Must have Tools for Garage

Every time when your vehicle needs maintenance, you have to dedicate some time in the garage to deal with that. To perform this maintenance process there are some hardware as well as basic instrument every garage need to have.

No matter you are an apprentice or veteran, to conduct the work correctly, you require the appropriate tools. Having the right tools for the task makes the work easy as well as enjoyable.

But knowing the right tool can feel you confusing. So, we’re here to help you! Below is a list of must have tools for garage we’re come with for any mechanic who wants to work from basic to more unique.

List of 20 Essential Tools for Garage Workshop

1. Workbench

A workbench is a piece of great equipment to offer you a suitable space to work in your garage. Ideally, you need a table that is more durable than an office desk or dining table so that it won’t move while you work. Typically, garage workbenches are bought or built. The design of a workbench is very simple. If you want to make it more presentable, you need to build your workbench. Using two sawhorses workbench design is ready but you can add shelves or drawers underneath, to make it more comfortable. Plus, add a pegboard behind the bench so that you can find the most used hand tools within the arms reach.

2. Proper Lighting

If you have ever fumbled around in darkness or worse shadow–trying to reach your desired tool, you know how important proper light is to get success in a mechanical proceeding. Inadequate lighting can hurt your eyes, damage the quality of your work, and can drive to make mistakes. A general ceiling lighting for the garage is not enough. Install lights where you need the most like above the workbench. Portable lights are great for illuminating areas, and they come in different sizes and shapes. You can use portable garage lights under your cars which are also great as well.

Proper lighting doesn't mean just the brightness, the concept of well-lit means you need lots of clean light coming from several sources to prevent darkness. 

3. Fire Extinguisher

Your garage is a place that can surround by an electrical source like a battery, a considerable amount of explosive liquid like gasoline, some flammable equipment like shop rags, and no one knows what else that can burn. For the betterment of your garage, and of course for yourself have something that you can put onto the fire.

A fire extinguisher is a tool no one likes to use it, but it’s better to keep it in your garage.  That’s why “Better safe than sorry”– is the absolute correct phrase while it comes to fire extinguisher.

To consider the nature of a garage everyone should have the fire extinguisher which is useful with electrical and chemical fires.

4. First-Aid Kit

A first-aid kit is a generic must-have item on this list, yet an essential one. It’s quite impossible to foretell while an accident might occur. When working with powerful drilling machines and sharp-edges tools, might leads you to a terrible accident.

Before such a mishap occurs, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, do not let your honor get in the way and have a first-aid kit somewhere in the garage to deal with such unforeseen accidents. In the meantime, make sure that the first-aid kit has antiseptic wipers, bandage, and instant cold pack.

5. Hammer

After confirming proper lighting and security in the garage, now it’s time to talk about essential tools.

A great set of hammers is the fundamental thing to have in your garage. Probably, hammers are the most used and commonly owned tool of all time. It comes in different types and can be used for several tasks. Some useful hammers for your garage include claw, club, ball peen, rubber mallet, mechanics and brass hammer. However, hammering may seem barbaric, but important stuck rotor and other stuck up components.

Rubber Mallet: It works for a surface that requires beating but keeps the surface free of any scratch.

Different Function of Bars: Loosening the bolts without making any scratch need suitable torque. Usually, a newbie user can’t afford it.

Framing Hammer: Actually, it’s designed with stronger material but weight is quite light to create a minimal shock.

Ball Peen: Great for general issues and brake works.

6. Pliers Set

Pliers are particularly the most useful tool for changing horses. Meanwhile, for working with the obstinate electric components, pliers need to use the maximum output of the engine. Sometimes, pliers need to work for brake issues. The following list of pliers will allow you to get most of your jobs done.

Regular Pliers: Most commonly owned and used among the rest.

Long & Short Needle Nose: Both of these tools are used for most repair jobs. Demanding choice for professional users.

Vice Grip Pliers: While others love to work with nose pliers, this type is used more than regular pliers.

Out of Sight Pliers: This will enable you to mark the movement of your fingers.

