Personal Hardware

Revised 2018.01.21


Headset - Recommendation: Logitech G433. Highly durable and easy to use with moderate sound quality. See Headsets.

Watch - Recommendation: Casio G-Shock GD350. Highly functional digital watch with 5 alarms, stopwatch, timer, dedicated timer-start button, hourly signal, world time, display illumination, vibration alert (incredibly convenient), resin strap, and stainless steel components. Great for time control during cooking, laundry, exercise, sports, and meetings.

Lightbulbs - Recommendation: LED Lightbulbs. Long life, durable, and nowadays amazingly cost-effective with ROI as short as 1 month. See Lightbulbs.

Utility Tool Bag

Tool Bag - A single tool bag is a convenient holder to store and carry your tools. I recommend a tool bag over a tool box for a number of reasons. Tool bags are both durable and light-weight; metal is heavy and plastic turns brittle in the cold. Tool bags are less noisy; they rustle and don't clang. Tool bags are more compact; they can fold down to fit in tight places. Tool bags cause less damage; they bump your legs softly and bristle walls without leaving streaks or indents. Get a tool bag made with rugged fabric like ballistic nylon and a zippered main compartment.

Screwdriver Recommendation: Picquic Super 8 Plus. Durable multi-bit screwdriver with a strong unified design. High torque can break the handle on weak screwdrivers, so a strong handle-to-bit force-driving design is essential. Conventional lid storage designs are mediocre because they are slow to use, risk dropping the lid, and sacrifice frame strength for a single storage space.

Hammer - Get a flat-head hammer. Depending on the application you will hold the hammer in different places. Standard strikes will use the upper handle. Heavy strikes will use the lower handle. Soft strikes will use the neck (between handle and hammerhead). Other uses may require holding with two hands at the head and handle. So look for a design that gives you a firm grip across the whole hammer. One-piece metal design offers the most durability, but adds a bit of fatigue.

Adjustable Wrench - An adjustable wrench works for most situations. A fixed wrench set just adds cost, weight, and volume to your tool set. Avoid it unless you actually need it. Fixed wrenches are for reaching in narrow places and getting a tight, fast grip on the bolt head. They're great for mechanics because they save time not having to adjust wrench width. But you don't need a fixed wrench unless you plan to wrench frequently.

Measuring Tape - Look for a durable frame and accurate measurement marks. A good measuring tape will resist breaking when dropped on a concrete floor; retain tape pull-back force over its extended use; tolerate small bits of dirt and water on its opening without malfunctioning.

Retractable Utility Knife - Utility knives are excellent for general-purpose needs such as opening boxes, cutting cardboard, and removing clothing tags, . A retractable blade adds safety in use and in storage. Get the Stanley Classic 99. Simple, cheap, all-metal construction.

[Utility Scissors]

[Needlenose Pliers]

[GrooveLock Pliers]

[Precision Screwdriver Set]

Electrical Tape: Versatile. Opaque, stretchy, removes easily without leaving residue. Cover electrical connections at home and obtrusive lights on electronics.


Folding Tables: Light-weight, compact, low-cost. I've had a great time with Lifetime brand folding tables from home to office, warehouse to factory. You can easily notice the difference of plastic quality and design robustness.

Computer System



[EDC USB Drive]

[General Backup Drive]

[Encrypted Backup Drive]

Clothes System

Clothes Hangers: Standard way to hang shirts, pants, sweaters, and jackets. Isolates clothing from insects and floor stains. Separates clothes to accelerate drying for mitigating mold growth. Get strong hangers with a complete ring so that you can hang pants, towels, and small apparel on the horizontal segment. You don't want flimsy hangers that will bend when you try to hang a heavy jacket.

Cooking Tools

[Electric Kettle]. Fastest safe water-boiling residential appliance. ~5 minute boiling time of 1L water at room temperature. Convenient automatic turn-off. Versatile option to set temperature threshold. Boil water with this then pour into pot for rapid cooking.

Cleaning Tools

[Electric Toothbrush] - An electric toothbrush improves the ease and consistency of brushing teeth properly. It offers convenience features such as a built-in automatic 3-minute timer. Charging is safe and simple with wireless induction technology. Replacement brush heads cost about the same as a manual toothbrush.

