Being a freelance engineer comes with numerous advantages, not least because engineers are in high demand nowadays. There are plenty of tools needed for this type of work (as well skills), depending on the type and scope of the job.
As a freelance engineer, you may well be more likely to focus on smaller jobs so you might want to base your general toolkit around this. No matter what the size of the jobs, though, there are some essentials. Here is some of the most crucial equipment for freelance engineers.
One of the most crucial pieces of kit a freelance engineer can own is decent bearing pullers and push pullers. These handy tools allow you to easily install or remove gears, bearings, pulleys and the majority of other press-fitted parts.
All pulling equipment can vary in both size and quality, so it is important to source it from reputable suppliers. You should also consider what types of jobs you might be performing on a daily basis (or specialising in) to help you choose the right bearing and push puller for your own individual requirements. You should, for instance, think about the reach and distance of spread required.
One of the most common jobs as a freelance engineer will be installing and removing screws. Whilst there are some truly great screwdrivers out there, you will want to invest in an excellent, industry standard drill to make this job far smoother and quicker.
If you have experience in the engineering industry, then you may already have a good knowledge of the different types of drills and high end models available, as well as whom the best suppliers might be. This should help to guide you when choosing the perfect drill for all your engineering needs.
Another incredibly important consideration is which personal protective equipment (PPE) you will need in order to undertake jobs safely (and legally). There are plenty of suppliers to choose from, but you should think about quality and durability when deciding which to go with.
You will almost certainly need steel toe capped boots, as well as a good facemask and potentially protective clothing if working with hazardous chemicals or in extreme heat/cold.
If you are looking for tools for Electronic Engineers then see some special equipment listed below:
Soldering Gun: A soldering gun is used to solder metals by using solder. It is usually used with a tin-based solder.
Pliers: The common plier produces a cut in the shape of “V” and is indicated for cutting cables or thick terminals. It has to be of isolated handle, but not necessarily big, since we will not use it in energized lines, but in connection wires without domiciliary energy.
Flush cutting pliers: This tool is of particular importance in the laboratory and is normally used to trim the remaining terminals on the printed circuit boards since its cutting blades have one side at an angle and one completely flat so that a cut flush with the card can be achieved. We should not use it for cables or thick terminals because they can damage the cutting blade, and it is preferable to keep it in conditions for its specific function.
Force clamp: It is a conventional clamp with insulated handle, used to hold nuts when mounting heat sinks and other elements.
Tip clamp: These clamps can be straight or oblique tip and are used to hold components or bend terminals, as necessary.
Brussels clamp: They are small pointed clamps that are used to manipulate tiny components; for example, to introduce the wires into a breadboard or experiment board.
Screwdrivers: Although it is obvious, in electronics the screwdrivers play a fundamental role to adjust electronic controls and adjust or remove screws. We recommend purchasing a kit of small screwdrivers, with flat and cross-tipped for electronics.
Once you have sourced all the necessary engineering equipment, you should be able to take on any job (within your skillset) with ease. Be sure to look at any warranties which may come with the equipment, as well as how to use it in a safe and appropriate manner.