Buying and replacing tools is a never-ending process for mechanics. Scores of tools are needed by mechanics to help them repair and work on cars and other vehicles. Since vehicles cannot be
repaired using just your hands, these tools come in quite handy. Let’s have a
look at some of the must-have tools every mechanic, or a person looking to fix cars, should have in their toolbox.
Ratchet and Socket Set
A ratchet and socket set is a tool that mechanics frequently reach for while working on vehicles. A good
racket and socket set is the backbone of any good toolbox. A socket set has a number of sockets of
different sizes. Ideally, a good quality socket set includes 3/8’’ drive, ¼’’ drive and ½’’ drive plus sockets and
ratchets for these sizes as well. It is better to invest a little more and get a set that comes with a lifetime
guarantee. Before buying a ratchet and socket set, the quality of the case that the sockets come in
should be checked. If the sockets fall out of the case every time the case is opened, then I
recommend buying a different one because it can be frustrating to put them back into position every
now and then.
A mechanic always pays proper attention to setting nuts to the proper torque. The bolt can shear off if a
nut is over-torqued which then makes it more difficult to remove when needed. To ensure the torque
of the nut is exactly how we want it, a clicker-type torque wrench should be used.
Remember: you should never use a torque wrench to remove lug nuts!
Lubricants and Cleaner
Mechanical moving parts require the need to be lubricated and cleaned regularly. This process is done with the help of cleaners and lubricants. Rust penetrant is used to prevent the accumulation of rust and
to unstick a bolt. Similarly, to clean any metal parts such as brakes of the vehicle, a brake cleaner can be
used. Silicon lubricant helps in removing dirt and stopping squeaking of the body parts of the vehicle and
to remove oil-based products from axles, steering components and skid plates. A citrus degreaser can be
used as an alternative as well.
Locking Extension Bars
Dropping or losing a socket in the vehicle’s engine, a piece of equipment, or in the vehicle itself can be
quite frustrating and it might take a lot of time to get the socket. Sockets are quite expensive at
times and replacement of a lost socket can drain on your patience as well. Hence, a mechanic wouldn’t want to risk losing
one. This is when locking socket extensions come to play. Locking extension bars are equipped with a
spring-loaded slide lock that helps prevent sockets from sticking to fasteners. It locks the socket that is
attached to it, which saves it from slipping off. Locking extension bars can be very useful for mechanics
as they can help save both time and money and you won’t have to worry about lost sockets anymore.
Oil Filter Wrench
If you work around the cars you probably will be required to do maintenance works such as oil change and tire mounting. For this
purpose, a good oil filter wrench is a must. Since oil filters usually become coated with grease and
grime, it can be difficult to remove them without an oil filter wrench. They usually come
in three types: chain loop oil filter wrench, metal band oil filter wrench and claw oil filter wrench.
Lug loosening Impact wrench
These are fundamentally important tools that should be present in the toolbox of
every mechanic. They are used for loosening lug nuts from trucks and cars.
Moreover, impact drivers can also be used in any high torque situation. Impact wrenches are often
confused with impact drivers. Impact wrenches are capable of accommodating ½-inch sockets of many
different sizes whereas impact drivers usually have a ¼-inch hex opening. The massive torque that
impact wrenches offer comes from the rapid strong concussive blows delivered from a hammering
mechanism in the tool. A standard lug wrench is basically all that is needed to remove a tire.
Another tool that is of great use to a mechanic is a pry bar. Small pry bars can be used for several
purposes and help perform numerous tasks effortlessly. Usually pry bars are used to wheel caps, remove
calipers and driver drum brakes and shafts. They can also be very helpful when there is a need to pry or
break something in place. On the other hand, larger pry bars can be used to remove ball joints and
control arms. Large pry bars are usually more expensive as compared to small ones. The cheaper pry
bars also tend to bend easily, which makes them pretty useless. Hence, it is better to invest in a good
A funnel is a pipe or a tube that is narrow at the bottom and wide at the tool. It is used to guide oil and
other liquids down a small opening. Funnels are usually made of glass, plastic, aluminum or stainless
steel and are available in different shapes and sizes. However, for mechanics, it is important that they
own two funnels at the very least: one small and one long. Long funnels are used for filling transmission
fluid whereas the small funnels are used for an oil change. A funnel that has an opening that is as the same
size as most common engine oil fill plugs are the one that should be present in every mechanic’s toolkit.
Tire Pressure Gauge & Inflator
A tire pressure gauge and the inflator is used to measure the air pressure in tires and adjust the pressure to
the required level. Mechanics are often required to check tire pressure. A tire pressure gauge and
inflator come in handy at this point. Hence, it is important that every mechanic owns a reliable tire
pressure gauge and inflator to measure the air pressure in tires. They come in various shapes and forms.