Car Supplies

[Jumper Cables] - You want to get long ones; sometimes the other car will be unable to get close to your car easily.


[First Aid Kit] - Prioritize commonly used items to deal with cuts, slivers, stings, burns, and bruises. Common items include small adhesive bandages, basic ointment for cuts and scrapes, disinfecting wipes, distilled water, rubbing alcohol, tweezers, compact scissors, sting wipes, burn gel, and instant-action ice packs. Other items include large bandages, medical tape, sterile gloves, gauze, air-activated heat pads, compression pads. Store first aid items in a clearly marked container. Keep your primary first aid kit at home, and bring a more portable secondary kit in your car or personal bag.

[Smoke and Gas Alarms] - At a minimum, you need a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Modern safety regulations generally require these, so your home probably already has the requisite alarms- but check to make sure. If your home has a natural gas intake, you will want an alarm for that as well. The AA battery-powered alarm designs are easiest to install and replace. Be sure to understand where to correctly install the different alarms for proper locations and heights. Test and maintain your alarms on a regular schedule.

[Fire Extinguisher] is a one-time insurance payment against small to medium household fires. A standard size ABC fire extinguisher will suffice. Be sure to understand how to operate the extinguisher before you let it rest in a widely visible position. A larger residence will want multiple extinguishers.


[Fixed Blade Knife] - The rigidity of a fixed blade knife is excellent for heavy duty applications. The rigidity allows a firm grip to drive high forces into the motion while avoiding sideways deflection. Get a one-piece blade with paracord handle. One-piece designs are the easiest to clean and the strongest across different applications. The paracord handle is versatile and easy to replace, though their grip is slightly less tight than solid handles.

[Measuring Tape] is versatile for home organization, product design and evaluation, body measurements, and more.

[Tweerzerman 2000 Shears] - Utility scissors provide an easy way to open boxes, split packaging, and cut materials neatly. Consistent scissors sport a dependable fulcrum and full metal construction. Simply place them both in a convenient adult location for prolonged accessibility.

[Sony ICF-P26] is a simple, portable FM/AM radio that runs on standard AA batteries. When a blackout occurs, you want to stay updated on the latest news from radio stations. It is small and light-weight with a wrist strap, connected battery cover, and an antenna that is foldable and telescoping.

[Kitchen Utensils] - Stainless steel spoons with rounded handles are fundamental. Wooden cooking utensils avoid the clanky noise, weight, and heat transfer of their metal alternatives. That said, metal cooking utensils are more durable, easier to clean, and mitigates mold growth.

[Calculators] are one of the few data-centric devices still useful separate from smartphones for saving several seconds of access time.

[Electrical Power Bar] is an expander and extender for your wall outlets. A metal power bar with a built-in circuit breaker or surge protector can last decades while protecting against over-current risks such as fires and meltdowns.

[Military Ammo Cans] are durable, all-purpose containers with a stackable design and sealing lid. Uses Video

[Emergency Supplies] - In case of natural disaster or major infrastructure outage, you want to have enough food, water, and supplies to survive until the relief effort matures. Prioritize food cans and pouches, water bottles and tanks, cutlery and food containers, paper towels and rolls, soap and sanitizer, blankets and towels, garbage bags for disposal, sealable plastic bags for utility, flashlights and batteries. Prepare portable carry containers or boxes that you can use to easily haul the supplies to your car if ever necessary.

Vinegar. Mildly acidic, cheap, versatile. All-purpose cleaning, flavoring, food preservation, odor removal, soil pH balancing.

Caulk and filler seal cracks and openings to defend against water penetration, air penetration, and insect invasions. The risk of water penetration into your home is not only the weakening of the structure but also the growth of toxic mold, such as black mold. Air penetration can bring in unwanted outdoor heat during summer and release important indoor heat during winter. Insect invasions can range from a frustration to a serious danger in certain cases. I recommend pure silicone caulk. It lasts for decades and produces tight waterproof seals. Excellent for use around kitchens and washrooms. I recommend water-based wood filler. It cleans easily and cures without solvent fumes. Good for filling normal openings up to medium size.