Newbie tools, What is needed and why, Come contrbute!

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*typo - contribute

Hi everyone, what follows is a tool list and what application you may need it for. Even the pros might want to get something for themselves after reading this! These are rated must, occasional, specialization, and seldom:

Must - got to have it in order to have a successful grow.
Occasional - this item should be included and will be used most of the time.
Seldom - this item may provide a limited use but may or may not be very important when it is.
Specialization - Will add to the ease of your grow and allow you to free yourself up more but are not critical to use.

They are not listed in any particular order in each category. Feel free to contribute and I will update this post as needed. If mods want to sticky this, feel free!

1. PH Meter - must - digital or non digital - water or soil. This tool is damn near critical in order to make sure your plants are receiving the proper uptake of nutrients. Do not bother with the water/chemical based testers that you add a few drops of solution in order to read the color to the scale, as the color of your run-off will surely make you second guess yourself. My run-off, from sunshine mix #4, is around piss yellow, especially when dealing with molasses, these will both throw off your reading. I recommend this one for reading run-off..

2. Measuring spoons - must - various sizes - preferred 1/8th tsp to 1 tbs - If dealing with nutes and various powders, these are a must in order to accurately measure how much you need. 1/8th and 1/4th tsp especially are common to use when dealing with autoflowers. This set has down to 1/16 and 1/32 tsp respectfully, has all the cup sizes and is prime eligible.

3. Medicinal dropper/Syringes - must/specialization - These are either glass or plastic and have the rubber squeeze at the end that allows you to precisely suck up or expel whatever you wish. I use these when dealing with milliliter measurements as they are very handy for adding nutes to your water. Try to get a one that has a capacity for up to 1 tbs/15ml. I use a system of a cup filled with distilled water to rinse out after using each nute or product. Then another cup to clean that out before adding a different solution. These make dealing with molasses much easier! After dispensing the molasses, add water from your water source to the syringe and put your finger over the exit, shake vigorously until the molasses or what have you has dissolved then add it to your feed solution!

4. Duct tape - must - This allows you to fix nearly anything that comes to harm your visqueen or mylar, and also patches up any light leaks. You can patch holes in your grow buckets. Do not start a grow without it.

5. Razor blades and or Surgical blades - occasional - these are a necessity for cutting and removing bad growth from your plants, these are sterile and very sharp and easily take away bad vegetation with minimal stress and harm to your plant. Try to use these instead of using your fingers.

6. Tweezers - seldom - comes in handy for a variety of situations but especially when handling your seeds after they have germinated, you need to use these or gloves so you don't transfer oils onto the shell, which will help repel water from penetrating and slow the germination process, even stop it.

7. 30x or higher microscope, jewlers loop or the like - must - these will allow you to see when your plants have sexed to which gender they belong to, these will also allow you to see your trichomes and to which stage your plant has reached, and finally these will allow you to see pests and other small insects on your plants. Try to get the longer one that allows you to put the end up close with you as far as possible away for easy viewing.

8. Thermometer/hygrometer - must - these will tell you your temperature and humidity levels in all stages of your grow. an absolute must, keep one in the room and one near your plants canopy. Usually everyone uses this model from amazon:

9. Thread/rope - seldom - at some point you will need to tie something down or up. The (L)ow (S)tress (T)raining technique will require some thread in order to tie down some of the side branches.

10. Scissors - seldom - sometimes you just have to cut shit more safely than razor blades.

11. 24 hour electrical timer - specialization - these allow you to automate time periods for devices that plug in an electrical outlet. I.E. 20/4 (out of 24 hours a day) light cycle for your auto plants. So for instance, my lights run from 4 am in the morning to 12 am at night, shutting off for 4 hours for a dark period. Nice and automated and you don't have to do anything.

12. Spray bottle - must - from foliage feedings, misting the air to raise humidity, misting the soil to dampen it for seeds or plants, cleaning things down.. these just come in handy, try to get at least two decent quality, large volume (16 oz preferred) spray bottles and you can have one for feeding and one for clean water. You can find good ones at a Dollar Store or Dollar Tree. They are also good for Colloidal silver applications. Try to get one with jet/stream and spray/mist nozzle for various applications.

