What do I need to get started in electronics?

I want to get started in electronics (for fun right now, when I'm eighteen I plan on studying computers and things like that because I would like computer repair and such to be my career) However, I know very, very little about electronics right now. I've already learned quite a bit about the more basic things just from reading some technology instructables on this site (thanks!) but to actually do the projects (mostly things involving LEDs, bots, and things like that) what types of tools do I need to have on hand? I figure I need a soldering iron, but otherwise I'm pretty clueless as to how to get started here. I learn A LOT better when things are hands on rather than reading from books so I think the projects on this site would be a good starting point. There will be plenty of time later for me to get more serious in this. 
So other than a soldering iron and wires, what other things would be good for me to have on hand to get started with electronics?

sort by: active | newest | oldest
Andisimmo4 years ago
This is a low cost kit, which might prove useful
acidbass6 years ago
learning how to solder WELL is a place to start then you could get more advanced by taking apart things (RC cars and such) and try to put them back together i also suggest you get a book called electronic projects for dummies and that has Led projects and other more advanced things once you get through the book then get an old cpu or laptop that you can get really cheap (so you are not making a huge mistake by buying something you are going to tear apart anyway) and try to put that together and the rest is all up to you.
lennielectric (author)  acidbass6 years ago
Thank you! I checked out the book and it looks perfect. Definitely getting it. I'll learn more about soldering, too, so I know what I'm doing.
no problem glad to help
framistan6 years ago
You need a cheapy DMM (digital multi meter). You can get one at harbor freight tools for about 3 bucks. Do not get an analog multimeter, they are very fragile if you measure something wrong it will burn up. You need a solder IRON (not solder GUN). and very important a solder iron HOLDER for safety. You can build the iron holder out of an old tincan or something if you want to.
Re-design6 years ago
Google "electronic tutorial" and study as many of those as you can. If you don't work from prepared tutorials you will find that after a while you know all about some things but are sadly lacking in other parts of the field that are basic building blocks to the rest of it.

Trust me - I speak from experience!
lennielectric (author)  Re-design6 years ago
Thank you. I'll start researching more online. I think it's better to have a broad education on these things rather than knowing a lot about just a few things.
I recently started into electronics as of last year, I have become quite fanatical about it. I didn't have all of these things to start, but slowly built up a nice tool set. A good screwdriver set with security bits is a must for harvesting parts and the like. Many electronics have security screws. I harvest alot of parts from dead electronics, saves money and keeps it out of the landfill. You can keep the screws as well! A set of Needle nose pliers always helps, along with a pair of latching hemostats. Also a "Helping Hands" to hold your projects while soldering. A good pocket knife of course Wire strippers, Wire snips, Heat Shrink Tubing A good multimeter will come in handy as well. Also a variable benchtop power supply, there are Instructables on how to make one from an ATX computer power supply, I use one myself. Breadboards can be good for making and testing circuits before committing to soldering on a piece of perfboard or etching a pcb. Rechargeable batteries are a big help as well. A good lamp at your workstation and a magnifying glass are handy as well. Lots of storage containers for small parts, large parts, etc (I use nutella jars :D) Solder wick or a solder sucker. Heat Shrink Tubing Rechargeable batteries are a big help as well.
lennielectric (author)  mutantpoptart6 years ago
Thanks so much for your answer. I'll start slow with collecting these (pretty limited budget) but thank you for giving me a good list of things I'll need.