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 wire cutters wire stripper 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.