10 Essential Hand Tools for Your Garage
The worst time to realize that you’re missing that one critical tool is when you’re under the hood, elbows-deep in your vehicle’s engine. From simple tune-ups to more in-depth repairs, having the right tools on hand makes any job easier. Here are the top ten hand tools you’ll need to work on your engine.
1. SAE and Metric Ratcheting Wrenches
—These are essential for working on critical fasteners like cylinder-head bolts, tire lug nuts, and engine-mount fasteners. Have a set of seven or eight wrenches in both SAE and Metric sizes and you’ll be ready for just about anything.
2. Phillips and Slotted Screwdrivers
—Just about every job you tackle will require a screwdriver. So to be prepared, you’ll need an assortment of lengths and gauges, including stubbed screwdrivers for tight spaces and long thin screwdrivers for hard to reach places.
3. 3/8” Drive Ratchet
—Using a ratchet wrench can speed things up when tightening or removing several bolts at a time. The 3/8" drive ratchet covers the most common sizes used on engines. It can support sockets ranging from 1” and larger or 5/16” and smaller.
4. 3/8” SAE and Metric Socket Set
—These come in 6-point (hex) or 12-point (double hex) sockets. While both types will get the job done, most mechanics use the 6-point sockets because they offer better torque and control.
5. Locking Pliers
—These versatile tools are adjustable to any size and can be locked in place, making them your go-to gadget for just about anything. In a pinch they can replace other pliers, wrenches, and even clamps.
6. Adjustable Wrench Set
—The ability to adjust size makes these wrenches useful with a variety of sizes and types of nuts and bolts.
7. Flare Nut Wrench Set
—These are specifically designed for gripping soft materials used with parts like fuel lines and brake lines. The open-ended design gives you just enough room to slip a hose or line through the opening of the wrench to fit it over the fastener.
9. Torx Bit Set
—Torx brand screws have a deep star in the center and can pop up on just about any repair job. Having a set of Torx bits on hand will save you time and irritation when you come across one unexpectedly.
10. Spark Plug Sockets
—These come in two sizes, 5/8” and 13/16”, and most have a rubber insert that holds the plug in place as you turn it. Using the wrong tool can actually crack the spark plug so having a socket specifically designed for this job makes it easier and prevents damage.
Any serious gearhead knows that quality tools not only perform better but also stand the test of time. Visit your local O’Reilly Auto Parts
between February 25 and March 24 for Power Torque Tools D.I.Y. Days
and check out our complete line of professional quality tools. Our team of professionals can help you find every tool you need—all in stock and all at our guaranteed low prices. Stop by O’Reilly Auto Parts today. O’Reilly Auto Parts. Better Parts…Better Prices, Everyday!
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