Following the current popular topic of “Whats in your toolbag?” ala Stretch and Fryguy. I’ve decided (after some persuading) to detail the contents of my own bag. Without further blathering, here we go..
First, the bag itself. A simple open top bag from Sears (I believe its no longer sold). I love open top bags due to their simplicity, and accessibility. I chose this one because its compact, and versatile. It has plenty of “right-sized” pockets and seemed to fit my system well.
Next, we have some assorted normal sized screwdrivers (#2 phillips, 1/4″ flat head), I also have a 4-in-1 screwdriver, and a bit driver that keeps a common sized (not sure) torx head for some gear I keep running across. I always keep 2 phillips screwdrivers in my bag, because 1 is NEVER enough. You’ll also notice a trend with Craftsmen professional in my bag — I believe paying a bit more for a tool is worth it if you use them most every day. The lifetime warranty is also a HUGE selling point for me. Also, all the way on the left you’ll see a long 6″ phillips head bit.. I use this in my small 12v drill that I keep at my desk. Its great for getting into some hard to reach areas.
Of course we need some smaller screwdrivers for the detail work. Here we have 2 phillips (#0 and #1) and a 1/8″ flat head.
Next we have one of my favorite tools in the bag. These sheers are made by Fiskars, and are amazing. I can cut through bundles of cables with ease, and have been able to do so with these for the past 10 years… I use them EVERY time I make cables, as they cut so much straighter than side cutters. Definitely one tool I have a hard time lending out.
Everyone needs some assorted pliers and a pair of wire strippers from time to time. Normally there would be a pair of side cutters in this picture, but Sears is currently mailing me a new set… (lets just say I tried to go all He-Man on a section of cable tray and broke one side of the cutting head off sending it flying across the data center where it landed on a 3560g)
This next item is where I disagree with Stretch. IMHO (in my humble opinion) you need to spend a bit more on a decent set of crimpers than $30… I’m a religious user of ratcheting crimpers. The ratcheting mechanism ensures you have a good crimp. Also, most ratcheting sets are thicker, and less susceptible to twisting and bending. You’ll notice my set is made from several layers of steel bonded together. If I recall correctly they were around $100, and have lasted me 8 years so far. The other object in this photo is a cat5 cable stripper. I only started using these about 5 years ago, and I must say, I’m not sure how I lasted this long without them. They’re cheap at around $15 — spend the money and save the time, and save your cables from accidental damage.
The next item, is a kit I put together and have several of. I keep one at my desk, one in my laptop bag, one in my tool bag, and one at home. I should put together some more for co-workers, and my vehicles as well… Inside is a rj45 coupler, 2 db9 – rj45 adapters, a db9 gender changer, and 2 very short cables. 1 Crossover, and 1 rollover. This is my normal console cable that I carry around with me…
Fluke… The love-hate relationship defined. Since I buy all my own tools, I both love and hate Fluke. They make top quality stuff, but damn are they expensive! Here we have an older Fluke Microscanner (cable tester… and my remote probe on the left that has seen better days… ), Next in line is my Fluke Tone Probe and Tone Generator followed by their Impact / Punchdown tool.
Utility knife — This is a stanley knife that has both a normal knife blade, and a razor / carpet knife.
Cable Fish — Never know when you need to pull some cable.
WD-40 — Yes, I carry this around. Why? Helps keep rust off your tools!! And another 10,000 uses..
These items are things that are either missing currently (probably in my truck, or currently being borrowed), or I just didn’t think we needed a picture of them.
- RJ45 Ends
- Bridge Clips
- Zip Ties — Please don’t use these on cat5/6 or fiber!
- Velcro Tape — Use this instead!!
- Banjo Adapter — For use with my stolen buttset :(
- Electrical Tape
- Cage Nuts / Screws
- Cage nut tool — Mine has gone missing
- Flashlight — I use a Preon 2 from 4Sevens
- Pens and Sharpies
- Electrical Tape
- Bandaides — You never know
Things I’m adding
After reading some other posts on this topic, I’m gong to keep a list of things that I’m adding.
- Copper GBIC — Great idea to carry this around incase there are no switchports available. Thanks Fryguy!!
Network engineer turned management currently servicing the enterprise data center market. I started working on networks in the ’90s and still feel like that was just a few years ago. Jack of all trades, master of none; I love to learn about everything. Feel free to ask me about photography, woodworking, nhra, watches, or even networking! — For feedback, please leave a comment on the article in question, and I’ll respond as soon as I can. For everything else including fan mail or death threats, contact me via twitter.