Recommended Tools (or Gifts) for Mechanical Engineers

Here are some required tools for mechanical engineers.  Or, stated another way, here are some ideas of pertinent gifts for mechanical engineers:

Develop the habit of writing everything down in a damn book where you will not lose it.  Take notes at meetings.  Turn your stupid phone off.  My favorite two notebooks (one cheaper and one nicer):


I think it is only the perfectionists who prefer pencils over pens because they like to erase their mistakes.  That’s OK; I’m not judging.  Here are my favorite pencils (a cheaper comprehensive set or a single weighted monster of a pencil):

I like to draw, jot, doodle, scribble and write with a pen.   This is much more productive to my design process.  Using a pen lets me see the progressions of my designs from garbage to workable concept to ficient design solution.  Here are two of my favorite pens — an inexpensive 12-pack for those who lose everything they touch (me) and a nicer pen for those who can have nice things (like the pencil engineers):

OK, let’s back up a minute.  Mechanical engineers usually start with some geometric constraints.  Here are two of my favorite measuring tools.  The calipers are essential for all mechanical engineers. I’ve listed two. The first ones are super cheap but they are surprisingly good for their price and you don’t have to worry about throwing them in your tool bag or desk drawer. The second calipers are of excellent quality and are suitable for official QC tasks.  The optical loupe/comparator is an under-used tool that will become indispensable, but only if you own one. I use it frequently for reverse engineering, QC, failure analysis, and a host of other tasks.




And, lastly, you’ll need a few basic hand tools for around the office so you don’t overly tax your machinists’ or technicians’ patience by always borrowing their tools and forgetting to return them:


Have any other ideas for gifts for mechanical engineers?  Let us know.