Already managed similar issue with FP3. I find the screws to be made from quite soft material and/or too tiny, which makes them easily stripped. But basically following @anon9989719 hint very closely it works out best to avoid such issue.
Hard luck! Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that while these devices are designed to be taken apart if necessary, it’s probably unwise to do it other than when strictly necessary.
It’s also important to use the right tools (which need to be in good condition themselves). What screwdriver did you use?
I used to have a favourite adage, If it works, don’t fix it! though that of course precludes preventive measures, which is what you were trying to do.
For others who may come by, here are some ideas on the subject of screws. I’m not saying I think they’re all good, and every situation is different. Use with precaution. And my lawyer says don’t forget to add a disclaimer
I’m betting amoun will have some ideas … and yes he’s posted while I was writing this …
This could have (at least partially) been avoided with TORX® screws.
Did Fairphone at some point state why they chose PH00? Most normal people probably don’t have a PH00 screwdriver anyway, is a torx one really that hard to find?
Since the screw measurements are know, maybe it would be a good idea to replace the screws with a fitting torx version, to ease future repairs…
seeing those pictures you took, I assume you are not quite used to using either a screwdriver or glue. I hope you accept to leave such repairs to experts. I absolutely confirm your assumption: “It is easy if you are at least vaguely talented in such things. If not, you’ll probably break stuff.” It’s still a complex technical system we are talking about. Once opened, we can simply destroy it e.g. by electrostatic energy from our fingers due to lack of grounding. Not talking about wrong tools (Phillips/Pozidriv, Torx/Allen, inch/metric,…).
The Phones I owned until now were Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Blackview and Apple. None of those even got CLOSE to being such easily opened, disassembled and reassembled as my FP2 & 3.
Good luck and may your Fairphone never needs to be opened again!
I agree that the iFixit tools are extremely useful for such work. I got the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit for that very reason. It includes JIS bits that slip less in my experience when used on (tiny) PH screws and thus make it less likely to strip them. But it is still important to
choose the correct size
be very careful and attentive to slip/cam out and adjust accordingly
In most cases a combination of more pressure and less torque/slower turning of the screw helps, sometimes it is required to adjust the bit size up or down.
My best guess is that small Torx is even harder to come by than small PH drivers. So they might actually have tried to be more “user friendly” by doing this.
But I agree that Torx would probably be the better choice as you can apply more torque and cam out is less likely. When I have a choice for any application, I always choose Torx over PH or PZ now…
The advice to apply a bit more vertical pressure seems spot on to me, yet is sometimes hard to convey to people. I had a fellow Fairphoner here once who actually tried to get out the screws (and back in) by rotating the screwdriver between thumb and index + middle finger and the blunt end of the screwdriver sticking out of the hand.