13. Various tools -(hammer, nails, cordless drill w/bits, screwdrivers, staple gun, etc.) - must - at some point, making a grow room will need some repairs or modifications, these will assist in those modifications, from hanging up hooks for light fixtures, to tacking down mylar or visqueen, you are going to need a few tools in order to get the job done. I recommend what is listed above to cover most situations.

14. EC/TDS PPM Meter - must/specialization - this isn't a complete must, as you probably know someone who has grown without one, but they make things a lot easier, they are a MUST however if you are growing in a hydroponic set-up. However in soil, as if you feed, flush midway through, then feed, flush, and you are watching your PH, you shouldn't have a problem, however if you plan on using tap water to feed your plants, (other than letting it set for 24 hours for it to evaporate chlorine) you need to know what the total dissolved solids (or TDS, which is how many parts per million of water is made up of minerals and other things that is not water) is before feeding. High TDS will cause nute lockouts as well as making your plants sick, especially ordinary salt. Most people use this from amazon -

15. Measuring Tape/Level (laser model preferred) - must - sometimes you need to see how big the span of your plant is, sometimes you need to space out your lighting, either way you can't do this accurately without some sort of measuring tool, why not measuring tape? When hanging up lights and other fixtures you want to be able to see if things are leveled and even and a laser level will help to see if anything you are doing is at an angle or if you want it at an angle. Just easier when you have the right tools you know?

16. Spring-loaded clothes drying pins - specialization - when curing your plant you and your stems are not in a V-shape, you will need these to hang up your plants on your curing line. They will hold firmly in place, and unless you keep them outside where they can rust, these will last a long time. You can relive the old days when clothes used to smell sunshine fresh, only your closet will smell pot fresh instead!

17. Pruning sheers/Trimmer - specialization - these makes trimming your delicious buds much easier on the hands, and if you have carpel tunnel or arthritis these are upgraded to Must status. If you have scissors they will suffice, and or razor blades, but these will save you time and energy and who doesn't like that? Most people use these

18. Watering Can\Pump powered breaker watering head- specialization/must - Not absolutely necessary, but still a time saver and helps with even distribution of your water. You could also use an empty and clean milk or water jug, some people use gatorade and OJ bottles, just make sure it is clean! A water pump with a breaker head attached will oxygenate your water and give even water distribution along with making your plant and roots extra happy with the added oxygen!

19. Flower Trowel/ Large spoon/ Chopsticks - must/specialization - The first two are for transplanting and digging soil, the trowel itself is nearly a must for smooth soil/soilless transfers. They are large and flat and can go deep to make sure you have got to the root ball. Chopsticks are much like tweezers, versatile and useful for digging, holding seeds, stirring.. etc. Get them in plastic or metal for very easy maintenance and cleaning. They can also serve as small dowel rods!!

20. Dowel Rods - specialization - speaking of in number 19, these will serve you well in making sure your frosty sticky buds, stay vertical and don't snap and hurt your plant. You don't want that, your plant will begin healing instead of continuing budding, and I don't know anyone who would like that. There are other methods to hold your plant stems up but these are easy and cheap, you can use multiple things to serve this purpose as long as they are sturdy and clean, which brings me to number 21....

21. Rubbing alcohol/Isopropyl - must - used in cleaning and sterilizing your instruments and tools, you will need this at some point in your grow. There is nothing else better at cleaning residue and crusted bong and pipe resin like alcohol.

22. 5 gallon bucket/reservoir - specialization - Got to have large amounts of water for a grow larger than 1-3 plants, and even then you will need large amounts of water. Why not make it easier on yourself and store some water on the side as needed. Just a thought! Add the pump powered breaker wand mentioned in #18 and you are set!

23. Mortar and Pestle or Coffee Grinder - specialization - Either one of these are useful for grinding shake, eggshells, baby cereal, or anything else you might need to be powdered to umm powder form. These are very helpful in many scenarios in marijuana horticulture including cooking! Be creative!

