Some Essential Tools for Working on a Computer System


Thinking of doing your own maintenance and repair work on your office or home computer system? Aside from the quite considerable expertise, you’ll need under your belt before you attempt to fix and computer hardware, you’ll also be needing the right set of tools. Computer hardware is often rather complex and fiddly to work with and contains specialist parts. Specialist parts quite often require specialist tools. We have compiled a list of some of the most essential bits of kit you will need if you want to get cracking under the hood of your whirring digital network. 

Alternatively, if this all sounds a little too daunting, it may be worth consulting a third-party IT company like Datacube, which takes care of all the complex technicalities behind a good IT system and let you get on with more important, less frustrating things. 

Digital Multimeter

Digital multimeters are essential diagnostic tools for the computer technician. They measure ohms, amps, and volts, and are extremely helpful when checking whether hardware systems have any circuit breaks or power irregularities that might need fixing. A good multimeter will help you precisely locate a problem so that you don’t tear apart things that you don’t need to. Digital multimeters have been around since the 1970s, and the latest versions display information on handy multi-function screens. 

Hex Driver

Many IT hardware systems don’t use conventional screws for internal fixings. Instead, they use tiny ‘hex’ screws. You’ll need a precision hex driver in order to access lots of parts. As its name suggests, the hex driver is pretty similar to a screwdriver but has a miniature hexagonal head suited to opening up computer parts. Be sure not to use magnetic driver heads, as these can cause electrical malfunctions. 

Loopback Adapter

Network connectivity issues can be a real pain to sort out. Loopback adapters are devices designed to help isolate the cause of a network issue. Plugging a loopback adapter into your ethernet port effectively creates a closed-loop – allowing you to determine whether your port or the network itself is to blame. Most adapters have an LED connectivity light that lights up to display whether the port is working. 

Soldering Iron

In order to fix complex hardware issues, you will need to be competent at soldering electrical points. Inside computer hardware, this work is often quite fiddly, and you certainly don’t want to be too heavy-handed with the soldering wire, as this can lead to short outs on crowded circuit boards. Lead-based solder is still the easiest to work with, but it is becoming rarer these days due to the adverse health conditions that working regularly with lead products can cause. Be sure to keep lots of spare soldering iron heads to hand, as the effectiveness of iron is severely compromised by using old heads that have been exposed to too much solder. Always heat the point you are working on before applying any solder – this will help the liquid metal bond.