What are auto mechanics without their tools? Well, we would still be auto mechanics but not the most skilled ones. Because to perfect a skill, you need the right tools and equipment. Without them, it becomes impossible to do things right.
In auto mechanic work, there are hundreds of tools that we need for our daily work. Some of them are pretty basic that any beginner can handle. And then some tools require better skills to understand and operate.
That is what I’ll be discussing today. Of all the mechanical tools available, I’ve picked the essential ones and made today’s auto mechanic tools and equipment list. Each of these tools is used for different purposes, yet they are all equally important.
Mastering Auto Repairs: Must-Have Tools & Equipment List
All the tools and equipment I’ve mentioned in this article are divided into four categories.
- Protective equipment
Basic tools and equipment are the must-have ones that you need as a starter. Once you learn that step, you can move to the intermediate.
Then you move to the advanced level, where you use more complex tools and equipment. And you will also need protective gear to avoid any work hazard.
Here, I’ll also be recommending products from each category. So feel free to take a look.
Basic Automotive Tools And Equipment List
These tools are the ones you need at the first stage. However, they are also essential tools. It means you can handle work with these without being the most skilled mechanic. Usually, the basic tools are used for DIY and minor fixings.
1. Wrench Set
You can hardly think of doing an automobile job without a wrench. Some bolts and nuts need tightening and loosening. That is why wrenches are one of the essential tools for an auto mechanic. However, many mechanics often make mistakes in choosing the right size or material wrench.
You need to buy a wrench set that comes in various sizes. Not only do they allow you to find the right size when required, but they also make your job less time-consuming and more efficient. In addition, some of the wrench sets come with sockets, which can be variable sizes like the wrench set.
As for materials, always aim to purchase the ones with high-quality materials. For example, you can go for chrome-vanadium alloy wrenches. They are solid and durable.
Our Recommended Wrench Set:
The GEARWRENCH 13-piece Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set is a game-changer. This set has wrenches with sockets of various sizes that offer a 5-inch ratcheting arc. With the end heads, you can reach areas that are tough to gain access to. They are made of polished alloy steel, which makes them durable enough for a lifetime.
2. Screwdriver Set
Who doesn’t know what a screwdriver is? It is the kind of tool that you use whether you are an auto mechanic or not. This tool comes in handy for any small to big projects in our day-to-day life. So, it is a must-have tool whether you have a toolset at home or in your automobile repair shop.
While repairing an automobile, you will find different types and sizes of screws here and there. So, one size will not fit all screws you come across. And even if you get to loosen them, tightening them will become an issue.
The screwdriver heads have types as well. You will find Allen head, Flathead, Phillip head, and Torx head screwdrivers. That’s why buying a set, instead of buying one or two, gives you advantages. An advantage of purchasing a set is that it comes in various handle sizes, which provides you with a better grip if needed.
Our Recommended Screwdriver Set:
The GEARWRENCH 20-piece Phillips/Slotted/Torx Screwdriver Set with dual-material handles is reliable, and ergonomic, and comes with many screwdriver head options. The best part is that they are magnetized screwdrivers. It means you can work on the screws even if they are at an odd angle.
I know a hammer seems like an inappropriate or unnecessary tool for an auto repair shop. But take my word, it isn’t just for carpentry or nailing your favorite painting on the wall. A hammer can be a multipurpose tool, especially for an auto mechanic.
As an auto mechanic, one of the common issues one faces is stubborn grease, rust, or dirt blocking different parts. Using a hammer, you can knock out those components without wasting much of your time. Besides, hammers are often helpful in removing nail heads.
You can get a club hammer, claw hammer, or ball-peen hammer, depending on the vehicle. It is advisable to get the ones that come with rubber handles. They give you a more comfortable grip and will not slip away unexpectedly.
Our Recommended Hammer
The IRWIN 1954889 Fiberglass Hammer is a reliable tool when it comes to any primary or pro work. The fiberglass body and steelhead are suitable for handling force without creating any shock. The handle is also comfortable and provides a firm grip.
