Dell’s laptop service manuals often call for the use of a non-marring plastic scribe tool for removing plastics. Usually Dell will ship one of the tools when they dispatch a part that requires the tool for installation.
Lately the tool hasn’t been showing up in the box with the replacement part, probably a cost cutting measure but a very annoying one! I’ve been in the habit of tossing the tools in the trash once I was done since I counted on Dell to send a new one each time.
Using a flathead screwdriver to open a laptop is a sure way to scratch the computer. The basic principal of scratch hardness states that an item made of a hard material (metal) will scratch a softer material (plastic). Plastic on plastic is much less likely to leave any marks or scratches.
If you need a plastic scribe and you don’t have one you can get one fairly cheap. Specialized Products sells an alignment tool (Part #318X805) for $2 that is nearly identical to Dell’s tool. Each end of the tool is similar to a flathead screwdriver but it is much narrower making it great for fitting in small spaces.
They also sell a 5 piece kit (Part #054X700) for $7 that contains a flat blade scribe and several other useful tools for working on laptops.
So for $9 you can buy both and have a nice tool kit for safely working on laptops.
This was my first time ordering from Specialized Products and I can say it was a good experience. They quickly confirmed and shipped my order.
Amazon also sells a plastic spudger tool with a flat tip on one end and a sharp tip on the other side.
If you are planning to do any work on a laptop I highly recommend using a scribe, it will make the task much easier.