Those who work in electronics use special tools, in addition to some that are commonly found in a basic tool kit. Electronics equipment is susceptible to static electricity shocks, which can cause injury if the technician isn't grounded, for example. Additionally, soldering irons and tiny, precise tools help the technician work on parts in electronic equipment. Start with a basic set before building up to the more specialized tools required for work on some electronics.
Pliers are a necessary tool for those working in electronics, particularly when the devices in repair have regions or parts too tiny for the electronics technician to work with by hand. Several pairs of needle- or long-nose pliers in varying sizes prove helpful. Some are straight and some are angled for getting into complex circuitry. Unlike some cheap pliers, those used in electronics have precise edges, able to pick up a pin or needle from a flat surface. While they aren't a replacement for needle-nose pliers, tweezers are also handy when trying to work with the tiny parts.
Wire Strippers and Crimpers
Depending on the electronics the technician is working on, he may need to create new cables and connections, such as Ethernet RJ-45 connections from CAT-5 cable. To do this, he needs wire strippers to prepare the ends of the cable for the plastic heads. The plastic heads are attached to the ends of the cable, with the inner wires in specific patterns. A specialized RJ-45 crimping tool clamps the RJ-45 connector onto the end of the cable.
Anti-static wristbands ground the technician to prevent static electricity from damaging sensitive electronic equipment. One end resembles a bracelet that goes on the technician's wrist. The other end has a small alligator clip that is clamped to the electronic case being worked on.
Several screwdriver sets are necessary for work in electronics. Standard or changeable screwdrivers are used especially for outer screws on devices such as computer cases or stereo equipment. Smaller screwdrivers, similar to those in an eyeglass-repair kit, are needed for the inner-parts of the electronic devices. Quality is key, especially for the tiny screwdrivers, since the ends easily suffer damage.
Lights and Magnifiers
Lighting is important for working with electronics and, though not often considered a "tool," various lighting devices are always in an electronics technician's tool kit. Tiny lights that are easy to hold, such as pen lights, are even held in the technician's teeth when necessary. Headlamps are also common.A magnifier, particularly with its own stand or that can attach to the technician's head or glasses, helps when working with a lot of tiny parts. Just like working on a computer for long hours can strain the eyes, working with tiny parts and leaning over electronics for hours can strain the technician's eyes and body.
At least one soldering tool is vital for electronics work. Many electronics technicians have several soldiering irons in varying sizes. If the technician is to have only one, a hand-held small- to medium-size soldering tool is a good option because it can fit into most smaller spaces but also work well on larger device. Some are battery-powered, which make them portable.
- Photo Credit pliers image by Jakub Cejpek from Fotolia.com
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