I have been interested in electronics and mechanics for quite a while now, so it is only natural that I have accumulated my own tools and equipment over time. But it was only recently that I decided to buy a proper toolbox and some divider boxes in which to store all of my equipment. I would like to show you (or rather, show-off to you!) what tools and materials I have in my toolbox, and how I went about organising them.
I spent a lot of time researching the types of toolboxes available on Amazon, trying to find the one I liked the most. After some time, I was stuck between two types of boxes: a plastic cantilever box, usually used for holding fishing/sewing equipment, and a metal cantilever box, made specifically for tools. The problem was that I wanted something which would hold not just my tools, but also my selection of electronics/mechanics materials and components.
In the end I decided to go for the metal toolbox, as it was slightly larger and appeared to be somewhat sturdier. Instead of including all of my components into the same box, I bought two cheap plastic divider boxes in which I could store the parts. I am really happy with my decision!
My Tools and Equipment
Here is a quick breakdown of the tools in my possession; the tools which are written in a bold font are the ones I use most regularly!
- Soldering iron and solder
- Vacuum-attachable desk clamp
- Screw-driver and pliers set
- Miniature screw-driver set
- Junior hacksaw
- Wire stripper
- Breadboard and some jumper wires
- Digital multimeter (This is the most useful tool for any electronics projects!)
- Some basic stationary (I believe that having some pens, a scissors and a ruler at hand is invaluable!)
- A crafting knife
Here is a condensed list of the materials I have accumulated over time:
- Arduino Uno Board
- Raspberry Pi
- A couple of Galileo Boards
- A few meters of each colour wire (Definitely worth buying)
- Some D.C. motors, servo motors and miniature servo motors
- Red, green and orange/yellow LEDs
- A variety of resistors and variable resistors
- Miniature filament bulbs and bulb holders (though I prefer using LEDs)
- A selection of buttons, switches and limit switches
- Battery Snaps
- Small nylon gears
- Some PCB components (header pins, screw terminals etc.)
- A variety of bolts, washers and screws
- Some sensors (LDR, thermistor, tilt-switch etc.)
- Sand paper
That pretty much covers the majority of my collection!
My Equipment Recommendations
What equipment, material and components are actually essential for electronics hobbyists such as us? I believe that not having the right equipment does not prevent you from achieving your goal, but it definitely makes the job a lot easier and faster. Without a doubt, my first choice of essential tools is a screwdriver & pliers set, as it is one of the most useful tools that you can have. You can use the pliers as a clamp, a scissor, a wire strippers and a precise manipulating tool.
The second tool on my list of recommendations is some type of solid and stable clamp. Having a good clamp is like having a third hand! It prevents you from having to hold the components you are working on with one hand, while you try to cut it or solder it with the other. I can tell you from experience, that trying to solder something that is not properly clamped down is totally pointless!
Here is a short list of obvious tools that you need to have in order to work with electronics: a soldering iron, some medium-grade solder (whatever is the cheapest…), some crocodile clips/jumper wires and some good batteries.
The final tool I would like to put in my list of recommendations is a Digital Multimeter. I never really thought that a multimeter would be useful, until I got one! You can quickly check voltages, resistor values and circuit currents. I know that it is possible to use an Arduino as a multimeter (I have done so before!), but Digital Multimeters are very cheap and definitely worth buying!