So I am looking at rounding out my tool kit and was wondering what’s in y’all’s toolkit that you find is the “must have” tool when doing IT work of any kind?
Telescoping magnetic pickup.
Sue me, I drop screws.
Sanitizing wipes. People keep absolutely filthy keyboards.
A sledge hammer, for when the damn thing doesn’t wanna cooperate!
- razer blade or sharp knife
- RJ45 crimper/cutter/connectors
- screwdriver set
- thumb drive with a variety of tools
- hirens boot cd
- pistol - just in case the printer gets any ideas
I miss my fluke multimeter. (It was in said sold tool box)
I find that some of the more offensive tools are helpful.
For my laptop, dual USB c to Ethernet dongles and a gigabit lan throwing star. Useful for tapping and sniffing a wire.
Spare patch cables. (Various lengths, 18in to 15ft)
A rollover cable for connecting to switches, and a USB to serial adapter.
An IODD loaded with the company image and a couple of Linux distros.
Thermal paste. You’d be surprised how many dell corporate machines are cooled with toothpaste. A quick repaste, even with middle of the road arctic silver will stop thermal throttling on most laptops, and this will make the CEO really happy when his fully specced out XPS fireball is a bit less of a fireball.
A 5x7 notebook to take down things when you’re away from your issue tracker. This is helpful for things like ip addresses, customer states, port number mismatches, etc…
A lighter, for securely destroying above mentioned notes. #opsec
Really depends on what you do.
This is a great thread, put it on top till Monday.
The whole reason I started this thread is because when you search “IT Tools” or some derivative of you just get sponsored bs and shills. Hard to find some good “from the field” experience.
I personally have found a multibit screwdriver to be the #1 thing to have.
16 to 64GB Flashdrive(s)
- Latest windows 10 installer
- Xubuntu (latest lts)
- memtest86 (the efi one by passmark)
- antivirus scanners (adw, roguekiller, malwarebytes, eset online)
- stress testing stuff (aida64/heaven/hwinfo64)
- sysinternals tools
- fabs autobackup
- revo uninstaller portable
Extras (space permitting)
- Latest drivers and BIOS for Motherboards we sell
- Office 2019/365 ISO/Installer
- 10 year old SOG multitool
- Harbor “Fright” rechargeable pen light
- zebra f301 pens (701’s are nice but hard to find, and not as cheap)
- pinecil w/old toshiba laptop charger for power
- couple feet of 60/40 solder, desoldering braid, 34ga magnet wire
- brush for dusting laptop fans, scrubbing flux/gunk off pcb’s
- Decent solder sucker
- Precision screwdriver with bits
- 90’s radio shack multimeter
- Thinkpad T460 + charger + extended battery and spare standard battery
- Cheap 8" Samsung tablet
- 250GB M.2 SATA SSD In Sabrent enclosure (sata 2.5" + usb3 micro)
- USB C male to USB A Female adapter
- Micro USB OTG adapter
Personal creature comforts
- Wireless earbuds
- Steelseries bluetooth gamepad
- logitech g602 mouse
- USB batteries 10000mah and 2400mah
- usb cables: usb c to a, a/m to a/f extension (3.0), usb c and A cables + chargers for my phone/tablet/watch
More for tinkering but in my bag
- Espotek Labrador
- Arduino uno w/breadboard & misc components
The tacticool’d water jug; 1 liter. I’m not sure how scientific it is, but it seems a gallon or more a day keeps the kidney stones away.
BONUS: the various stuff i keep at my bench
Stubby ratcheting screwdriver and a bit set.
razor knife and x-tra blades
telescoping magnet with mirror
66/110 punch tool
netscout linkrunner ( or linksprinter ) or netally aircheck ( new to me toy )
usb/serial adapter ( for console )
assorted color electrical tape
crimping tool spare rj45 and rj11 jacks
rj45 keystones and biscuits
small ifixit type kit
usb ethernet adapter
notepad and post-its
a little bag of screws, stand offs, wire management thingys, drywall screws
stuff, you know. Nothing is worse that gettting there and having to scrounge for things you forgot.
