- 1 Ulefone Armor 9
- 2 Horusdy 3-Piece Magnet Trays Set
- 3 DeoxIT Survival Kit
- 4 Wiha Insulated Industrial Pliers/Cutters Set (3-Piece)
- 5 Wera Tool-Check Plus (39-piece, Metric)
- 6 UNI-T UT210E Mini Digital Clamp Meter
- 7 iSesamo Pry Tool (2-pack)
- 8 iPlastix + iFlex Opening Tool
- 9 MakerHawk USB Power Meter
- 10 Need more gift ideas?
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!”
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.
Here are a selection of tools and gadgets that I find indispensable when testing, tearing down, or repairing gadgets.
Ulefone Armor 9
The perfect Android smartphone for the engineer or DIYer
A solid Android smartphone that’s water-resistant, dust-resistant, can take hard knocks, and has a built-in FLIR thermal camera.
There’s also the option to add an optional borescope, turning this into a toolbox you can keep in your pocket.
- MediaTek Helios P90 octa-core processor, up to 2.2GHz
- 6.3-inch 2340 x 1080 FHD+ 410 PPI LCD multi-touch display with IPS technology
- 8GB LPDDR4x dual-channel RAM
- 128GB UFS2.1 ROM
- SD card Up to 2TB
- FLIR Lepton thermal camera with -10℃ – 400℃ range (assisted by a 5-megapixel rear camera)
- Samsung 64-megapixel rear camera
- 2-megapixel secondary rear camera
- Quad-LED flash
- 8- megapixel front camera
- 6600mAh battery
- 18W fast charging supported
- Fingerprint unlock
- Dual-SIM support
- Headphone jack
- Endoscope port
- USB-C port
- IP68/IP69K/MIL-STD-810G rated
$629 at Amazon
Horusdy 3-Piece Magnet Trays Set
Keep all your parts in order when you carry out teardowns and repairs
For years I lived without magnetic trays. I suffered. Screws and other tiny parts pinged off and vanished into carpets and crevices.
Don’t be like me. Get a set of magnetic trays.
- Made of stainless steel material, strong and durable.
- Includes 3″, 4″ and 6″ diameter trays
- Keeps parts and tools from being misplaced or lost while working
- The magnets are super strong, and the trays can be used upside down, sideways, on the side of toolboxes etc.
- Rubber magnet cover prevents equipment from being scratched
$12 at Amazon
DeoxIT Survival Kit
Best contact corrosion buster in the business
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of water intrusion or batteries leaking, DeoxIT is your friend.
This product features an oxidizing solution, a spray, and tube pro-gold preservative and lubricant for plated metal connections, and a spray and tube cailube lubricant for plastic and carbon compound faders.
$43 at Amazon
Wiha Insulated Industrial Pliers/Cutters Set (3-Piece)
A set of pliers that will last a lifetime
Buy cheap, buy twice. These are tools that will, if looked after, last you a lifetime.
- Ergonomic cushion grip handles for comfort and control
- Dual durometer construction for long-lasting durability
- Handles direct molded to tool steel for permanent bond
- Slip guard handle design for added protection
- Wiha premium quality tool steel for strength and durability
- Standard industrial brushed finish for surface endurance
- Induction hardened cutting edges and jaws for superior sharpness and longevity
$77 at Amazon
Wera Tool-Check Plus (39-piece, Metric)
Great tool for compact spaces
The ratchet is extremely strong capable of 48 ft. lbs. but has a return angle of 6 degrees. With a bit installed, the ratchet is 1 1/8-inch high x 3/4-inch wide. Great tool for compact spaces. Plus, there is a 1/4in Ergonomic screwdriver x 3in that’s equipped with a strong permanent magnet to securely hold and magnetize insert bits.
- Kit comes complete with 28 high-quality bits and 7 metric sockets all held securely in a durable plastic belt case until needed.
- Rapidaptor 1/4″ magnetic bit holder can hold insert or power bits. Can quickly be chucked into a cordless tool. Rapidaptor holds bits secure but patented design allows for quick bit changes.
