Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

Last update: Aug 2, 2020

Every car deserves a good care, and every garage deserves good tools and supplies for taking care of your car. Especially, if you plan on working on your car at home, here's everything you'll need to get started. Moreover, not only for garage you can use them for non-automotive projects such as home repair, home improvement.

1. Tool cabinet

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

A tool cabinet is more than just a place you can store your tools. It’s an important part of a garage owner no matter what level of proficiency. In other words, a decent tool chest is an absolute must, a best tool chest is not only keeping them from getting damaged but also allows you to organize it base on your works, make your tasks quicker and more efficient.

Things you should consider before choosing the right tool organizer are

  • Storage Capacity and drawers: think about not only how many tools your currently have, but also how many that you think you're likely to own in future, as they will also eventually need a home within your cabinet.
  • Durability: be careful about the material that has been used, a tool cabinet is an investment, one that should not be taken lightly.
  • Lock: make sure that your tool chest have a well-designed lock system to secure your tools.

2. Air Compressor and Air tools

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

It is interesting how few people think that an air compressor is a must have, but once you have one around you will wonder how you functioned without it. It will power some tools (pneumatic), inflate all tires, clean your bench in seconds, and allow you to use specialized tools like airbrushes for painting or staining.

One word of advice with air compressors is to buy more power than you believe you’ll need. The more pressure your machine can create, the more you can do with it.

  • Air hammer: also known as an Air Chisel, is a pneumatic hand tool used to carve in stone, and to break or cut metal objects apart. It is designed to accept different tools depending on the required function.
  • Air ratchet: Not everyone really needs an air ratchet. Air ratchets are tools that speed up shop output. With some cars, you’ll be under there for a long time manually cranking on a conventional ratchet (even longer with an open end wrench) because of all the threads. An air ratchet makes that tedious job easier, speeding it up which allows more time to invest in more intricate work.
  • Air impact wrench: An impact wrench is a power tool used for loosening or tightening lug nuts, large bolts, and frozen or rusted fasteners. They provide a very high rotational torque that a regular power driver cannot provide.
  • Air die grinder: also known as Pneumatic Die Grinder, is a small, one-handed power compressed air tool that has a rotating spindle and a collet holds the die grinder bits with high-speed rotation; Air die grinders can do many different tasks, mainly used for polishing, sharpening, cutting or grinding various materials, even with the sensitive materials like plastic, wood, crystal, …
  • Air sander: Like other sanders, air sanders are also used on large, flat surfaces, and it can quickly and efficiently finish wooden or metal cabinets or tables.
  • Air tool holder: Grab your air tools and make it organized by an air tool holder.

3. Impact wrench

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

An impact wrench is a power tool used for loosening or tightening lug nuts, large bolts, and frozen or rusted fasteners. They provide a very high rotational torque that a regular power driver cannot provide.

Impact wrenches are widely used in automotive industries. The most common use that we all come across is the removal lug nuts when we change the car tires. It is a must have power tool for all the garage and automotive body shops. Other uses of impact wrench include assembly of automobiles, heavy equipment assembly, and maintenance, large construction projects etc.

There are 3 common types

  • Corded Impact wrench: Electric impact wrenches that you need to plug into the electricity socket to power them up. An electric motor fitted in the rear end of the tool drives the hammer units which transfers its motion to the output shaft.
  • Cordless Impact wrench: A battery powered impact wrench has one unique advantage over the other types. It is highly portable. The cordless design also enables it to be used in tight work-spaces where a corded or air pipe can be a hindrance.However, the rechargeable batteries in a cordless impact wrench can get drained pretty quickly especially if you use it continuously on stubborn nuts and bolts.
  • Air impact wrench: Pneumatic or air impact wrenches are widely used in automobile repair shops, automotive assembly lines, heavy equipment manufacturing etc. They have some distinct advantages when compared to electric wrenches. But the biggest advantage is that unlike its counterpart the air impact wrench won’t get heated. Any heat generated by the rotating elements inside the impact gun is cooled by the circulating compressed air. This makes the air impact wrench ideal for assembly lines since it can be used for long working hours continuously without worrying about overheating.

4. Workbench Vise

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

A bench vice is designed to hold work securely while it is being filed or drilled. The screw is fixed on at least one end and the jaws are mounted on sliding ways that can be damaged from hammering or racking. High end bench vises are frequently made of ductile steel, while lower quality models are made of cast iron.

Bench vises are often made of iron and feature replaceable steel top jaws, as well as pipe jaws. Many also feature a 360-degree swivel and a built-in anvil. Jaw faces can be switched between serrated and smooth sides, depending on the given application.

5. Jack

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

It would be easy to walk into an auto shop to buy a jack, however, having prior knowledge and conducting research might take some time but it will improve your chances of getting a high quality jack suited for your vehicle and needs.

