Safety glasses You really cannot be too careful with your eyes. When you are trimming the ends off component leads or have your head close to something you're soldering, it's more than possible for a bit of metal or a splutter of hot flux to hit you in the eye. You can obtain a pair of safety glasses from pretty much any hardware store for just a few dollars.
@LiketoBike: I like a cigarette lighter for quick jobs with heat-shrink tubing, or lighting my torch. For that matter, electric tape, epoxy, heat-shrink tubing and nylon tie-wraps are very useful for bonding things.
I have a handy-dandy llittle hot air blower for heat-shrink tubing -- I do like small nylon tie-wraps for keeping things tidy -- and I'm also a big fan of the hot glue gun LOL
@LiketoBike: Concerning the wire stripper: many of these also can crimp solderless terminals. Make sure your wire stripper is so equipped, and solderless spade lug terminals, butt connectors, and some multipin connector terminals become usable.
I have a crimper -- I think it does act as a wire stripper and cutter also, but I use it onlt for crimping -- it's funny how you get to have a favorite tool for each task.
The sole question to ask is "Do the tools make the man or does the man make the tools?" >> The ONLY acceptable answer is "Yes".
The problem with buying 'cheap' and/or 'all in one' tools is the fact that they end up cluttering another needed tool which is a toolbox.
I have not seen anyone recommend a DMM and of course you can get the free one from Harbor Freight Tools but you gets what you pays for! One can always use old wallwarts to serve the power supply needs but there is no substitute for a DMM.
I have to agree with Tom.Grey on the value of a crimping tool. I've bought about a dozen wire stripping tools in my day, none of which worked better than my pair of diagonal cutters. I know using the cutters is playing chicken, as it's easy to nick or even sever the wire, but for some reason I have more problems with sole purpose wire strippers either not removing the insulation in one piece or nicking the wire. My favorite tools is the Super Champ crimping tool from Amp. Besides crimping terminals, it's wire stripper functions well on 22 to 10 A.W.G., better than any of my other wire strippers and it has a bolt cutter for cleaning cutting machine screws number 4, 6, 8 and 10. My specimen is over 40 years old and has put to shame all other imitators I've gotten to put in my garage tool kit through the years. This is a quality tool. I still use my red plastic nut starters that used to come with every Heathkit. My indespensable tool for surface mount components is my Baush and Lomb stereo zoom microscope with a decent fiber optic illumination setup. It actually makes working with surface mount a pleasure, considering my aging eyes. I picked up my setup at a surplus place for under $500. Many are the hours I've spent using it to examine insects and other life forms, printed material and just about anything I'm curious about. The rest of the family really enjoy it too.
I have found a combination "crimper stripper cutter" tool (use those terms in your favorite search engine) to be very useful. Typically less than $25 US. Crimps those solderless connectors, strips wire of various gauges, typicaly has a wire cutter, and also will cut small machine screws that invariably are just a little too long for your project. A smaller dedicated wire stripper is also handy as the above tool is a little bulky.
@betajet; Yes up to now I have soldered and used small pliers, but eye sight is going, hands are getting unsteady. I am due for the scrap heap soon so need a tool that works better than my lumpy old fingers.
Crusty asked: However what alternative do people use for crimpingJST (JAPAN SOLDERLESS TERMINALS) - BXH-001T-P0.6 - CRIMP TERMINAL, XH, 28-22AWG?
Those are solderless? Gee, I've been using those kinds of terminals for decades and I always thought they required solder! Seriously, I first used them in Heathkits and they required that you wrap the flanges around the wire using needle-nose pliers and then solder. I guess they figured that nobody would have a US$600 crimping tool and if they're building Heathkits they have the time to wrap the flanges and solder -- probably makes better contact too.
January 2016 Cartoon Caption ContestBob's punishment for missing his deadline was to be tied to his chair tantalizingly close to a disconnected cable, with one hand superglued to his desk and another to his chin, while the pages from his wall calendar were slowly torn away.122 comments