Tools needed to perform proper maintanance of audio electronics


Selection of proper tools is very important. Otherwise, damage to device can occur and repair can be difficult. In this article, the most often tools are listed and explained.


Use only top quality screwdrivers, otherwise you can damage screw head. Screwdriver is one of the things that is worth to invest. I’ve been using one Vessel screwdriver for more than 10 years, every day, and it still has no signs of wear.

If you cannot release stuck screw, then try to unscrew it while pushing screwdriver towards screw as firmly as possible. This is also the reason why quality screwdriver must be used.

Always select screwdriver with correct tip, usable for given screw.

PH00 screwdriver – Philips type – this one is must if you want to do walkman repairs. Usually this is the only one that you need.

Screwdriver set – the most common sizes used for walkman repairs. For cassette decks you will probably need PH1, PH2…

Special ceramic screwdriver for head position (azimuth) adjustments. It must be made of non-magnetic material.

Special screwdriver for pots and trimer adjustment.

Handling tools

Pocket knife – one of the most often used tools. Use it for cleaning, opening…

Precision tweezers – simply must for handling small screws, springs, …
Small vise.

Blade cutter – to remove insulation from tiny wires, for example.

Fiberglass brush – cleans corroded contacts

Hook with handle – to quickly remove pinch rollers from walkmans, without necessity to disassemble whole pinch roller arm.

Small hammer – also for pinch roller removal.


IPA and cotton wool. Suitable for cleaning of almost everything – head, pinch rollers. Cleans pulleys from remains of old belt. For some sort of plastic it can be aggressive , be careful when cleaning chassis.

Contact cleaning sprays. The one on image is special spray for pots cleaning. Very useful.


High grade watch oil. Use only small drop to lubricate metal parts, like bearings, levers.. Do not use it to lubricate plastic parts. It is important to use oil that dries very slowly, otherwise it will change to sticky substance after some time.

Using “any mineral oil” helps for while, may be several years, but then it will make situation even worse.

Grease – different grease should be used for lubricating metal parts and different for plastic parts. When poor quality grease is used, it can dry and glue parts together.

Measurement tools

It depends on your knowledge and also on how deep you want to go with troubleshooting. Basic tool is multimeter. Advanced tools are oscilloscope, signal generator, quality soundcard.

Multimeter – for performing basic troubleshooting.


Drills are used for repairs, when you need to join two cracked parts together. In this case you can drill small hole to both parts and fix them together with tiny brass wire. I use 0.6 to 0.8 mm for that.

Set of drills of various dimensions.

Drill holder

Reamer – used to increase hole diameter a bit. Useful for doing maintenance of plastic gears that are shrunk. You will need special dimensions, like 1.52, 1.99, 2.03 mm, etc.


Use it to replace old one, or use it as aid for when doing troubleshooting, modifications, etc.

Tiny wires with Teflon insulation

Pliers to cut wires and pins of components.

Other tools

Soldering station. Desoldering station is also useful.

Marker – to mark position of screws, wires, etc.


Textile tape to organize wires on PCB.