4. Pliers Set
Pliers are also essential auto mechanic tools. They are helpful, especially the long-nosed ones when it comes to repairing brakes. It is also an important tool when removing, cutting, or bending wires, or any other connectors.
If you invest a little more than usual, there are some excellent quality pliers available. Of course, there are varieties in pliers’ shapes and sizes too. But it is wiser to purchase a set rather than going through them aimlessly and ending up spending more money than necessary.
Our Recommended Pliers Set
The IRWIN VISE-GRIP GrooveLock 8-Piece Pliers Set is popular among starters and pro auto mechanics. This comes with all types of pliers you will need for any repair work. The best part is these pliers come with a lifetime guarantee. So, stay prepared to pass them on to your grandkids someday.
5. Oil Filter Wrench
Whether you are a starter or a pro auto mechanic, oil filter changing will be a regular part of your job. You can’t do it with your hands unless you are the Hulk. But, even a superhero like Hulk may end up damaging the filter if he doesn’t use an oil filter wrench.
Oil filters can become sticky over time. So, to move the oil filter and remove it smoothly requires a robust tool. An oil filter wrench can do that smoothly. However, the wrench has to be a fit for your vehicle to ensure easy removal.
Our Recommended Oil Filter Wrench
We recommend the Channellock 209 9-inch Oil Filter & PVC Pliers for efficient filter removal. It is a pliers type, which helps get a better grip around the filter canister. It allows a 360° twist and turns to make the task quick.
If you are troubleshooting a car’s electrical parts, a multimeter is a must-have tool because it will save you from many troubles. This device allows you to measure voltage, amperage, electric flow, etc. It also helps you detect hot wires that might be hazardous.
So, if you don’t have a multimeter, finding what is causing electrical issues will become a challenging task. Of all the multimeters available, go for the ones that come with various functions and come with necessary tools.
Our Recommended Multimeter
When it comes to a pro-quality multimeter, you can have the AstroAI Digital Multimeter. It provides a more reliable amperage and voltage frequency and can handle the overload. You can even freeze the data using the data hold option.
Basic Auto Mechanic Tools for Beginners
Intermediate Auto Mechanic Tools And Equipment
The intermediate category is a mix of a few basic and upgraded tools. They are designed for more specific tasks and will require more skill to handle.
They are not commonly seen outside auto repair shops like the basic ones. However, you can always improvise regarding your work type.
7. Wrecking Bar
Finding stuck components or parts in cars is not an uncommon picture. They need a reliable tool to leverage them as weak or low-quality tools will tend to bend or break at one point. This is where wrecking bars step in to rescue.
Wrecking bars are long steel bars with two different types of heads. One is for pulling nails, and the other is chisel head to pry off things that need force. You can easily slide the chisel head side under whatever you need to remove and use pressure to loosen it.
This tool is usually steel-made, but it is not heavy. So, you will get flexibility while working with it. The chisel end needs to be sharp enough to slide or make cuts if needed.
Our Recommended Wrecking Bar
Considering working ease, budget, and durability, our recommendation is the TEKTON 3324 18-Inch Wrecking Bar. To ensure its strength, the manufacturer forged it from a hex bar stock. It has a durable enamel finish, which makes it rust and corrosion-resistant.
8. Pry Bar Set
You won’t need a long wrecking bar to leverage and remove things every time. However, sometimes those stuck lovebirds will need a slight jab to break apart. And you can do that with a pry bar. It looks exactly like a wrecking bar but a bit smaller.
Pry bars come in different sizes as well. If you are working on smaller stuck components or parts, you can pry it off with a small bar. This is why it is advisable to purchase a set instead of only one size. It will give you plenty of options to choose the one that will work better.
Our Recommended Pry Bar Set
You can buy the TEKTON Angled Tip Handled 3-Piece Pry Bar Set. The chisel will slide under anything smoothly, and the impact-resistant poly handle will provide a comfortable grip. The price is also affordable. So, you can get this set as an addition to your tool collection.
9. Car Creeper
Going under the car to fix things is a regular part of an automobile repair job. But lying flat on your back for a long time can give you severe back issues in the long run. Since you will be working under vehicles regularly, you will need a Z-creeper. It is a better option than using cardboard creepers, which are not durable and prone to breakage.
