By Collin Allen

Apple's "Black Stick"

November 17, 2005

In all the official Apple Service Source guides, where detailed take-apart information for every Apple product is listed, they make references to a tool called only the “black stick.” It’s used for prying open plastic cases without chewing up the edge like a metal screwdriver would. However, they don’t mention what this tool really is or where to obtain one. RadTech, makers of my favorite iPod cases and polishing solutions, sells what seems to be the tool Apple uses. However, they sell this nylon pry tool for a ridiculous $7. For a strong plastic stick. Being in need and not knowing where else to get it, I ordered one not too long ago. After receiving it and noticing some information stamped on it, I did some searching and found out they’re manufacured by Menda, makers of various lab tools. I also managed to find an online distributor with a website that works. So, if you’re in need of an iPod opener that won’t mark up the case, and which doubles as a handy soldering tool, get your “black stick” from ESD Systems for $1.59.

Update: Buy this stick from Stanley Supply. It’s sturdier than the pointy stick and makes opening iPods and Mac hardware a breeze.