Some are capable of checking pressure and inflating at the same time which makes the process quicker
whereas some are digital for a more precise application.
Hydraulic Floor Jack and Stand
Jack stands is a tool that is owned by every mechanic since it is not only useful but essential. There are a
number of reasons mechanics might have to lift a car while performing maintenance procedures. For
example, when changing a tire, mechanics might need the car to be lifted at least a couple of inches off
the ground, or for oil changes the car might be needed to be lifted at least a foot above the ground. Thisis when floor jacks and stands come into use. Floor jacks are used to lift the car up while maintenance is
performed, whereas jack stands are used to keep the vehicle propped up.
While working with car gear, there is a constant need to loosen bolts. Most bolts are usually seized or
tight due to corrosion. Loosening them might require a lot of time and hard work. Breaker bars are used
to loosen very tight bolts. The high amount of torque generated by this tool causes the fasteners and
bolts to come loose. Breaker bars are available in various lengths and drive sizes and it is a tool that is of
significant use for mechanics.
Working with cars requires the need for some kind of pliers. Pliers are available in different sizes and
forms and can be used for different purposes such as removing small electrical connectors, twisting
wires and cutting wires. The superior torque generated due to the cross braces of the pliers helps in
twisting and bending objects such as nails, wires, and sheet metal. Overall, pliers are of great use and
they make a lot of tasks easier.
The need for this one is quite obvious. Vehicle components often get stuck due to grease, dirt and rust
and most of the times it only takes a blow of a hammer to cause the ball joint or rotor to come off.
Hammers are of essential use when work is needed to be done on the brakes as things tend to get really
hard. Hammers are available in different sizes. A good hammer has a nice rubber handlebar that ensures a good grip, so it doesn’t slip out of the mechanic’s hand. A normally sized hammer works well for vehicles
like cars and small trucks whereas for larger industrial vehicles club hammers should be used.
A basic multimeter is a must have tool for a mechanic. It is an essential tool for troubleshooting and
electrical diagnosis. A multimeter is used to measure resistance, voltage, and amperage. While working
on cars it can be used to check fuses, car battery and car audio. There are many different types of multimeters and all of them come at different prices. Some are available at a cheap price whereas some are
Oil dripping pan
Another tool that is a must-have for mechanics is an oil dripping pan. An oil dripping pan comes into use
when changing any kind of oil. An oil dripping pan is essential for performing all kinds of oil-related
operations on cars in an environmentally friendly and clean way. The used oil can be collected in the oil
dripping pan and it can be placed below the car if the car is dripping oil. It can be used to keep the
garage clean from any dangerous oil spills.
Electrical tape is used to insulate materials that generate electricity such as electrical wires. Electrical
tapes are made from many different plastics, but vinyl is the most popular one as it provides the most
long-lasting and effective insulation. While working on vehicles, there are several tasks that require them need for electrical tape. It comes into use while putting wires together, working on electronics such
as car stereo and other tasks that require wires to be insulated.
Molding Removal Tool Set
Molding removal tool set is very useful for working on vehicles and most of these toolsets are available
at cheap prices. A molding removal tool helps remove door panels without much effort and without
having to break the clips that hold the panel against the door. It can also be used while changing car
speakers, replacing a power window switch or solving AC problems. Molding removal tools are usually
made of plastic which helps prevent marring or scratching of moldings, trim, vehicle paint and alloy
OBD2 scanners are of great use to mechanics and should be available to every mechanic. OBD2 are used
to check why the ‘check engine’ light is flashing. OBD2 scanners make inspecting the problem in the car
engine much easier and quicker by running diagnostic tests. OBD2 scanners are available in different
models each of which offers different features. Some OBD2 scanners allow only ‘read only’ option
whereas others allow the saving and transferring of results to a computer or a laptop. OBD2 scanners are
compatible with almost all of the vehicles that have been manufactured after 1996.
The need for a cordless drill for a mechanic can’t be stressed upon enough. A cordless drill is used to
drive fasteners and making round holes where needed. Cordless drills can also be used to drill our
broken rivets or bolts and remove screws from door panels and other parts of the vehicle. There are
different kinds of drills that offer different options in power, size, and speed. They must be bought
according to whatever function they have that the mechanic anticipates needing the most frequently.
The list of tools that a mechanic needs seem to never end. Since there are hundreds of repairs and tasks
that can be performed on cars and trucks, many tools are needed to perform different functions. The
tools mentioned above are the most basic must-have tools that every mechanic should have regardless
of whether he is a beginner or an experienced mechanic.