Tools for getting started in RC

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WoodiE

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If you've been in R/C for several years and have hundreds of dollars in tools already, this post isn't going to be useful for you. If you're just getting started in R/C, maybe you just picked up your first Arrma model and want to know what tools to pick up... this post is exactly for you!

Short version:


Hex Drivers

Arrma, along with most any other manufacture, usually includes some L hex wrenches. These are usually a pain to use especially in hard to reach areas and do a great job at rounding your hex heads and for those reasons I recommend throwing them away or giving them to someone you don't like.

Bondhus makes great tools, offer a lifetime warranty, and make tools here in the USA and offer some very nice priced tools that are great to get started with, like the Bondhus 10686 6-piece set. Which includes 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, & 5.0mm hex drivers.

In addition you'll also want to pick up a Bondhus .050" hex driver. For less than $20 you'll have all your hex screw needs covered and then some.


Nut Drivers

The tiny 4-way cross wrench isn't bad, truth be told I still use mine every once in a while but have a couple nut drivers makes the work far more easier and quicker.

The Dynamite metric nut driver set is a nice set that's going to cover both the 5.5mm and 7mm nuts used on most Arrma models.


Screwdrivers

You probably likely already have a couple screwdrivers laying around somewhere but if not then the Tekton 4 piece set makes a nice set to cover both slotted and phillips screws.


Other Stuff

There are a couple more things I'd recommend adding to your R/C toolbox to finish it off. Needle nose pliers, again something you may already have if not any, if not again the Tekton 3504 needle nose pliers for a few bucks will be fine.

Blue thread lock, as you'll be using this anytime a screw goes into a metal piece to prevent the screw from backing out. I'm a HUGE HUGE fan of the Loctite blue sticks. You can get the small bottle version but with the sticks you don't have to worry about it leaking, dripping, running, or drying out. It goes exactly where you put it.

To finish it off, get some permatex white lithium grease. This offers great lubrication without being overly messy or thick.

For not much money you can have pretty much all the tools you're going to need to work on your Arrma RC's that's going to last you a good long time and a toolbox that will go with you as you buy more and more RC's.
 

SMaxxin

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Thats a nice list Woodie, nice tools will pay for themselves in the end! With Arrma being electric a nice soldering station is a must, I love my Trakpower TK-950, it will handle any rc related job and at $70 it's a bargain IMO.
 

Kyzane

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Great list of tools. You might want to mention something about tool and/or part bags as well. I myself went to my local Home Depot and picked up an HDX double sided part box for all my screws and small bits and then a Husky carrying bag to put all my larger parts and pieces in but there are a lot of similar options and brands out there to choose from.
 

roger nelson

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Shoe goo, shrink wrap, and zip ties are always helpful in the ole tool box. Next thing ya know the box isn't big enough for all the stuff!
 

Walter

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Are there any concerns around using the ball head hex drivers such as the Bondhus you link above? I've read some things saying that they strip out the screw heads easier than the standard hex ends. I'm getting tired of the tiny allen wrenches and considering a new set of hex screwdrivers.
 

Walter

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Djinn

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I have also in my tool box (I also build rockets) 5 minute Epoxy and Epoxy clay they can limp along a part until you can get a replacement. Have done this many times great band aids.
 

Blxer

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A temp gun, is very useful! I picked one up at Lowe's, for $20 it has saved me hundreds!
 

roger nelson

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Cirasa

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Awesome thread! Been in the hobby for a couple of years and it's still great to see what other tools people are using.

In what way would you guys use the Permatex white lithium grease? I think I've read somewhere that lithium grease is not good for ball bearings?

I'd recommend industrial strength locking velcro. That stuff is great, strong enough to hold your electronics in place and you can always reposition them without having to peel off the adhesive type double sided mounting tape.

sharp picks are useful too, car interior plastic pry bars come in to help from time to time, small voltage reader from HobbyKing is very useful to check the voltage of your batteries, metal wires are cheap way to tie your body clips together without having to buy brand names body clip retainers, crumbled up plastic bags too! a ghetto way to fill up gaps in your battery compartment if you don't wanna spend 5 bucks on foam blocks, small car detailing brush and bigger paint brushes are a must for me when I clean up my car. These things are pretty much what I use on a regular basis.
 
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Djinn

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I have also found that if you go to a big box store that sells tile they make a for a lack of a better word tape to use instead of mortar or mastic to stick tile to a wall. Way good to use to stick an esc or rx and easy to take off with great holding strength.
 

ark1t3kt

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If you are breaking down a vehicle for maintenance and you have to go through a lot of screws, its nice to have an electric screwdriver. I've finally purchased one, and its been a huge time saver. you will also need a good set of hex bits to work with so you don't strip out your screws. Also, you may want to get a toolbox organizer to sort all of your tools, spare parts, screws, etc.

I would not consider this as a must have for a beginner though, but a nice luxury to have if you can afford it.

EDIT: the electric screwdriver should have a torque setting (like the one I linked) to avoid stripping out screws.
 
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WoodiE

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I would not consider this as a must have for a beginner though, but a nice luxury to have if you can afford it.
An electric screwdriver is certainly a nice luxury. I personally prefer hex wrenches on my small cars (micro, mini, 1/10th and 1/8th scale) as there's much less chance of stripping screws or damaging parts. On the large stuff like 1/5th scale, it's a must. When I built my first HPI Baja I bought my first electric driver about one day into the build. It simply wears you out doing it manually. :D
 

ark1t3kt

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I guess I should have added that the electric screwdriver should have a torque setting. That way you set it as low as possible to avoid stripping out screws.
 

Aflan

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The one thing i am really happy about buying was my calliper...Schuifmaat in Dutch...
I use it al over the car, checking camber and what so ever...;)
Not disregarding the hex drivers I bought pretty early on...I hate those L shaped thingies...:mad:
 

Eek-the-Fox

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I have also found that if you go to a big box store that sells tile they make a for a lack of a better word tape to use instead of mortar or mastic to stick tile to a wall. Way good to use to stick an esc or rx and easy to take off with great holding strength.
Mmmm interesting! I had the capacitor come loose, so used normal double sided tape, though did not last long, but that said, it was the ESC that came loose this time, so it probably pulled the capacitor loose again.

Stuck it all back again last night, so will see how that goes. Otherwise I'm following your method.
 

Walter

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Mmmm interesting! I had the capacitor come loose, so used normal double sided tape, though did not last long, but that said, it was the ESC that came loose this time, so it probably pulled the capacitor loose again.

Stuck it all back again last night, so will see how that goes. Otherwise I'm following your method.
Why did your ESC come loose... is it not screwed down?

If you go the tape route you can try this:
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http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Scotch-1-in-x-1-66-yds-Extreme-Mounting-Tape-414-DC/203405976
 

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