Bang for Buck Tools
Chances are when you start out in quadcopters you have tools left over from another hobby. If you came from other RC you'll probably have most of the small tools needed to continue into quads without much issue. If you came from something like automotive or motorcycle as a hobby your tools will likely be too big and if you came from sports or video games you'll have nothing.
I think guide I list my best value tool and will break down whether this should go into your home quadcopter toolkit or as part of a portable toolkit to take with you when you head out flying. I've gone with parts that are available worldwide to make it as simple as possible. When I mean portable I mean super portable since my flights are done at the drop of the hat without a lot of organisation ahead of time. Also I've marked if I consider this an essential item in a portable toolkit.
Toolcase. I use this budget one from Gearbest that is designed to fit a Nintendo 3DXL portable gaming system. High-quality EVA Skin Carry Hard Case for about $4. As a minimum I carry the following toos here: 1.5mm and 2.0mm hexdriver, prop removal tool, side cutters, cable ties, double sided tape, electrical tape and a retractable knife.
Hex Drivers. I use a combination of 1.5mm, 2.0mm and 2.5mm. Do yourself a favour and grab a set like the ones in the image because you will use them a LOT. 4PCS Hex Screwdriver Tool 1.5 / 2.0 / 2.5 / 3.0mm Titanium Nitride TiNi Hex Driver for about $8
Prop removal tool. If you have a 3" or bigger quad please just get one of these, they take up so space, make prop removal easy and stop you over-torquing your prop nuts. Plus they are only $3. DYS RTM10 Motor Bullet Cap Aluminum Quick Release Wrench Tool
Side cutters. Unless you already have small side cutters from other electrical work, grab these ones for only $3. The quality is good enough and you'll be cutting and snipping lots of wires (and cable ties and heatshrink). DANIU Electrical Cutting Plier Wire Cable Cutter Side Snips
Long/needle nosed pliers. I've not tried these since I had some of my own already but the ones linked are just $2 - you don't need an expensive pair just for quads. 127mm Long Needle Nose Plier for Beading Jewellery Making
Cable ties. I just bought some from my local hardware store since they're pretty much a commodity but the ones linked are from Banggood and are in the small size that you need and are only $2 for 100. Suleve™ ZT05 100pcs Nylon Plastic Zip Trim Wrap Cable Loop Ties
Screwdrivers. You'll want a small posi and flat blade screw driver. You won't use as often as a hex driver but will still need them. Quite a cool set linked in the picture that includes all the hex drivers you'll need, a posi and flat screwdriver plus a socket driver suitable for prop nuts, only $8 at time of writing. 7pcs 1.5/2/2.5/3/4/5.5mm Hexagonal Screwdriver Tool Set For RC Model
Double sided tape. 3M VHB is the gold standard for double sided tape but is not cheap. Scotch outdoor mounting tape is almost as good for quads and is available most places too. If you want to order online and want it cheap and 'good enough', try the one in the image for only $2. 5m Strong Waterproof Adhesive Double Sided Foam Tape
Heat Shrink. In most other other hobbies when joining wires and connections you can get away with using electrical tape to insulate signal or power wires, the silicon wires we use are smaller and more flexible so are not completely suitable. The kit linked from Banggood is $3 and about 1/5th of the price I can buy locally. So yeah, just get it. DANIU 127pcs 7Sizes Polyolefin Halogen-Free Heat Shrink Tubing Tube Sleeving Kit
Electrical tape. You should be able to get this at you local hardware store for less than $2 but if not I've linked some from Banggood. This tape is actually more useful for strapping in FPV than insulating - for example strapping motor wires or individual escs to your quadcopters arms. 10M Electrical Insulating Tape Household Electrical Adhesive Tape
Soldering Iron. You need to have a soldering iron if you are going to get into quads. This is the one place I'd recommend splashing our as good elextrical and signal connections are so importantant to the robustness and reliability of your quad. The TS100 is an excellent excellent soldering iron. I bought as a portable option but it is my first choice at home and the field. Full programmable, outstanding temperature control for $46. MINI TS100 Digital OLED Programable Interface DC5525 Soldering Iron Station Built-in STM32 Chip
Solder. You need solder to solder with. I already had some from other projects but the one linked is suitable for our application and is only $3. DANIU 100g 63/37 Tin Lead Rosin Core 0.5-2mm 2% Flux Reel Welding Line Solder Wire
Helping hands. Personally I don't use them. I'm cheap and use Blue Tack to hold wires while I tin and connect. It's about 1/10th of the price of