5 Essential Tools in a Service Technician's Toolbox
Charlie Cagle 09.23.2020
Machine tool service technicians undergo continuous training to stay qualified and must have a variety of skill sets for the various types of service calls they’ll encounter. But to be successful, technicians must also be properly equipped with the correct tools to get the job done.
Here are five of the most popular and essential tools needed to perform a successful service call.
1. DIGITAL MULTIMETER
Multimeters are used to check voltage, continuity, and resistance, among other things. They’re vital to installing machine tools, preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting. Digital multimeters should be sent out once per year to be calibrated by a manufacturer-approved testing facility.
2. ALLEN WRENCHES
Allen wrenches that carry a lifetime warranty are ideal. Anyone who has ever worked on a Japanese-built machine tool knows 6mm bolts are used quite regularly. Using a quality Allen wrench is absolutely necessary to avoid damaging the screw heads when removing a tight screw. Lesser-quality brands have a tendency to round off the corners of the wrench, which translates to stripped bolt heads, and this can turn a short job into a nightmare.
You must use a calibrated level to make certain a machine tool is properly set – this is the basic building block to ensure accuracy, repeatability, rigidity, and overall optimal cutting performance. Machine level should be checked at the interval specified in your operation and maintenance manual during scheduled preventive maintenance. All levels should be calibrated at least once per year by your quality department and should be spot checked and calibrated before each use.
4. PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVERS
If you’re doing any work in electrical cabinets, a high-quality #2 Phillips screwdriver is a must. Very similar to the argument for having quality Allen wrenches, good screwdrivers are needed for the same reason. Low-quality screwdrivers have a tendency to round off, causing screw heads to be damaged when applying torque or trying to loosen an overly tightened screw.
5. OPEN AND BOX END WRENCHES
A good set of wrenches is a necessity when working on machine tools. They come in a variety of sizes, but the most commonly used wrenches range from 8mm-22mm. Premium brands hold the tightest tolerances and are ergonomically friendly. We all know a rounded bolt can turn a 5-minute job into a 5-hour job, so investing in a good set of wrenches can prevent that from happening.