- laptop + charger
- mobile hotspot
- wireless mouse
- bag of (probably too old) AA batteries
- usb - eth adapter (2) - one is lenovo-specific
- small vpn-router
- usb battery bank
- case knife
- electrical tape
- allen wrench set
- multi-screwdriver, bits
- one single thumb screw for pc case, in a plastic baggie
- pack of cr2032 batteries
- $100 in 20’s
- cut-resistant gloves
- lockpick set
- bag of clean (formatted, overwritten) usb drives, 2.0 and 3.0
- debian, arch, ubuntu install usb’s, on a keyring
- 2 pens, 2 sharpies, a legal pad
- 2 usb hubs
- nail clippers
- needle-nose pliers
- pack of hair ties
- cables: rj45 (2), usb a to c, micro usb,
Some of this stuff was just left in the bag because I used it at some point, but I’m not gonna clean it out or else then I’ll take something out and wish I hadn’t lol
I don’t really do field IT work anymore but I have two pouches of tools that I always use or grab when doing anything really.
- Xiaomi Wiha Precision screwdriver set - This one is 100% must have. Got it back in 2017 and it still serves well to this day (even equipped all field engineers with that screwdriver kit at my old job)
- Arctic Silver MX-4
- EDS Tweezers from Lidl
- Multitool pliers from Lidl
- Multimeter, from Lidl as well ofc
- Assortment of plastic opening and prying tools, guitar picks
- 99% and 70% Isopropyl wipes - One for cleaning and one for sanitizing your hands, because you’re not going to get away with cleaning thermal paste with vodka
- Cut proof gloves because manufacturers skimp on server lids and it will cut you one day or another
- Earplugs so you don’t lose your hearing in a datacenter
- Patch cable with USB ethernet dongle and USB hub
- Cheap HDMI capture dongle with VGA to HDMI adapter from Aliexpress because monitor crash carts are for losers and security won’t let you in to a data hall with a raspberry pi + VGA and HDMI cables
- Mikrotik mAP lite
- Serial cable and serial to USB adapter
- Reusable velcro ties
- Backup Yubikey
The USB sticks and primary yubikey live on my keys
In terms of organization, I can also highly recommend these types of “plastic wallets” in A4 size. Great for keeping things in one piece when in a shelf or in a bag and Datacenter security will love you for it.
I’m surprised that no-one has listed cable ties. An assortment bundled with a rubber band.
I use cable ties, but prefer velcro straps.
There are few things worse than having to cut through someones idea of cable management with cable ties to route or trace a patch cable.
Used sparingly and at the correct locations. Absolutely invaluable.
Too many, nightmare.
I bought a 10ft roll of the cut to length Velcro straps and it has been awesome. I still use zip ties for stuff that I am confident no one will touch again for a long time or that I really don’t want it to move.
I have 2 in the bag.
Baggies of screws for both 3.5 and 2.5” drives (I’d like to kill whoever decided to make them different).
Punch down tool
Paper clips for hardware resets
In my larger kit I have a usb-powered vga/hdmi monitor and a label maker.
That’s by no means complete but gives an idea.
I’m also a fan of Velcro straps but usually leave a bunch at each client site. Same goes for a lot of the other things listed here. Compromise for not owning a vehicle.
Zip ties and velcro straps are both terrible.
Best wire ties I’ve ever found are WCT-170s: RCCN WCT Strap Ties
Perfect mixture of incredibly easy to close and open, wide, soft and flexible so they don’t damage the bundle of cables they’re holding even if something gets pulled on, and convenient double-loop so it stays in place even when opened (looped around a single cable before being looped around everything). etc.
They’re just hard to find. Used to be found in RadioShack stores. DX.com previously sold the flimsier but serviceable TPE-170 knockoffs but no longer. There is one seller on eBay with WCT-160s, which don’t open and adjust as easily, but are worlds better than velcro: 30 x White or Black 6" PE Releasable Cable Zip Tie Wire Organizer #WCT-160 #gtc | eBay