What screwdriver do I need to open my Nintendo Switch console?
You'll need a Y00 screwdriver to remove the screws on the back panel and either a JIS000 screwdriver or an official iFixit PH000 screwdriver to remove the screws on the top, bottom, and sides of the Switch console and in the kickstand well. Follow iFixit’s guides for the standard Switch, Switch OLED, and Switch Lite for the specific locations of each screw type.
According to Jeff Suovanen, iFixit's Senior Technical Editor, you don't have to buy a new JIS screwdriver to remove JIS screws, "technically these are JIS screws, but iFixit designed their Phillips bits to remove JIS screws. You might find removing JIS screws with a non-iFixit Phillips screwdriver to be more challenging."
Be extra cautious with tri-point screws, as their point profiles are more likely to drive a driver tip out of the recess. These small screws are easy to strip, so follow iFixit’s screwdriver best practices to remove the screws as cleanly as possible.
For the standard and OLED Switch, once you're past the screws, the back cover lifts off without messing with clips or adhesive. The Switch Lite has clips that will require a little more work to pry open.
Tri-wing vs. Tri-point (Y)
We refer to the Y-type screw as a “tri-point,” but you will commonly see it called a “tri-wing” on Amazon and elsewhere on the internet. An actual tri-wing screw has three slotted "wings" and a small triangular hole in the center. The slots are offset and do not intersect the center of the fastener.
Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) vs Phillips Head (PH)
You will need a JIS000 or an official iFixit PH000 to remove fasteners on the outside and inside of the Switch. Nintendo uses JIS screws to secure the Switch, but you can use a Phillips screwdriver in a pinch. Be very careful not to strip the screws.
- Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) screws do not provide a cam-out option and have 90-degree corners.
- Phillips (PH) screws are designed to make a Phillips screwdriver cam out if too much torque is applied. This prevents damage to screws and screwdrivers or bits.
- The inner cut on a PH has a radius. Forcing the radius into the JIS screwhead can damage the screw and strip it.
iFixit's Chief Tool Officer, Eric Essen, manufactured iFixit's Phillips bits with JIS screws in-mind, "we designed our PH bits sizes 000-1 to be cross-compatible with JIS screws without damaging them. PH2 will damage them. Other brands PH bits may damage them."
What screwdriver do I need to open my Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons?
If you’re opening up the Joy-Cons, you will need a Y00 screwdriver to remove the fasteners on the outside and a PH00 screwdriver to remove the fasteners on the inside.
What other tools are needed to repair and mod my Nintendo Switch?
Opening picks are essential for prying open the Switch Lite and Joy-Cons. You’ll also use these to cut the adhesive holding the screen and battery of the console.
Precision tweezers are useful for disconnecting and reconnecting the ZIF connector lock in the Joy-Cons and for handling small components inside the Switch, such as the microSD card reader.
A versatile tool perfect for safely disconnecting cables and other components such as the battery inside the console and the Joy-Cons. You can also use an iFixit opening tool if you need something with a different fit.
The iOpener is an insulated, heat-retaining bag that can be heated in a microwave to safely loosen the adhesive holding the screen to the frame of the Switch.
A suction cup is needed for screen replacements. The tool creates a gap between the display and the frame, allowing an opening pick to cut the adhesive holding the screen.
Use an adhesive remover or high-concentration (90% or higher) isopropyl alcohol to soften the battery's adhesive.
Use a plastic card with an opening pick during a battery replacement to slice through the adhesive holding the battery and lift the battery.