Skip to main content

There are few things in this world that are more satisfying than DIY car repair. You save money, you gain experience, and you get the pleasant satisfaction of knowing that your car is working properly because of something you did. It’s not for everyone, sure. However, if you’re a DIY mechanic, there are certain tools that should undoubtedly be in your collection. Here are five awesome tools you should definitely have in your toolbox to help with DIY auto repair!

Floor jack and jack stands

Valvoline released a top 10 list of the most important tools for a home mechanic to have. However, while its recommendations are great, we’ve narrowed it down to five of the most important tools a DIY mechanic should have on hand.

First and foremost is a quality hydraulic floor jack and jack stands.

Obviously, if you have the space and funding for a two or four-post lift, you should go that route. However, for most of us, a hydraulic jack is the limit of our financial situation. That being said, purchasing a good quality hydraulic floor jack can make a world of difference.

Whether or not you have a good jack, though, it’s absolutely imperative that you have a good set of jack stands. Cars falling off a jack can easily kill you, and having them properly supported even for the most basic jobs is not just important; it’s a requirement. So, consider it as such.

Torque Wrench

A shot of a NASCAR Cup Series torque wrench during a test run at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
A NASCAR Cup Series torque wrench | Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

As much as many DIY mechanic enthusiasts don’t want to hear it, torque specs exist for a reason.

Having a well-calibrated and good-quality torque wrench on hand can be invaluable. Cheaper ones are available and generally work fine. However, having a single torque wrench with a broad range of torque figures can make any job a breeze.

Rotary tool and accessory set

The number of times a small cutoff wheel, die grinder bit, or sanding drum could solve a DIY mechanic issue is a monumentally uncountable number. So, the best solution to any of these situations is found in a rotary tool.

Rotary tools, often referred to by their “band-aid term,” Dremels, are small handheld tools that spin at very high RPM and have a number of bits and attachments. The most popular examples are Dremel brand models, so the name became a bit of a catch-all for the tools, no matter the manufacturer.

With a rotary tool, cordless options are available and do a great job, but the consistent power supply of a wired model is extremely convenient.

Brushless drill and high-quality bits

There are few things worse than attempting to drill through something and taking far longer than you anticipated.

Having a powerful brushless drill with a set of sharp and strong, high-quality drill bits eliminates these scenarios. If you’ve never used a proper bit and a high-power drill, you’ll be amazed at how fast they go through things.

If you do a lot of fabrication as a DIY mechanic and find yourself drilling holes frequently, this is a must-have. Additionally, for anyone that likes DIY projects of just about any type, a good quality drill is extremely beneficial.

Impact gun

Whether it’s pneumatic or electric, a high-torque impact gun can be a lifesaver.

With lithium-ion battery technology and brushless motors, pneumatic impact guns are almost not worth the hassle. However, no matter which way you slice it, an impact gun can save hours of frustrating attempts to remove rusty bolts and nuts. The very first time you blast off a nut you couldn’t even budge by hand, the investment immediately becomes worth it.

If you’re looking only to buy one impact gun, a half-inch drive model is undoubtedly the smartest play. Then, adding a set of impact adapters to the arsenal means you’re ready to use that impact gun on just about anything.

Add these tools to the collection, and you’ll be taking care of business!

As much fun as it is to work on a car, running into small tasks that should be quick and easy and wind up being a massive time-waster can get remarkably frustrating.

Having the right tools for the job is something that there’s no workaround for. You can fake it until you make it, but investing in these proper tools to make your DIY mechanic projects a lot smoother and easier is something well worth considering.


Tire Lifespan Tips: How to Make Summer Tires Last Over Two Years