Your stint as a computer technician won’t be complete without your tools. You will definitely need them to perform your job effectively and efficiently. After all, it’s better to carry more than less if you are dealing with clients, anyway. You have to create a good impression first, and it all begins with a complete toolset. Customer retention and good word of mouth are what you need to make it big as a computer technician.
Be prepared all the time, by building your own tool kit. You don’t have to own everything at once, yet make sure you have a complete set at some point. Shall we start?
A screwdriver set saves you the hassle of buying various screwdrivers one by one or not having a really useful one when you need it. A gizmo like this has every tool in its shelf, and is changeable after twisting the staff. Also, make sure you find something that is coupled with a precision screwdriver, since you will likely tinker laptops.
2LED Pen Flashlight
Just because you are working in a well-lit environment doesn’t mean you won’t need a flashlight at some point. Remember, you will dissect the depths of PCs and laptops. Finding loose screws also proves to be a hard task. That’s why you need a flashlight. Look for one that is portable enough, since you’ll need to be able to repair components.
3iFixit 54 Bit Driver Kit
You will likely open a lot of computers in your job as technician. ACER, ASUS, MAC – seeing their innards will become a normal routine in your life. This iFixit Driver Kit has 54 bits, selected by iFixit to fit all popular gadget brands. This toolkit is also easy to use, small and light to carry. For a bonus? iFixit 54 Bit Driver Kit has a lifetime warranty. It’s no wonder many government agencies are using this product.
4 TRENDnet RJ11/RJ45 Crimp/Cut/Strip Tool
Cable cutters are also necessary, as you’ll need to replace worn-out cables or create new network ports. This all-steel device boasts compact design and easy to use hand grips. TRENDnet Strip Tool also works with any Ethernet or Telephone Cable. You will also get a limited 1-year warranty by buying this.
5 Network Cable Tester
Bad LAN connection caused by poor cable connection isn’t that uncommon. Actually, this might be the next reason to consider, if your reception is usually fine. This tester helps determining whether your connection is good, bad or wired in the wrong way. Pick a unit that comes as two separable units. It comes really helpful when the cable’s ends are located in separate rooms. You may find one that’s rechargeable, but more common are those that need 9V battery.
6Fluke Networks Pro3000 Toner and Probe Kit
Now here’s another must have tool for you to use in your missions. This gizmo specializes in detecting non-active networks. Pro3000 uses five distinct tones to identify exact wiring pairs. This works by sending sounds through the wires, which can reach up to 16 km. It will prove really helpful in cases when a cable installer didn’t label cable routes. This could be your troubleshooter in wired connections.
7Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Pocket Knife
Aside from its one-stop use, this pocket knife is also easy to carry. However, we’re not that keen on the knife here. What we’re actually interested in is that it also includes small scissors, which are perfect for cutting wires and other thin materials. You also get a lifetime warranty for buying this, signifying the firm is extra-careful with keeping it in good shape.
You may encounter problems, like difficulty in opening laptops due to a stuck screw. You may use extra force, but that could damage the case of whatever you are repairing. Another situation might also arise when you need to disconnect cables, but you are afraid of destroying the connectors. It is then you will discover the importance of spudger tools. Be careful to pick those made of nylon, to prevent scratching your client’s gadgets.
9Stanley 8-Inch Needle Nose Pliers with Cutter
Jaws for firm grip, a piler strong enough to bend small objects and a cutter. These are what you need from a nose plier. Tasks like removing motherboards, picking screws and pulling stuck materials are made much easier, thanks to this object. This is a fairly common gizmo on the market. However, settle for one that’s both thin and durable enough.
10Sabrent USB 3.0 SATA/IDE 2.5″/3.5″/5.25″ Hard Drive Adapter
A tad too expensive for a single adapter, but this is a must have item for computer technicians. A hard drive adapter comes in handy when you need to transfer files from PC to PC quickly. Whether you have it or not becomes critical when you need to recover data. Unrepairable OS and hardware failure render your computer to a piece of metal, with important files stuck inside. Our advice is to buy one which is reverse compatible (with older units) and is usable even without drivers.
11Thermaltake Power Supply Tester
Abnormal power supply destroys your device in the long run. Hence, it’s a must for computer technician to check for any signs of this when tinkering with computers. This device supports all ATX power supply. Thermaltake also has an excellent troubleshooting system that unveils the problems right away. It goes on an alarm once it detects unstable or aberrant power supply activity. Also, it has user friendly interface, and it has an LCD screen flashing the readings you need, in one go.
12ADATA Superior Series S102 Pro 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
Another must have gadget for a computer technician, since you must carry software updates and useful apps all the time. A good flash drive must have sufficient space to save temporary files, as well. You need to pick a USB 3.0 variant, since it’s capable of transferring files at a rate of 90 MBPS. This particular flash drive isn’t superior in all aspects, but it delivers well on its task. Plus, you get a lifetime warranty by buying this item.
13WD 1TB My Passport Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive
It goes on to say that an external hard drive comes along with your flash drive. Where do you intend to store your other software and applications, after all? There are a lot of good hard drives on the market. Honestly, buy one that has a warranty, because external hard drives are much more sensitive than flash drives. If you can find one that covers even a limited warranty, it is for the better. External drives aren’t particularly cheap, anyway.
14LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Ultra Slim Portable DVD Rewriter, External Drive
Gone are the days when computer units came with optical drives, mainly due to the obsolescence of CDs in general. Have an external one, since some software installers still come on CDs. Portability is also your concern here, so a slim model is what you need in this case.
