a man screwing in a networking device into a rack

Tools For Data Center Technicians

Let’s discuss tools for data center technicians because these are essential to our jobs. Without them we can’t remove a server from the rack, let alone install one. Or test cabling to verify if it’s working properly or not. Now, your employer should provide you with all the tools you need to do your job. However, if you are an independent contractor, or maybe you don’t like the tools your employer provides, I’ll provide a list of items you can purchase.

Tools For Data Center Technicians: A Good Bag To Hold Them

The first of the tools for data center technicians is a good bag to hold them. I have used both a backpack and a rolling tool bag to hold my tools. If you don’t like either you can invest in a nice toolbox.

If you decide to go with the backpack route you want to purchase on that rugged and can handle extensive abuse. You’re going to chuck it onto the floor repeatedly. And you’re probably going to drag it along the floor. So purchase one that features a durable bottom. Finally, the more pockets the better. Thus, you can stay organized. You can find these at home improvement stores if you want to purchase on locally. Or you can buy one online. Performing a quick search I find many tool backpacks available for purchase from various manufacturers.

Regarding the rolling tool bag this is nice to have so you don’t have to carrying a heavy backpack. Unlike a tool backpack, a rolling tool bag comes in different materials. You can buy a heavy-duty cloth version or a weatherproof version. And also unlike a tool backpack, rolling tool bags are usually more expensive. I still have Husky 13 pocket rolling bag which you can find here (this is a non-affiliate link). However, when I purchased mine several years ago it was $60. Yet, it’s held up to all types of abuse and weather.

Tools For Data Center Technicians: Get An Electric Screwdriver

Save your hands and wrists and get an electric screwdriver, preferably one using a rechargeable battery. That way you don’t have to find an outlet to plug it into to use.

Some data center techs may opt instead to get a drill because they are more powerful. (And drills have more uses than an electric screwdriver.) However, drills are usually more expensive than a drill. And if only need to screw and unscrew things it makes sense to save the money, in my opinion. I used both electric screwdrivers and drills while working in a data center. The latter does come in handy if one comes across a stubborn screw in the rack.

The final reason to choose an electric screwdriver over a drill is torque. If you use the electric screwdriver to screw/unscrew things from the motherboard then you don’t need a bunch of torque. If there’s too much you could damage the screw or even the motherboard. That’s why I recommend techs to use a manual screwdriver when working on the motherboard.

Computer Tool Kits Are Economical Choices

Buying tools is expensive. So to save money for yourself or your employer consider getting a computer tool kit. These will contain a variety of tools and bits and other accessories you’ll need for your daily tasks.

I recommend getting a kit that’s geared specifically for computers and not mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). The latter will contain bits and tools you won’t use. And those kits are more expensive. I recommend getting a tool kit like the one from Startech available to purchase on Newegg (not an affiliate link). It contains all the tools a data center technician will use daily.

Optional Tools For Data Center Technicians

To finish up this post I’ll list a set of optional tools for data center technicians. I say these are optional because some of these are expensive and you may not need them to complete your daily tasks. However, they will make your job easier.

  • Power supply tester: Nice to have and easy to use instead of finding another power supply to put into the server for testing.
  • RJ45 cable tester: Inexpensive way to testing whether an Ethernet cable is good or not
  • Fiber optic tester: Although expensive these testers are great if you deal with fiber optics daily
  • Fiber optic cleaner pen: If you deal with fiber cables and/or SFP transceivers then this is a great tool to have to make sure both are clean
  • Magnetic screw tray: Nice to have so your screws don’t fall onto the floor.
  • Magnet pickup tool: This tool extends out to pickup screws and other bits that fallen into tight spaces your hand can’t reach.

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