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


#41

Oh that’s awesome, I’m sold on the TS100 now


#42

Thought of one more thing, I use a similar mat branded by Alvin 24"x18" (~46x61cm for those of you that don’t use 'murica units)

Green on one side and black on another. You can melt it with soldering stuff, but I haven’t damaged mine too much yet and I feel like melty stuff is a sign of use. I also am dropping all my keyboard stickers that I get on the green side cause I don’t have another place to put them really.

Lastly, if you watch AvE on youtube, it’s pretty much the same thing he uses.


#43

its also a nice mat but double the cost of the fiskars which is why I used that one.


#44

I didn’t realize it was $30. I definitely did not pay $30 for my mat. I’ll have to look when I get home. Maybe I only have the 12x18 mat then. Or one of the knockoffs.

If it was the 12x18, it is around $10, so fairly cheap and most keyboards should fit on it.


#45

I’ll add this Solder sucker to the list - only because I make a lot of soldering mistakes and can justify a $25 solder sucker :joy:

I have a TS100 Soldering Iron and a Hakko - I think I like the TS100 slightly more (only because it’s so light and small) - but it’s hard to choose a favorite between the two. The Hakko is kind of the gold standard for a work table soldering iron.

Also, if you do a significant amount of soldering, spending the extra ~$75 on a Hakko or similar soldering fume extractor is not a bad idea.

You could probably find activated carbon fish tank filters at a local store or pet shop and combine those with an old PC 12V fan and wire your own fume extractor if you have the time and parts.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FA400-04-Bench-ESD-Safe-Absorber/dp/B07CZ2B5L2/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1531443721&sr=1-1&keywords=hakko+soldering+fan


#46

fan is a good idea, I just use a 5$ Walmart desk fan to blow it away from me heh


#47

Wiha tools are also addictive…

These are pretty useful for magnetizing your screwdrivers to get those tiny steel M2 screws into your PCB without dropping them:


#48

Great list here, should prove very useful for newcomers to the hobby! The only thing I would like to add is the soldapullt (solder sucker) you linked comes with absolutely trash solder wick. The soldapullt itself is decent & worth buying, but the wick barely work at all unless you add copious amounts of flux to it & the joint.

Usually I use this no clean wick, but needed a cheap soldapullt & figured “Hey I get some free wick with it as well, what’s not to like!” Well as it turned out the wick, go figure LOL! :exploding_head: I recommend anyone thinking of buying that soldapullt to just get it by itself & buy some higher quality wick like I linked. :metal:


#49

Here’s the new hotness making the rounds using a standard t12 tip. as with most chinese stuff there is a CRAP ton of clones and its hard to pick the best one/decent price but I think this is decent:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/OLED-110V-220V-T12-Digital-Soldering-Stations-estacion-de-soldadura-quick-tools-solder-station-electronica-soldering/32881119089.html


#50

Interesting. Pencil looks pretty comfy and the “station” itself is nice and cozy.


#51

oh dang. that looks nice and compact. Gotta figure something out for the plug in the US, but not bad. Though that TS100 is looking hard to beat right now.


#52

I took a look yesterday, my mat is the 12x18 version. Still works for anything I’ve done so far


#53

That form factor is a fairly commonly used laptop power supply cable. Dell for sure and I think a few others. Since it’s 110 or 220v, it shoukd just be a matter of getting a replacement cable. Or you can get a plug converter, which I have used a lot, but they’re usually big, bulky, and not always very secure. I’d suggest snagging a new brick-to-wall cable and running that over a plug converter.


#54

Yeah, desolder iron or gun gets rid of the whole “balance iron in one hand, heat joint; solder-sucker in other hand; tweezers in …” oops, out of hands


#55

Gross… Don’t listen @notG10 washers are gud


#56

I feel like there should be group buys for custom tools.


#57

This is a really good point, the Hako 888FX is a great soldering iron that is priced well. Although it straddles the semi professional line IMO also. There are many really good cheaper options out there if you do not do a lot of soldering. I went with the 888FX because of the reasons you stated (trying to get into doing build services) & I do a whole lot of soldering beyond that as well.


#58

wasn’t going to, the main reason I went with washers over using the band-aids/electric tape (tried both) is that it has a tendency to bind on the screw and just not do a clean job. Considering the price of washers and the cost of most keyboards I consider it a no brainer.

To each their own of course but that was my thought process involved


#59

Good write up!

I have that nanch screwdriver set. I use it all the time.


#60

Excellent resource. I have a lot of the items on this list and use the Hakko. These are all great items to have. The MG Chemicals tube of solder is actually quite a lot and will last for a few boards and for myself was easier to come by than the Kester brand.

Having a magnetized screwdriver can really make tray mounted boards a lot easier to assemble so that you don’t end up losing screws between the pcb and plate…