7. Screwdrivers

Besides pliers or hammer, screwdrivers are one of the useful tools anyone can own. This tool is worked for many applications. However, they are great tools for a wide array of jobs, no matter you’re doing remodeling in the house or working on your vehicle.

A pile of brand options is available, but it’s recommended getting Allen-head. You could also get the Ball-head, or the Torx-head is worked fine too. Although you don’t need them regularly having a full set of a screwdriver is always a beneficial option for your garage.

Since there are different shapes, sizes, and types of screw heads, you’ll need more than one quality screwdriver set to handle most of the works. So, when you’re at the store, try to purchase a full set of screwdrivers with different blade tips and sizes. If you purchase it as a set it’ll less expensive than buying them individually.

8. Tool Chest

Can you imagine the frustration if you don’t find the right tool while you badly need it?

A more organized people might not face it, but for others, keeping tools in the right place is quite difficult because there’re just too many of them.

Having a tool chest might seem like a luxury, but you need to add a tool chest as part of your collection. Storing your collection of screws, bolts, and drivers in an easy to haul storage keeping tools handy and organize. At the same time, to avoid uncertain accidents, we require a tool chest. For these, a mechanic’s tool chest is a great option and comes with wheels so you can easily roll it around the garage floor.

Don’t think it’s an exaggeration, rather it truly better the organization system of your garage.

9. Cordless Impact Wrench

It’s no surprise that an impact wrench is on our list, we recommend the cordless one. This could be considered the most basic tool in your garage. An impact wrench is a socket wrench power tool designed to provide high torque power with minimal effort by the users. It makes getting your machine torn down as easy and quickly as possible.

Having this impact wrench is important for removing tight nuts and bolts from such places where that are prone to rust such as caliper bolts, boll joints, etc. However, this tool is less expensive and useful in the cordless tool industry.

10. Cordless Impact Driver

Do you ever find yourself struggling with changing tires on your car or dealing with stubborn nuts or bolts? This problem could end up being one of the most versatile tools in your workshop and that is a cordless impact driver. It’s a great addition to any toolbox and can speed up any maintenance jobs you’re working on.

Both impact wrench and driver comes in a similar design so you can call it a baby brother of an impact wrench. The only difference is the impact driver designed for smaller and lighter tasks. It doesn’t come with chunk feature like usual drill driver have, instead they are attached with a hex bit sockets where different adapter types can be used. Generally, they’re suitable for medium to small size jobs and perfect for DIY tasks.

11. Socket Set

Having a socket set is beneficial and can consider being a lifetime investment. A general socket set contains detachable sockets with a few extensions and a ratchet. Some may include screwdriver with interchangeable screw bits. Make sure you pick a complete set of sockets depending on what you want to use it for meanwhile what tools you already have.

It’s better to advise you to go for mid-priced with the best quality product so that you won’t face any inconvenience in the middle of the work.

12. Torque Wrench

Most often underutilize and overlook tool is torque wrench. But the reality is every bolts and nut you install in your vehicle should be properly tightened.

A torque wrench is essential to be capable to tighten cylinder head studs to a specific torque. Whenever you guess and getting the wrong torque, it may cause various serious problems along with head gasket leak. Do not guess. Tight the bolts in the right way with a torque wrench.

A most common torque wrench is click type and it emits an audible click while it reaches the desired torque. On the contrary, beam types aren’t easy to use but quite affordable in price. The new version of torque wrench is the digital one, with a wide display it’s hard to beat. However, any type you get, it becomes your darling torque wrench.

13. Code reader

Due to the inclusion of various electric items in your vehicles, the necessity of code reader has raised exponentially. It can either be too expensive or affordable, but it’s needed.

A code reader will allow you to connect it to your vehicle’s diagnostic port under the dash to communicate with the vehicle’s computer. From fouled injectors to misfires, loose gas caps and bad sensors–everything can be detected about a minute.

Depends on your vehicle, you will choose the code reader type. Newer tech vehicles with modern OBD systems may need an advance reader. Even there are some readers made for a specific manufacturer like the Mercedes or BMW etc.

