FIRST $5000 - Rookie Team Equipment Challenge

Every team builds robots in their own way which means they need their own combinations of tools and equipment.

Spectrum recently worked on a couple example lists for the teams starting out based on how we would spend a certain amount of money on tools and equipment.

Spectrum’s FIRST $1000 & Spectrum’s FIRST $10,000

Now we want to know how other teams would spend their money if they had to start over.


  • Total is ~$5,000
  • Don’t include consumables (zip ties, bolts, plywood, aluminum, etc)
  • Don’t include specific robot parts (motors, motor controllers)
  • Provide as many links to the items as you can
  • Submit a link to a google doc with your complete list


  • you can’t get anything donated
  • you can’t use personal or loaner tools.
  • You have a 40ft x 40ft build space that has work tables and chairs
  • It has power and lighting but no shop air or dust collection, etc.

You can use this template if you want, or create your own.
FIRST $5,000 Template

Some threads to help get ideas for tools

Great to see this thread. As we wrap up our rookie year, these lists will give us some ideas on filling out our shop.


A big thank you to you and your team for making your 1k and 10k equipment purchasing suggestions. They were very valuable to us on 6844 this season as we tooled up. We especially appreciated the assumptions you’d made, like starting from nothing; that assumption was very real for us.

We’re excited to see how these new 5k lists develop. While I don’t have time to make my own submission, I do have five suggestions of things that I’ve come to love having on our team that didn’t make your 1k list:

  • We somehow ended up with a newer, base model MacBook Pro after kickoff. After installing Windows on it, it’s been a great driver station. Definitely an upgrade from the netbooks typically included in the KOP.
  • A very kind person sent us a pneumatic riveter. I can honestly say that it changed my (build season) life.
  • A Dremel has come in handy each year I’ve been involved with FRC. 2018 was no exception.
  • A shop vacuum has also come in handy, especially when the Dremel comes out.
  • This may seem strange in the list, but I’d have given an arm or a leg for some FRC carpet especially when developing intakes and practicing driving. In my mind, some carpet is just as much of a tool as anything you might find in a metal shop. We’ve gotten some now, and it’s great.

An honorable mention is spares of the most often used tools. We seem to go through lots of drill bits - they routinely either get lost or break. Same applies for hex keys.

I’m still working on mine, but I think I tackled the biggest things and still have about $1,000 in headroom to work with. I tried to go for an organized space first, then let the big fabrication come later.

Here’s my list. I could have cut costs in some places, but the fabrication equipment is more or less what ASAP uses, with improvements thrown in.

Now that the champs are over and people have more time. Anyone else want to contribute a list.

Thank you! I really appreciate this post! I just started a rookie team for the 2019 season and I didn’t know where to start with making the list! Thank you again for this, it’s a tremendous help!