Z-creepers are named this way because of the way you fold and unfold them. You can use it as a chair and also rearrange it as a flat creep to lie on to slide under the car. They provide enough comfort when you work as long as you need. Besides, the wheels make it easier to slide in and out without hurting yourself.
Our Recommended Car Creeper
The Pro-LifT C-9100 Black 40″ Foldable Z-Creeper is one of the best choices for your back’s comfort. It is foldable and can be used as a chair and a slider. The padded seats are comfortable and can bear up to 450 pounds weight. Most importantly, it comes at an affordable budget.
10. LED Headlamp/Work Light
Using a creeper will help you get away from back issues. But what about your eyes? Looking at parts during the day will be just fine. But when you have to work at night, you will barely see anything without light.
And sometimes, even daylight doesn’t seem to be enough if you need to have a closer look at something. The LED headlamp is a better solution to this problem. You don’t even have to hold the light in your hand.
These headlamps come with straps to wrap around your head. Many of them have different light modes that allow you to change the settings depending on how you need them. Many of them even have rechargeable battery systems that provide extended service. And you get to have all this at a low price.
Our Recommended LED Headlamp
This auto mechanic tools and equipment list would be incomplete without the Elmchee 6 LED 8 Modes Rechargeable Headlamp. Nothing beats this headlamp as it possesses the best quality at a budget price. This waterproof headgear has 6 LED lights and 8 light modes and is suitable for any weather condition.
11. Brake Bleeder And Vacuum Pump
Brake bleeding is the procedure to remove air from the hydraulic brake system. If there is any air left inside, it will make the pedal spongy. So, if the automobile has such an issue, you will need to perform brake bleeding.
When bleeding the brake, going in and out of the car now and then can be frustrating. It is also going to take a lot of time to complete the procedure. So, the best thing to do is to use a brake bleeder that comes with a vacuum system. Also, the reservoir needs to be large enough to store all the fluids.
Our Recommended Brake Bleeder And Vacuum Pump
For this, the Capri Tools CP21029 Vacuum Brake Bleeder is suitable in every aspect. It is a bleeder that comes with a vacuum and fluid storage system. Its 40-inch silicone hose comes with a rubber adapter, and an integrated silencer ensures quiet work.
12. Torque Wrench
Ratchet wrenches are not capable of tightening nuts and bolts all the time. Sometimes you need a different and more adaptable option. A torque wrench looks similar to a ratchet, yet it is pretty different from that one. And these wrenches are designed mainly to tighten specific nuts and bolts.
Dealing with a torque wrench requires better skill, as you will be working on the vehicle engine or transmission gears. And since this tool is for tightening, you need to make sure it processes the best quality material. Since you will need it regularly, try to invest a little more in getting the best one.
Our Recommended Torque Wrench
The TEKTON 1/2 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench is one of the highest-selling torque wrenches. Not only is it user-friendly, but it is also known for its working techniques. The dual-range scale is easy to read, and the reversible head allows you to move it in both directions. Once the preset value reaches its destination, you will hear a click to know it’s time to work on it.
Advanced Auto Tools And Equipment List
The advanced level requires high-performing tools and equipment as this part of the job requires professional skill and work. So an advanced auto mechanic tools and equipment list should have the right tools for more specific jobs. And here are some of the must-haves that you need.
13. Air Compressor
Air compressors are commonly seen equipment in an auto repair shop. You may skip it as a beginner. But once you start taking up professional-level work, an air compressor becomes an essential tool and also something that saves a lot of your time and effort.
An air compressor helps accomplish multiple tasks, such as running a pneumatic impact wrench, adjusting tire pressure, and more. It may not be among the affordably priced tools and equipment, yet it is worth the money you spend after it. And, if you are spending more, make sure it is the best one.
When choosing an air compressor, always go for the lightweight and portable ones to make your work less time-consuming. Check if they are loud or noiseless and should possess excellent PSI and CFM ratings. Compressors with good capacity are likely to last a long time.
