Electronic – Personal electronics tool kit


What are the items you have in your personal electronics tool kit?

Best Answer

Most important tool:

  • A quality soldering iron. Mine's a Weller. Those Radio Shack pencil irons are useless, and will only make life more difficult.
  • A wet sponge for cleaning the iron tip, several tips for the iron.
  • Both desoldering braid and a solder sucker.
  • Plenty of 60/40 solder, the silver bearing stuff doesn't flow nearly as well. A well stocked junkbox is extremely important. The more components you have to hand, the faster you can work.

  • A good digital multimeter, I love my Fluke. Add to that a good analog multimeter, digital meters offer no sense of change over time.

  • A dual channel 100MHz oscilloscope (mine's a tektronix mainframe that I scavenged).
  • Good lighting! A third-hand rig or similar to hold parts and boards that are being soldered.
  • A spectrum analyzer is very useful for radio work.
  • A function generator.
  • A sharp pair of flush cutting nippers.
  • Several spools of different coloured 20 gauge hookup wire.
  • Some people keep flux to hand, but I've never found I needed it.
  • Assorted scraps of printed circuit board, or strip board - breadboards are very finicky and can add circuit-killing parasitic capacitance.
  • The absolute best tool I've found for cutting PCB is a jeweler's saw. You can buy them from Contenti, and aren't very expensive. I've never seen anything use produce a better or faster cut.

I think that covers the bulk of it, it may seem like a lot of stuff but it's mostly small stuff. An LCR meter is handy, too. I have a foredom flexshaft, it's kind of like a Dremel but more powerful and higher quality. They're not cheap machines, but are a real life saver for modifying circuit boards.