Tool Library: Suggestions

Hi Everyone,

I am working on adding some repair toolkits / repair tools for our library of things and looking for thoughts and suggestions. Right now I am looking at iFixit’s toolkits, wondering which would be the best options for public use. All suggestions are welcome iFixit kits and beyond. Thanks so much!

All Best,



The answer to everything (practically) is in the Wiki!

Best regards - Philip


In addition to the list of tools Philip shared above, I wonder whether @Lorna_Montgomery (who runs a Library of Things in Bath, UK) has any insights here. What do you think Lorna?

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Thanks so much! I probably should have been more specific in my inquiry. These items will be circulating for public use, so I am looking for specific toolkits and successes people have had in a library of things context with specific tools and kits. For example, I am trying to determine which iFixit kit or kits make the most sense to acquire for a LOT. Since individual parts must be counted and can take a lot of time for staff to inventory upon return, I’m trying to determine what makes the most sense for our staff - among other considerations such as how some of these kits contain non-reusable parts.


  • Torx screwdriver set (heavier duty than iFixit)
  • Long screwdrivers, both Philips and flat head
  • Heatgun

If you really want to go for it

  • Component tester
  • Microscope
  • Professional soldering station and helping hands
  • Hand saw and a vice
  • Oscilloscope
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I’d add: Small quality cutters and pliers too.

Also, the thing I thought I’d never need, but now can’t live without is a telescoping magnet. Idea for those dropped small screws of washers.

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I’ve found one of iFixit’s comprehensive bit sets to be highly valuable in responding to random repairs where manufacturers have included an odd security screw or two to make something harder to repair.
That can make the difference of a simple part-replacement repair being possible for most people who would otherwise easily have access to chunky flathead & Philips head screwdrivers suitable for furniture.

As for torx drivers, unless you can find some made from the finest tool steel on the market, I’d suggest sticking to replaceable bits and bit-drivers, because when the public have hold of those drivers, somebody will eventually round off the teeth on a seized-up or off-sized screw, especially on the fine blades of small torx sizes.
(This lesson was learned from many years of operation in a local social enterprise with plenty of well-meaning volunteers using shared tools).

At that point, the fact that iFixit will sell replacement individual bits for their kits means that you can take the risk of people breaking bits into account, then replace those with donations from the clumsy, and avoid a lot of waste from otherwise potentially throwing away whole single-size screwdrivers.
(Although if that ever does come up, you can always take a rounded-off screwdriver and trim it back or grind it down to one of the simpler shapes on a grinding wheel).

If your users want to do bicycle repair, then a torque wrench is likely needed for those bigger bits.


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