$20 Workbench Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed But Now Lust After

In the past I had done a few buyers guides for people who were starting from scratch.

Zoom F8 Buyers Guide

My Soldering Kit

And this article will be very much in the same vain; micro reviews for the odd little accessories that I have found to be very helpful when doing repairs and fabrication.

1) Electronics Repair Kit – http://amzn.to/2jtxcQj


At first glance this may look like a glorified cellphone repair kit, but I have found it to be a everything I need in a nice solid package. The one I have linked too and shown in the photo is the exact model I use. Mwife bought it for me for my birthday. The reason it’s taken me so long to share/review it is I’ve been waiting to see if the spring loaded screw driver bit holder breaks. So often with these kits, the case breaks within a week. Well after 6 months of ownership, the organizer still works just like it did day one.  The screw bits haven’t stripped yet and the tweezers are still springy. I have lost the suction cup glass removal tool, but I never once used it.  The case snaps close using magnets which has been nice for when I throw the whole thing into my mobile repair kit for “house calls” to other sound mixer sets- http://amzn.to/2jtxcQj

2) Dremel EZ-Lock Release System of Bits –  http://amzn.to/2k6rLe3

dremelI came across these one day while at the hardware store. I had grinded down all my cutting wheels that came with my Dremel kit and needed some replacements. I saw these and knew instantly these would be so ideal. Swapping bits on a Dremel isn’t so much of a pain as it is annoying. Especially when some of the accessories share the same mandrel. I also have more piece of mind when using the EZ Lock mandrel with a cutting disk over the stock mandrel that holds the cutting disk on using a tiny little screw. It’s probably all in my head about it being safer but I don’t care, my head is all that matters.


Also I recently picked up the Dremel spark guard. Another accessory that after my first use, I questioned why Dremels didn’t ship natively with them. – http://amzn.to/2i1p49v

3) Silicone Soldering Parts Organizer Mat – http://amzn.to/2zN7kd5

71AFdmy6-JL._SL1200_ (2)This has been the most recent addition to my workflow and OMG! Words can not describe the joy something so simple as a overly engineer baking mat can bring. In the past I have had to keep a bunch of spare Sennheiser G3 screws laying around because they are SO easy to have roll off a workbench and fall into the carpet… never to be seen again. Now when a I mod a client’s G3 with an SMA port the unit gets the “silicone glove treatment.” Its a nice soft rubbery surface so it doesn’t hurt the finish of the item being repaired or modded. There are small magnets in a few of the cups. Its practically heat proof, you can just lay your soldering iron on it and it doesn’t care. If you’ve seen any of my recent YouTube videos you may have noticed my pretty white workbench has a few burn marks on it… well hopefully there won’t be any more added to it because of the new mat.

4) Digital Caliper – http://amzn.to/2j1CBOX

61YTq1mkjRL._SL1500_Owning a ruler is nice, owning a digital caliper is piece of mind. I do a little bit of 3D modeling and soon I’ll be doing a lot of 3D printing. Its important that the replacement parts and mods have screw holes that line up perferectly with the existing holes on a device. Last thing you want is to be drilling holes into metal, printing for hours a 3D design, cutting fabric… only to find out your rough measurement with a ruler was off 1/8 of a inch.  Just remember to zero out your caliper before you take any measurements… trust me. You only forget to do that once before you learn your lesson.



Is there anything you have on your workbench that you can’t live without? Leave a comment below!

About the Author

Andrew Jones is a location sound mixer based in Los Angeles. He started in the TV and Film industry in 2004. You can email him at  Andrew@HoldForSound.com


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