It is never too early for budding techs to start collecting tools for the trade. One problem with purchasing tools, however, is that as one progresses into soloing out a particular field in tech theatre the tools change quite drastically. But there are some tools that every tech should have. I figure that this would be a good place to start developing a place for everyone to post what they think might be needed or ask about the practicality of a particular tool.
I would say general techs should look into:
a toolbox, keep it reasonably sized something that can easily be carried. I kind of prefer the bag type carrying case.
screwdrivers, just a basic set of phillips and standard
a tape measure, 25'
crescent wrench,6". This seems to be the standard that a lot of ME's are pushing for these days.
a speed square
precision screwdrivers(the little ones)
a cordless drill (eventually don't rush, expensive and technology changes so fast that sometimes by rushing you end up with a piece of junk. Make sure you research)
A utility knife
I think that is a good starting point for discussion.