When most people think of stocking up a toolbox for repair work, they start listing a collection of screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, and meters that might be useful to have on the job. These are all important parts of your toolbox, but never forget that repair professionals also have a few very important non-tool items in the kit that are essential both to repairs and to using a safe repair process.
Here at Fred’s Appliance Academy, we believe in helping every new repair professional build a toolbox that will serve you well no matter what you find yourself fixing in the future. Join us today as we dive into the 5 essential non-tools that every repair toolbox should have.
1) Work Gloves
The qualities of a good work glove cannot be understated. You need a sturdy glove that will protect your hands and wrists from sharp appliance-part edges and from the handles of tools that are used with some force.. Your gloves need to have a good grip so that you can firmly grasp your tools or wrench apart pieces that have rusted shut. Your gloves should also have a lining that will prevent shocking and electrocution, as some appliances have internal batteries that may still run power even after you pull the plug.
And, of course, your gloves need to fit snugly while offering full dexterous flexibility so that you can work with precision and safety at the same time.
2) Duct Tape
Never underestimate the importance of duct tape. While this is the mascot of DIY repairs, duct tape can also help you get through a tough job or apply a quick patch where one might be needed. Duct tape can be used to hold loose-fitting parts in place, to seal a joint so that it cannot leak, and of course to fasten ducts. You may also find yourself using duct tape to temporarily hold parts in place or keep small screws from rolling away in the midst of a repair that will, eventually, see the duct tape removed when everything is secure.
3) Colored Electrical Tape
The more color variety, the better. Electrical tape is a water-resistant and no-mess-removal type of tape that can be used to insulate wires but is actually most useful for making ‘notes’ in the course of a complex repair. If you are, for example, replacing a part that has several unmarked wire leads that must be installed precisely, a small strip of color-coded electrical tape on each wire can help you keep them separate and return them to the correct apertures in the replacement part.
4) Head Lamp and/or Flexible Clamp Lamp
When you need light in a weird place or at an obscure angle, no buddy holding a flashlight will do the trick. In fact, sometimes even your handy headlamp is not quite right to shine a light on your handiwork. If your headlamp isn’t doing the trick, try a clamping flexible lamp instead. Clamp-lamps clip onto any edge with a twisting neck that can be used to shine light from any useful angle. You can provide light down from above, up from below or at an obscure side-angle to illuminate the near-hidden parts you are working with.
5) Zip / Cable Ties
Finally, always have a pack of zip-ties or cable ties. You never know when you’re going to need to fasten something and appliance internals are notoriously messy when opened up for a part replacement. Zip ties can help you quickly bind up a mess of wires to keep them out of your way and to tidy up the back of a control panel before you close up.
Cable ties are less permanent (don’t have to be clipped) and can be used for temporary binding to pull wires and other components out of your way just for the duration of the repair. Both can be used interchangeably to make sure your work area is clean and that your hands and tools don’t catch on stray loops.-
–A well-stocked toolbox contains much more than a simple collection of screwdrivers and wrenches. Keep this in mind when building your personal collection of tools for repair training and your future appliance repair career. For more great tips on how to be an expert handyperson or to sign up for our 1-3 week appliance repair courses, contact us today! Our doors and email inboxes are always open.