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.

 


The Toolbox

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!

Toolbox1
The toolbox in its opened position

 


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!

Toolbox3
The divider boxes holding all of my electronic components

 


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!

Screwdriver/Pliers set and Vacuum Desk Clamp
Screwdriver/Pliers set and Vacuum Desk Clamp

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!

Digital Multimeter
Digital Multimeter

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