Tools you can't live without. - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Oct 24, 2001, 08:47 PM
Old Desert Rat
Arizona Chuck's Avatar
Where did you find a small Z bender??
The glass from a old shower door makes a good cutting surface.
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Oct 24, 2001, 09:20 PM
EFlight=Fun,Big-T=BIG FUN
Dremel with a router base. I use base #565 on my Dremel #395.
Get some spherical bits, straight side bits and #561 mutlipurpose bit (included in #565). Also the set of Dremel drill bits.

Good digital multimeter.

Good covering tools - I use am iron with temp control to keep me out of trouble. Also good trim iron and heat gun - heat gun works on more than coverings.

A good - quiet - vaccum. Shop vac if you must but the noise will make others dislike you. I use a wood-working dust collector on a mobile base (JET DC-650), MUCH quieter. Put 5 micron bags on it and there is NO fine dust storm everytime you fire it up. Keeps the air and the bench and floor clean..

Good PAIR of needle nose - thats two (2) good needle nose pliers.

Set of SAE and METRIC ball hex wrenches - absolutely essential for when you discover that new prop adaptor does not come with a hex wrench! This usually happens at 9pm Saturday and nothing is open on Sunday and you want to GO FLY Sunday! but you can't because... Been there.

Set of small files - round, flat and triangle.

Box of popsicle sticks - make great glue stirrers/appliers/scrapers. Good for applying tape in tight corners, etc.
One box will last a LONG time.

Great Planes sanding bars.
Oct 24, 2001, 09:23 PM
AMA 670207
Rudderman98's Avatar
Probably one of the most used Dremel accessories is the 1/8 rasp. Actually it is a Rotozip rasp. Any of the Rotozip 1/8 in. bits work extremely well when carving out balsa or foam.

Another used and abused accessory is the composite cutoff wheel. Needed to trim down those long S400 shafts.
Oct 24, 2001, 09:54 PM
Registered User
mtayl's Avatar
Any suggestions on what to watch out for in digital calipers? I found a mitutoyo which is accurate to +-.008mm which should be good enough.
Oct 24, 2001, 10:02 PM
AMA 670207
Rudderman98's Avatar
That's what I use.
I also had a Starrett at one time but it grew legs and walked away.
Oct 24, 2001, 10:04 PM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
dunno about brand names, mine doesn't have one printed on the tool, and I lost the little manual... japanese made, for sure. you may be able to get german ones that are higher quality, but I paid about $50 for mine I haven't had any problems. mine is accurate to sub .01mm, so it might be the same one... yellow lettering, black backing, silvery metal?
Oct 24, 2001, 10:23 PM
Registered User
Dauntae's Avatar
mine are also mitutoyo and I paid $150 on sale, 8" and is metric or standard. best things I have for the hobby.
Oct 24, 2001, 10:36 PM
Most Exalted Windbag
Originally posted by opualuan
"as far as dremel, any accessories to get? I want to get a dremel for my b-day coming up..."

I recommend the kit with flexible shaft

#3956-01 Var.-Speed MultiProŽ Kit w/Flex-Shaft

on the site posted by Rudderman98

You get a good assortment of accessories so you can see which ones you like. I find the shaft to be invaluable for some of the close work with models. I keep my shaft attached all the time now. You don't have to hang the tool. I just have it laying next to my bench propped between a couple of pieces of wood to keep it from rolling.

Oct 24, 2001, 11:55 PM
Senior Member
OK, slightly off topic, the most useful tool for other than e-flight uses is...
a tiny pair of slip-joint pliers- like plumber's, but tiny- costs about $15.00 or so... don't leave home without them
Oct 25, 2001, 12:48 AM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
One thing not yet mentioned in the way of a specialized model tool that I find invaluable is the humble little Master Airscrew balsa stripper. Works well and saves many times its cost by creating inexpensive strip wood for your models.
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Oct 25, 2001, 03:51 AM
Gambler-AG DLG Designer
Allan Wright's Avatar
Sorry to state the obvious, but my two most used tools are my X-acto knife and a <B>GOOD</B> pair of scissors. Fiskars or Durasharp scissors work so much better than a cheap brand. Spend a little more to get a good blade handle for your knife too.

While we're talking #11 blades, I find the Model Master brand blades from Testors to be much sharper and hold an edge longer than the traditional X-acto brand.

Oct 25, 2001, 06:26 AM
Registered User
I would like to add a small, adjustable, Starret Machinists square(and others) plus "Quick grip" clamps, clothes pins etc. and a miniature adjustable wrench. Use them all the time.
Oct 25, 2001, 08:37 AM
Product Manager at Hobbico
GWRIGHT's Avatar
Definately the most important item for me with electrics is my gram scale,..I weight EVERYTHING. They look at me funny when I go into the hobby shop and spend an hour or more at the balsa rack with my scale,.. but hey, planes generally fly better than the others at the field,..the proof is in the pudding! This is why my OV-10 with 20 cells (2.5 lbs of battery) and retracts,.. was only 1 lb heavier than the hobby hangar glow kit with 2 little 25 glow motors and fixed gear. Probably the next most important thing when scratch building are my beloved forstener bits. they make nice clean holes in balsa. Wish we had those "softbore" tools here in the USA like I hear about in the U.K.

1. Gram scale
2. forstener bits
3. drill press to use #2
4 wattmeter
5. tach
6. old cardboard box with every APC "E" prop in it
7. oh,.. also my gram scale
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Oct 25, 2001, 09:16 AM
Registered User
Carl's Avatar
One of the tools that I use the most is a Arkansas stone. A number 11 blade lasts until it breaks if you sharpen it each time you pick it up. With just a few swipes on the stone the blade is sharper than when it was brand new.
Oct 25, 2001, 10:00 AM
Registered User
One of those things I think we take for granted, ZONA saws! Can you imagine trying to cut balsa with a hacksaw or just a x-acto knife?

Hobbico "finger drill bit set".

Roto-Zip tool is on my christmas list.