There are certain components that any electronics business or dedicated hobbyist will need again and again. These are often cheap and readily available, but heavily used and often needed unexpectedly. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep some in stock. This way, you will avoid being unexpectedly caught out and repeatedly spending time purchasing new items. Buying stock for future use also allows you to make more use of online ordering. This is often cheaper, but delivery times make it unsuitable for many sudden, unexpected purchases.
Cables are one of the most basic components of all electronic and electrical items and installations. They are, of course, also one of the most essential. After all, without anything to conduct electricity and carry it to vital components, it would be impossible for any device to work. Many common types of cable are used very regularly and sometimes unexpectedly when part of a project changes or an existing cable turns out to need replacement. This is true for multi-core, high-voltage cables that are supplied “raw”, and cut when needed for fixed installations and household wiring. It is just as true for the small, ready-to-use cables that connect the components of a desktop computer to the main power supply. Make sure you stock up on the right kind of cable for your needs.
This category may seem slightly vague, but that is because you should apply this principle as widely as possible. If you work a lot with a specific kind of item, don’t throw away every old but usable part even if you won’t be able to find a permanent use for it. Having a working but expendable spare part can often be useful for testing an item and help with fault-finding. This is especially true for modular items such as computers, where the spare part can be quickly inserted for testing, then easily removed again.
Screws, Nuts and Bolts
They may not be electrical themselves, but with most electrical items you will find that screws or nuts and bolts are essential to at least some part. They might hold certain components in place internally or simply hold the casing together. Either way, they may be small enough to be frequently overlooked next to true electronic components, but you will be lost without them. It is possible you may find they have been damaged over time, or that the heads of low-quality screws and bolts will become rounded after being unscrewed and tightened a few times. Even the most skilled workers can lose a screw from time to time as well. There is a wide range of screws and bolts available in the market, so it is worth stocking up on a variety of sizes in case you suddenly need to hunt around for a replacement.
Overall, keeping a stock of certain components will be a huge help. These sorts of items are commonly needed so they are sure to be useful at some point. By keeping a stock of them, you can be sure that you will have immediate access to them when you need them and won’t have to interrupt projects to go to get an extra part.
Image attributed to FreeDigitalPhotos.net Suat Eman