5 Affordable Tools No DIY Mechanic Should Be Without


As you dig deeper and deeper into automotive DIY you quickly realize why a professional mechanic’s tool set is as extensive as it is. You can get by with the basics, but if you want to be efficient (and not cursing every automotive engineer on the planet) there are a lot of handy tools out there that make life easier without breaking the bank.

Grabber Tools


There was a time when you could look down under the hood and see the pavement beneath the car, but today most engine compartments are tightly packed, so much so that anything you drop is unlikely to come out the bottom. That’s where your parts picker comes in. We recommend getting two: A magnetic one for easy pick-up of metal parts and a spring-loaded claw-type picker for stuff the magnet won’t get. Even when fitted with an LED light, these things won’t cost you more than around $12.

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Telescoping Inspection Mirrors

Inspection mirror

There is a law governing auto repair stating that at least one bolt in every job will be hiding some place where you can’t see it. That’s exactly where the inspection mirror comes in handy. This cheap gadget will let you eyeball the location of impossible-to-see parts and help you position your wrench.

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Flex-head Ratchets

Tekton flex head ratchet