8 Electronics Tools for the Hobbyist

As a beginning electronics hobbyist, you will definitely need a good set of basic tools for assembling your purchased kits and for when you move onto constructing your own projects. Below is a list of basic tools followed by some optional “advanced” tools which would be nice to have, if you can afford them.

Basic Electronics Tools

1. Wire Cutters / Side-Cutters / Diagonal-Cutters

Go for the 4.5 inch ones rather than the larger “common-purpose” ones. Preferably with springs so that they open when you relax your grip.

electronics tools side-cutters


2. Long-Nose / Needle-Nose Pliers

As above with the wire cutters, go for the 4.5 inch hobby ones, and with springs to normally hold them open.

electronics tools long-nose pliers


3. Precision Screwdriver Set

You can pick these up relatively cheaply, and at least go for a set containing Phillips-head and flat-head drivers (and square drivers and hex drivers are usually also included in sets of 16+ pieces).

precision screwdriver set


4. Hobby Knife

These are designed for delicate precision cutting, typically for lightweight material.

hobby knife


5. Soldering Iron

A common sight on every electronics hobbyist’s workbench. Go for a soldering station with a stand and sponge, rather than the base-less ones. One feature which is often neglected to consider is the start-up time – how long it takes for the iron to reach its temperature. This can vary from less than 30 seconds to over 2 minutes.

soldering iron


Advanced Tools

6. Wire Strippers

These make stripping the insulation off the end of wires so much more easier than just using side-cutters. They also help prevent you nicking the strands which can cause unwanted resistance in the wire and weak connections.

wire strippers







7. Helping Hand

These are great – they give you a “third hand” while you work. Terrific for holding circuit boards at optimal angles for precision soldering, and any other detailed work which is handled better with both your hands. These can come with magnifying glasses and lighting too.

helping hand


8. Solder Sucker and Solder Wick/Braid

Used for desoldering components for removal due to repair or replacement, or to fix a mistake. Solder Suckers are usually spring-loaded pumps which suck the solder away from the joint after you have melted it with a soldering iron.

Alternatively, solder wick/braid is placed over the joint to remove and heated with a soldering iron. The molten solder then gets absorbed into the wick/braid.

solder sucker

 solder wick







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