Date & Time:
November 14, 2023
ESD Characterization of Non-Powered Hand Tools


In an ESD protected area (EPA), often non-powered hand tools, such as tweezers, pliers, screwdrivers, vacuum wands are used. Many of these hand tools are marked with an ESD label, leading the user to believe that those tools are ESD compliant und can guarantee safe handling of ESD sensitive (ESDS) items.

The question arises how hand tools can be classified as “ESD compliant”. Neither the current version of the ESD control program standard ANSI/ESD S20.20 nor IEC 61340-5-1 define requirements for non-powered hand tools.

In this presentation, we will assess different non-powered hand tools with respect to their ESD risk. The primary risk scenarios are either the discharge of an isolated hand tool (“isolated conductor”) or a hand tool with personnel (IEC 61000-4-2) into an ESDS item or the discharge of a charged ESDS item into the hand tool (charged device model). According to ANSI/ESD SP17.1 “ESD Process Assessment”, the most direct parameter to assess the ESD risk is the discharge current from or into the ESDS item. The ESD properties of the tools are evaluated using discharge current measurements. Acceptance tests for non-powered hand tools are proposed by correlating discharge current measurements to resistance measurements of the hand tool.

This tech talk is intended for program managers, engineers, technicians, and other professionals who wants to understand the risk scenarios when using non-powered hand tools in an EPA.


Magdalena Hilkersberger, Reinhold Gärtner, Infineon Technologies AG

Wolfgang Stadler, Intel Germany Services GmbH