It goes without saying that mechanics have one of the most important jobs around. Without your expertise, traveling and transportation would be almost impossible.
As a mechanic, you need all sorts of tools to do your job each day. From wrenches to latex gloves, your job requires you to get dirty and fix any car problem that comes your way. No matter if you’re a novice or an experienced mechanic, here are 7 tools that you’ll want to have handy.
1. Impact Wrench
As a mechanic, a battery-powered impact wrench will come in handy, especially when you need to remove components from a car. You can use it to work under the hood or to take off tire lug nuts. These days you’ll find cordless impact wrenches that you can take anywhere. Headed to the junkyard? Be sure to have your impact wrench handy.
2. Floor Jack
Floor jacks are a must for automotive work in the car bay or at home. As a mechanic, you know that some of the toughest jobs require you to get underneath of the car. You’ll need a floor jack to:
- Drain and replace oil
- Remove a tire
- Get a good view of the undercarriage, tires, etc.
In stores, you’ll find all sorts of floor jacks, including jack stands, scissor jacks, and hydraulic jacks. As a mechanic, jack stands and a basic floor jack is likely all you need to get the job done. When purchasing a floor jack, quality matters. Remember, a jack is all that sits between you and an extremely heavy car. Go with a well-known brand and model.
3. Proper Lighting
Whether you’re getting under the hood or underneath of a car, proper lighting is a must. Having an under-hood light can make those difficult repairs a little easier. Find a light that rotates so that you can aim it in whatever direction you need. A light with a magnetic attachment also comes in handy. With magnets, you can clip the light to a piece of metal under the car. This means you don’t need to worry about positioning and adjusting the light.
Lighting is also a must during unexpected power outages. This way you can still get the job done, with or without power. For this purpose, look for a light that is battery or solar powered.
There’s nothing worse than having to lie on hard cold concrete when working underneath of a car. To protect your back, be sure to invest in a quality creeper. Most creepers are designed with wheels to allow you to easily move to best position yourself.
Other creepers are designed to function more like a rolling chair. These typically have magnetic compartments so that you can easily store the tools needed to get the job done.
5. A Socket Set
One of the most important tools for any mechanic is a quality socket set. While you could purchase sockets separately, a set offers all sorts of socket sizes as well as a durable carrying case. A standard set should come with a variety of metric sized sockets, including 3/8-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/2-inch sockets and drivers. Some kits come with socket extensions that make it easier to conquer tight situations.
6. A Vaporizer
Studies have found that 27% of mechanics are smokers. If you’re one of them, chances are you know all too well the dangers that smoking poses to your health as well as those around you. In the shop, smoking is more than a stress reliever. Smoke breaks allow you to connect and socialize with your fellow mechanics in between cars. But, if you want to socialize without the smells and dangers that cigarettes pose, consider adding a vaporizer to your toolkit.
Vaping is a popular smoking cessation tool. The right device combined with the best vape juice will end your cigarette cravings for good. Be sure to shop around to find the right flavor for you. Most brands offer menthol, tobacco, fruit, and other flavors.
And who knows, maybe your switch to vaping will encourage the other guys on your team to take the leap as well!
7. Ratchet Extender
Ratchet extenders are ideal for getting into those tight spaces. Ever faced the frustration of working in the engine compartment with a normal ratchet? With a ratchet extender, tight spaces are no match for you!
Ratchet extender tools help you conquer those unreachable bolts. Be sure the extender you purchase fits the ratchets you need to reach.
The key to being successful as a professional mechanic is to have all of the tools you need to make it through the day. From changing the oil to repairing a faulty transmission, your expertise is only as good at the tools available at your disposal. Be sure you have the 7 tools above to serve you and your customers well.