Our Recommended Air Compressor
The Senco PC1010 1/2- Horsepower 1-Gallon Portable Air Compressor is one of the best air compressors for your garage. It is an electric-powered portable compressor with a one-gallon capacity. From DIY projects to auto repair, this is a suitable tool for any such work.
14. Tire Pressure Gauge
Everyone who knows how cars work also understands that a vehicle’s tires must have the same air pressure. And that pressure also needs to be at a specific measure. The only way to ensure it is to use a tire pressure gauge.
The necessity of a pressure gauge comes right after an air compressor as, sometimes, they are a package deal. When air the tires using a compressor, a gauge will tell you the amount of air pressure the tires have. It is a simple tool with an essential task.
Our Recommended Tire Pressure Gauge
To get air pressure accuracy, the TireTek Tire Pressure Gauge is the best and reliable option. It measures 60-100 PSI levels with precision and provides easy reading for users. In addition, it has a glow-in-dark feature that happens due to sun exposure, and it helps a mechanic work efficiently.
15. Impact Wrench
As you move on to high-performing tools and equipment, you need to consider the ones that help you do most tasks in the least amount of time. So, when it is time to work on smaller bolts, you will find an impact wrench more useful. Rather than turning the head manually, this powered tool can remove wheel bolts and more with a single press.
Impact wrenches are a little different from regular wrenches in another way. The hex head sockets adapt to different sizes. Some of them are cordless, while others come with long cords. How fast they loosen or remove bolts depends on the power of the motor. So you must choose carefully when buying an impact wrench.
Our Recommended Impact Wrench
To ensure the best work, you can purchase the PORTER-CABLE PCE211 Impact Wrench. It comes with a powerful motor and has a long cord. This pneumatic impact wrench also comes with a compressor to go with it.
16. Heat Gun
There are a hundred ways to use a heat gun in an auto repair shop. From losing rust or shrinking tubes to removing paint or mold, a heat gun has multiple uses. So, it is an essential advanced tool for any auto mechanic.
But a heat gun must come with a safety system. Otherwise, it can cause hazards or injury. They often come with heat level options, and some of them come with tools to make your work effortless. As mechanical jobs require different types of tasks, having a heat gun with variety can come in handy.
Our Recommended Heat Gun
You can try the Wagner Spraytech 2417344 HT1000 Heat Gun Kit. It comes with two heat options: 750°F and 1000°F. It is safe to use, and the package contains three nozzles for small, long, and narrow areas. It is reliable, durable and the price is also budget-friendly.
17. Digital Caliper
Professional mechanical work requires the use of a caliper. While the traditional ones work just fine, the digital ones provide more accuracy and better reading. So, having a digital caliper can be another required tool addition for your workplace.
Nowadays, digital calipers allow you to change the measuring between centimeters to millimeters if needed. They come with digital displays for better reading accuracy. That’s why you need to buy one with the proper material, scale, and system. The good thing is digital calipers are not expensive and easily available.
Our Recommended Digital Caliper
The NEIKO 01408A 8” Electronic Digital Caliper is the perfect tool for measuring the depth and length during your work. It has a large digital display that shows the correct number. You can choose from the 6″, 8″, and 12″ options of this caliper.
18. Pressure Washer
You will not work on a dirty car and neither let the customer go home with a dirty car. That’s why having a pressure washer becomes a must-have for any auto mechanic. It not only helps you wash away the dirt, but the water pressure also helps you remove any other substance sticking to the vehicle.
But buying a pressure washer is quite challenging sometimes. You have to keep in mind that the water pressure has to be on a particular level. If it is less, it will not clean properly. On the other hand, if it is too much, it can end up removing paint as well.
So, the water pressure has to be enough. In that case, avoid going for industrial pressure washers. The PSI level should be around 2000. And the washer should be lightweight, portable, and user-friendly.
Our Recommended Pressure Washer
Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI Electric High-Pressure Washer is precisely what you need for your garage. It has a 2030 PSI level, which is the PSI level your work requires. It is portable and has an automatic shutdown system when the trigger is not engaged. It is versatile, easy to handle, and does not weigh a lot.
