Searching for something special to get the DIY mechanic in your life? If your weekend worker spends a lot of time in the garage, it’s important to make sure they have the best tools, not to mention the correct tools. After all, there’s a job for every tool and a tool for every job.
Show your favorite mechanic some love by getting them a great tool for the garage. You can even put them to work in areas outside the garage with a few of the ones listed below.
Here are a few great tools that every weekend mechanic should have in their toolbox.
Sturdy, Reliable, Buy-Once Toolset
Whether a professional or a home-grown DIYer, mechanics needs tools. And not just any tools will do. To do good work, you need good tools. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your DIY mechanic, consider a high-quality toolset.
You’ll want to get a set that offers the full array of sockets, wrenches, and ratches. Look for one that has laser-etched size markings, anti-slip features, and top-notch quick-release and reversing mechanisms.
Good tools, ones from DeWalt, for example, are more expensive, but they offer lifetime warranties. The best gift you can get your weekend mechanic is one you’ll never have to get again…at least not for a long time.
Locking Extension Bars to Keep Sockets Attached
If your favorite mechanic has been at this hobby for a while, you’ve probably heard them curse their tools for having pulled their extension bar out of a tight spot and lost their socket.
If this is the case, consider getting a set of locking extension bars. With these nifty tools, they can engage the locking ring, drop in a socket, and let go. The socket is locked into place on the extension bar and will never come off on a bolt again.
Flexible Sockets for Tight Workspaces
Engine compartments are getting tighter and tighter to work in. Flexible sockets have a much shorter profile than a typical universal joint combo, making them perfect for working in tight spaces without a lot of finagling. They’re a little expensive, but they make removing bolts in hard-to-reach places much easier. Trust us, your mechanic will thank you.
A set of high-quality torque wrenches is an absolute must for any mechanic. You’ll want to get ones that are ¼ inch in size for smaller bolts as well as a ½ inch for bigger ones. Additionally, you should check to make sure your wrenches come with a Certificate of Calibration. Becoming a better mechanic means torquing up to factory specs, so this is an important one.
Also referred to as an air gun, air wrench, impact gun, impactor and an assortment of other pet names, this power tool is made to deliver high torque with minimal force from the mechanic. Most of the time, they’re fitted with a ½ inch attachment.
This is an essential tool in the mechanic’s tool kit, great for removing extremely tight-fitting bolts and nuts from areas where rest is common. These tools used to be driven by an air compressor, but these days, battery-powered impact wrenches work just fine.
If you do decide to get your mechanic an air-powered impact wrench, stay away from ones with metal finishes around the grip area. This prevents the cold feeling that occurs with most tools.
An impact driver is the smaller cousin of the impact wrench. They’re both similar tools in design but an impact driver is made for smaller tasks, such as small or medium-sized bolts that are rusted or corroded.
Impact drivers are also great little tools capable of other tasks outside of the garage. They’re great for driving long screws into wood, for example. So, with this one, your DIYer can put together some furniture or fix the back patio.
A Double Point Floor Jack
For the home mechanic, working underneath a newer vehicle can be a little unwieldy. Oftentimes, they need two floor jacks to lift their automobile properly, especially if it’s a newer model. Thankfully, there’s a great tool to help save some space and toil.
A double point floor jack has a crossbeam that extends the arms and rotates the lift pads to raise a vehicle in two spots rather than one. With one of these great tools, you can literally cut your mechanic’s jacking time in half.
Portal Lighting for Every Occasion
One of the most important and often overlooked things in the garage is adequate lighting. There’s nothing worse for a mechanic than to be working late only to find the sun has set and there’s not enough light to see what’s going on under the hood.
Thankfully, you can get him a handy magnetic light to attach to his hood. There are also portable strip lights and hand-held solutions as well. As long as the lighting is high-quality, there’s no need to worry about specifics. A garage can never have too many lights.
If your DIYer does all the oil changes, you might consider getting them a flexible funnel. This handy and inexpensive little tool flexes and forms so that oil runs through, straight to the drain pan. No more oil spills in the garage. Another bonus one here: It can be used for plumbing repairs too.
Give the Gift that Keeps Giving
Any single gift from this list (or maybe a few) will up your weekend mechanic’s game by a considerable amount. After all, a mechanic is only as good as the tools they use, so it’s best to have a tool for every job and good quality ones at that.
Another great tool to keep all drivers in your family safe is an online Defensive Driving Course. Everyone learns how to be safer drivers, and your insurance rate could decrease up to 10% a year for three consecutive years. That is definitely a gift that keeps giving.