The Common Tool Set

Quick post to chat about tools: As a collector of them, and as a maker and hacker, I find that I have boxes of very specific tools for very specific applications. I have wood working tools; Mechanics tools for working on cars; Plumbing tools; Car electrical specific tools; Soldering and circuit board electrical; Watch repair; Sewing; etc. It’s nice to have a single box of tools that you can haul out for a very specific need. To say: “Here is everything I need for THIS job.” It’s very satisfying.

This helps tame the garage, workshop, and study. You no longer have a big shelf filled up with everything from a circular saw to AA brass tweezers. You can put the pipe cutter, flux, and fittings away in a box marked “PLUMBING” until needed. You don’t have to dig through a pile of electrical crimpers to get the coaxial ones you need for AV work.

Sometimes though, projects require a common tool set. I went to hang a picture in my office and I had 5 hammers to choose from. I fixed the fan in our bedroom and I had to go into 3 different places to get a set of wire strippers, a long screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and some super glue. I found myself leaving my watch repair box open all the time for access to a good pair of tweezers and a loupe. My electronics box is more like a remote soldering station and I found I would also leave it open on the counter for access to 2 long screwdrivers, a pair of flush cutters, and a pair of wire strippers.

“I leave this open on the counter all the time for 3 tools,” I thought. Then I looked at the watch repair box, also open for access to 2 or 3 tools. 90% of the time I go into the garage it’s to get a pair of pliers or a screw driver. “Yeah, I can fix this.”

Here is my common tool set. This represents the tools I use 90% of the time. Put one together for yourself and stop 15 trips to 3 places to finish a project. I on-purpose didn’t put links, because I don’t want to update them, and I don’t monetize this site. Take that as an honest recommendation.

  • Sharpies (regular / fine)
  • Leatherman Style PS
  • AA Tweezers (and small tools)
  • Wera Kraftform Kompakt (screw driver with bits)
  • CRKT Drifter (folding knife)
  • EXTECH EX330 Multi-meter (with box of extras)
  • 1lb Brass Hammer
  • Wiha precision screwdrivers
  • AA LED Flashlight
  • Klein Tools Scissors
  • Wire strippers
  • Flush cutters
  • KNIPEX Cobra self locking pliers

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