When you’re building your mechanic’s toolkit, starting with manual tools is a good idea.
But there are various jobs for which a wrench or a screwdriver aren’t going to be enough. You also need to have some power tools to give you the extra power that you need to tackle bigger jobs.
You might find that you need fewer power tools than hand tools. You certainly don’t need to buy sets of several tools, like you might with some hand tools.
However, power tools are often more of an investment, as they’re a little more costly. Here are some of the top power tools you should have if you want to do any auto mechanic work at home.
A grinder is a tool with a spinning part that can be used for grinding, cutting and polishing. There are different types of grinder that can provide different uses. You probably won’t make use of a grinder all the time, but there are plenty of situations when it can come in handy. It’s one of the fairly basic power tools, and many mechanics see it as an essential one to have. If you want something that you can easily store or carry around, you might want to take a look at compact angle grinders. These are small but still have plenty of power, and can be useful if you feel like you don’t need a full-sized grinder. A grinder can help you to do things like grind down rusty metal.
Similar to grinders, sanders can also be useful tools. They come in different sizes, with different mechanisms, and can be powered by electricity or air. Sanding tools are useful for many things, from removing paint to getting rid of rust. You should take a look at some various sizes and functions to decide which sanding tools might be most useful for you. Look at the accessories and interchangeable sanding parts available to see if it will be a useful tool for you. Some smaller tools will help you to tackle small tasks, while larger ones make it easier to take care of bigger jobs.
An impact wrench is a socket wrench power tool, which delivers high torque output with less effort. If you have any jobs that are too difficult to do with a normal wrench or would take too long to do by hand, an impact wrench can come to your rescue. Impact wrenches are particularly useful for removing lug nuts, but they have plenty of other high torque uses too. Remember not to confuse impact wrenches with impact drivers, which is designed for driving screws and bolts that an ordinary cordless drill can’t manage.
A power drill is useful for working on vehicles, but it’s also just handy to have around your home. It’s an incredibly versatile tool that you can use for just about anything, from making holes to driving in screws. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a power drill. They’re a popular tool, so it’s easy to find an affordable one. However, if you want a drill that’s going to last for a long time, it’s worth investing in something a bit more expensive. If you want to save money on a decent drill, look for any special offers and buy when there’s a discount available. A cordless drill is particularly useful, and some of them offer a more compact option.
Rotary tools offer a wide range of uses, making them a useful tool to have in your toolbox. Rotary tools can be used for grinding, sanding, polishing, and even engraving. They typically come with a number of interchangeable heads so you can get a lot of use out of one tool. You can use a rotary tool for a lot of smaller and more delicate jobs, such as buffing out small dings in the body of your car. It’s also very useful for cleaning, especially in areas that might be difficult to get to. If you want a high shine, it’s good for polishing too, and you can even use a rotary tool for cutting.
A welder gives you the option of joining metal together. You might not need to do it all the time, but if you do a lot of auto work, it can come in handy. You don’t need to be a professional welder to use a MIG welder (see our review of MIG welders for beginners), and it’s the type that’s most preferred by beginners and amateurs. Mig welders run on electricity and are usually suitable for use on steel and aluminum, although in some cases TIG welders are more suitable. When you’re looking at welders, make sure you check what materials they’re capable of handling. More powerful welders will allow you to weld thicker metal.
You might find a jigsaw useful to cutting metal into different shapes and sizes. They cut materials in both straight lines and along curves. You can use different blades for varying thickness and density, and take care of materials other than metal too. If you ever need to cut any large pieces of metal for any reason, a jigsaw will make it much easier to get the job done. Jigsaws can be used cordlessly, and if you like doing other types of DIY, you’ll also have a great tool for home projects too.
As well as taking care of how your vehicle works, you also want to make it look good. A buffer is a great tool for polishing, helping to give your vehicle the high shine it needs. If you want to get the most out of a buffer, get a cordless one. It’s much easier when you don’t have to deal with cords getting in the way. Buffing can give you the same effect as waxing, but when you have a buffer, you can take care of the job quickly and easily, with no mess.
Here is an informative YouTube video demonstrating some of the new power tools for mechanics on the market:
These power tools can help you expand what you’re able to do as a home mechanic. With the right tools, you can learn to do everything yourself.