or anything like that, all the tools are right there, already in the roll. I usually use that for most of the repairs I do around the house.”

iFiixt father for Fathers Day

Parker Hayes, Warehouse Manager

“I really like the Pro Tech—it’s probably the one I’ve used the most. I’ve used it to repair both mine and my wife’s H61M-A several times—the display and battery and headphone jack area… I haven’t done any repairs with her—all those were done just before she was born, now that I think about it. I definitely want to build stuff—I don’t think I have anything to repair at the moment. She’s really interested in all sorts of everything—she really likes to discover and hold things. Mechanics are something she loves. So I’m really excited to show her. It’s all in the search of knowledge. She loves just finding out what it is and seeing that it does—not even that it does anything important, but that it does. Does anything. Because it’s all new to her. It’s really neat seeing her learn.”

kids fixing Wii with help from theif father

Marty Rippens, Technical Educator

“They took it upon themselves to fix their Wii because it wasn’t working. And I had the Pro Tech, so that’s what we used. I tried to help, but they pretty much did it themselves. I just offered encouragement. They got it to work again. They just feel more empowered about it—they know I work here, and I have the tools—so why not? It was cool.”

Father reading a book about trains to his sons

Scott Head, Operations Manager“In the Pro Tech and the Mako Driver Kit, I really like the driver itself. I use that for all kinds of stuff. I used the Pro Tech to take apart a baby monitor, years ago. The thing’s of course glued shut—there’s no screws on the outside. So I had to separate the whole thing using that metal spudger and then screws to take out the various parts that were broken. It was a loose power jack. I did that a few years ago. It’s not built for repair of course—it’s glued shut. Trying to get in there, you run the risk of stabbing yourself with the opening tools.”

Baby playing with the pro tech toolkit

David Rans, Software Engineering Manager

“I fixed a coffee grinder recently, which was fun. I used my Pro Tech Toolkit. I used the Mahi Kit the other day. I used the big, hefty driver to take apart my computer, and that was cool. I liked the big driver, it just felt a lot more heavy duty, and it was nice for taking tight things apart. The heft gave me some more leverage, with the bigger, tougher bits. I use the Magnetic Project Mat all the time—that’s super handy for taking things apart, keeping track of all the screws.”

Father fixing a toy plane

Danny Beardsley, Software Developer

“Sometime in the last year, my mother-in-law bought this toy for my son. It’s from like the ‘70s, maybe even earlier. It’s this old plane. And it’s maybe a foot wide, and you pull the trigger, and it spins the propellers when you pull the trigger. And it’s really neat, and it’s lasted 40 or 50 years. But it was getting really hard to pull—it was kind of gummed up. So one night after the kids went to bed, I pulled it apart and was able to find all sorts of bearings and surfaces that rub on each other, and I cleaned them all up and oiled them. But there were quite a few screws in it—and I always just grab my Pro Tech Toolkit—and sure enough, it was all I needed to get it open… I cleaned it up and put it back together, and showed him the next morning—because he loved the thing but didn’t have the strength to pull it. He was like, ‘Daddy, you make it spin the propeller!’ It’s been fun to have him see me fix something and then it comes out the other side usable again, and not destroyed.”

Father with his baby

Jeff Snyder, Director of eCommerce

“I did a handful of repairs before Joan was born—so in preparation, prepping the house. We moved into a sweet condo, and we thought that the dishwasher worked because it was full of clean dishes. But it turns out that the folks who sold us the house cleverly filled it with dishes as though it had just finished a cycle. So I needed to fix that before the child came—because hand-washing dishes is very time consuming. So I actually used prying tools from the Pro Tech, of course. But I also used the handles from the Manta Driver Kit. And the big knobby handles in the ¼” drive were helpful for screwing the basic Phillips #02 screws that were totally stuck on there with all sorts of awesome little bits of heavy metals that dried on there. So it was a pretty basic repair. It was that plus the use of the prying tools and spudgers to deal with all the little tabs and take that thing out… Now I can wash lots of grown-up dishes. Because, for whatever reason, we don’t wash most bottles and that sort of thing in the dishwasher. I don’t know. My wife read an article or something.”

Father fixing his daughter's bike

Richard Suovanen, Technical Educator

“The Pro Tech is a really good one because it has pretty much everything. Amélie really likes it too because she likes the little Magnetic Mat—she’s always sticking things on it, and she uses it to fix all her little toys and replace batteries on her stuff. I usually get her to help me fix, do car maintenance. She was out helping my dad tear out the floor and inspect the transom in his boat, and do the fiberglassing and drilling and everything. She loves to get her hands on everything. She drilled a little hole in her bike. She’s got a mudguard on the front of her bike, and she took a drill and drilled a hole so she could hang her little teddy bear keychain on it. Because there was nowhere else to put it, so she was like, ‘I’ll drill a hole in it!’ and it worked out perfectly. That was really cool. She also likes the Opening Picks—she takes them and plays her ukulele with them. She doesn’t fix things with them, but she’s like, ‘Oh it’s a guitar pick!’ and uses it for that.”

Father with his baby

Dan Riviore, iFixit Pro 

“My daughter’s only nine months old, so I haven’t done any repairs for her yet. I’m always doing repairs for family and friends, so it feels like I’m preparing to do repairs for my kids in the future. It was an iPhone 7 screen replacement, so while I was doing that, I also replaced the battery at the same time. And it was for a friend who’s fiancé broke her phone screen. And so I got it replaced at a local shop and I guess I was unhappy with the way the replacement screen she had was working. So I got out my Pro Tech, I bought them a replacement screen and replacement battery, and I opened it up. It was a really fun experience because they both kind of sat there and did it with me. I helped them tinker with little parts of it. It was kind of neat to be doing an iPhone 7 because it’s kind of something different, with different cable connections and required different bits that come with the toolkit. I was glad to be able to use that Tri-point screwdriver bit for the first time. It was a cool experience, and I know that I’ll probably be doing iPads and things in the future with my little daughter.”