19. Rolling Tool Chest
Besides, no matter which level you are in, you will always need a safe and secure place to store your tools and equipment. As you move to an advanced or professional level, tools are the only things you will see when you look around. That’s why you need a chest for them. And nothing will be more convenient than a rolling tool chest.
Rolling tool chests are the best things to keep everything organized. They come with a large amount of space to store everything unless you are a tool hoarder, of course. In that case, you will need a large or more than one chest. They are easy to move around and often come with customizable options.
Our Recommended Rolling Tool Chest
You can have the WEN 73015 Garage Glider Rolling Tool Chest Seat if you have a medium garage. It is well-built, and stylish and has three spacious drawers for storage. It also has two magnetic trays where you can keep all the nuts and bolts without losing them. Moreover, it has a cushioned seat for you to sit comfortably and work.
Protective Equipment for Auto Mechanic
Auto mechanical work is not hazard or risk-free. You are always handling chemicals, welding things if needed, and inhaling fumes and dust all the time. Therefore, you need protective equipment for your eyes, skin, hands, and overall body. That’s why including them is mandatory for any auto mechanic tools and equipment list.
20. Safety Glasses
Eye safety is one of the essential things to check during auto mechanic work. Your eyes are vulnerable when they are exposed to chemicals, fumes, and dust. One wrong move or spark can cause severe damage. This is why wearing safety glasses should be mandatory when handling tools and chemicals.
Safety glasses protect your eyes when working under the car or parts that can hit your face without warning. Even chemicals are often prone to splatter. The purpose of safety glass is to protect your eyes from all these.
These glasses not only protect your eyes from debris or chemicals but also from exposure to UV rays. Just make sure the glasses are made with an anti-fogging system. Otherwise, it will be of no use.
Our Recommended Safety Glasses:
NoCry Black & Red Frames Clear Safety Glasses protect the eyes from UV rays and any fumes. Its untainted lenses are double-coated to ensure no fogging. These glasses are budget-friendly and built to last a long time.
21. Face Shield
Your eyes are not the only vulnerable parts when working as a mechanic. Just like your eyes, your entire face needs to be protected from harm. Unfortunately, chemical accidents are one of the common occurrences in automotive repair shops. So, you need to pay attention to your face’s safety as well.
Disposable masks may work temporarily to shield your face from fumes. But they are not reliable enough to provide safety in case chemical or any other spillage happens. Face shields, on the other hand, come with replaceable lenses. So make sure to have replacements available in case you need more.
Our Recommended Face Shield
The Lincoln Electric OMNIShield Professional Face Shield is a comfortable and reliable face protector. It comes with headgear, which contains cushioning. The lens is double-layered with anti-fogging features. The lens is replaceable and adjustable.
Chemicals used in automotive repair shops are not suitable for your skin. Chemicals can make your skin rough and can cause a rash. And then there are weldings that you may need to do in some cases. The sparks or heat can burn your hands.
That’s why it is advisable to wear safety gloves when handling such tasks. Mechanics use two types of gloves: disposable and non-disposable. Disposable gloves are for one-time use and need replacement. On the other hand, non-disposable ones are made of fabric, leather, or other durable materials.
For proper protection, it is safer to use better-quality gloves. Latex gloves are less chemical-resistant. So, the quality of the glove is essential.
Our Recommended Gloves
The Mechanix Wear Work Gloves are among the pro safety gloves for mechanics. They are made with synthetic leather and have thumb and index finger points for tip sensitivity. These gloves are comfortable to wear and machine washable.
23. Hand Cleaner
You cannot expect your hands to be clean all the time when you are working as a mechanic. Your hands are bound to get dirty, greasy, and stinky. Even minor work like changing the oil can leave your hand oily. Also, the gloves may not save you all the time as they can rip suddenly.
Regular soap or cleaners cannot wash these things entirely. However, some automotive-grade hand cleaners work much better than traditional soap. So invest a little for those, and your hands will stay cleaner and won’t stink.