14. Air Compressor

Maybe you’re thinking that is an air compressor important for a garage? We understand your concern and you’ll surprise to know that what exactly jobs the compressor is capable to help you.

An air compressor can be used for various purposes and handy for a garage. Setting this system can empower you to perform heavy-duty tasks in minimal effort, meanwhile maximizing the outputs of the task. When buying an air compressor, make sure it delivers 90psi of pressure.

If you treat it in a good manner, it becomes a one-off investment. Get the best air compressor for the money you have and then gradually rich your air-powered tool collections.

15. Floor Jack & Jack Stands

Working under the vehicle in your garage or your home is a difficult job. To make your job easier, certainly, need a floor jack and jack stands to lift-up your car.

Jack stands are durable and small that fit underbelly of your vehicle while it popped up by a jack. Even though they are adjustable, they don’t have any technical system for lifting the vehicle. Using a jack to get the vehicle in the air and then keep jack stands underneath to keep it from falling.

Usually, jack stands sold in pairs. Generally, 2 should be enough for most repair tasks. However, if you want to raise your entire vehicle from the ground you will need 4. Just one thing make sure buying jack and jack stands that it can hold the weight of your vehicle.

16. Lift

No matter how much you passionate about your car, going under the belly of your can are no fun– this is why professional mechanics use lift. For such reason, it’s an ultimate necessity for any garage enthusiast. It’s not only easier your work system, but also you’ll be able to work on a more intricate level while you have installed lifts on your garage. In the first view, it does not seem you worth the money, but for those who want to enjoy working on cars in their free time or upgrade their garage equipment, this addition is fully worthy.

When purchasing a lift, remember one thing that it can handle the weight of your car. Also, remember that your garage has a suitable clearance to lift the car.

17. Ratchet

A good ratchet is the backbone of a garage toolbox. Having a socket on one end for one-way turning, this tool also called socket wrenches. They will allow you to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts the simplest way. Also, allow you to deliver torque at awaked positions and in tight spaces such as underneath your car.

Ratchets have 3 different sizes:

  • Small: ¼ inch
  • Medium: 3/8 inch
  • Large: ½ inch

All three sizes you can find in most sets. Some sets come with wrenches and ratchets. Make sure you get the large and small ratchet set with the basic one because those tools you’ll need the most.

In terms of the socket, you should have wrenched from 6mm through 24mm. You can also include a 32mm socket in your collection.

18. Shop-vac and cleaning supplies

Finally, completing your garage work, it can be really dirty and messy. And of course, you don’t want to leave it in such a way. So, you need a shop vacuum and proper cleaning supplies to clean your garage and arrange all tools and accessories.

A regular household vacuum may not handle all the dust, so you need a heavy-duty cleaner- a shop vacuum. Most shop vacuums can suck large pieces of wood chips and handle wet messes. Plus, don’t forget to keep other cleaning supplies like mop, broom, and dustpan, etc. 

19. Wire Strippers

Professional electricians need this tool to expose the copper coating on wires so that they can customize the connections with other components. You’ll find various pliers designed to cut and strip wires. But this specific tool has come with a unique design of cutting edge with a circular shape which allows you to pull off the wire’s insulation to expose the bare wire. Most wire strippers are designed to cut the wire completely.

Performing any electrical repair and maintenance task wire strippers is useful. Electrical work on vehicles includes adding a backup camera, replacing brake lights, and other normal maintenance.

20. Extension Cords and Power Strips

If you use lots of power tools in your garage, then such extension cords and power strips can easier your work process. Especially, it’s great to place 6-10 power outlet strips behind the wall of your workbench. In this way, you can easily change the power plug of your desire tool.

Final Thoughts

Above mention, the list of essential tools can serve your every simple to difficult work in your garage. But don’t worry; you don’t require purchasing every single tool right now. Start from the simple set of screwdrivers, wrenches, and other hand tools.

Yes, there are many more tools you need in the future to make your garage work successful. You can build your tool collection over time by purchasing tools as necessary.

Fred Adams
the authorFred Adams


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