Building racing drones requires some simple hand tools and a few specific electronic tools. If you are a new pilot looking to get into the hobby then there are really 5 tools you need to buy in order to complete your first build. It is typically recommended that you keep a pencil case with your drone tools in your flight box or bag so you can perform repairs in the field if you are out flying. For many pilots their tool bag in their flight box is the only set they need but there are a few items that are nice to keep around the house listed below as well.
I’m sure you’ve seen on your favorite social media that fires can start from everyday items and spread fast. Drones are no exception. It is highly recommended to carry a fire extinguisher in your drone gear and at a very minimum nearby. If you are looking for a compact yet very effective fire extinguisher, Table 5 has found that the Mini Firefighter is a great choice. It is available directly from the manufacturer and from most retailers. Its small form factor fits into almost anywhere and it tackles almost all types of fires, including LiPos. See our review on YouTube coming soon
8MM Prop tool or Metric Ratcheting Wrench
Possibly the most important tool in your bag. An 8MM wrench will allow you to change propellers in the field and easily pack up your drone bag without the props on your motors. There are 2 schools of thought, one where you run a driver with an 8mm steel head. these are common among racers and other people who start with racing drones. The other is a ratcheting wrench from a typical wrench set which is used by pilots who have existing tool sets and can stand to lose an 8mm box wrench to their flight bag.
8mm straight handle driver – https://pyrodrone.com/collections/tools/products/pyro-drone-anodized-prop-tool-light-weight
8MM ratcheting wrench – https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-WRN53108-Ratcheting-Combination-Wrench
Metric hex drivers or hex tool kit –
This is the most common set of tools you will need to work on racing drones. M 1.5, M2, M2.5 and M3 hex tools with straight handles. Keep a set in your go bag and when you have another $10 laying around grab a spare set to keep on your workbench for ease of access.
Diagonal Cutters or Wire cutters
When it comes to custom builds, solder prep and field reapirs a good sharp set of cutters work great for all the wire gauges we use in drone racing. If you are delecate with your wire cutters you can also use them to strip wires and trim other soft materials like plastics, tape and 3d printed filaments.
This is the first part of the build where people start buying multiple tools to perform the same job. Some people prefer a large desktop soldering iron station while others prefer the portability of a soldering pen. When shopping for a soldering iron look for irons capable of more than 30w and temperatures of more than 350C. The table 5 team all run the ts100 soldering iron. It is a smart iron that runs on DC input power supplies or Lithium Polymer batteries so if you find yourself in need of a solder joint at the filed you can simply plug in the soldering iron to any of your flight packs and get the job done. The Ts-100 is also about the size of a mechanical pencil so it takes up a tiny ammount of space in your flight bag.
TS100 Soldering iron – https://www.amazon.com/ts-100
Soldering Support Materials
In order to be effective when soldering you will need a few materials that live alongside your soldering iron, For most people a quality solder like a kester electronics solder will work the best, Add a rosin pen for fluxing joints will make sure the solder flows and a piece of steel or copper woll will help keep your iron cool.Below you will find a link for the solder, pen and copper wool. Keep them in the same bag you store your soldering iron in for best results.
TOOLS FOR YOUR WORKBENCH
When you are working with soldering small components, wires and connectors you may find that your fingers cannot handle the heat. To avoid burning yourself with your soldering equiptment we reccommend a set of helping hands articulated alligator clips. They assit you in holding parts while you work with the solder keeping your fingers away from the heat. a small set is a great start and if you find that you need additonal arms in the future many sets are expandable with up to 6-8 arms.
Adjustable Bench Top Power Supply
When designing and testing drones and other small electronics the common factor is almost always a clean power source. The easiest way to control both the voltage and current in your projects ( and power devices like the TS100 soldering iron ) is to use a small bench top power supply. If your bench top supply can supply voltages down near 3-4 volts and as high as 30v with an Amp rating between 5 and 10 Amps you will find it exceptionally useful as you progress in the drone hobby.
Bench top Power Supply – https://www.amazon.com/LETOUR-Variable-Adjustable