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How to Fix the Sharp Edge on your MacBook Pro December 1, 2009

Problem:

The MacBook Pro has ridiculously sharp edges. After using it for a hour my wrists had annoying (and painful) indentation lines on them. It doesn't bother everyone, but I'm not the only one. MacBook Pro Wrists Slit MacBook Pro
 

Solution:

It's pretty easy to shave that edge down with some tools. It only took 10 minutes, and it looks as good as if it was manufactured that way. I wish I had done it sooner.

I was a little hesitant to take a power tool to my new $1700 computer, but in the end it was really easy. The worst case is probably that you'd just scratch the case a little. But in my case it came out smooth and flawless.

And I assume you know how to be safe with power tools - wearing goggles and all that ... If you had a lot of time, and a few emery boards, I suppose you could do it without a Dremel, but I got impatient :)
Dremel Emery Board

 

Step 1: Position your laptop

Cover your open MacBook with a T-shirt to stop the rest of your laptop from getting any aluminum dust in it. Only the edge facing you needs to be exposed.

Then put your laptop on a table so that edge can hang off. You probably want your computer turned off during this time.
MacBook in a T-shirt
 

Step 2: Dremel

I used various Dremel tips (mostly the stone tips), and never found the perfect one. I'm not sure it really matters though. I turned on the drill on a medium speed and went across the whole length of the edge (with the bit angled so that it would "pull" you across the length of the edge). I only shaved across the front edge - the side edges have the external connection slots, so it seemed more dangerous, plus my wrists aren't bothered by those edges.

At first I was worried that I would shave away too much and cut into the motherboard, but it's not worth worrying about. There's plenty of aluminum between you and the inside (judging by that notch where you open it, at least 1/8th of an inch, maybe more). And you're only looking to shave away 1/32 of an inch or so (depending on your preferences). So as long as you keep moving the drill back and forth across the edge, you'll get a uniform shave that only takes a little off.

It's okay if there are grooves or it looks rough right now. But be careful to only apply the drill to the aluminum right on the very edge - you don't want to leave scratches elsewhere. Also, there will be a lot of aluminum dust, so you'll probably want to wipe that off with a wet napkin every once in a while.

Step 3: Polishing

Now it's time for the emery board. The finer-grit the better. I don't think an ordinary nail file (or sandpaper for that matter) will do as nice a job.

I moved the emery board across the whole length, back and forth, again and again, quickly scrubbing it down. Tilt the board all the way up, and all the way down – you want to get a nice rounded finished look.

(Again, this step will generate lots of aluminum dust, so you'll need to stop every once in a while to clean it off with a wet napkin.) You can't overdue this step, so be sure to spend at least 5 minutes with the emery board.

You're Done

If you did it right, you'll have a rounded edge that looks natural and is very smooth to the touch – like it was made that way.

MacBook Pro Edge After Emery Board MacBook Pro After Dremel
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