Electronics and PC repair tools [Gift Guide 2012]

Six great gifts for those whose job it is to keep computers to electronic devices running, or for those who like to tinker with such things.

With the annual gift-giving season almost upon us, time to take a look at some gift ideas for those whose job it is to keep computers to electronic devices running, or for those who like to tinker with such things.

Head magnifier

I know my eyes aren't what they used to be; a little help from a head magnifier comes in very handy, especially when I'm soldering or examining small parts for damage. A head magnifier is far better than a magnifying glass because it keeps both hands free to do other stuff.

This superb head magnifier from iFixit features a two bi-lenses (the second lens flips down from inside) and one loupe, allowing for 4 levels of magnification from 1.5x to 10.5x. It also had built-in LED lighting.

Price: $24.95.

Image source: iFixit.

54-piece bit driver kit

Tackle almost every fastener used on electronics device that you're likely to come across with this handy 54-piece bit driver kit.

This kit contains bits for pentalobe screws found on the iPhone, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Torx, Torx security, triangle, and tri-wing fasteners, as well as regular slotted and Phillips screws.

Price: $24.95.

Image source: iFixit.

Dr. Power II power supply tester

When I come across a dead PC, the first thing that I check after confirming that there's power going into it is the power supply unit (PSU). To do this, I use a simple power supply tester. It may not be as good as an oscilloscope, but this is something that I can throw into a pocket.

The Thermaltake Dr. Power II supports every ATX power supply available today up to ATX12V v2.3.

Price: $39.99.

Image source: Thermaltake

Screw extracting pliers

Fasteners that are broken or seized in place are a real pain, and removing them can push you to the point of tears unless you have the right tool.

Enter the right tool: screw extracting pliers. The specially designed jaws firmly grip screw heads, bolts, or nuts, allowing you to twist out even the most damaged or chewed-up fasteners.

Price: $29.95.

Image source: iFixit.


Apple seems to make enthusiastic use of adhesive in the assembly of iPads, using it to hold the display assembly in place. Here's where the iOpener kit comes handy.

Pop the iOpener in the microwave to heat it up and then lay it across the iPad's display to melt the adhesive. Then use the plastic opening tools and guitar picks to slowly make your way inside the iPad. It's a slow job -- it'll likely to take you 30 minutes even with the right tools -- but you dramatically reduce the risk of smashing the display.

Price: $14.95.

Image source: iFixit.

Leatherman Charge TTi

Without a doubt my favorite multitool is the Leatherman Charge TTi.

The comfort-sculpted titanium handle scales house 19 tools, including a S30V stainless steel clip-point knife, needlenosed pliers, crimpers, scissors, and a multitude to bits to tackle a variety of fasteners.

This is the multitool that MacGyver would surely choose.

28-11-2012 17-40-00

Price: $160.

Image source: Leatherman.