SMT Multimeter Tweezers

by adrian-bowyer, published

SMT Multimeter Tweezers by adrian-bowyer Jun 22, 2009

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SMT Multimeter Tweezers by adrian-bowyer is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Say goodbye to SMT component identification misery with this pair of active tweezers that plug right into your trusty multimeter!

As you pick up an SMT component to put it onto the solder paste on a PCB, these tell you what the component is automatically.


The tweezers are designed to be built flat, and are in the form of a wedge to give a thin end at the points. Make sure the STL file is the right way up in your 3D printer to achieve this.

Thread wires through the holes. If you use different colours you can track + and - for things like diodes.

Solder a couple of pins pulled from a piece of 2.54mm pin strip on the ends, and insulate the joins with heatshrink.

Bend the pins at right angles. To do this, push them right through their holes till they're free the other side, bend them, then push them back.

Use a couple of rings of fatter heatshrink to attach the pins to the ends of the tweezers.

Line the tips up carefully so that they meet exactly and don't cross over, then flood the ends with superglue to lock them in place. Also superglue the wires along the limbs. (You may find this easier if you tack the wires first using Blu Tack or sticky tape.)

Stick some plugs on the other ends of the wires that will fit your multimeter, plug the tweezers in, and get building those RepRap/Makerbot PCBs...

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Wonder if it would be possible to design some plastic banana plugs, that just have one or two wires running up the sides, with plastic as the spring? Then you'd only need the hook up wire...

This is a great printable. I've wanted to make a set of these for a while (and especially now that I have a pile of SMT parts for the MakerBot Gen3 electronics).

Thanks for sharing this!


If you made a voltage/capacitance circuit for the Arduino (or friends) , you could have an automated SMD identifier...

Yes - I've always thought that an autoranging multimeter for the Arduino would be a good project. It'd probably need some extra components to make it work well (MOSFET switches, etc). You could obviously use the PC as the display down the USB cable; indeed, you might be able to put quite a bit of the smart stuff in the PC, so that the Arduino just blasted the component with a selection of frequencies and voltages, logged the results, and uploaded them for the PC to make sense of. If it could auto-detect the difference between capacitors and resistors that'd be really cool.

Exactly what I had in mind.

accurately identifying SMD caps would be great as they are not labeled ( as you have probably discovered when one ZINGED out your tweezers )

with some extra smarts you could check for diodes, led polarity. I had a quick look and could not find any existing multimeter projects (very quick).

Maybe we should poke Lady Ada so she can make shield that's a multi meter ?