Jump to content
Click here to check out our structured, online appliance repair training courses for rookies and experienced techs.

FAQs | Repair Videos | Academy | Newsletter | Contact

Stay connected with us...

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for lots of appliance repair tips and help! Subscribe to our MST Radio podcast to learn secrets of the trade. Sign up for our free newsletter and keep up with all things Appliantology.

Appliance Repair Tech Tips

  • entries
    185
  • comments
    564
  • views
    47,098

10 Essential Tools for Appliance Repair


Son of Samurai

2,405 views

If you're getting into appliance repair, or even just looking to downsize an overstuffed tool bag, you might be wondering: what are the absolute essentials that you should bring with you on any service call? Well, having my fair share of experience in the field, I'll put forward Team Samurai's list of must-have appliance repair tools. Note that this isn't supposed to be a totally comprehensive list -- just the bare essentials.

Multimeter with a loading/LoZ function

71FZg+1J1-L._SX522_.jpg

If there's a tool that defines our job as techs, it's the digital multimeter. Can't do much real troubleshooting without it!

There are lots of meters out there, but the kind you want to get is a multimeter that has at least VAC, DC, ohms, and most importantly LoZ settings. The LoZ (low impedance) setting puts a load on the circuit while doing a voltage measurement, preventing you from getting faked out by ghost voltage or open neutrals.

I've always had good experiences with Fluke meters, so that's what I would recommend. Specifically, I have the Fluke 116, which also has a handy temperature measurement setting using a thermocouple.

You'll notice if you click here that the particular meter kit I recommend includes more than just the multimeter, bringing us to our next item...

Ammeter

61O5jixVf7L._SY679_.jpg

Amp measurements are one of the most powerful troubleshooting tools you have, and a clamp-on ammeter is the way to go for these. For those who are unfamiliar, the clamp goes around (not on!) the wire where you want to measure the current. The meter then measures the electromagnetic field surrounding that wire and reports the amperage.

Again, I have the most experience with a Fluke 323 ammeter, and it's served me very well.

Headlamp

71xsbejQ-6L._AC_SX679_.jpg

Illumination is critical in appliance repair. You can't fix what you can't see. That's why the Samurai and I opt for these powerful, rechargeable Princeton Tec headlamps. I'll admit they're not the most fashionable -- unless you're going for Coal Miner Chic -- so I won't blame you if you opt for a more understated design. But regardless, you want something reliable, rechargeable, and bright.

Ratcheting driver and bit set

51jA6YSPgmL._AC_SX679_.jpg

A trusty ratcheting driver will save you lots of time and hand-cramping, and if you're looking to save money, this is a great alternative to getting a battery-powered driver.

This particular driver comes with a great variety of bits: Phillips, flatheads, square drive, and Torx all in various sizes. If you need even more bits, lots of tool manufacturers put out boxes full of all varieties of screwdriver bits.

Putty knife

61bpoz+TtmL._AC_SY879_.jpg

A stiff putty knife like this one is a tool you might not expect as an essential for appliance repair, but its uses are many. A number of disassemblies require you to release hidden clips that are only accessible through a narrow crack, so without a stiff putty knife, you'd be stuck.

Needle-nose pliers

41hxwvnu6NL._AC_SX679_.jpg

Disassembling and performing repairs in appliances is all about maneuvering cramped spaces, and needle-noses are the perfect type of pliers for that. When you need to disconnect a wire through a narrow hole, you'll be glad to have a pair of these.

Gloves

81ArkLPfmZL._AC_UX679_.jpg

Can't use any of these tools very well without your hands, can you? That's why you should always keep a pair of these gloves around. In particular, we're talking about thin, nitrile-coated gloves. They strike the balance between providing good protection from sharp edges and still allowing you to "see" with your hands when feeling around blindly.

Magnetic fastener tray

71YDU9yDDRL._AC_SX679_.jpg

One of the biggest barriers to reassembly after a repair is keeping track of all the fasteners you had to undo. A magnetic tray like this perfect for both keeping track of all of your screws and organizing them into groups so it's easier to remember what goes where. And they're cheap, so no reason not to get one!

Electrical kit

712vOp4LzQL._SX522_.jpg

I'm cheating a bit and lumping a set of tools together here, but they're important! Splicing or re-terminating wires is pretty common, such as when replacing oven ignitors. The tools you need for this are:

Your smartphone!

