You want to start DIY electronics but you don’t know what tools you need? I will describe what I think are the needed tools, going from what, I believe, is mandatory for new builders to the extra tools that could be useful to troubleshoot, calibrate and design your own modules.
Starting Pack :
A quality Soldering Iron capable of 400°C is essential. Don’t buy a complete crap even for beginners. A good one can last for years if well treated, I personally have had the same old Weller WECP-20 for years. I would recommend getting one with adjustable temperature, even if it’s not mandatory for beginners, it will be quickly useful. Choose one with a serious iron stand and a tip cleaner.
Soldering Iron Tips
Having different tip sizes and shapes on hand is really practical when you alternately build Through-Hole boards and SMD boards.
There are many choices here and it can be difficult to choose for newcomers. I Recommend Lead-Solder which is really easier for getting started soldering. With time and experience, you will be able to choose the right fit for you.
This is a really worthwhile investment if you plan on making synths. It will come a day when you will have to troubleshoot your build and you won’t be able to do it without a good DMM. Good ones can also provide functions such as diode Mode and capacitor measurement.
Solder Wick or Desoldering Pump
You will one day or another need this, why? because all humans make mistakes and you will too. I don’t really own a desoldering pump but the solder wick is enough I guess. This braid is made of copper that sucks up solder when heated.
Some of the above mechanical tools will be useful. Please, keep in mind that for every tool listed, buying a few items of good quality is better than buying a cheap multi-tool set.
- Diagonal Cutters for cutting excess leads after soldering.
- Needle-nose Pliers for bending component leads.
- Wire-Strippers for stripping wire.
- Few flat and Philips Screwdrivers for adjusting component trimmers.
- Tweezers for handling small components.
- A PCB Holder (not really needed, just put the PCB on top of a tape roll).
- Transistor Tester
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- 8mm and 10mm Hex Nut Drivers (for jack and pot Hex nuts)
- A Digital Oscilloscope
- A Bench Power Supply
Double Disclaimers :
- This is just a list of what I could think of, you may think about other tools that you find handy.
- I will give link to some tools that I personally use, but I have no link to any of these brand, I’m just showing you what I like to work with.