24. Reverse Osmosis machine - specialization - Growing your plants is going to take a lot of water, most of us prefer the pure non-additive water of distilled and or R/O (reverse osmosis) processes. This water makes it easy to know EXACTLY what goes to your plants as these have 0-20 PPM of impurities. Therefore, what nutes you use is what your plants will receive no more or no less. This machine will highly reduce the long term costs of buying water and the amount of work involved packing it to and fro, along with the suspicious amount of garbage produced when dealing with gallon containers. I highly recommend this easy to install and cheaply priced 6-stage R/O machine

25. Aquarium air pump and air stone - specialization - Throw this in your reservoir to oxygenate your water for when it is time to feed. This will give the root zone an added blast of oxygen to help stimulate lively root growth and help prevent root diseases as well. Buy this: (unless you have a reservoir larger than 10 gallons) and these with this: and finally this to completely saturate your water with life-giving oxygen.

26. Cali Clean - specialization - ORGANIC PEST REMOVAL SAFE FOR ALL STAGES, EXCEPT DIRECTLY ONTO BUD - This is the stuff that is non-toxic that your plants will love. Basically if you have access to water and habenero (sic) peppers you have the ability to make it. This stuff, when created, will be able to be sprayed liberally throughout your entire plants life cycle except directly on the buds. Follow these steps:
1. Get needed tools: spray bottle, strainer, large pot, large spoon, stove, 1-3 peppers, water, gloves, pot cover.
* put on gloves and chop up habanaro, you may need a mask to avoid burning your pipes.
2. Put pot on stove fill with 4 cups of water.
3. add chopped up peppers to water.
4. turn pot on lowest setting.
5. Heat and stir for 15-30 minutes until at a low boil, after low boil occurs allow to simmer and continue stirring for 5 minutes.
6. strain liquid into a bowl, then restrain liquid until mostly clear of junk and plant material.
7. Add to bottle spray bugs, spider mites, what have you with it. Spider mites will die instantly, most other insects as well, the plants love the stuff so no fear there. This is an organic pest killing solution.

27. Test tubes/Collection tubes - specialization - these will allow you to store and collect all kinds of things involved in a MJ grow. From seeds to hash to samples, it all can be stored and kept safe in these. Here is a cheap set of 12 for whatever you need!

28. Canning Jars/Mason Jars - must - You might have heard this line by now when dealing with books and videos: " The long patient wait " well after this long and patient wait comes the cure process which will even add more time to the "long patient wait." But do you want the most from your harvest? Do you want top-shelf flavor, smell, and high? Then you need to cure. The process will not be explained here, but there are several variations to the cure jar that you can look around and purchase. Some have a rubber seal or gasket that is used with a hinge top lid, usually glass, that fastens in the front like a suit case. Some are just screw tops. While others are a 2-3 piece system of lid, and or screw top, and or gasket. I prefer keeping it simple with half-gallon Mason Jars found here: then adding wide-mouth screw tops here: Now keep in mind you can find both of these cheaper and more readily available in your Grocery store and or general merchandise stores like Target and Wal-Mart. Remember that these are not FOR PERMANENT LONG TERM STORAGE!! These are good to cure and store for about up to 90 days, after that you need to look at number 29.

29. Vacuum Sealer/Learn how to can - specialization - This is a specialization because most people will never long term store MJ due to personal business and needs. So if you are storing your MJ for a long period of time, then you need to make sure it is stored properly. You can either buy a vacuum sealer for bagging or canning, or learn how to can by waterbath or another method. You can then store it for years! Just make sure your bud is completely dry though!