Here's one that most folks already have. Your phone's camera is your best friend when dealing with replacing control boards. Worried about plugging all the connectors into the right place when you put the new board in? Just take a picture of the board before you disconnect anything and reference it afterward.

Your smartphone can also be your service manual/tech sheet reader in a pinch. A tablet is better, but if a phone is all you have, then make sure to load up all your docs onto that so you can use them for troubleshooting and reference.

As you can see, you don't need to break the bank to get the essentials for appliance repair. The multimeter is going to be your biggest investment, and it's certainly worth dropping the cash to get a reliable one.

What’s your must-have tool? Let us know by commenting below!

Looking to get into the trade or looking to step up your game? Check out the Core Appliance Repair Training course over at Master Samurai Tech.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

12 Comments


Recommended Comments

Terry Carmen

Posted

I'll add something for the old guys among us with too much arthritis:

It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's only about 5" tall and very light and the battery lasts for weeks. If you add on a couple of dozen bits, it replaces all my nut drivers and all my screw drivers.

Disclaimer: I don't do anything big or heavy so don't expect this to take out the rear bearing in a front load washer.

cordlessdriver12vgsr12v300HXB22boschwalk

  • Like 13
Link to comment
MarcusF

Posted

21 hours ago, Terry Carmen said:

I'll add something for the old guys among us with too much arthritis:

It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's only about 5" tall and very light and the battery lasts for weeks. If you add on a couple of dozen bits, it replaces all my nut drivers and all my screw drivers.

Disclaimer: I don't do anything big or heavy so don't expect this to take out the rear bearing in a front load washer.

cordlessdriver12vgsr12v300HXB22boschwalk

Best $150 I ever spent was on this thing and the light that uses the same style battery. Saves your wrists and makes quick work of everything without over tightening.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Vrich187

Posted

The Bosch is excellent.   Use mine everyday. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

One of my most used tools, besides multimeter, screwdrivers and nutdrivers is this little thing believe it or not. I think I reach for it nearly every job to hold something or pull something or scrape something. I wonder if anyone does the same? 

 

402844781_20220514_1915341.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
vallen513

Posted

It isn't for every job. A spring expander for front load door boots. Using locking pliers or screwdrivers risk slipping. I put a small little dent and scratch on front panel. Customer wants whole new feont panel.

Link to comment
Big Jon

Posted

On 5/13/2022 at 8:00 PM, Terry Carmen said:

I'll add something for the old guys among us with too much arthritis:

It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's only about 5" tall and very light and the battery lasts for weeks. If you add on a couple of dozen bits, it replaces all my nut drivers and all my screw drivers.

Disclaimer: I don't do anything big or heavy so don't expect this to take out the rear bearing in a front load washer.

cordlessdriver12vgsr12v300HXB22boschwalk

I have a Bosch as well. I bought my Bosch Impact driver with a drill set for $99 during Christmas on sale. Best investment ever. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
CJ Pool

Posted

15 hours ago, igloo said:

One of my most used tools, besides multimeter, screwdrivers and nutdrivers is this little thing believe it or not. I think I reach for it nearly every job to hold something or pull something or scrape something. I wonder if anyone does the same? 

 

402844781_20220514_1915341.jpg

Agreed .I wont work on a electric range without it in my bag

Link to comment
22 hours ago, SeriousJohn said:

I've been using these Makita screwdrivers for many years now.

https://www.makitatools.com/products/details/DF012DSE

 

My most used tool is probably the one below... magnet end, not Schrader valve end... good for door switches, picking up dropped screws...

image.thumb.jpeg.54acda79cb53e73bdb37c087ee9de778.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.12cf7ce9fce9ba8599c00410ced09f8f.jpeg

@SeriousJohnThis is an absolute essential. I bought a bag of dozens off ebay a few years ago.

Link to comment
Heartland Home Store

Posted

Dont forget a good tool backpack. I tried the CLC one recommended in the COre course and found it not to my liking. Now I'm using a Milwaukee Jobsite bag and love it. Everything is all in two pockets, with the majority in one.

Link to comment
Kendra jäger

Posted

I love the Klein backpack. Has a hard bottom for free standing, and is very durable

having free hands during the introduction is very helpful.

I also have the Bosch chameleon drill, which is the fancier speed pocket . 
perfect drill and size and power .

no need for impacts in this line of work !

Link to comment
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.