Best gifts for DIYers: IT pro tools

tech support engineer workplace laptop tools


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There’s an old adage worth remembering when it comes to tools — “Feel the pain once when you pay for the tool, or feel the pain every time you use it!”

Also: More Black Friday coverage at CNET

Do yourself a favor and get yourself decent tools. Having the right tools not only makes the job quicker. It also makes the job safer and prevents you from causing more damage and mayhem during the repair process. Also, there’s nothing like the satisfaction that comes from using quality tools to get a job done.

IT pro tools

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.

iFixit Pro Tech ToolkitiFixit Pro Tech Toolkit

iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit

iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit for $60

This is, without a doubt, one of the best toolkits I’ve come across. It contains many of the tools that you need to tackle PC and smartphone repairs. 

I’ve had one of these kits for quite some time now, and after a lot of heavy use, it all looks and works like new.

A great kit offered at a fantastic price.

DeoxIT Survival KitDeoxIT Survival Kit

DeoxIT Survival Kit

DeoxIT Survival Kit for $33

Everything you need to clean oxidation and corrosion from electrical contacts. This has saved my bacon many times.

Wiha 92190 Master Technicians Bench Screwdriver SetWiha 92190 Master Technicians Bench Screwdriver Set

Wiha 92190 Master Technicians Bench Screwdriver Set

Wiha 92190 Master Technicians Bench Screwdriver Set for $195

A 50-piece precision screwdriver set covering everything from big, chunky screws to tiny ones that are easily lost or damaged.

Screw Extracting PliersScrew Extracting Pliers

Screw Extracting Pliers

Screw Extracting Pliers for $20

These are pliers that get you out of a jam — they feature specially designed jaws to firmly grip screw heads, bolts, or nuts, allowing you to twist out even damaged fasteners.

Uni-T UT210E Current Clamp MeterUni-T UT210E Current Clamp Meter

Uni-T UT210E Current Clamp Meter

Uni-T UT210E Current Clamp Meter for $50

A great little multimeter with a built-in current clamp that’s perfect for all sorts of electrical diagnosis and troubleshooting work. Small enough to throw into a pocket or small toolbox to take with you on jobs.

iSesamo and iFlex opening toolsiSesamo and iFlex opening tools

iSesamo and iFlex opening tools

iSesamo ($10) and iFlex ($11) opening tools

This is the best pry tools you can buy. eBay is littered with clones, but they don’t last. Don’t cheap out. Get the genuine ones!

When I first came across these a few years ago, I bought a few of them, thinking that they wouldn’t last long — I was wrong! My original ones are still like new, despite a lot of prying.

FLIR C3FLIR C3

FLIR C3

FLIR C3 for $450

Pocket portable thermal camera with built-in 3-inch color display and MSX enhanced thermal images providing stunning detail to help you identify problem areas easier. Capable of capturing thermal measurements from 14 F/-10 C to 302 F/150 C.

PlierTek Corner and Sidewall Repair PliersPlierTek Corner and Sidewall Repair Pliers

PlierTek Corner and Sidewall Repair Pliers

PlierTek Corner and Sidewall Repair Pliers for $120

A handy tool that has one job, but it does that job well. It’s designed to reshape the deformed corners of iPhones and iPads that have been damaged by dropping. It can also be used on many MacBooks and MacBook Pro devices.

Magnetic parts trayMagnetic parts tray

Magnetic parts tray

Magnetic parts tray for $16

Perfect for keeping small parts from rolling away or being blown by a breeze. I always like to have a few at hand when I’m dismantling and repairing gadgets.

Nitecore TIP2Nitecore TIP2

Nitecore TIP2

Nitecore TIP2 for $45

A tiny flashlight that’s smaller than a car key and lighter than 1.5 oz, yet capable of a light output up to 720 lumens (with a moonlight mode of 1 lumen when you want discreet lighting). Good for up to 55 hours on a single charge, easily recharged from USB, and features a magnetic mount on the endcap, the TIP2 is a brilliant every day carry light.

USB testersUSB testers

USB testers

USB testers for $25+

Super handy USB testers that allow you to not only test if a port or device is working, but also find out how much power it is consuming. Also handy for testing power bank capacities and loads.

Leatherman Free P4Leatherman Free P4

Leatherman Free P4

Leatherman Free P4 for $140

Leatherman has redesigned its multitool like, dramatically improving the pliers, refining the opening mechanism so the tools are available using a single hand (and without smashing your nails!), and it added a magnetic locking mechanism. This is the larger model featuring 21 tools.

Engineer PH-55 scissorsEngineer PH-55 scissors

Engineer PH-55 scissors

Engineer PH-55 scissors for $20

Avoid using delicate kitchen scissors for hardcore jobs such as cutting wire, and get yourself a pair that’s designed for hard use, and capable of cutting cable, rope, and even 0.5mm aluminum.

SugruSugru

Sugru

Sugru for $16

Moldable silicone glue that’s non-toxic and perfect for handicrafts, fixing broken things, mounting, reinforcing, sealing, DIY and much more. Limited only by your imagination!

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