Over the years, my family tool box has grown from a fishing tackle box with a handful of tools to a decent collection, which has taken me a number of years to accumulate. Obviously, they are a prized possession to me as they are my lifeline as a car builder and you can never have too many tools since you never know which ones you’ll need from project to project. As I mentioned, this collection certainly didn’t grow overnight, but I understood the importance of being prepared for any build. Needless to say, I’ve taken every opportunity possible to increase my collection. Of course this has not been without sacrifice as we all know how expensive it is to set up our own garages. Many of us have learned the hard way that you get what you pay for when it comes to tools, but thankfully, a few manufacturers have stepped up with some items that posses more bang for our proverbial buck. These tools are not only effective; they are actually affordable, too.
My experience over the years has taught me that there are some tools that are a must for any garage; tools we just can’t live without. Tools for guys are akin to shoes for women; you can never have enough! All jokes aside, there are tools for different scenarios which can make the job easier, and sometimes in the middle of the job, you realize that there is a tool you wish you had.
That’s where today’s article comes into play, and it features most of these tools we have used in our previous tech applications. We felt it was only right to show them to you as well, so you can minimize your building headaches. We’ve used some of these tools so much that we realize that we can no longer do any jobs without them! Follow along, as we shed some light on a few key tools that you might have to add to your collection.
2. Rockwell Jawhorse. This has been one of the coolest workbenches for me, as I have found several uses for it. It is the perfect height to assemble hydraulic pumps, and with the rubber padding, it is perfect to tear down or assemble parts without marring or scaring the pieces.
3. Eastwood’s Buffing Machine will allow you to buff like a pro at the convenience of your garage. Pro-quality 1-HP Buff Motor has dual speeds, perfect for buffing different metals and plastics. This is perfect for light duty buffing or touch up work.
4. Classic Tube hydraulic flaring tube kit will let you flare like a professional, allowing you to create everything from double flare brake lines to half-inch tubing for the serious hydraulic enthusiast.
5. Eastwood magnets and welding pliers are a must when welding and fabricating. The magnets will keep your parts in place when tacking pieces together, and the welding pliers are perfect to clean up the welding gun tip.
6. The Filler Detective is a perfect tool when you are buying a project car because it will find hidden body damage and body filler on a car, truck, or motorcycle. We have tested the Filler Detective on all kinds of body fillers, and it will always find the filler.
7. Snap-on adjustable LED flashlight. This product has been essential to us, as we have used it under dashes and in hard to reach areas where conventional lights will not fit. This is definitely “a must have” in the tool arsenal.
8. Proform parts carries several tools in their catalog, but the one that I have used the most is their harmonic balancer puller/installer, as it will pull an install without causing any damage. When you have a chromed or painted harmonic balancer, the right tool will let it go on with out any difficulties or problems.
9. Miller Electric introduced this Custom 64 helmet, which was perfect for the above average welder in medium duty scenarios. This helmet has come in handy while welding up battery racks or while working on light welding projects.
10. Harbor Freights Pittsburgh tools division has a complete socket kit at a third of the price from other manufacturers. With quality and an affordable ticket, this socket set has paid itself off ten fold as they have gotten us out of numerous jams. This set of ratchet and sockets and is a guaranteed find in my to-go box whenever we head out for a road trip.
11. Harbor Freights Torque wrench will let you dial in on what you are working with using the utmost precision. For the enthusiast/hobbyist this torque wrench will do the same as some others on the market for a fraction of the cost.
12. Actron’s PocketScan Plus scanner is great for vehicles equipped with ODB2 outlets. With cars receiving modern engine transplants, this is a must to find and help diagnose the vehicle. DTC’s (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) and descriptions are just a fraction of the tasks it can handle. The PocketScan Plus also provides Freeze Frame data, VIN info and performs the important task of (I/M) Inspection maintenance-readiness testing by displaying the I/M readiness monitor status. Great for use before and after repairs are made. The small size makes it perfect for easy storage and use.
13. Miller Welding Arc Station is perfect for light projects and with built-in wheels and collapsible legs, it’s easy to move around or just store out of the way once you are finished working on projects. The table comes with two clamps that can be used to hold down anything you are working on.
14. Lincoln Electric’s Medium duty Auto darkening helmets are perfect for the DIY guy as they allow you to see when starting to weld or tack and darken up automatically when you start to weld. For a moderate price this limited edition helmet stands far from the rest.
15. SSBC pressure gauges take care of our your worries if your brakes are locking up or if you do not have enough brake pedal length; SBBC has developed pressure gauges that screw into your bleeder plug to help diagnose the problem. This tool will help eliminate the problem as you continue with your bake build.