There are 3 common types of jacks:

  • Scissor Jacks: Scissor jacks have a unique mechanism. The jack has a lead screw which compresses the scissor mechanism leading to lifting. It is the most convenient when it comes to portability but Unfortunately, scissor jacks are limited in their height capacity which makes them unsuitable for use in tasks that are more complex than changing tires.
  • Hydraulic Jacks: Hydraulic jacks have the highest capacity when it comes to lifting vehicles. The jack comprises of a cylinder mechanism that sits on four wheels. These jacks can support a lot of weight which comes in handy when you want to lift trucks and other heavy vehicles. The only problem with these jacks is that they are not easily portable due to their weight. They are therefore best used in garages or at home.
  • Bottle or Piston Jacks: Bottle jacks are also known as piston jacks. They work similar to the hydraulic jack in that they also employ a hydraulic mechanism. However, it looks different as concentric cylinders and high. This means that they cannot be used for sports cars or other low cars. They support a lot of weight and can lift to significant height which makes them perfect for lifting trucks and heavy duty vehicles.

6. Ratchets and Sockets

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

A socket wrench is a type of wrench (spanner in British English) that inserts into a socket to turn a fastener, typically in the form of a nut or bolt

The most prevalent form is the ratcheting socket wrench, often informally called a ratchet. A ratchet incorporates a reversible ratcheting mechanism which allows the user to pivot the tool back and forth to turn its socket instead of removing and repositioning a wrench to do so.

The ratchet and sockets are the most frequently used tools. The ratchet can be set to tighten (clockwise), or loosen (counter-clockwise) by using the selector knob on the backside of the ratchet. Ratchets have many advantages including the ability to be used in tight places, as well as being able to loosen bolts at very high torque, and re-tighten them to the same torque.

As well, the variety of combinations and adaptability, makes the ratchet and socket very useful tools. The magnitude of maximum torque varies with the size of the ratchet.

7. Multi-meter

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

Most electrical technicians already know the importance and benefits of having a multimeter in their tool cabinet. Multimeters save a lot of time by accurately detecting electrical faults.

There are 2 basic types.

  • Digital: the most used multimeter is a digital multimeter (DMM). The DMM performs all functions from AC to DC other than analog. It has two probes positive and negative indicated with black and red color is shown in the figure.
  • Analogue: The Analog Multimeter or VOM (Volt-Ohm-Milliammeter) is constructed using a moving coil meter and a pointer to indicate the reading on the scale. The moving coil meter consists of a coil wound around a drum placed between two permanent magnets. Advantages of an Analog Multimeter are that it is inexpensive, doesn’t require a battery, can measure fluctuations in the readings.The two main factors affecting the measurement are sensitivity and accuracy. Sensitivity refers to the reciprocal of the full-scale deflection current and is measured in ohms per volt.

8. Tire Pressure Gauges

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

There are three types of tire-pressure gauges: stick, digital, and dial.

  • Stick-Type: Stick-type gauge is resemble a ballpoint pen, are simple, compact, and affordable, but they are a little harder to interpret than most digital gauges.
  • Digital: Digital gauges have an electronic LCD display, like a pocket calculator, making them easier to read. They're also more resistant to damage from dust and dirt. However, digital gauges are a little bulkier than stick gauges and they require batteries.
  • Dial: Dial gauges have an analog dial, resembling a clock face, with a simple needle to indicate the pressure. Some dial gauges have more features than pocket-sized gauges--including an extension hose, bleeder valve, dual-scale dial, and shock-resistant dial cover. Most dial gauges are easy to read, but models with an extension hose take two hands to operate.

9. Fire extinguisher

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The GarageBetter safe than sorry!

A fire can cause devastating damage to a building and, worst case scenario, can cause injury and even death. Fire Safety is of the utmost importance in any building. As a business owner, you’re responsible for ensuring that your workplace meets all required health and safety standards.

A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached the ceiling, endangers the user (i.e., no escape route, smoke, explosion hazard, etc.).

Every household extinguisher is labeled A, B, or C, which tells you the types of fires the extinguisher is effective against. A is ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth; B is flammable liquids, such as gasoline or cooking oil; and C is live electricity.

Fire extinguishers require regular inspection to make sure they’re ready for use. There should be an instructions tag on your extinguisher telling you how to inspect the unit. You should also check the pressure gauge once a month to make sure it’s within the correct range and examine the hoses and nozzles for physical damage.

10. Other common Hand Tools

Top 10 Must Have Tools For The Garage

  • Tape measure
  • Ratchet extender
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer(s)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hex keys
  • Wrenches (crescent and socket)
  • Saw(s)
  • Pliers (needle nose and vice grip)
  • Level
  • Vise Grips
  • Screwdrivers
  • Gloves
  • Magnetic Bolt Tray

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter whether you work on your own vehicle in your garage or you’re a professional auto mechanic, these must have tools are what you need.

Your tools matter on your performance in auto servicing and maintenance. If you don’t have the proper workshop tools in your garage, there will be some inconvenience or even problems. You can’t finish the task within the given time, or if you can, the performance will be poor.

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