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2. Suggested Tools

If you’ve built kits before you probably have all these tools. Here are some suggested tools for new kit builders. Most are inexpensive tools that you will use again if you do any electronics work.

  1. Soldering iron or soldering station with good quality rosin-core solder. A 30-watt iron is satisfactory. It should have a conical tip. Look for an iron with a three-prong plug that grounds the tip for electro-static discharge (ESD) safety. The X-Tronic Model #3020 is an excellent choice for a temperature-controlled iron. Good choices are also available from Micro Center and Marlin P. Jones. Brush up on your soldering skills by looking at some videos: Soldering Tutorial for Beginners: Five Easy Steps.
  2. Small diagonal cutters and needle-nose pliers such as Harbor Freight #63814 and #63815.
  3. Solder wick to remove solder bridges between points or excess solder on a joint.
  4. Hot melt glue gun such as the Walmart Low-Temp Mini Glue Gun #557243715.
  5. 1/8-in and 1/4-in (3mm & 6mm) drill bits. Harbor Freight #69470 handle & #61621 drill bits.
  6. Phillips screwdriver. Size PH2 is a good choice.
  7. Flush cutter to trim excess component leads: Hakko CHP-170 or Harbor Freight #90708.
  8. Optional digital multimeter for voltage calibration. It is worth investing in a good meter but the cheap ones from Harbor Freight are quite adequate for this kit.
  9. Optional magnifying lens to inspect the solder joints.