30. Smoking Tools - Bong, Grinder, Rolling papers, Pipe, Screens, etc. - must - Well now that you have made your stuff, how you going to smoke it? Grind it up, put it in a pipe? McGyver an old school apple pipe? A beer can? Put it in a bong and let the smoke on the water take you to a happy place? Better put a metal screen to avoid sucking up plant material and other undesirable elements. You did learn how to smoke before you grew right? :crying:

31. Labeling - Marker (Permanent), Labels, Plant ties - Specialization - Thing about marijuana is after getting blitzed you usually forget some details. If you are moving plants, germinating, harvesting, cultivating, watering, things can get confusing fast unless you have a photographic memory and/or just one strain to grow. So label your spray bottles, label your plants, and make things easier for you all around. You don't want to have a journal/log of what you are doing only to water the already watered plants and leave the dry plants dry. You also don't want to spray Colloidal silver as a foliage feeding when you intended to use the ammonia mix. Buy some labeling items would yah?

** A joint - MUST - waiting on your plants to come to fruition is a test of patience and dedication, doing this manual labor for your plants is a drag too.. so why not light up a nice spliff and help ease the transitions man. :smoke:

***. GT50 - Ionic Air purifier - Ozone - specialization - I just have to drop a line about this thing, one of these is about the size of a donut, and can easily clean the smell of a room for about 12 plants maybe more or less depending on the strain. It truly is amazing. Plus it kills all airborne pathogens and bacteria. So double bonus! This will do the same thing as a carbon filter. Do not get near the ozone hole and breath in the air it produces for a long time, Ozone is toxic and will give you mild to severe throat problems within an hour of exposure. Give it a shot

**** HOT SHOT PEST STRIP - specialization - This thing is a god send for nearly any critter that enters your grow room. Spider mites, flies, gnats, and most other pests will be decimated by this thing in as little as 4 hours. Not even kidding, I had a huge gnat problem that had arose from molasses, this thing neutralized every single one of them in a day. When its done killing you can put it in a ziplock and put it up somewhere where the isn't a lot of a traffic. If you are in the same room with it, DO NOT expose yourself to the air for more than 4 hours a day.

This should help serve as a guideline for what things you may or may not need for your grow. Good luck and may you find :peace:
*miss anything? - tell me in comments!
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Proud deplorable!
Jan 7, 2011
Outside with the dogs.
Currently Smoking
OG Kush, Deep Cheese, Key Lime
Very nice Kill, + rep. Regarding the measuring spoons and eye droppers, I find syringes work much better. A lot of nutrients are measured in ml, which all syringes use as their measurement. They are much more accurate than measuring spoons. I get mine at the local farmers co-op.

I would also add spring loaded clothes pins. They are about the best thing I've found for hanging your plants to dry. $1.00 for 50 at the dollar store.


Thank you Muddy I will add and reflect the changes! +rep means a lot!
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Hey now, I see no one has remarked or contributed on this, I expected more AFN.. *hangs head down in shame*.... No just kidding, but if I am missing something don't be skurred.


Looks like you about covered all the necessities man,good job! There always seems to be something missing lol


Yep forgot gardening/pruning shears/trimmers.. lol added.

Bikini Fettuccine

Hey Killijin, love the thread, very helpful. I wish this would have been up when I first started growing I would have just went out and bought most of it at the start instead of oh crap i gotta run to the store. AGAIN haha. great job man. :smokebuds:

Peel Here

A pair of cheap Chinese take-out chopsticks. I've used these wooden chopsticks for everything from handling seeds, stirring my mixes, and testing soil moisture by sticking it down into my medium, pulling it out, and checking for how wet it is. Kind of like how you can check if a cake is baked in the center by inserting a wooden toothpick. I have a digital moisture meter and I prefer the chopstick method better combined with feeling the pot's weight.

Anyhow, chopsticks are a free and versatile tool I've come to find in my first month of growing.

Great thread!!!!!


A pair of cheap Chinese take-out chopsticks. I've used these wooden chopsticks for everything from handling seeds, stirring my mixes, and testing soil moisture by sticking it down into my medium, pulling it out, and checking for how wet it is. Kind of like how you can check if a cake is baked in the center by inserting a wooden toothpick. I have a digital moisture meter and I prefer the chopstick method better combined with feeling the pot's weight.

Anyhow, chopsticks are a free and versatile tool I've come to find in my first month of growing.

Great thread!!!!!
Yep, chopsticks and toothpicks have lots of uses while growing. :thumbs: