Common searches

First post, by snorg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie

What do you all keep in your toolkits? In mine, I have the following:

Needlenose pliers
Small wire cutters
Set of jewelers screwdrivers
Various Philips, slotted and Torx bits
Set of allen keys
5 smaller size sockets for a nut-driver

What I really need to add:
1. an actual pocket screwdriver that will fit in my flatpack toolkit that I can use with the sockets and hex bits
2. Pocket magnifier? That would probably help
3. Resistor color code chart or other pocket reference card
4. 3" emergency boot disk CD or USB key (or both)

Any other suggestions? What do you keep in yours? I also have a cheap multi-tool that I picked up on sale that has a knife, 1 slotted bit, 1 phillips bit, file, saw, and pliers. I usually keep it in my pocket in case I don't have my toolkit on me.

Reply 1 of 13, by ratfink

User metadata
Rank Oldbie

depends what sort of things you do I guess, I find these useful though I guess many are consumables rather than tools:

- a magnifying glass or two
- iso propyl alcohol
- heat sink paste and spreader
- ratchet screwdriver with bits
- air duster
- torch or lamp of some kind
- label remover
- anti static bags
- Velcro cable ties
- bent paperclips
- clean rags
- bluetack

Reply 2 of 13, by snorg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie

Well my job overlaps with my hobby, while I don't do a lot of deskside support (mostly phone) I find it is handy to have a small assortment of tools on hand for an emergency. Canned air is good but a bit bulky to cary with me all the time. Cable ties are definitely good, forgot about those.

I want to find a good ratchet screwdriver but need someting with a smaller sized handle (say 3/4 inch diameter?) and lenght no longer than 4" (or can be split into two pieces, i.e. stubby handle with an extender). That would easily fit in my tool case.

Reply 3 of 13, by Tetrium

User metadata
Rank l33t++

Good question!

When I'm going somewhere where I expect to find some computers or computer parts, I always bring 2 or 3 screwdrivers (1 large phillips, one small and a flat one) and a bunchload of antistatic bags.
I have 2 of those small plastic suitcases full of parts (mostly screws, but also a couple paperclips for when a CDROM is stuck in an optical drive and not powered on and also very small parts like those plastic standoffs you regularly find in AT cases).

I'm pretty sure I forgot most of it, but this is a good start I think 😀

Edit: I also use one of those LED bicycle lights, very handy for lighting up cramped dark spots 😜

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 4 of 13, by Gemini000

User metadata
Rank l33t

I don't do a lot of hardware work, but I still keep a fully-stocked set of screwdrivers and pliers and such, as well a grocery bag full of random misc. computer parts like extension slot caps, IDE cables, jumpers, etc. Also have an anti-static wrist-strap. :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 6 of 13, by Skyscraper

User metadata
Rank l33t

Always: A Belzer standard Philips screw driver BE - 8610 PH 1x75.
Often: A knife.
When I can find it: The torch.

I do often work blindly...

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 7 of 13, by Robin4

User metadata
Rank l33t

I think i can fill one post with it... Ive i have to mentioned all things in my bad english, i could better take a week free and go on hollyday..
But i will try for the curious people among us.

Bios equipment:
Cmos chipset
Top853 programmer (modfied current lead and wall plug) (comes with some adapters)
Chinese UV cmos cleaner
Special equipped low power computer to use with programmer (here do i rewrites / backups)
Latest software programmer
IC puller
Black electronic tape

Solderding equipment
Weller ESD-81 Digital solder station
Tip cleaner
2x tin sucker (one weller metal on, and one chinese one (tips are much easier to get on the chinese on)
Different kinds of soldering wire
Weller PCB bench (sort of helping hand) So have the hands free on soldering)
Different sizes of solder wick
(IDC stuff connectors)
Atten 858D heat air gun (didnt have made any succeses yet)
Different kinds of screwdrivers.
cutting pliers
other pliers
Good quality high grade scissors.
Wooden board to solder on.
AOYUE desoldering station (next month iam trying to get a weller instead) But they costs about 1200 euros.. (its expensive, but you pay for the excellent weller quality (professional company stuff) I dont want to mess up my motherboards and expension cards with cheap ones.
I got a box of canned air here (but i think they dont work very well (maybe a tiny compressor would be idea?)
I have good light every where..

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 8 of 13, by obobskivich

User metadata
Rank l33t

I use a tackle box for my "computer tools" and it has a large assortment of screwdrivers and hex keys (including two sets of precision screwdrivers), pliers, wire cutters, a small wonderbar, bunches of screws and fasteners, zipties, cotton swabs, a VMM (and gator clips to go with it), a few spools or scraps of wire, markers, pencils, and pens, a small tape measure, a small level, a calculator, electrical tape, tweezers, a screw/socket extractor, thermal paste syringes, cannisters to hold screws/ICs/etc as they're extracted, a multitool, and various crimpers and strippers.

It's the end-result of a few different "computer tool kits," a few different screwdriver/pliers kits, and specialized tools that I've picked up over the years, all into one box. I've got 12 ft of glow-in-the-dark fish stix in their own case (way too long for a tackle box) along with attachments as well; they make pulling wire much easier in some circumstances. I have a closet that has sorted rubbermaid bins for all of the assorted cables and hardware, as well as spare anti-static bags.

Someday it'd be nice to have a mechanic's toolbox with the drawers for all of the various stuff, and organize different types of tools into it, so there's a drawer for screwdrivers, a drawer for pliers, etc, but those boxes are fairly heavy and can be kind of expensive.

Gas dusters is kept just kind of "around" but a vacuum sometimes works too. As far as the compressor - I've always been told that's a very bad idea, because compressors usually contain a reasonable amount of water (if you've ever worked with one and had to drain it, you know what I'm talking about) and can also generate a static charge, which may cause damage to various components. Canned "air" is not actually air at all, its often a flourocarbon gas. Vacuum cleaners with hose attachments can work as long as you're careful with the hose end (they're often metal) - ideally pull the heatsink off and vacuum it out, although if you can remove the heatsink I'd say just rinse it out in the sink with water; no dust in the air, and it'll usually clean it more thoroughly.

Reply 9 of 13, by Stiletto

User metadata
Rank l33t

Here's mine circa 2011 when I last documented it. Only added a few things since then. Seems to be missing my punchdown tool.
Does not list my CD case with tons of bootdisks and utilities. I need to get rid of some of the crap and replace with good reliable tools. 😀


  • 2-inch SATA 90-degree cable/adapter
  • 2-prong to 3-prong grounded AC outlet adapters
  • 3' Headphone Extension cable (1/8"M-F)
  • Audio adapters (1/8" M-3.5mm F)
  • Audio cables (3.5mm M-M stereo patch cable - 6')
  • Audio splitter (3.5mm-F Stereo-RCA-M mono R/W)
  • Cables To Go PortAuthority2 Retractable Cable Kit (28268) - universal USB cable/adapter kit (missing: USB-A Male-USB-A Female Retractor, FireWire 6-Pin to FireWire 4-Pin)
  • DVI-D(M)-HDMI(F) adapter
  • DVI-I(M)-VGA(F) adapter
  • Ethernet Cable - 5' CAT5 Patch
  • Firewire (IEEE1394) Cable (6-pin to 6-pin)
  • IDE Cable (40 Pin)
  • IDE Cable (80 Pin)
  • SLI Bridges (Litech P054066B PCI-E SLI Bridge - PCB, Gigabyte GC-3SLI SLI Bridge - PCB, Gigabyte 12CF1-SLI001-02R SLI Bridge - Flex)
  • Molex-6-pin PCI-E power adapter
  • Molex-Floppy power adapter
  • Molex-Floppy Y-Cable power adapter
  • Molex-SATA power adapters
  • Optical Drive audio cable (SPDIF)
  • Phone Cable
  • Power Cord (standard 3 Prong-NEMA)
  • PS/2-AT keyboard adapter
  • PS/2-DB9 mouse adapter
  • RJ11 coupler
  • RJ11 splitter
  • RJ45 Coupler
  • S-Video(7-pin M) to Y/Pb/Pr Component (F) adapter
  • S-Video(7-pin M) to RCA-F Laptop video adapter cable
  • SATA Cable
  • Serial adapters (DB9M-DB25F, DB9F-DB25M)
  • USB Cables (USB A-B, USB A-A Ext, USB A-Micro B)


  • Case Fan (80mm)
  • Memory Card Reader (USB) (Digital Concepts CR-72 50-in-1 USB Memory Card Reader)
  • Mouse - USB (Logitech Notebook Optical Mouse Plus)
  • The Tornado USB file transfer tool
  • USB Hub (Saitek 4 Port USB 2.0 Mini UFO Hub)
  • USB2 Bluetooth adapter (MSI Mega-Net Star Key Class 1)
  • USB2-IDE adapter
  • USB2-IDE/SATA adapter


  • 3.5" and 5.25" Disk Drive Cleaning Kit (RadioShack 26-295B)
  • 8-in-1 Multifunction Cable Tester (DealExtreme #00715)
  • AC/DC LCD Voltage Tester Electroprobe with Slot Screw Driver (12V~250V) - BUSI 511431 (DealExtreme)
  • AC-4-prong Molex power 12V adapter
  • Allied Int. ProGrade Abrasive Fiberglass Pen (63250) (Cleans/Preps Contacts, Sands)
  • Analog/ball mouse cleaning kit
  • Antec ATX12V Power Supply Tester
  • Anti-static wrist strap
  • Artic Silver Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
  • Artic Silver ArtiClean 1 Thermal Material Remover (30 ml) & ArtiClean 2 Thermal Surface Purifier (30 ml) (RadioShack 276-035)
  • Artic Silver ArtiClean 2 Thermal Surface Purifier (120 ml)
  • Artic Silver Thermal Adhesive
  • Cable ties (assorted)
  • Case/drive/motherboard screws (assorted)
  • CoolMax PS-101 Power Supply Tester (31181)
  • CoolMax PS-224 Power Supply Tester (A11181-3)
  • CPU fan/heatsink screws (assorted)
  • Digital Innovations CleanDr Screen Cleaning Fluid (9 oz)
  • Earbuds
  • Electronic Static Release Discharger Keychain (DealExtreme #04039)
  • Flashlights - bendable mini LED flashlight, bendable mini USB LED work light
  • Kill-A-Watt P4400
  • Maxell Quick Fix CD Repair Kit (CD-333)
  • Memory card case (SD) (empty)
  • MG Chemicals No. 855-5 Horse Hair Cleaning Brushes
  • Microfiber cloths (assorted)
  • Mini PCI/USB/Parallel Laptop 4-Digit Motherboard Analyzer/Diagnostic Test POST Card (DealExtreme #25101)
  • Paper Clips
  • PCI 4-Digit PC Motherboard Repair/Troubleshoot/Diagnostic Card with Mobo Status LEDs (DealExtreme #11812)
  • PCI Slot covers / shields
  • S-1007 Network Cable Tester
  • Screw ID Gauge
  • Sharpie
  • SOYO TechAID PCI Diagnostic Card
  • Targus APA31US Universal Notebook Power Adapter - 90W & assorted power tips
  • TrackMate Audio/Video Decks-Computer Drives Cleaning Solution (isopropyl alcohol) (CAS #67-630)
  • WD-40 NoMess Pen

Stuff I don't carry:

  • “Cold Heat” resin-core solder (RadioShack)
  • “Cold Heat” soldering iron (RadioShack) (unused)


  • 17-Piece Precision Screwdriver Set (RadioShack 6980451) - Slotted screwdrivers (1.0, 1.4, 2.0. 2.4, 3.0, and 3.5mm), Phillips screwdrivers (#00, #0, #1, and #2), Hex keys (1.5, 2.0 and 2.5mm), Sockets (3, 4, and 5mm), T-handle
  • 20-Piece Electronics Bit-Driver Set (RadioShack #64-071) - Hex bits (1.5, 2, and 2.5mm), Hex round ball bits (1.5, 2, 2.5mm), Phillips bits (#00, and #0), POZI bits (#00, and #0), Slotted bits (2, 2.5, 3, and 4mm), Torx bits (T-6, T-7, T-8, T-9, and T-10)
  • 2-in-1 Metal Magnetizer and Demagnetizer Block (DealExtreme #03585)
  • Collection of Bits for Bit Drivers
  • Companion 14-Piece Precision Tool Set (30463) (4.25" Diagonal Mini Pliers, 4.25" Long Nose Mini Pliers, Slotted screwdrivers (1.5, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0mm), Phillips screwdrivers (P000, P00, P0), Hex keys (5/64", 3/32", 7/64", 1/8")
  • Computer Tool Kit (11 Piece) (IC Chip Inserter, IC Chip Extracter, 3 Claw Part Retriever, Tweezer, Standard Screwdriver 3/16", Standard Screwdriver 1/8", Nut Driver 3/16" Hex Head, Nut Driver 1/4" Hex Head, Torque Driver with T-10 and T-15 Bits) (missing: Phillips Screwdriver #0, Phillips Screwdriver #1)
  • Craftsman Screwdrivers - Star/Hex
  • Crimping Tool
  • Dremel 1100-N/25 7.2 Stylus Rotary Tool
  • Magnetic parts grabbers (assorted)
  • Mini Cordless screwdrivers (assorted, including iGo and Black&Decker)
  • Mini Screwdrivers/Bit Drivers
  • Network and Connection Wire Cutter Tools (3-Pack) (DealExtreme #02641)


  • Craftsman 12 in. Tool Bag - Qty 2

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen


Reply 10 of 13, by douglar

User metadata
Rank Member

I see lots of items similar to this on Amazon and Ebay:

PCI & ISA Tester Motherboard Anaylzer Card

  1. Support the power source working indicator -- +5V,+12V,+3.3V and 12V
  2. Dual POST code display - User can readout the POST at PCB component and solder side.
  3. Fully compatible with any kind motherboards which has the PCI and ISA bus slot

Are they worth the money or toolkit space or effort to decipher the broken English?

File size
63.21 KiB
File license

Reply 11 of 13, by sf78

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
douglar wrote on 2020-02-09, 16:24:

I see lots of items similar to this on Amazon and Ebay:

PCI & ISA Tester Motherboard Anaylzer Card

Are they worth the money or toolkit space or effort to decipher the broken English?

Well, yes and no. I've had mixed results as some of the error codes change from boot to boot. Also the "code book" included gives quite vague explanations on many of the codes. A faulty or mismatched RAM can give you various codes that'll send you on a wild goose chase.

Reply 12 of 13, by psychz

User metadata
Rank Member

They're perfectly fine for checking why a mobo won't POST, you can tell whether it's a regulator, a dead CPU, a bad RAM and whatnot at a glance...

Stojke wrote:

Its not like components found in trash after 20 years in rain dont still work flawlessly.

:: chemical reaction :: athens in love || reality is absent || spectrality || meteoron || the lie you believe

Reply 13 of 13, by Intel486dx33

User metadata
Rank l33t

The Number ( #1 ) item and most important item I have in my Tookbox is my “iPad”.
With My I pad I can:
Take photos
Look up schematics
Look up manuals.
Posts to user groups.
Reference videos on YouTube.
Search the internet.

A good small laptop with USB would be good too
Like the “DELL Venue Pro 11.”