Whether you are your own mechanic, or turn a wrench every now and then, I’ve compiled a list of things I find absolutely essential for every garage. I’m skipping the basics – sockets, allen wrenches, and so-on – and focusing on the kind of stuff that completely change the garage experience.
For this Garage Essentials, I’ve picked out some of my personal favorites from my own garage to pass on to you. These are things that I reach for every time I’m out there. It’s not just cause of habit, but because they’re truly awesome. Once you’ve got them in your arsenal, they’re always the first thing on your mind to get the job done.
1. Electric Impact Gun
This list isn’t in any particular order, but there’s a reason this tool is numero uno. I cannot even begin to explain how much time and frustration I’ve avoided since picking one of these up. It’s basically a drill, but with drive attachments instead. Paired with some deep, quarter inch sockets and it’s a match made in heaven. The days of spinning a T-handle or turning a socket wrench endlessly are over. It takes seconds to move a bolt one way or the other. This saves time especially in hard to reach places. Of course, I have to point out that you can’t just put a bolt in a hole without hand tightening it, pull the trigger and screw it in as hard as you can. However, you can really make your life easier with this tool. You can pick one up from most hardware stores and they’re not expensive by any means.
An electric impact gun is a must-have.
2. Bel-Ray Six-In-One
Okay, there will come a time when I go through chemicals and such, but Six-In-One is one of my favorites. This can of magic was discovered in a small shop on the Oregon Coast when we were still using WD-40 and had ran out. This stuff seriously does everything. It’ll loosen rusty bolts, lubricate cables and moving parts, clean and shine plastic, prevent corrosion, and basically do everything you can think of. When I rebuilt the motor in my LT-R450, everything was coated in this stuff, and it worked out pretty darn well. If you can pick up some Six-In-One I highly recommend it. There will always be a use for it and a can goes a long way.
This tool will save you a lot of time, frustration, and money.
3. Manual Impact Drive
Tired of stripped out screw heads? Get a manual impact drive. Heck, get one even if you haven’t had this problem. The Phillips head screw is extremely popular in everything despite the fact that it probably is the most likely to fail, right next to Allen heads that were apparently installed by the Incredible Hulk. I’m not sure how these haven’t managed to find their way into every garage, but they’re genius. It’s essentially a giant screw driver that you hammer the end of. This applies an extreme amount of downward pressure. At the same time, this tool turns ever so slightly, breaking the screw free and allowing it to be removed. Sometimes it takes a few whacks, but it’ll do the job unless the screw is rounded to the point that there’s nothing to grab. One day you will use this tool so I highly recommend you pick it up.
Those are my favorite things out of the garage, make sure to keep coming back to Pit Traffic to read up on more. Next time I’ll be going over all of the things necessary to help make the garage a more enjoyable space, and make you feel like you’re a top notch mechanic.