Technology

iFixit Dads, What Have You Fixed with Your Kids?

Warning: Father’s Day is June 20. It’s coming up fast, the time when we honor the dads, grandpas, uncles, friends, and mentors who helped teach 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.

If you want to thank your father for all the fixes, material and emotional, past and future, we’ve got a deal for you. From now through June 20th, you can get $10 off an iFixit.com order of $50 or more, plus free shipping, with code DADS2021. Our toolkits make great gifts, and are a smart place to start shopping.

Here at iFixit, we’ve got both new and experienced dads and parents. 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. 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:

Brett Hartt, Lead Tool Designer

“My children are 4 and 2, so there is no shortage of broken toys around our house, and both my children love fixing things together. Their favorite activity is using a screwdriver to remove the screws on battery doors. When there aren’t any toys with expired batteries, there’s always a never-ending library of books that have been loved a little too enthusiastically and need some tape on their bindings. My son likes to march out to the garage with his step stool and get one of the Marlin Screwdrivers off my workbench and then bring it back inside to try and fix something that’s ‘boken.” It’s usually the wrong size screwdriver, but I get excited anyway.”

Matthias Mayer, Managing Director, EU

I remember when I was in third grade, my father picked me up the first time with his new Vespa P200E. I was 8 years old and this was back in 1980. It was so exciting driving home sitting behind him. All the wind around me made me happy!  

30 years later, during the Corona pandemic, my daughter Jule and I were sitting on the sofa watching a custom car garage show when I remembered his Vespa. Fortunately it still exists; it sat in his garage for so many years unused. Jule and I decided to make it our project. We made progress since then and we will ride the fully restored Vespa soon when the summer comes.”

kids fixing Wii with help from theif father

Marty Rippens, EDU Director

“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.”

Timo Gschwendtner, Director of eCommerce, EU

“I’ve always repaired, restored and tinkered with things—even before I started working at iFixit. The only thing that has changed is the range of things I fix. Now it’s not just oil-smeared oldtimer parts or broken household appliances I deal with anymore, it’s also doll carriages with loosened wheels, or wooden coffee makers that can’t handle my daughter’s urge to play. From sticking things back together and dealing with all kinds of screws to cutting or welding stuff—Daddy’s got this!”

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.”

This post was originally published May 29, 2018. It has been updated with new sales information, along with updates and changes to the iFixit fathers featured.

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