Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, you need specific tools to work on your DIY electronics project. You might have acquired some of the required tools from your dad’s garage or sneak some out from your elder brother’s room, but if you are serious about your project those tools are not going to cut it.
The days of simply having a soldering iron and a pair of wire cutters are gone—it is time to get serious. This article takes you through tool kits that are aimed at both bench and field technicians. You could either get a complete kit or a couple of smaller kits that can be bundled up.
Jameco Benchpro-2G Telecom Installer Kit
This kit is designed to get you started on telecom installations. It comes with a wide variety of screwdrivers, probes, alignment tool, utility knife, 12.7cm (5-inch) scissors, splicer, multiple pliers, crimping/stripper tool, digital multimeter, adjustable wrench, tone generator and amplifier probe, impact punch-down tool and a hex double-end plastic handle—all bundled in a lightweight carrying tool bag. The differentiating tools for this kit are obviously the lineman’s test set, tone generator and amplifier probe, impact punch-down tool, precision trimmer set, hexagon set, antistatic stud and fibreglass pencil.
Duratool 9 Electronic Toolkit
This toolkit is aimed at general-purpose electronics tinkering rather than something as focused as telecom installation. It consists of a meagre 30W soldering iron, desoldering pump, solder, wrench, multiple pliers, digital multimeter and screwdrivers, and comes in a padded, zipper carry case. The padded case provides a convenient means for carrying and storing the tools. Soft cases tend to swing a lot, and you won’t want the case swinging onto your knee with the wrench as the point-of-contact. This kit is recommended for all electronics project amateurs as it contains everything they need to get started. However, for professional-quality, you might want to check out the PROSKIT model.
FACOM 15-Piece Tool Set
This comprehensive, portable tool kit is designed for IT/office equipment maintenance. It contains 15 precision tools in a small case with elastic support to secure the tools. Sized as a 23x30cm2 box, it contains the usual list of screwdrivers, pliers, mirror, tweezers, blade set and adjustable wrench. The kit can be easily carried around.
AdvanceTech Japan Tool Kit
Contents of this kit include wick, solder assist, reamer, fork and remover, and solder tip cleaner. It also features a CA-40 soldering iron, which is easy to carry and has the facility to convert into a gun shape. The solder assist that comes with the kit features a reamer, fork and remover.
PROSKIT Electronics Tool Kit
A comprehensive tool kit designed for the mobile service engineer. It comes in a robust, aluminium case with two removable tool pallets, key locks and corner guards. Apart from the usual tools, this kit also features a mini vacuum cleaner, miniature torch, soldering iron stand, desoldering pump, insulated IC extractor and antistatic wrist strap. With almost 40 pieces included, it contains almost everything you need to get down to work on your project. In short, it is pretty good ‘value for money’ option.
Sumitron Deluxe Telecom Installers Kit
The Sumitron telecom kit has most of the tools that technicians need to install communication systems in the field. It has tools to access, prep the wires, terminate and finally dress cabling. The outside pockets of the kit are designed to hold equipment and documents as required. Required modular plugs like RJ-11 and RJ-45 are also bundled along with the kit. Additional features include a punch-down tool with block blade, reversible ratchet, sockets and extensions, probe pick and a 15.2cm (6-inch) straight hemostat.
Inde Electronics Maintenance & Field Repair Deluxe Kit
This is the grand daddy of all tool kits. Coming in a lockable aluminium hard case, it has almost every foreseeable tool that an electronics engineer would use. What sets this tool kit apart from the rest is the increasing use of separation between different sub-kits. You have a dedicated box for your drill components, a storage box for your electronic components, a platform for the whole screwdriver set including precision screwdrivers, and a full soldering package. The kit also has ‘luxury’ stuff like a solderiron stand with sponge, mini vacuum cleaner, holding vise, IC extractor, fuse puller and telescopic pickup tool. It’s a true all-in-one package dedicated to make your electronics tinkering easier.
RS Comprehensive Engineers Tool Kit
This kit comes in a huge, hard briefcase. I don’t know why then they have listed it in the small tool kits section. It contains over a hundred pieces, so I have included only the important ones in the table. If you want to know the whole lot, visit the RS website where you can find a dedicated datasheet that lists out all the tools featured in this kit. Looking at the list, you will realise that this kit will make sure that you never have to leave your workplace to get that odd tool. The weight of the kit is not mentioned on the website, but by checking out the weights of similar kits in other countries I have arrived at an estimate of 9-11 kilograms.
Scientech Optical Fibre Connectorisation and Splice Tool Kit for Training
For an optical joint to be perfect, the glass surfaces of both fibres should match exactly. Any mismatch or gap between the surfaces increases optical losses during transmission. Fibre preparation, fibre insertion into the connector, epoxy application, fibre cutting and surface polishing are very important aspects of the process. This Scientech kit contains all the necessary tools, consumables, connectors and cables to execute the process. The kit forms an important part of the Fibre Optic Laboratory where students learn to join optical fibres.
Deluxe Breadboard Jumper Wires Set
This wire set includes 65 flexible and durable jumper wires that can be reused over and over again. Each stranded jumper wire has a moulded barrel and a 1cm stripped end. The jumper wires come in different sizes of 230 mm, 180 mm, 140 mm and 100 mm.
DSO Nano V2.0 Pocket-Sized Digital Storage Oscilloscope
DSO Nano v2.0 is designed for basic electronics engineering tasks. It runs on an ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit platform, which provides basic waveform monitoring. The DSO also has a 320×240 colour LCD, microSD card storage, portable probes, LiPo battery, USB connection and signal generator. It is perfect for in-field diagnosis, quick measurement and hobbyist projects.
Note: The mentioned prices may vary with location and taxes