If by this time you came to the conclusion that building your empire of tools takes a lot of money, here’s a bit of good news. It might just be that the most useful tool here comes for free. Hiren’s CD contains a plethora of software that you can use, either to remove unwanted applications, or for data protection. Prepare about 600 Mb of your data though, because it eats quite a lot of space.
16Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
Is Hiren’s BootCD not enough? Then you can try this boot CD and solve your problems for once and for all. Ultimate Boot CD for Windows is perhaps the most complete (and free) computer diagnostic tool. Similar to Hiren’s CD, Ultimate CD has advantages over other diagnostic tools. It is faster to load, since you run its contents directly from your CD-ROM. Moreover, fewer PC models come with floppy disk drives nowadays. From antivirus to data recovery, this CD has it all.
17Techno Pro CD
The two previously mentioned troubleshooter CDs are for Windows OS. Techno Pro is created especially for Macintosh units. It comes with different tools, aimed to diagnose and solve MAC related problems. Some of its tools include drive repair, data partition and RAM testing. Several tests, including processor benchmarks, Bluetooth and Network Interfaces, are also included. This makes Techno Pro as the most comprehensive CD tool for Macintosh. Unlike the two CDs from before, Techno Pro does not come for free.
18Windows OS Installer
The market is still dominated by Windows running PCs, despite the rising dominance of smartphones. There are chances you will encounter PC units which software needs (or is beyond) repairing. Hence, keeping this tool close all the time becomes really useful for a computer technician. Having the latest OS is a must, but also make sure to store copies of older Windows versions.
19Blank CD-R, DVD-R, Dual Layer DVD-R
There are times you need to burn a file when you go for an on-site visit. Despite the presence of flash drives, CDs remain just as important for a computer technician. Perhaps buy a spare or two of these. Aside from the fact they are cheap, you won’t know when you are going to need them.
2025ft CAT6 Patch Cable
Patch cables provide convenience, meaning you won’t have to move the PC you are using near a modem. Also here are some other wires you might need to buy, if you still have extra money to spare.
- Firewire 400 to Firewire 800
- Firewire 800 to Firewire 800
- SATA Cable
- USB A to Type B
- USB A to Mini B
- USB A to Micro B
You might find yourself facing that horrible situation when you open a laptop and you sort of lose some screws. A set of random varieties of screws will help you lock cases, drives and motherboards. Spare parts are what you need when attending your client’s needs, after all.
Create new cables or repair damaged ones, by simply cutting them and putting RJ45 Connectors to their ends. These are particularly cheap and can also be bought in packs. So you will likely have a good stock, without spending too much .
23 RJ45 Female to Female Straight Coupler
This item is a complement to the previously mentioned connector, as the Female straight couplers work as bridges between cables. Ethernet connections over a large workstation usually require the use of these couplers. A tad more expensive than a RJ45 connector, but better have them than be sorry.
24Arctic Silver 5 Polysynthetic Thermal Paste
Thermal paste conducts heat, but not electricity. This improves the cooling performance of your computer processors, which, in turn, prevents your chips from overheating. Arctic Silver 5 is one of the best on the market right now.
Of course, sanitation is also a must for a computer technician. Grab one and use it whenever you are working with your clients. Remember, you just opened a unit, which normally isn’t done. You also touched someone else’s mouse and keyboard. Hand sanitizers are really cheap, compared to getting sick from all those microbes.
26Samsonite Vinyl Bi Fold Writing Pad
A good planner is also what you need to write down notes, jot plans and use as reminder for your appointments. This last one is true especially if your business scope gets larger. In this case you will not remember every meeting with your clients, so why risk losing any? For added value, buy one that has extra pockets, to collect business cards, or a mini-calculator attached. You might need to compute the bill right away.
27Apple MacBook Air Laptop (or the laptop of your choice)
Seriously, pick whatever brand you want, in this case. You have probably searched the pros and cons of every laptop, anyway. We all know the one we chose is a tad too expensive for beginners, yet don’t lose hope. There’s a way to run OSX in Windows using Virtualbox. If you already own a MAC, you can also run Windows on it, using VMWare Fusion. If you still haven’t decided what to buy, this guide might come in handy.
28Kenneth Cole Reaction Show Business Laptop Bag
You may opt to buy a more affordable laptop bag, but make sure you still go with the professional look for your clients. A laptop bag must also be large enough to keep other immediate tools you need. The Kenneth Cole laptop bag simply mixes together fashion and professional needs. It has enough pockets to place your tools, and you can place laptops as big as 15” in it. That doesn’t sound like a bad deal, doesn’t it?
Some Other Tips
Again, you may purchase these tools one at a time, since some of them aren’t cheap. However, our advice is to pick necessities first (toolkits and CDs), and leave more expensive items for later. You are lucky enough if you work for a company that provides them for free. Nonetheless, these tools also serve as your investment, especially if you intend to go freelance sooner or later.
More than that, nothing beats actual knowledge in troubleshooting PC related problems. When a client calls you to fix something, thoroughly study his case. Do your job as if you’ll break deals when you fail to do so. Lastly, finding more advanced tools is a must, once you accumulate experience in the IT industry. Yes, it’s a tall task and it takes a while. This is all worth it in the end, though.
Did you find this post useful? Voice your thoughts in the comment box.