As you get more and more serious into flying FPV drones, you’ll eventually end up with a flight bag that contains all the necessary stuff for a good flying session.
A flight bag will contain obvious things like your transmitter, goggles, lipo batteries, and spare propellers. But a crucial component of every flight bag is your toolset!
Flying FPV – especially racing drones – involved lots of crashes and lots of things going wrong. It’s just part of the hobby, you build, fly, crash, repair, fly again, and the cycle continues.
For small repairs on the field, it’s useful to have the following tools on hand. All of these tools fit in a small pouch that I throw into my backpack:
1. Allen keys or hex drivers
Allen keys or hex drivers are critical because most frame parts are fastened together using hex bolts. Having a set of these around will let you tighten a bolt here and there if they come loose due to vibrations or a nasty crash.
2. Phillips head screwdriver
I only keep one Phillips head screwdriver with me which is the right size for the screws that hold my FPV camera in place. Every now and then I may crash hard enough to ruin the angle my camera is mounted at, so just setting it back to the correct angle and having something to torque the screws with helps me get back in the air faster.
3. Hobby knife
Hobby knives are sharp and small, making them ideal for doing on the field repairs and tweaks.
Pliers come in handy for nearly anything – they’re an incredibly versatile tool and if nothing else, will serve as an excellent weight to hold something down!
5. Small torque wrench
A small torque wrench is necessary to remove the locknuts that hold propellers on to the motors – and also for tightening the nuts once you’ve switched to fresh propellers!
6. Small sharp scissors
Scissors, like hobby knives and pliers are versatile and very handy to have around. You’ll need them to trim zip ties and electrical tape, explanations for which are coming up!
7. Double sided tape
Double sided tape is very, very strong and a great way to hold things in place, even temporarily. I used to stick camera mounts that held my HD recording camera onto the frame using just double sided tape, and the mount and camera would be fine even through fast flight and acrobatic maneuvers.
8. Zip ties
Zip ties can hold pretty much anything in place, and they’re useful for holding wires and components in place. They’ll also break in a hard enough impact, so having replacements around is a good idea.
9. Electrical tape
Sometimes you’ll be unlucky enough to crash so hard your battery leads or power leads will get nicked by your propellers and you’ll have some exposed wire – unless you want a lot of smoke and heat due to a short, you want to insulate the wires as soon as possible – so electrical tape is very important to have around.
10. Bonus: Portable soldering iron
Finally, a portable soldering iron for fixing up really bad crashes! Some racers like to keep one spare of everything on hand – a motor and an ESC – so if you burn something out, you can solder a new one in on the field.
This one from Amazon is cheap and functional.
These 9 tools are an absolute must when you go flying, and I can’t tell you how many times I forgot my toolkit when I went, only to break something on the first crash and end up grounded for the rest of the day!
Image Credit: InsanityDrones.com