The Pros and Cons of Repairing Your Own Gadgets

Some repairs are going to be easier than others.

When something goes wrong with one of your gadgets, you’re faced with a choice: Fix it yourself, or call in some professional help. With your options for these routes constantly changing (both Apple and Samsung have launched self-repair kits in recent years), we wanted to give you an up-to-date look at what you’ve got to consider when it comes to repairing your gear, and some of the resources that are out there.

Your initial thoughts will probably be around how much money you’re going to have to spend on a repair and how much time you’ll have to wait to get your device back in working order—but there’s plenty more to weigh up besides that on your way to working out whether you’re going to take on this repair job or get someone else to do it.

There’s a third option here, which is to give up on the broken gadget and get yourself a new one—but before you do this, we’d recommend going through the checks we’ve mentioned below. Weigh up the age of the device, what the recycling options are, and how much you’ve got available to spend on something new before giving up on the hardware that needs repairing and replacing it.

Assess the job

First up in your assessment of whether your gadget repair is going to be a do-it-yourself job or outsourced to the professionals is the size and the complexity of the task in front of you. From a shattered laptop screen to a phone that won’t charge, from a console that won’t switch on to a glitchy smart speaker, gadget repairs can vary hugely in how difficult they are, how long they’re going to take, and how much they might cost.

What you should bear in mind is that the level of difficulty involved isn’t necessarily what you think it’s going to be—if you’re dealing with a piece of hardware that you don’t know particularly well, it might be that a job that you think is easy is actually rather tricky, or vice versa. The same goes for the expense involved: Don’t make any assumptions. A quick web search should give you a better idea of what you’re dealing with.

A phone teardown photo

Online guides, forum posts or Reddit threads discussing the problem you’re having are a good start—and if they outline the steps…