Best tips for building a gaming toolkit
When I set about writing my last post My gaming toolkit for tear downs and repairs, I thought it would also be a good idea to also talk about tips for building your own gaming toolkit.
Putting all of this content together resulted in a super long post. So instead of including all of that information in one post, I decided to separate everything into 2 posts.
In this post, I run through some tips and advice for assembling your own gaming toolkit.
Assembling your own gaming toolkit
The advice I would give to anyone looking to build up a gaming toolkit is to identify the types of tasks you will be performing. For example, if you are new to soldering, or don’t want to think about doing any soldering projects, then you don’t need to invest in a soldering iron right away.
So with that said, think about the projects that you will be doing on a regular basis. Do you want to repair an old controller that has stopped working? To properly clean the dust out of your PlayStation 4 so it runs optimally? To re-solder components on your old PlayStation 2?
You can very easily prioritize what you need based on that. There are a few basic categories that you can work from which I will go through in the following sections.
Basic cleaning of games or consoles
If you are only interested in sprucing up your games or consoles there are a number of items that you can add to your toolkit.
I would advise investing in a set of microfiber cloths. These are the primary things you will be using so it is worth getting at least 2.
Mr. Sheen – Polish suitable for plastic
The types of cleaning agents you will use will depend on what exactly you are doing. In the case of simply adding a bit of shine to a console’s outer shell, I would recommend Mr. Sheen. This is basically a plastic / furniture polish which I started using after some great YouTubers recommended it.
That’s essentially all you need if you aren’t going to be taking apart things for cleaning.
Tear down of controllers or consoles
If you want to get more involved, you’ll need to start taking apart consoles or controllers.
Number one for cleaning corrosion off of circuit boards etc. is Isopropyl alcohol. This is tough to come by so I would recommend going to a pharmacy to buy a bottle. I’m still using the original one I bought a number of months ago so it lasts quite a while.
Cue tips / Cotton buds
To work with the Isoprophyl, cue tips are an essential item. These are very cheap to buy and are used pretty often in my experience.
Obviously in order to be able to clean up circuit boards, you need to be able to take consoles etc. apart. To do this you will need a screwdriver set. At the very least you need the exact size bits that you will need for that given project. Having said that, I recommend investing in a nice set so you’re covered for most scenarios.
Also important when working with small components is a set of tweezers. There are actually a number of different types of these I have learned. You can usually find these at the local pound shop for a cheap price.
Further to tweezers, a set of plastic spudgers are invaluable for prying apart components without damaging the plastic. We’ve all at one time or another used a flat-head screwdriver to pry open a console, only to have the edges destroyed in scratches when you put it back together. oops!!
Toothbrush & warm soapy water
If you’re tearing down consoles or controllers, chances are you will be cleaning the shells more thoroughly. In this case, most components can be placed in warm soapy water (which requires some hand soap) and scrubbed with a trusty toothbrush. It is worth buying a small pack of toothbrushes to use solely for this purpose to avoid mixing them up with your own one.
So I would say that these are the absolute basics you need when it comes to beginners tear downs of consoles, controllers etc. Of course there is a lot more you can add to this list but you can gradually build up your toolkit as you go.
More advanced repairs
So you’ve got the basics down, but now are feeling more adventurous. You’re looking into more advanced repairs which include tasks like soldering.
A soldering kit
Most hobby shops will sell soldering kits which are basic enough to get you started in the world of soldering. This is more than enough if you want to give soldering a try.
Those of you that are more adept at soldering will need to do some research into the most efficient soldering iron for you. There will likely be a number of determining factors in your selection. So take some time to ensure you pick the most suitable one.
Before I end this post, another piece of advice I would give to you is to watch some tear down videos on YouTube. There are some great gaming related tear down videos made in a very easy to follow way. They take you through the tools you need to carry out various tasks. From this you can make note of items to add to your own gaming toolkit.
So with that all said, I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. If you think there is anything missing from this list or if you want to ask me any questions, feel free to reach out to me on social media.