Tools and Tips: Tools that are stupidly handy to have

I see a lot of stuff on the iFixit toolkit and people seem to ask what good ones are. So, heres my concise guide on good tools to have available for your basic PC stuff. They’re all good in different circumstances and useful in ways you probably weren’t aware of.

So, heres my basic toolkit for any PC project I have.

Pictured are:
XActo Knife, Box cutter, Zip Ties, 1FT pry bar, shitty scissors, small screw driver set, pen + marker, therm paste, tooth brush, gas bottles, gas-heated pen soldering iron (that I managed to lose the tips for >:T), reversable screw driver, shitty screw driver I don’t care about that I use as a chisel, gas-bottle toolbox to keep it in.

All my tools that I use all fit in this little box, minus the second gas bottle that I don’t need to carry around.

Roughly, these tools all cost different prices depending on where you get them, what form they are in, etc. What is good to note for your toolbox is what the tools are made of. So first we’ll do the NO-NO-DON’T-BUY-THESE list.

The tools listed above are tools I CANNOT recommend. Starting from the top, the jewler sets that are everywhere seem like a good idea, sure, but when you start losing tools under desks, the heads of the tools break and fall out, or you accidentally stab yourself with them… I mean enough is enough at some point. Don’t bother with that.

Next, you’ll find these sort of toolkits everywhere. This one might actually be fine, but the 72 heads 1 screwdriver kits are shit at 7-15 dollars. My kit was about 8 bucks, but its also made out of good metal. It doesn’t malform, if anything its hard enough that I have stripped screws with it. But the flaw is that I have actually broken the glue in the handle of the screw driver, so now its just a spinning whizbang until I put some pressure on it to keep it from spinning. Some of these have magnets in them too, they die really quickly and you’ll be better off magnetising the tool heads.

Lastly, cheap shit soldering irons like these are awful. They take forever to heat up, the electronics inside pop pretty quickly, they just aren’t worth it. Plus, none of them come with good heads. You’ll need to replace the heads as soon as you get them and they cost like 10 bucks for 2 cheap shitty heads. Not worth it, its like buying the rest of battlefront 2 in DLC.

Now, basic hand tools cheapest to best.

Low Range:

if you don’t like the dish

Mid Range:

High Range:

For the low range stuff, I don’t have much good to say about it, but nothing bad either. You’re playing hit or miss with iron tools so keep an eye out for stainless steel. With the magnet stuff, you’re not going to find much expensive. Personally I just use a magnetic dish and remember the order of my screws, but theres mats and shit too. You can also just use the lid of your toolkit box, just remember the order. You can find these tools just about anywhere in any Ace hardware.

Mid range… They’re ok. Not the best, not the worst. StarTech is where I would look for good toolkits, but theres nice kits like that Nanch that have good iron heads and a ratcheting screwdriver made out of actual metal. Though if the ratchet breaks you’re fucked.

High range… I can only recommend iFixit stuff. They even give you a warranty. The tool heads are good, you get some extra stuff that could be handy (my pry bar is my spudger, again, low range, you can get those anywhere for 3-6 bucks), and are all around good tools.

Rework tools. I have limited experience here, but I have a group of tools I can really recommend, and then other stuff that other people have recommended.

Low Range:

Mid Range:

High Range:


Same as before, including being able to find low range stuff just about anywhere. I have used most of the mid range stuff and some of the nice 600 buck hakko rework hardware. Obviously if you just want to repair a laptop or get tools for work you don’t need to break the bank, but tools like these, or similar to these, are what I would look for. I don’t know much about Oscilloscopes, and personally I would look for an older one from the 90’s on craigslist or something.

Heavy tools.
Normally these are a bit much, but I use them a lot. Theres no low mid high here, just what I use. Might be a bit much for you and you may never ever use them, but I use them all the time for what I do.
Not the one I have, mine you can hold it a lot of different ways and costed 60 bucks, but these are handy.
Doesn’t have to be this phone, but get some shitty smart phone to keep for notes and shit if you don’t have a phone yourself. Its stupidly handy.
Have one handy.

Other stupidly handy tools to have around. Mostly organizational toolboxes and stuff for parts.

Also look in goodwill for sewing boxes for bobbins and such. Good for screws and they are small.

And uh, there you go. Pretty much all the repair tools I can recommend for basic PC repair. Not much else I can really say past that.

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I liky my proxxon and knipex tools.
For example the proxxon 23 107 bit-set gets you into anything. And they have your back even if you should use the kit in an industrial setting.
Combine that with 23 080 or 23 040 to make the world unscrew before you!
Knipex 00 19 41 is a nice selection of pliers and 3 screw driversüsselsatz-Zoll-36-teilig/dp/B002C6LU6S/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1üsselsatz-Zoll-56-teilig/dp/B000NDB93Q/ref=sr_1_1

Nice to haves and useful tools:
Compact flashlight! I like this little guy as it works for every-day-cary

BisLinks iSesamo - We all have the need for spudgers.®-Professional-iSesamo-Spudger-DottorPodx/dp/B07662HKCD/ref=sr_1_4

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