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Basic Must Have Tools

Wharfedale Speakers

MaSh

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Hi,

Call it mid life crisis or something else, I leave it to you:lol:. The thing is I want to get back into building something, creating something, repairing something, competing some projects that I had started long ago. Most of these projects are related to electronics. With all my stuff scattered all over the country, I need your help in rebuilding my Tool Kit.

What are the basic tools I should have before getting started, which brand for reliability and safety sake? Soldering kit, hand tools, etc. Brand and if possible a link would be extremely useful. All I have right now is a basic screwdriver kit from skil.

MaSh
 

sadik

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Hi Mash

You should get the below mentioned tools as a basic start up.

1. Soldering Iron & Wire.
2. De soldering Wire.
3. Wire Cutter.
4. Wire Stripper.
5. Adjustable Spanner Wrenchhttps://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjDlO7CkpPQAhWKPY8KHS_HAdwQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcompare.buyhatke.com%2Fproducts%2FADJUSTABLE-SPANNER-WRENCH-MULTIPURPOSE-10&psig=AFQjCNGGwaHl-Ok5Ju7Jvk8q_tKrfvBYOQ&ust=1478487826047331
6. Tap Set of size 3 mm & 4 mm with Tap Holder https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB165j4MXXXXXaBXVXXq6xXFXXXn/5pcs-font-b-Set-b-font-T-Type-Machine-Hand-Screw-Thread-font-b-Taps-b.jpg
7. Hand Drill Machine with variable speed (Black & Decker or Bosch) along with drill bit set
8. Small Hammer
9. Center Punchhttps://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwion-6jk5PQAhXFpI8KHW0xC1EQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbansalwiki.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F02%2Ftools-used-in-sheet-metal.html&bvm=bv.137904068,d.c2I&psig=AFQjCNH9YgzWDYsy3xXn-GOZphjWSE8aiA&ust=1478488034661782
10. Steel Rule (Scale) & 3 to 5 mtr Measure tape
11. Combination Plier (Pakkad)
12. Magnifying Glass (very useful to see color codes of resistors)http://thumbs2.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mJaRBmFI5QSfjX2VhUy0Yjg.jpg
13. Digital Multimeter (a Must Have tool)
14. File https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj4rKHelZPQAhUMNI8KHSBDA_0QjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.walmart.com%2Fip%2FNonslip-Handle-Steel-Middle-Second-Cut-Flat-File-Tool-8%2F48396312&bvm=bv.137904068,d.c2I&psig=AFQjCNFx612TeFTikRKV4OLK55XttKqkBA&ust=1478488694253345

At present i remember only the above tools if i remember any other tools i will add then later

Sadik
 

Fantastic

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These might become essential as time goes by...

