How to fix broken cassette tapes

Written by jerry snook
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How to fix broken cassette tapes
Audio cassettes (cassette tapes image by robert mobley from

Fixing a broken audio cassette can be as simple as replacing the case or as complicated as splicing broken cassette tape. The repair often requires a steady hand and the ability to work with small parts. Most repairs can be done by taking apart the cassette, repairing the broken tape and putting the cassette back together. In some cases a new cassette shell will be needed.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Razor blade or sharp small knife
  • Pressure sensitive adhesive tape
  • Pencil
  • Replacement cassette shell
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Place the cassette on a flat surface.

    How to fix broken cassette tapes
    A properly wound and threaded audio cassette (cassette image by Shawn Stallard from
  2. 2

    Separate the halves of the plastic cassette shell. Many cassettes have four screws, one in each corner. Use a screwdriver to carefully remove the screws and set them aside. If the cassette does not have screws, use a screwdriver or sharp knife to carefully pry apart the halves of the cassette shell.

  3. 3

    Remove the cassette tape from the shell. Take note of where and how the tape is threaded through the cassette shell. Be careful not to unravel the tape when removing it from the shell.

    How to fix broken cassette tapes
    Cassette tape (series object on white - audio cassette image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
  4. 4

    Place the replacement cassette shell on the flat surface.

  5. 5

    Carefully place the cassette tape into the new shell, threading the tape properly through the shell.

  6. 6

    Put the cassette shell together using either a screwdriver and screws or glue. If using glue, make sure to keep the glue away from the tape.

  7. 7

    Use a pencil to wind the tape to remove slack and ensure that the tape is rotating properly in the shell.

  1. 1

    Use a pencil to wind the tape enough to provide for an easier working surface. Leave approximately five to six inches of tape sticking out of the cassette on either end.

    How to fix broken cassette tapes
    A cassette tape with tape coming out of it (messed up cassette image by timur1970 from
  2. 2

    Remove the damaged tape with a razor blade, sharp knife or scissors by making diagonal cuts in the tape. Make the cuts diagonal in such a way that the ends will fit together properly.

  3. 3

    Carefully place both ends of the tape to be joined together on a flat surface.

  4. 4

    Cut a piece of adhesive tape to the width of the cassette tape to be repaired, or smaller. A smaller piece of adhesive tape is more desirable than a piece of adhesive tape that is larger than the cassette tape, as a larger piece of adhesive tape is likely to impact the rotation of the cassette.

  5. 5

    Place the adhesive tape across the two diagonally-cut halves of the cassette tape to be joined. Be careful to place the adhesive tape in such a way as not to have any adhesive extending beyond the long edges of the cassette tape. Use a pencil to rotate the cassette tape back into the cassette and remove slack in the cassette tape.

    How to fix broken cassette tapes
    Use a pencil to thread the cassette tape back into the cassette. (tape cassette image by Vasiliy Koval from

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