As a computer technician you need to have the right tools with you at all times in order to perform your job effectively. Showing up for a job only to have to leave right away because you don’t have the correct tool may not leave a good impression with a client.
In the following article I would like to share with you what tools I carry with me so I am always ready to tackle any job. Use this list to build your own toolkit so that you will always be prepared.
I love this screwdriver set. All of the bits are contained within the screwdriver itself and can be easily changed by simply twisting the shaft. I no longer have to worry about carrying around separate bits and finding the right one before attempting a repair. This set also includes a precision screwdriver that works great on laptops.
This set has everything else you will need when working on laptops including MacBooks. It comes with Pentalobe, Slot, Phillips, JIS, Torx, Torx Security, Hex, Square, Triangle, Tri-Wing, and Nut driver bits.
A flashlight can be very handy when trying to look into a dark computer case, behind a rack, or when tracking down rogue screws. I like this one because it’s bright, small, lightweight, and easy to use.
I use these for not only making new network cables but also replacing damaged RJ45 connectors on existing cables.
This basic network cable tester is used to determine if cable is good, bad, or wired incorrectly.
I use the Pro3000 for toning and tracing out ethernet wires. It’s especially handy when the cable installers don’t label any of the ports.
These little pocket knifes are very useful not only for the knife itself but also for the small scissors that make cutting wire ties and other things very easy.
This tool is great for laptop repairs. It is especially useful when trying to pry open a stubborn case or when disconnecting small cables.
I’ve used my needle nose pliers from everything to pulling out a stuck molex connector, removing motherboard standoffs, to reaching into a tight space to remove a screw.
These are a must have for any tech. I primarily use mine for data recovery when the OS is unrepairable and won’t boot or when the machine itself has a hardware failure and I need to recover something quickly. It can also be handy when transferring data from an old PC to a new one.
Used to quickly check a power supply for problems and will sound an alarm if any abnormalities are discovered. It can also check your Molex, PCI-E, and SATA power connections as well.
Every tech needs a flash drive. I use mine to carry all of my portable apps and software updates as well as a place to store temporary files. The ADATA Superior Series is neither the best flash drive on the market nor is it the worst. It’s a good flash drive for a good price and it’s USB 3.0.
Having a portable hard drive can be handy when your flash drive isn’t enough. I mainly use mine for large file transfers and storage.
Fewer computers are shipping with optical drives so it’s nice to have an external one in case you need to access bootable media like a Windows install disc or repair tool.
The Hiren’s BootCD is a computer technician’s best friend. It’s a bootable CD that contains a huge set of tools to help you troubleshoot and repair even the most corrupt machines.
If Hiren’s can’t do the job then the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows is another great option. It also contains a huge set of tools for troubleshooting various issues.
Techtool Pro is a suite of tools used to troubleshoot and repair problems on Macs. Like Hiren’s and Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, Techtool Pro can be booted from a DVD when the computer will not boot.
Windows 10 DVD, Windows 8DVD, Windows 7 DVD, Windows Vista DVD, and Windows XP CD
I keep Windows installation media with me also for the purpose of repairing corrupt windows installations.
I never know when I might need to burn something while on-site with a client so I keep a few blank CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and DVD-R DLs with me just in case.
I carry a patch cable for obvious reasons. The longer the better especially when trying to plug in to a distant wall port or switch.
- SATA Cable
- Firewire 800 to Firewire 800
- Firewire 400 to Firewire 800
- USB A to Type B
- USB A to Mini B
- USB A to Micro B
I carry a random assortment of screws that can be used for securing drives, cases, and motherboards.
Used with my TRENDnet Crimp Tool to make new cables or repair damaged ones.
I carry one of these around with me just in case I need to quickly make a longer cable.
Some of the best thermal grease on the market in my opinion. Used primarily for dealing with heat issues.
No joke. I use this stuff to stay healthy especially after touching all those mice and keyboards.
I use this for writing down notes, storing forms, and a place to keep extra business cards.
Since I support both Macs and PCs, this is my machine of choice. If I need to boot into Windows, I use VMWare Fusion. For techs that don’t want to buy a MacBook but would still like to have the ability to troubleshoot OS X issues, you can run OS X inside of Windows using VirtualBox.
And this is where I keep my laptop and immediate tools. The Kenneth Cole Reaction Laptop Bag looks professional and comes in three different colors. It has just enough pockets and space for my tools and also fits my 15 inch MacBook Pro perfectly. The rest of my tools are stored in a toolbox that stays in the trunk of my car.
What other tools do you keep in your tech toolkit?
Interested in starting an IT consulting business? Check out my free guide on How to Make Your First $1000 as an IT Consultant.