19. Stand for soldering iron preferably with a holder to place a tip cleaning sponge .
20. If you want to spend more, preferable,its a temperature controlled iron.
21. Two sizes of wire cutters. Small one to snip leads from the board and larger one for cutting larger insulated wires.
22. Forceps. Small and big. The small ones come in various tip shapes. To hold small parts especially SMD parts.
23. Nose pliers. Small and big !
24. Small flat pliers with bent in tips are useful to pull out or place parts.
25. Power socket with tungsten lamp in series. Good to use with doubtful equipment or faulty amps. Lamp will light up if there is a short in the system or its drawing too much current and will not blow the mains fus eand usually keeps the equipment being tested safe also !
26. Rubber gloves to put on one hand if you are handling high voltages like tube amps. Could save your life if you accidentally touch live leads with both hands . Large SE amps can have around 1KV on them !
27. If you handle motors or other rotating parts they may have cir clips . You will need a circlip remover pliers.
28. Box cutter ( NT cutter !) . Both wide blade and narrow blade with a box of spare blades ( only about 40/- for 10 blades!)
29.Multimeter leads with crocodile clips at the end.
30. Long probes with a clip at the end for clipping meter leads to test points and keeps your hands free.
31. Pair of Y RCA connectors. With one RCA plug to 2 sockets and one with RCA socket to two RCA plugs. Also RCA extender sockets. Just a short stub with RCA sockets or plugs at either end. Very useful at times.
32. Make up your own RCA cables ( maybe XLR cables also ?).
33. BNC to RCA adapter. Often test equipment have BNC input sockets ( scopes too).
34. Also have BNC to 4mm banana socket. One live and a Ground terminal.
35. 230V isolation transformer . Maybe 500VA . Can isolate your test equipment from mains ground. Helps cut out ground loops and hum on testing.
Can also prevent mild shock coming from supplies of test equipment ( especially ones with smps supplies who use capacitor grounding inside)
36. Conductive table ( (thin aluminum sheet or foil ?) with an insulating top like a thin ( 0.5mm ?) melamine sheet. Metal sheet to be grounded .
37. Rubber soled shoes and insulated floor around the chair. Like a plywood sheet or thick PVC sheet etc.Chances of killing yourself with a shock to ground will be reduced!
38. Large and small scissors.
39. Scribing tool to make deep grooves on aluminum sheets to make small things ( mini heat sink ?) or even cutting large thin aluminum sheets.
40. TCE and IP cleaners. ( Trichloro Ethylene and iso propyl alcohol}. If you don't know what solvents you might need like say for diluting Araldite ?...Xylene !Others that could come in useful are Toluene, Acetone, Amyl acetate,and Benzene. Benzene is supposed to be a carcinogen . But if you take ordinary care nothing will happen. I've been using it , sometimes carelessly , for decades !Just don't go on a sniffing binge and always have good ventilation.
41. Small fire extinguisher if you have all that inflammable stuff ! I don't keep it in the same room !
42. Good table lamps to light up the work spot WELL .
43. A good illuminated magnifying table lamp is VERY useful.
44. Set of combination small vices ( clamps to the table) to hold small items you may be working on like a smallpcb etc. Like our God's gives you a pair of additional hands.
45. A large table vice is also useful at times.
46. A set of different size screws and other related hardware.
47. Araldite Rapid tube.
48. Instant glue tubes ( use only small ones , they don't last in an opened tube !)
49. PVC insulation tapes. Available usually in 5 colours !
50. Silicone coated insulating sleeves of suitable size ( that you might require ).
51. Hot air gun and heat shrink tubes.
52. Hot melt glue gun and glue sticks.
53. Labe DC power supply ( if required ) 0 to 30 V 2 Amps or 5 amps ! At least 2 to get +/- supplies .
54. An oscilloscope ? minimum 10 Mhz or better 20 Mhz. 100 Mhz if you plan to modify circuitry !
55. PC based Spectrum analyser and related measuring features. Like Audiotester, ARTA, Vertins etc. These are software based and need an internal or external sound card of good quality.
56. Signal generator ? at least up to a couple of Mhz. This would be your test signal source.
57. Minature drill like Dremel for drilling sub 2 mm holes.Drill bit for that.
A vertical stand for this if you require it.
58. A full set of drill bits up to 1/2 inch. Like 3, 3.5, 4,4.5, 5,6,7,8,9,10,12.5 mm ?
59. Socket driver kit.
60. Contact cleaner spray can. WD40 isn't suitable. Something like Deoxit or similar (specific) contact cleaner. Of course WD 40 is mandatory for other applications!
61. A dedicated work table to keep many of these things and avoid a divorce !
62. Depending on what you do, a set of calipers to measure small dimensions is useful. They are affordable nowadays .
63. Hole enlarging tapered drill. Manual or drill based.
64. Hole punch for thin metal sheets or PCB's if you work with tubes.
65. Small metal file set. Also a couple of large files like a smooth file and bastard file ( yes, that's the name for the rough file !) about 12 inches long or more. Invaluable at times.
66. A cheap test speaker. Which could blow if there is a failure and be easily replaceable ! Maybe with a series resistor of 8 or 10 ohms that will make it fool proof !
67. Tri square ( Stanley) , comes with spirit bubble also.
68. Cloth and paper (kitchen) wipes.
69. Solder sucker ( should have come earlier !)
70. Small can of light machine oil
71. Silicone oil ( lubricant)
72. Silicone grease
73. Molybdenum grease ( black in colour) ..?
and..........well this should keep you busy for a while !:)
 
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kaushik

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Lets put the mechanical and wood cutting tools aside... start with electronics tools

1)soldering(40w, 25w and a micro) ..cutter nipper , auto stripper ,desol-pump tweezers
2)soldering supplies wire/ flux , liquid flux , low melt wbt solder (smd wrk)
3)holding boards in helping hand is a must have
lots of croc clip wires and probe wire , DMM (a mastech with cap, freq will do ) .higher end measuring instruments
should be only taken if you area real circuit designer or regular builder
4)for the casework "dremel cutter" , drill is must
5)the diy pcb lab items like micro drill and chemicals set ( i use hcl,h2o2)

Most of the times we do few projects only so keeping a mechanical /woodcutting shop
is only if ur villa is hungry for it .

you can keep the woodwork and case work to the carpenter shop they will have another 2000tools

Remember gathering tools should be less progressing in a good direction is more important.
 

MaSh

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OMG. Thank You so much. Boy that is a Looong list of things. I guess I would be needing time to go through it all and pick the items that I would immediately need to get started. Most of my projects that will keep me busy for next 2-3 months would be small electronics projects. Considering that I have come up with the below draft list:

Basic Tools

1. Soldering Kit
2. Screw Driver Set - Got
3. Allen Key Set - Got
4. Hammer
5. Wire Stripper / Cutter- Got
6. Drill Set
7. Magnifying Glass
8. Pliers
9. Scissors

If I could get a basic kit that would include the basic stuff would be nice. I could then add on to that as and when I feel the need. Any suggestions for such a Kit? I have listed a couple of such kits that I could find on Amazon. What are your thoughts?

Skil 25 Piece Mini Hand Tool Set -Ordered

Bosch All-in-One Metal 108 Piece Hand Tool Kit

Also need help with a soldering gun kit. Could not find any online which came with good reviews. Would be going to commercial street this week to pick some stuff.