- Extra tough PH1 (1)
- PH2 (3)
- PH3 (1) Extra hard PZ1 (1) PZ2 (3) PZ3 (1) Tamper Torn
- TX 20
- TX 25
- TX30. Standard Torn TX10
- TX40. Hex Plus bits 3.0mm
- 8.0mm. Slotted bit 1.00 x 5.5mm. 1/4″ Socket Adaptor
- and 7 sockets 5.5mm
$79 at Amazon
UNI-T UT210E Mini Digital Clamp Meter
A handy, fully-featured pocket-sized multimeter
- Display Count: 2000
- Auto Range: Yes
- Jaw Capacity: 17mm
- True RMS: Yes
- Diode: Around 3.0V
- V.F.C.: Yes
- NCV: Yes
- Data Hold: Yes
- Zero Mode: Yes
- LCD Backlight: Yes
- Auto Power Of: Around 15 Minutes
- Continuity Buzzer: Yes
- Low Battery Indication: ≤2.5V
- Input Protection: Yes
- Input Impedance for DCV: ≥10MΩ
- AC Current (A）:2A/20A/100A ±(2.5%+5)
- DC Current (A):2A/20A/100A ±(2%+3)
- AC Voltage (V):2V/20V200V/600V ±(1.0％＋3）
- DC Voltage (V):200mV/2V/20V200V/600V ±(0.7%+3)
- Resistance (Ω):200Ω/2KΩ/20KΩ/200KΩ/2MΩ/20MΩ ±(1.0％+2）
- Capacitance (F):2nF/20nF/200nF/2μF/20μF/200μF/2mF/20mF ±(4%+5)
- Product Net Weight: 170g
- Product Size: 175mm * 60mm * 33.5mm
- Power: AAA 1.5V x 2
- LCD Size: 39.3mm * 21.5mm
- Product Color: Red and Grey
- Package Size: 18.6 * 7.2 * 5.9cm / 7.3 * 2.8 * 2.3in
- Package Weight: 328g / 11.6oz
$49 at Amazon
iSesamo Pry Tool (2-pack)
The very best pry tool on the market
Often imitated, but the clones are always inferior. Get the genuine iSesamo!
- Professional-grade stainless steel construction ensures repeated use
- Ultra-thin design allows for easy opening of numerous devices
- Includes clear, flexible rubber handle for no-slip grip
- Ideal for pros and DIYers
- Makes short work of electronic repairs
$15 at Amazon
iPlastix + iFlex Opening Tool
The right tool for removing screens
iPlastix is the newest opening tool invented by Dottorpod. It works perfectly with the highly popular iFlex and iSesamo help you get into hard to access devices and LCD separation repairs.
- iPlastix is made from super plastic, soft, durable material and same time very strong. It is designed to fix delicate devices; pop up plastic cover, separate touch panel, LCD from touchscreen, remove batteries without any risk to scratch frames and crack the screen.
- iFlex is recognized most popular repair opening tool for Apple iPhone/iPad/Watch and most smartphone/tablets.
$19 at Amazon
MakerHawk USB Power Meter
Fully-featured USB tester
Supports Micro USB or Type C connectors and fast charge mode recognition, including QC 2.0/3.0, iPhone 2.4A/2.1 A/1A/0.5A, Android DCP.
Measure wire resistance by differential pressure method.
Gold-plated USB contacts and upgraded USB male-female connector.
$30 at Amazon
Need more gift ideas?
Check out our ZDNet Recommends directory or Holiday Gifts hub for some more inspiration.
Our sister sites also have the following gift guides:
- CNET: Stellar gifts for 2020
- GameSpot: Gift Ideas for 2020
- Chowhound: The best gourmet food and drink gifts
- ETOnline: Best gift ideas for home, beauty, baby and more
- TechRepublic: Holiday gift guides for techies, remote workers, and everyone else on your list
- Rachel Ray Show: 2020 Holiday Gift Guide