Ultimate Geek Tool
November 13, 2005 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Holidays are approaching...what would be the essential geek multi-tool for working around computers and other office related repairing? Is it a specific type of Leatherman? The Swiss Army Cybertool? Or something completely different?
posted by boost ventilator to Technology (10 answers total)
This PC tool kit from American Science Surplus looks really handy for office repairs.
posted by Alison at 2:30 PM on November 13, 2005

This isn't a specific answer - but it might be useful to peek around ThinkGeek for a little bit.

With that said, this kit from radio shack is pretty handy.
posted by tozturk at 2:56 PM on November 13, 2005

I'd recommend a standard Leatherman. It's what I use, and it has all of the basics you need - needle-nosed pliers, a couple of screwdrivers, etc. Mine came with a mini Mag Light (also extremely useful for fixing computers) and a cool little belt case so that I can constantly misplace them together.

Of course, the new Swiss Army knife with the USB flash drive is pretty damn cool, too. It's available from the aforementioned ThinkGeek.
posted by robhuddles at 3:05 PM on November 13, 2005

I love, love, love my Leatherman Charge XTi.

All the other geeks get wide-eyed when I whip it out, and it's never let me down on a tough task.

I won't buy a widget with a USB stick built in, because I'm pretty sure it would get broken that way, and none of the combos are large enough for me. (The USB stick on my keyring is 2GB.)
posted by SlyBevel at 4:37 PM on November 13, 2005

I'm using the Leatherman Charge Ti + the Bit Kit to get Torx drivers. Opens anything on a PC. I've been carrying Leatherman tools since the early 80's, and would be lost without one - highly recommended.
posted by bitmage at 6:01 PM on November 13, 2005

I'm sure many will recommend any number of multi-tools (as some already have) but I for one would not like to receive one as a gift. I'm a hardware-leaning PC repair geek, so tools are essential to my work, but I generally prefer not only specific, typically single-function tools, but I also am picky enough to want to choose my own. I have a multi-tool, but it's stuck in the case with my cordless drill and saw (for lack of a better place) and I never use it. If you're giving this as a gift (since you mentioned the holidays) I'd recommend an Amazon or a Leatherman gift certificate instead - let the recipient choose the tool or tool set that they will like and be able to use the most.

That being said, the most useful tool I own, for computer repair as well as otherwise, is a cheap four-bit screwdriver. The shaft pulls out of the handle, and in each end is a bit that flips (no pun intended) - two sizes of flathead, two of Phillips. And I nearly always use the larger Phillips. The weight and size are just right for me, it's non-magnetic, I have the other bits if I need them, etc. Depending on what sort of work one is doing, one may need specialized tools, or one may get by easily with a screwdriver or a pair of pliers.

(Alison, I'm not sure what sort of "office repairs" you have in mind, but that's basically a crimper for phone and Cat5 connectors with a few screwdrivers and a pair of tweezers thrown in to bump up the number of pieces in the "kit." Part of it would be useful for some minor, infrequent repairs around most offices...but it's certainly not a comprehensive IT guy's tool box.)
posted by attercoppe at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2005

Anything from the Wiha Tools catalog. Perhaps one of the the "System 4" sets. MMmmmmm ... screwdriver fetish.
posted by Triode at 8:13 PM on November 13, 2005

The ultimate tool, bar none, that I use DAILY, is my Leatherman SideClip. It has all of the tools you need, with none of the extras you don't. You don't have to have a sheath for it, because it will clip to your pants pocket. This tool is a bit narrower than the rest, and IMO more comfortable in the hand. (Lighter too.)After a while, the pivot points will wear just enough that you can open the tool fully with just the flick of your wrist! Pliers with narrow tips to make doing delicate work possible, and a very nice phillips head screwdriver. Give this with a knife sharpener, and your geek will be very happy.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:07 PM on November 13, 2005

I'm not sure what sort of "office repairs" you have in mind

My boyfriend was very excited about making his own cables and phone cords, but he's a different sort of geek.
posted by Alison at 10:30 PM on November 13, 2005

Hate to be redundant, but a Leatherman is the way to go. I have several, from a Super Tool to a Micra, but my favorite is still the "original" Original, although some of the newer tools, like the ones mentioned above might give it a run for it's money.
posted by marc1919 at 8:51 PM on November 14, 2005

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