How to repair a bad cassette tape

Written by tina amo
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How to repair a bad cassette tape
Repair a damaged cassette tape with splicing tape. (cassette image by Shawn Stallard from

Although MP3 players have almost obliterated earlier personal audio players, cassettes and cassette players still exist. You can enjoy reasonably clear audio, but it is common to experience problems with the tape during playback. These problems include the cassette tape running off the reel, becoming mangled or breaking. It is also a regular occurrence for the tape to twist over so that the audio is garbled. To fix these problems, it is necessary to open the cassette shell.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Table knife
  • Utility knife or razor blade
  • Masking tape
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Open the cassette. Cassette shells consist of two plastic halves held together with four screws or glue. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws, if present, or use a table knife to pry the two halves of the shell apart, if glued. Place the tip of the knife into a groove and pry it gently until the shells loosen. You might have to repeat this around the cassette shell until the two halves have separated.

  2. 2

    Fix damaged sections of the tape. It is best to cut off sections of the tape that are badly stretched or wrinkled. Pull as much of the tape off the reel as is necessary for you to place the damaged section on a flat surface. Cut the damaged part of the tape off at a 45-degree angle. Use a sharp utility knife or a razor blade.

  3. 3

    Tape the edges of the cassette tape together. Cut a small piece of splicing tape or masking tape. It should be just enough to hold the edges of the cassette tape together. Bring the edges of the cassette tape together and place the splicing or masking tape under the join.

  4. 4

    Rewind the tape manually. Insert a pencil or pen into one tape reel and use it to wind the tape onto the reel again. Do this carefully to ensure that the tape does not wrinkle or twist around.

  5. 5

    Reassemble the cassette shell. If the shell has screws, place the other half of the shell on top of the half containing the reels and replace the screws. If the shells were glued, apply small amounts of glue on the sides of each half of the shell and then put them together. Use small pieces of masking tape to hold the shell together until the glue dries.

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