Our Recommended Hand Cleaner
The GOJO NATURAL ORANGE Pumice Industrial is a lotion-based hand cleaner. It is easy to apply and leaves an orange-citrus scent after washing. The price is pretty low, and one gallon will last a long time.
24. Safety Shoes/Boots
In an automotive shop, anything can be lying around on the floor. From the tiniest nuts or bolts to slippery oil, they all will be there. To avoid stepping on any of these or slipping, you need to wear safety shoes or boots.
Safety shoes or boots offer maximum protection against chemical or oil spills, burns, and cuts. They are comfortable to wear even during long hours of work. Some of them even offer toe protection against bumps.
What ensures all these is having the right shoes with the suitable material. Otherwise, your feet will get sweaty and uncomfortable.
Our Recommended Safety Shoes/Boots
For your feet’ safety, the Dunlop 8677615 Chesapeake Boots Protective Footwear is reliable enough, and it is the first choice of many pro auto mechanics. These boots are waterproof, have toe protection, and slip-resistant. Their PVC material is durable and lightweight, which makes them more trustworthy.
25. Safety Dress
A mechanic’s safety dress is what we call a coverall. These are like jumpsuits, but the mechanics wear them over their regular clothes. Coverall protects the users from dust and debris, and sometimes even from fire, as many coveralls are flame-resistant.
The coverall you use should be from a trusted brand. The material needs to be durable, comfortable and may have padded knee areas for your comfort. Though many coveralls come as sleeveless, I suggest going for long-sleeved ones. Since you are wearing it for safety, it needs to cover all your exposed areas.
Our Recommended Safety Dress
The Dickies Twill Deluxe Long Sleeve Coverall’s quality is what you need for a reliable work companion. This coverall has a zipper for fast and easy wear. Besides, it is machine washable and can last a long time.
FAQs About Auto Mechanic Tools
How To Maintain Safety In An Automotive Shop Flooring?
An automotive shop isn’t a playground, and it requires close safety inspection so that the people working in it stays safe, along with the garage itself. Here are some safety tips that will help you.
- Whether you are an employer or employee, make sure your workplace follows safety guidelines very strictly.
- Store every tool and material in its safe place immediately after completing a task.
- Someone with proper knowledge of them should handle hazardous tools and chemicals.
- Everyone must wear safety clothes and gear.
- Most importantly, keeping the floors clean is necessary as a slippery floor can lead to mild to life-threatening injury.
What Tools Does An Auto Mechanic Need?
An auto mechanic needs hundreds of tools. But that mostly depends on what type of auto mechanic that person is: a starter, intermediate or advanced level? Based on those, the mechanic will need the necessary tools.
Usually, an auto mechanic needs wrenches, pliers, scissors, hammers, ratchets, sockets, etc., as a starter. Then more tools like wrecking bars, ply bars, gauges, calipers, air compressors, and more tools get added.
What Do Mechanics Use To Clean Their Hands?
Mechanics’ hands become dirty and greasy from working and handling various things. Unfortunately, many mechanics do not pay proper attention to what they wash their hands with or what formulas their hand washers have.
But many mechanics clean their hands with different hand washers that are meant for them. These washers help remove all the dirt and grease or any remaining chemicals to ensure hand safety.
What Kind Of Hammers Do Mechanics Use?
The hammers used in auto repair shops are often called the mechanist hammers. There are many types of hammers available. And the ones the mechanics use vary depending on the kind of task.
Though ball-peen hammers are pretty commonly used in garages, sometimes mallet hammers are also used when needed. Claw hammers are also handy for many purposes.
How High Should A Mechanic’s Car Creeper Be?
That mostly depends on the mechanic’s comfort level and the height of the vehicle. But in most cases, the lower is better. That gives you flexible access. However, pay attention to the padding, so the user feels comfortable.
The auto mechanic tools and equipment list contains a few of the necessary names. These are among the essential ones. You won’t need all of them as you start.
However, as you progress, you will require more and more tools and equipment. So having a good idea about what you will need will keep you prepared.
Many of them can be found at home where the others need to be bought especially for your task. And don’t be afraid to invest a bit more because these tools will give you a lifetime experience.