Acquiring Tools





Introduction: Acquiring Tools

After living with my parents, I have grown accustomed to using my fathers tools when I am working on my projects. Since I have moved out, I realized how important it is to have tools in a house. I will try to compile a small guide on acquiring some tools, please take note that this is a basic guide and will by no means be complete.

The tools you need always depend on what kind of projects you work on. For example, If you work alot on electronics, a basic kit would be composed of a Soldering iron, wire strippers etc... If you enjoy fixing cars, wrenches and a socket set would be more appropriate. I will try to list as many tools I can possibly think of, If I miss anything or you have other suggestions don't hesitate to write a comment and I will add them to the list.

Step 1: Budget / Where to Acquire

It's always better to invest into a few good tools than randomly buying things just to fill up your inventory. Start buying tools you would see yourself often using. Once you have all the essentials, then you could go ahead and buy more specialized tools or stuff you would use less often.

Keep your eyes peeled for sales, this is when you can find good deals, multi-packs and clearance items that will last you forever at a fraction of the cost. This technique is the one that i am currently using. I am trying to spend the least amount of money as possible and making small purchases over a period of weeks.

If you need a specialized tool that you do not own, ask around, maybe a relative could lend you theirs for a short while, trade schools, high schools and small businesses around your neighborhood might be willing to lend them to you. If all else fails, you could even rent some power tools and scaffolding at certain tool rental companies.

Step 2: Storage

First off you will need some sort of place to store all the tools. If you live in an apartment, you might not have enough space to set up a work bench or shop area so you would be stuck storing all your tools in your car or in a toolbox.

Im currently Storing my tools in Toolboxes, I have one of those red metal lunchbox-like ones, a big bulky plastic case with a handle and also a medium sized contractors bag. Mechanics drawers are also a good but expensive option

Here are some links to other instructables on tool storage.

No room:
Tool Box that doubles as a bench!
A 5 Gal Bucket and a pair of jeans for tool storage/
Shopping Cart transformed into a tool cart

If you have room:
Peg Board tool cart
Magnetic tool rack
Build a Work table for your shop
Tank tough Workbench

Step 3: The List.

This is a brief list of tools that i have come up with that one would need for a basic to intermediate collection of tools. Remember that you might not need some tools, so don't get them. Whats the point of buying tools that you will never use. If you think of anything else, don't be afraid to comment and i will add them.

Ear Protection
Steel Toed Boots
Face shield
Welding helmet
Respirator (w/ appropriate cartridges)

-Electricians tools

Soldering iron
Desoldering braid
Iron Holder
Heatshrink tubing
Wire strippers
Side Cutters
Circuit tester / Voltmeter
Flux Brush

-Hand Tools
Staple Gun
Bubble Level
Stud Finder
Ball Peen Hammer
Claw Hammer
Bolt cutters
Bench vise
Utility knife
Socket set
Measuring tape
Hand saw
Mallet (wooden or rubber)
X-acto Knife
Wrenches (Metric and SAE)
Crescent Wrench
Locking Pliers (Vise Grips)
Screwdriver sets
Allen Keys
Pliers ( Needle Nosed, Cutters, Side snips)
Pipe Cutters
Chalk Reel
Angle finders
Hole saw kit
Steel square

-Basic Power tools

Sander- Orbit /Belt/Reciprocating
CIrcular saw (SKIL)
Drill (corded or Cordless)
Hole saw kit
Drill bits
Screw Bits
Compound miter saw
Sawzall or Reciprocating saw
Angle Grinder
Dremel (rotary tool)
Impact wrench
Die grinder
Electric Planer
Regular chop saw (for metal)

-Shop Power tools

Drill Press
Scroll saw
Table saw
Shop Vac
MIG Welder
Arc welder
TIG welder

-Air tools
Staple gun
Brad Nailer
Air hose
Impact wrenches

Step 4: Useful Links



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    Great help, Thank you So much

    dang no love for Sears or Craftsman? ... I always recommend American made tools regardless of brand =)

    I like American made tools too, but they are very hard to find these days, unless you know a Snap-on dealer. Even Craftsman tools are mostly made overseas now. I like supporting ChannelLock because they are still made in Pennsylvania, but they make mostly pliers and a few specialty tools. American made tools I bought about 12 years ago like Vise Grips and Quick Grip clamps have since been bought up by Irwin for the name and the domestic factories were shut down and shipped overseas. Lately, I like to buy antiques with forgotten domestic brand names like Millers Falls drills and Bailey planes.

    Not all Craftsman tools are American made.

    I know...sadly most of the newer tools they come out with are Made in China...I tried out one set of wrenches that were made in China and they kept slipping off of rusty nuts on my truck, so I took them back and exchanged them for an American made set...Haven't had a chance to use the new set so hopefully they hold up better than the old ones. A lot of older Craftsman tools are Made in America and they seem to last forever..I know that my Grandfather has tools that his Father and Grandfather gave to him and they still work...of course they weigh a ton...but they still work perfectly.

    My construction teacher says the same thing. Old American or West German Tools are the best, at that time they took pride in their product. The best way to find them is to go to old garage sales and refurbish them

    A true craftsman never blames their tools :) I get adequate performance out of cheap Chinese wrenches.

    I have lost a lot of blood using cheap tools. I am not saying you need $100 set of open end wrenches but something of decent quality is worth the extra price. But then again I make a living with my tools so I expect more out of them then the average homeowner.

    I'm likely a better mechanic than you.

    First off I did not intend to imply you were a homeowner just that I expect more out of my tools then the average homeowner and am willing to pay a little more for them. I have no idea who you are or where you work. But how would you know how good of a mechanic I am, and why would it matter as to the decision of buying good tools.