Essential Tools for Pinball Machine Repair

There are just some tools you cannot live (or at least repair a pinball machine) without!
Here is a list of what we consider to be toolbox essentials.

Don’t buy cheap tools, stick to good quality makes.

Nutdrivers

1/4″

5/16″

11/32″

3/8″ not a commonly used one, but occasionally useful as is 7/16″

Pliers

A pair of long pointed nose pliers, with the jaws measuring at least 2″
A pair of short pointed nose pliers, with the jaws measuring around 1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″
Bent nose pointed pliers are very useful!
Mole grips with jaws around 1 1/4″

Screw drivers

Cross head screwdriver type #1 measuring around 12″, another around 6″.
A small cross head screw driver (for micro switch screws)
A small flat head screw driver, around 5″

Other tools

A decent pair of side cutters for general wire striping.
A small pair of side cutters for cutting IC’s out of boards – a good pair will cost but last.
Wire strippers are useful.
Solder sucker (de-soldering pump).

Electronic tools

A digital multimeter. These range greatly in quality and ability (and price!!). A basic meter will
cost next to nothing but are more difficult to read.
For an all singing, all dancing meter, you should choose a Fluke series which are autoranging so you dont have to know what voltage to set it at.

A logic probe – you can even buy a kit to make your own!

Soldering Iron. You should either get one with an adjustable temperature control or two standard irons, one at 15watt (for circuit boards) and one 40 watt (for under the playfield larger lugs like coils etc). Don’t forget to buy some solder!

Oscilloscope – A lot of people say these are a must for complex electronic repairs, but we have only had call for one on a couple of occasions, so for the cost, don’t bother, the logic probe is quite sufficient.

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