Tools for Small Electronics Projects

Workbench with electronics tools on it
(Most) of the tools featured in this post

I often do side projects where I’m tinkering with electronics, like this one. In this post, I’ll list some of the tools I use often & find useful. 12

  1. Soldering Iron & Accessories
    • I’ve been using this one from Adafruit for just about two years (see note below). In the photo above, you’ll see the temperature control in the top-left, attached to the middle of it’s power cord.
    • NOTE: 2020-12-19: This iron (at least the revision I have), seems to have a design flaw with the strain relief for the cable going to the iron. If you disassemble the temperature control box, you’ll notice the cable is not pressed into the plastic holders, and is out too far (maybe it was designed for a smaller board?). The positive connection to my iron disconnected because the cable is free to twist. Using an older iron I had, I reconnected the wire, then using a hot glue gun I added some glue inside the ends to hold the cable in place better. - I also quite like this Hakko Soldering Tip from Adafruit which fits on it. - I use this stand w/ sponge. - I also usually use lead-free solder, like this SAC305 spool from Adafruit - I’m still evaluating PCB clamps so I’m yet to issue a recommendation here.
  2. Screwdriver Set
    • I’d highly recommend one of iFixit’s screwdriver sets. Their Pro Tech Toolkit contains a ton of screwdriver bits, prying tools, and other things useful for electronics repair.
  3. Multimeter & Logic Probe
    • I’ve been using the Etekcity MSR-U1000 multimeter I purchased for college classes, which is fine for my use.
    • I’ve also been using the TENMA 72-500 Probe & Pulse, which I also purchased for college classes. It works good, but since I don’t do too much logic design it doesn’t really matter.
  4. Pliers & Prying Tools
    • I found this set of pliers on clearance somewhere and contains some nice side-cutters
    • This extremely cheap pick set is also quite useful.
    • Some pair of electrostatic-safe tweezers are also nice-to-have, like these ones.
  5. Storage
    • I have quite a few of these style boxes, which depending on size fit all kinds of small components.
  6. Misc
  1. Ethics statement: I have not received compensation of any form in exchange for posting any of the tools here. 

  2. Additional note - I have found these to work well. Your results may vary! 

Change Log

  • 2020-05-25 - Initial Revision

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