Yes, I have come to the realization that certain tools are just necessary and I would have a hard time living without these tools to do my job. There are some necessary tools and other ones that are just (really, really) nice to have.
Tools I have found essential around my brewery: Screwdriver, crescent wrench, pliers, tape measure, flashlight, shovel, zip-ties, measuring cup, funnel, all sorts of buckets, teflon tape, scissors!, pen/paper, and even my laptop with wifi access. (I didn’t mention some of the standard: hop scale, hydrometers, sanitation spray bottle, mash paddle, etc and focused on ones that aren’t dedicated to breweries)
Tools that are more in the nice to have category: three-hole punch, hose cutter, electrical tape, 7/8” wrench, fans (several of them), and a new tool that I purchased for a whopping $3.95 and I love it! – “retractable cord for belt” of which I keep my flashlight hooked.
This was actually an LED flashlight that Chris left behind for me (essential in looking in the kettle, fermentors and bright tanks). I saw how he was always fishing it out of his pockets and it looked inconvenient. I too, was inconvenienced by the fact that it kept falling out of my shirt pocket when I bent over to pick stuff of the ground. All I could think was if I accidentally dropped this in a batch of fermenting beer that I would contaminate thousands of dollars of finished beer (and I’d have to buy a new flashlight)….. So I solved two problems at once – easy to access flashlight, and tether it so it can’t fall into a fermentor…..brilliant!