What You Said: Must Have Tools For Your Geek Toolbox

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Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite geek tool tips; now we’re back to highlight your must-have tools. Read on to see what your fellow readers put in their toolboxes.

Burned might just win the price for the most clever alternate-use tool:

I don’t see a guitar pick in that set of tools. They are great for opening LCD panel bezels and anything plastic that is snapped together. I also carry dental picks, electric screwdriver and telescopic magnet.

We can’t believe with the number of closely matched plastic surfaces we’ve pulled apart over the years we never thought to keep a few guitar picks on hand for the task—clever!

Davin highlights the value of a good flashlight:

While I carry a lot of tools… the one thing that I just started carrying that made me wonder why I never had one before is a good keyring led light beats crawling around behind a PC and not being able to tell the color of a port.

We’ve got a couple cheap LED headlamps laying around that are invaluable for working in cramped spaces (like behind a computer desk where you’d prefer to have your hands free to work and support yourself). You don’t win any fashion awards crawling around with a headlamp on, but it’s really useful to have bright and hands free lighting.

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Aurora900 doesn’t let security screws stand in the way of a job well done:

My kit is mostly the same as everyone elses, except I never go anywhere without my full set of security bits for the occasional strange screw here and there. It has everything from torx (including the security ones), to pozidriv, to those S shaped bits that only go one way.

My favorite tool of all time to carry though would be my butane soldering iron. I can be anywhere and still be able to solder. No wires to get caught in, no need for electricity…

I also use my cellphone extensively for wifi diagnostics (with wifi analyzer).

Stevieb shares a clever DIY solution for retrieving run away parts:

The most useful tool (sorry, second most useful tool) I have is a short length (about a foot) of bicycle brake cord, with a low power magnet glued to the end.
The next most useful tool is a corkscrew.

For more great tool tips, hit up the full comment thread here.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/11/12
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