Gio's starter guide to tools, when you know your going off the deep end

So here is a list of hardware I think makes for a good starter pack for people who think they will be building multiple boards for themselves. Please let people know other ideas/gear you can think of!



with this kit you do not need the bottom holder/cleaner but it takes more room on your desk.

Stand and tip cleaner:


Good cheap brand buy the size you want 025 or 032 diameter

Solder sucker:

Flush cutter:


Or any ESD tweezer you prefer

Screwdriver set:

^- missing hex 2.5 but fantastic shape and bit lenght


and of course the fancy set

Stab lube:

Lube brushes:
Switches: size 0000 brush in your price point
Stabs: size 000 brush in your price point

Screw in stab washers:

Switch puller:
Search for IC puller and get the cheapest one you find at the time with shipping you are willing to wait on heh

Work surface:


Thanks for the great suggestions. I need some flush cut pliers, I’ll definitely check out the ones mentioned. :+1:

Wiha also makes some really great flush cutters in various sizes.


there are soooo many choices, I went with a safe cheap choice

Personally I love my Hako FX888D soldering iron. I’ve seen my soldering work DRASTICALLY improve once I got it.


I will agree its a nice station, but I tried staying within a smaller budget, I would recommend the 888 as the minimum if you want to sell build services.

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Thanks for the suggestion :smiley_cat:

Just a note, the bits are “standard” 4mm hex opening so if you happen to have another precision screwdriver set laying around, just take the 2.5mm hex bit from there and throw it in the Nanch kit. Or purchase a 2.5mm hex microbit from Wiha Of course, the bits won’t have as long of a tip but better than not having one!

that is what I am currently doing, been trying really hard to find one with the long tip but haven’t managed yet :confused:

I would also say that it’d be worth it if you plan to build a lot of boards or desolder at any point. The price difference isn’t very large either and you get a rest/tip cleaning station for your iron if you buy from Amazon.

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Hehe. Well, Wiha is definitely a safe choice, but certainly not a cheap one. :blush:

Really like the idea of the washers, the amount of build vids I have seen with people using random bits of plastic!

you make a valid point, im going to modify the entry to say TS100 for people with low space and 888 is you have more room

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A cheaper (practically free) alternative to screw-in stab washers is… clear sticky tape. Cut a 5mm square, place over the hole in the PCB, then burn a hole for the screw with a soldering iron.

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theres a lot of freeish solutions but it looks so bad hahaha, I added the washers as a cost effective better looking alternative cause I am a crazy person.

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Crazy indeed. I use the same fabric bandaids that I already used on my stabs since I have them at hand. :+1:

My passed down 20 year old cheapo radioshack soldering iron is still going strong. Have built 5 boards with it so far. No need to buy expensive soldering iron just to build a handful of keyboards.

Are there any switch specific lubes available on amazon that you would recommend? Still looking to pop my switch lubing cherry, so to speak, but there are not many solid recommendations I’ve found for which lube to use. has the lube you need. Cheap and a vial will be enough to lube a couple 60% boards.


Are there any vises or helping-hands-type tools that people can recommend for immobilizing the things you’re working on?