MaSh
 

regeHA

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MaSh

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iFixit is good, that's what I use for hand tools - but limited to computers, mobiles, small electronics, etc.

Regarding Bosch, I'd get a power tool. Makes work a lot easier and also does not cost that much more. Very handy for drilling holes, moving around wall hangings, etc.

In fact I'm looking for a power tools kit even for the small electronics and PC work.

Oh alright. Yeh makes sense. However, I dont see the need of a drill right now, I think.

How about this combination:
Bosch All-in-One Metal 108 Piece

+

Bosch GSB RE 450-Watt kit

I kind of like the contents of the 108 piece kit.

Any suggestions on soldering kit? There is a stanley gun on amazon however the reviews there are not too encouraging. Stanley 69031B Round 30-Watt Corded Soldering Iron

Any thoughts?

MaSh
 
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jls001

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Wow!

Very detailed suggestions :thumbsup:

I'm very choosy about cutters, pliers, screw drivers. I will suggest you to buy what I think is the best one can buy - 6" nose plier and side nipper from MTC Japan. They're available from www.tmmohammedally.com.

Goot also makes side nippers as good as MTC. I have one Goot kept as hot standby to the MTC cutter.

Taparia 6 and 8 inch combination pliers are hard to beat for ruggedness and value. Also very good is Taparia screw driver set that comes in spectacles type boxes. Comes with five different blades and the handle has built in electrical tester. Very rugged. Will last a long, long time unless you misplace the bits.

For screw drivers, Stanley is really good. Both precision and larger sets available. One also has to have at least one each of large star and flat screw drivers, with thick handles and long blades for heavy duty work. Lots of good choices available.

And in future if you plan to invest in power tools, do buy reputed brands. Cheaper brands usually don't last, and don't have enough power. For example, I recently bought an el cheapo Dremel clone with tons of accessories in the box. It was very cheap compared to a real Dremel and I realised soon that it simply doesn't have the torque to cut cleanly. It often stalls when the going gets tough. Buy Bosch, Skil, Black and Decker, Hitachi, or similar brands ONLY. The high initial cost is offset by a longer tool life and they're better built and easier to use.

Soldering iron: I really love my Soldrons. Outside of cheap Soldrons, Goot irons are really good.
 
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Fantastic

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I think this combination of drill and tools is a good place to start. Important for the drill to be reversible ! Very handy when removing larger screws. ( you will also learn how poorly made many local screws are ! The heads just shear off while removing them ! Pick good brands, we have a few !)

Since you will be facing all kinds of 'needs' regarding disassembling things it might be in order to have a closer look at today's fasteners . There are so many types and it pays to be familiar with the types and their names. Always carry a picture taken on your phone when you go shopping for tools. That way you can show them what you want and not waste time explaining.

So brush up your fastener knowledge base .There will be other more detailed sites. You could start here.........

Screw Head Types – A Guide to What Type of Screw is This? – Fasteners Help – Resources for Anchors, Security Screws, Hardware

Screw This, Screw That: Why We Have Different Types of Screws | Mental Floss
 

MaSh

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I think this combination of drill and tools is a good place to start. Important for the drill to be reversible!


So brush up your fastener knowledge base .There will be other more detailed sites. You could start here.........

Thats a good point. I did not check for reverse action. Will check what I ordered.

Thank You for the links, really useful.


There are some things that can really make sense in boxed sets, like screwdrivers, screwdriver bits, drill bits and stuff. For a general set of tools, though, please buy individually.

You will get what you want, not what you don't, and you will get better quality.

Totally agree and thats exactly the direction I am heading to. Screwdriver sets, Bosch Drill kit, soldering kit have been ordered. I shall post the pictures once I receiver them.

What I would be picking individually are various pliers, cutters and strippers:)p).

MaSh
 
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MaSh

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This kit came up today on Amazon's Today's Deals. Looks like a fantastic kit, however, most of the tools are already present in the Power drill kit I have ordered. Those thin screw drivers are the only extra bits in this kit. I guess they can be picked up individually.

Anyone else in the same boat as me looking for a kit can take a look at this one I guess.

Stanley 71996IN 42-Piece Ultimate Tool Kit

MaSh
 

Thad E Ginathom

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This kit came up today on Amazon's Today's Deals. Looks like a fantastic kit ...

Actually, I like the tool-bag-with-starter-tools kit idea much better than the fitted-plastic-box-with-contents. If I had to start from nothing. I wouldn't mind that set plus a drill.

It also has the advantage of not having spaces where nothing fits when/if the original tools get lost or broken.
 

MaSh

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Wait is over, stuff is trickling home now. Received my bosch drill kit and soldering kit today


Yes this one goes backward too :)


This one might of be the best one out there, I am not even expecting it to be. However, this is my first ever and would be a learning kit.

More stuff coming in this week.

MaSh
 

kaushik

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although soldron lasts long , not a bigfan anymore Goot or similar nichrome heater irons work best for me , he heats fast and huge thermal capacity .

only downside is a risky heated body that gives berbeque burns
 
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