What are your favorite or most used tools?

edited May 2015 in General
I'm a big tool junkie, so I keep a Pinterest board of all the tools and workshop ideas I like:

I'm always on the lookout for new tools, and I'm curious what some of your favorites are.

Here are some of mine:

  • T-handle ball-end allen hex set in SAE and Metric
    Great for extra torque, and getting to hard to reach bolts.
  • Goose neck bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol
    It's my solvent of choice. Great for degreasing/cleanup, breaking the bond on hot glue, activating Skin Illustrator makeup, and 1001 other uses.

  • Telescopic Magnet
    Probably the most used tool in my shop.  I probably used it 20 times last night while dropping bolts/nuts/washers everywhere.  Wave it over the floor and under the workbench a few times, and you'll be amazed what you find.

  • Ultra bright clip-on flashlight
    Did I mention I like to drop stuff?  Occasionally the stuff I drop can't be picked up with a magnet, so I keep one of these clipped to my workbench.

  • Dyson hand-held vacuum
    When doing a lot of sanding, grinding, sawing, and drilling you leave a mess.  The wall-mount charger for this happens to fit perfectly on the side of my workbench, so it's always at hand.  Because I don't have a massive shop I try and keep my workspace as clean as possible.  That way my sculpting, painting, and mold making is not contaminated.  A clean workspace is a happy workspace.

  • A good multi-bit micro driver set
    This set from ifixit is great.  I've had mine for a couple years and absolutely love it.

This list could go on for days, but I figured I would keep it to a few of my favorite essentials for now.  

What are your favorite must-have tools?



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    Cyril WichersCyril Wichers ✭✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Hemostats. For positioning and holding small parts (like tiny nuts and screws) They'll get into tight spaces where your fingers or pliers won't fit, and you don't need to keep them closed manually.

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    Hemostats are great.  I keep a few pair in reach at all times.  Great for attaching tiny nuts in an area where a socket or wrench can't reach.

    I also have a laparoscopic hemostat that I really love.  It's very handy for reaching down into a project to remove that bolt I just dropped.  Have I mentioned how frequently I drop things? ;)


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    edited May 2015
    this are my favourite tools. Handy, multifunctional & can stay in your pockets.

    A cutter for cables. Can cut different cables and have a small cutter blade.
    "My Bic pen, I keep it with me. For me is THE PEN. My sword".
    See the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bic_(company)
     A telescopic magnet, with a rope, to reach more long distance (my experience).
    The irreplaceable McGyver knife...very good steel and multitask. (saved my life a lot!)
    A small set of screw drivers that you can use by hand or with a drill as well.
    A mini telescope, to reach where my one eye can't reach and let me feel like a pirate or a "PeEpInG ToM"...


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    The ones i make myself
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    edited May 2015
    Luca: Great collection.  That's a neat looking cable cutter!

    Julian: Custom tools are the best, do you have any examples of yours?

    Another tool I use constantly is my black Leathermen Surge. 

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    Another useful tool/shop resource is a simple granite slab.   While it's not very flashy or exciting, it is extremely versatile.

    When doing leather work a granite slab is handy for pounding rivets and grommets, using a punch, or stamps.

    It's also very useful as a weight, especially when gluing flat materials.

    I've also been using my granite slab a lot lately while working with acrylic.  The best way to "glue" 2 pieces of acrylic together is to solvent weld them using an acrylic solvent.  The granite slab is a fantastic work surface when working with solvents as is non reactive (unlike my desktop cutting mat which the solvent would eat) and non porous so any excess solvent will quickly evaporate.

    Another handy tool seen above is a 4 1/2" micro bar clamp.  Can never have enough of these, especially in the smaller size.

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    Give me a moment while I slice the top of my skull off to show you MY favourite tool. har har har.

    /Other Chris
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    Another great asset in my shop is the Magnetic Project Mat by iFixit.  I do a lot of projects involving small metal components, and this thing is a life saver.

    The mat is magnetic, so everything stay put.  It's also divided into a grid, so you can organize components based on type or where they belong in your project.  And finally, it's a white board surface so you can label things or make notes.  This is really handy when you are doing a teardown.

    mat.jpg 226.2K
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    my lazy susan, at lest until i get a heat gun.
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