Basic tools for metal working with electronics ?


Joined Jan 18, 2008
Mainly I just need to work on aluminium and sheet steel, for electroincs chasis/enclosures/etc. Over the years I've barely been able to do anything, for lack of tools (and I barely knew any EE).

I don't have the budget for more expensive stuff right now, so l'll get base level stuff
-hacksaw blades
-cobalt drill bits
-19pcs file set
-crimper tool
Why cobalt and not ordinary HSS for aluminum? (assuming typical electronics grades)
Why 19-piece file set (presumably imported)? Buy good files. Learn to use them. That is, they are files, not grinders or sandpaper. They cut in one direction. Think of a file as a plane or saw. I have flat and round needle (jewelers) files, a relatively fine mill or bastard (single cut), and a Vixen file. Those are not all the files I have, but they are what I use most often for aluminum.,
Then I'll get
-stepped drill bits
-dremel replacements, and I have some deburring bits
-something like a dyna-vise
-a drill sharpener
-ruler/compass set
-mid-quality calibers
Full disclosure: I have a drill sharpener. It was one of the last tools I have bought. It is an SRD and grinds on the inner face of a cupped wheel to get the proper relief. Learn to sharpen on a 6" to 7" grinder. I know machinists who never use a "drill sharpener."

Good measuring tools are more important than new gadgets. Get good calipers, and cheap compass -- not the other way around.
What about the plastics ? I don't think I can open much of anything without damaging it. I have a cheap 20pcs opener/spluger kit, it don't have much confidence in them at all.
Plastic razor blades or guitar picks work great. First time I went to get a guitar pick, I felt like a man in a woman's lingerie shop. I got used to it.
I should get an exacto knife kit
Definitely with a #11 blade,

You seem to have left off a nibbler. How to you plan to get small, rectangular or oblong holes?

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 27, 2015
Well what does amazon most likely have , lower end I know. Here's the set I was going to get, not durable I'm sure, but for the amount I'll use it in the short term, it's okay I guess. I could go to a local Canadian tire/home depot type place too, but probably more expensive