DIY SMD Tweezers

by Noel on June 1, 2011

I wanted to have one of those fancy SMD tweezers that I can use to hold an SMD resistor or capacitor and then read their resistance or capacitance values.  However, the’re quite expensive.   So I made one.

This is actually my idea a few years ago.  I don’t know exactly if somebody has done it before but  I wanted to do it for my own use.

I remember seeing one of those chopsticks for kids and I thought, would it be nice to use that for my DIY SMD tweezer project.   So I bought a pack of those chopsticks for kids (actually I only need 1 but  they sell it in packs of 4).    I also bought a cheap metal tweezer.

So here’s the steps in how to make one.

1.  Split the metal tweezer in two

2. Put one of these connectors

I’m not exactly sure what these are called but these are available in hardware stores

3. Wrap the connector around this part of the tweezer

4. Solder a wire to the connector

If you can solder the connector to the tweezer, that would be better but my soldering
iron wasn’t hot enough for me to be able to solder the connector to the metal tweezer.
I think the tweezer, since it’s metal, was sucking the heat out and thus the part of
the tweezer nearest to the connector isn’t getting hot enough to get a good solder
connection.

5. Do the same on the other half of the metal tweezer

6. Use cable ties and tie it to the chopsticks

7. Testing if I can grab an SMD

8. Add banana plugs at the end of the wires

9. Ready for testing….wow.. it works!

10. Here’s the whole thing with the Fluke, DIY SMD tweezer with the banana plugs.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom August 10, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing the idea.

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Kevin August 11, 2011 at 1:15 am

That’s an awesome project, I have a few suggestions:

You could maybe improve the probe accuracy if you use copper tweezers (ideally tin plated copper tweezers; the tin prevents corrosion). They sell copper pickling tweezers on eBay for about $10. I assumed from the picture and the cheap metal tweezers that you were using steel tweezers. The advantage of copper over steel is the lower resistance and losses of your probe (the smaller the better).

Another thought is I’m guess the meter takes into account the standard probe impedance (the probe that came with the meter), so if you matched your new SMD probe to the standard probe impedance (you might look that up in the manual or test it), then the meter would be as accurate as it could (without recalibrating). It all depends on your accuracy requirements.

Great project though, I’ll build one of those for my meter.

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Greg Uzelac August 11, 2011 at 2:34 am

Cool! I like this idea. I just bought a Fluke 87-V on ebay and when it arrives I make a set of these. Do the ty-wraps hurt or hinder the grip? Heat shrink came to mind…

I need to buy a new bench-top PS. Is that what I see in the background? Do you have any recommendations?

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Noel September 10, 2011 at 5:03 am

yeah, that’s exactly what I was planning. I’ll be buying a heatshrink in a local electronics store.

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Loyd August 11, 2011 at 2:59 am

For soldering that piece on where you didn’t have enough heat, a propane torch run onto the tip and towards the connector you are soldering would have soaked enough heat in and if you did it quick enough you could get it before the wire started burning.. the key is to heat the tip nice and hot and then move back closer but never actually bathe the wire in flame. I just did this to connect wire leads to some nails and other objects..

and, nice hack!

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Chris August 11, 2011 at 11:27 am

Top job!

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john August 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Nicely done! My favorite part was when you saved a lot of money!

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chad August 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

where did you get the chopsticks from i am checking on ebay and other online places and cant find the one u used. great diy bt the way. :)

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Noel September 10, 2011 at 5:02 am

I found it in one of those dollar stores

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Lukasz August 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

nice little project – I’ll give it a go

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Edmilson dos santos August 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

ideia muito boa principalmente para medir smd! valeu fiz uma e gostei…

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J.Carlos R. August 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Really very clever, congratulations, I found this information excellent, so simple and easy to make, thank you very much for sharing

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