Every car nut dreams of having the perfect garage — but what would you put in it?
Here are 10 automotive tools that will make your friends green with envy.
A pneumatic impact wrench makes short work of difficult bolts — and it sounds incredibly cool. An air compressor opens up the world of pneumatic tools, and a source of shop air has other uses such as blowing away dust and powering paint spray guns. Automotive compressors (and the air tools they drive) are actually quite reasonably priced, so this is an easy addition to your garage.
Find your air compressor for sale here.
We’ve all had the experience of a screw that is just out of reach. Who knew there was such an easy solution? Imagine the reaction when one of your buddies complains and you whip this nifty little gadget out of your portable toolbox.
Find your flexible screw driver for sale here.
No matter how much you love wrenching on cars, crawling around underneath one is no fun — that’s why professional mechanics use lifts. So how much does it cost to get your car high enough to stand underneath it? A lot less than you might think. Install one of these two-post lifts in your own garage, and you’ll have a line of friends stretching around the block asking to use it.
Find your car lift for sale here.
Stripped Screw and Bolt Remover
Once a screwhead gets stripped or a bolt goes round, it’s usually lights out for the backyard mechanic (and possibly for the part they are working on) — but not if you have a set of these! Stripped screw and bolt removers are designed to dig into the offending fastener and get a purchase so that you can remove it with a wrench. They are must-have tools that your buddies will always want to borrow.
Shop for a stripped screw and bolt remover here.
The only thing worse than having a rounded-off bolt is having it break off, and many mechanics think that one that happens, the part is ruined. Not so: A bolt extractor set allows you to remove broken bolts and save your parts — and often without the need to tap a new set of threads. Buy one of these and when a friend complains about a broken bolt, you can save the day.
Shop for a bolt extractor here.
There are plenty of good uses for an inspection camera, from getting a peek deep into the bowels of your engine to simply scoping out a difficult-to-see bolt. Traditionally, these are pretty expensive pieces of kit, but nowadays you can buy inexpensive units that use your smartphone as a monitor. When a friend complains about a part of the engine he can’t get eyes on, you’ll be ready to save the day.
Shop for an inspection camera here.
One thing that automakers have that most casual mechanics don’t: Big machines to press metal parts together (or take them apart). An arbor press saves you the trouble of hauling parts out to a local shop to have them taken apart or put back together. Arbor presses are bulky, but not outrageously expensive. Expect to become more popular once your friends know you have one.
Find your arbor press for sale here.
For the casual mechanic, removing an engine may only be a once-in-a-lifetime experience — but it’s cool to know you can do it whenever you or one of your friends needs to. And with some repairs, it may be worth the effort to pull the engine just to save yourself the backaches and busted knuckles that come with trying to work in tight spaces.
Shop for an engine hoist for sale here.
Most parts look pretty ratty when they come off your car. Wouldn’t it be nice to put a nice, shiny, new-looking part back on? That’s what an abrasive blaster does: It lets you quickly remove years of rust, grime and scale and bring a like-new finish to old parts, so they’ll look great when they go back on the car.
Shop for a blaster cabinet here.
3D Scanner and Printer
If you or someone you know has a very old or very obscure car, finding replacement parts can be a real nightmare — and that’s where a 3D scanner and printer can come in. Scan the old part to make a 3D model, then use your printer to make a plastic mock-up. Test the fit, modify it as needed, and when you get the part just right, take it to a machine shop to have it reproduced in metal.
Shop for a 3D printer here.
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