10 Best Car Tools Reviewed & Rated in 2018

There are so many reasons to invest in car tools. Whether or not you’re a mechanic you should have some basic pieces in your trunk. These tools will keep you from having to call a professional every time there’s a problem. You’ll find that some problems are easy enough to fix on your own. That’s only possible, however, if you have the right tools for the job. That’s where we come in! This list contains the top products that you should have on you at all times. Many of them are great for general, daily usage and are pretty affordable to boot. There’s no reason not to be prepared for car problems. It’s a great skill set to have since pretty much everybody will eventually have a car problem in their lifetime. Wouldn’t it be nice to take care of it yourself and save the time, and money, of going to a mechanic? Invest in a few basic tools, read a few articles on cars, and you’ll be ready to take care of the little problems on your own.

Featured Recommendations

Boulder Tools 56 Piece Tire Repair Kit
  • Boulder Tools 56 Piece Tire Repair Kit
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Price: See Here
Ingersoll Rand Impact Tool Kit
  • Ingersoll Rand Impact Tool Kit
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Price: See Here
AstroAI Digital Multimeter
  • AstroAI Digital Multimeter
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Price: See Here

This article is great for mechanics, too, of course! Are you a new mechanic who is looking for the right sets to start out with? Fantastic! Keep reading and you’ll be completely ready for your new job. It’s always a good idea to start off on the right foot, and that’s exactly what these car tools will allow you to do. Surprise, and impress, every mechanic in the shop with your full arsenal of tools to get the job done. Even seasoned veterans of the trade can benefit from the addition of a few of these tools! We all know that some of our tools are outdated and in dire need of being replaced. If you need to replace any of your basic pieces of equipment then you should also keep reading. You’ll find the best options on the market, and some serious value to boot, in the products we’ve selected. So, buckle in, and get ready for a leisurely cruise through a collection of the best car tools around.

 

10 Best Car Tools

 

1. Boulder 56 Piece Tire Repair Kit

There are few things worse in this world than having a flat tire. If you’ve sprung a leak and haven’t noticed it won’t take long for your tire to deflate. Luckily, Boulder Tools is here to help. They produce this 56 Piece tire repair kit that will impress just about anybody. It’s a piece of equipment you simply must have in your emergency kit. Everybody in their lifetime will get a flat. It’s just a fact of vehicular life! This kit features an upgraded to include higher-quality brown strings which provide a superior safety seal. It also boasts a solid carrying case so that it stores easily in the trunk of your vehicle. Many have fallen in love with the fact that it can be used for so many different jobs. This adds some extreme value to this kit since you’re able to get more bang for your buck by using it in a variety of ways. It’s not often that a regular consumer has to invest in specific car tools, so it’s nice when the ones you do invest in can be used across the board!
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Offers Great Versatility
Not only does this kit work on cars, but it also tackles almost anything else with tires. Whether it’s your motorcycle, SUV, truck, or trailer, you can bet this set will tackle the job with ease. This is especially useful when you’re hauling something! If your trailer gets a flat, then you can’t continue on whether or not your vehicle is able to. If you have this kit you can fix up the tire, and be on your way in no time. Being able to use it for multiple areas really adds bang for your buck!

1-Year Warranty
Allow yourself to be free from worry when you purchase this kit. It comes with a 1-year warranty that means you can feel safe in your decision. If anything happens you’re able to return it and receive a replacement, or a refund. Take the guesswork out of figuring out the quality of a product! Of course, this is reportedly one of the best kits out there for tire changes, so there’s a high chance you’ll never even have to use this warranty.

Cost and Value
Make sure that you are always prepared on the go with this tire repair kit. There’s nothing worse than a tire which has sprung a leak. Even worse is when that tire is completely flat! If you’re caught unprepared it can have disastrous effects. After all, nobody wants to call their boss to explain that they’ll be a few hours late to work because of car trouble. There’s nothing like looking unreliable. Don’t be that guy. Make sure you have what you need in these situations so you can get to where you’re going in a way more timely fashion. Waiting for somebody to show up with the proper tools can take forever depending on where you are. Tows are expensive, too, and entirely uncomfortable. Skip all of that and get yourself a tire repair kit. When the time inevitably comes, you won’t regret it.
Pros
  • Ergonomic T-handle design
  • Pro-grade tools
  • Complete kit for full tire change
  • Necessary addition to every emergency kit
  • Perfect gift for any occasion
Cons
  • T-handle requires tightening before use
  • Plugs are reportedly sticky from packaging

2. Ingersoll Rand Impact Tool Kit

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Long Battery Life
When you’re trying to get a job done the last thing you want is for a tool to die in use. This is aggravating at best, and a complete disaster at worst. Either way, it’s something you want to avoid. Ingersoll used a 20V lithium-ion battery which delivers the power needed to get through whatever project you’re working on. In fact, this battery supplies a long-lasting life that will get you through any job from start to finish. This makes this high-torque impact kit a reliable choice for the savvy consumer. It’s no wonder why Ingersoll has such high reviews and so many satisfied customers.

Superior Craftsmanship
Treat yourself to a well-designed, and long-lasting option that you’ll come to love. Products that are produced with care are the best that you can get your hands on. The amount of planning that went into the design of this high-torque toolkit is apparent. It looks solid from top to bottom and comes with an attractive color scheme. The carrying case features the same sleek grey as the gadgets it contains. The red details are strategically placed to provide an attractive accent which catches the eye. Don’t just invest in a durable, reliable kit- invest in one that also looks great. After all, there’s no better feeling than somebody asking you where you got such a great set. You’ll definitely have some inquiries from anybody who sets eyes on this sleek set-up!

Cost and Value
Many report that this is the best air tool they’ve ever purchased. They brag about the ability of this Ingersoll Rand product being able to tackle any bolt they throw at it. It seems that this little tool is an invaluable part to the lives of many car enthusiasts. Because of this is also makes a great addition to a mechanic’s tool box, as well as somebody who’s starting to have interest in doing more extensive work on their own car. It is definitely a higher end product, and it shows on the price tag, but it’s well worth the cost. You’ll have a powerful tool that will last you forever and a day. It’ll replace so many tools in your collection that you’ll be able to easily downsize! It’s great for using on other DIY projects, too. This versatile tool is great for everybody!
Pros
  • Takes on even the most corroded bolts
  • An absolute workhorse of a tool
  • Offers amazing power in a compact package
  • Great for household projects as well
  • Will replace every air tool you own
Cons

½ shaft prone to breaking

Quality is questionable in some products

3. AstroAI Digital Multimeter

There are few tools out there more necessary than a multimeter. Electric problems can be scary, especially since they can be hard to figure out. You may not need to reach for the phone, however. Instead, reach for the AstroAI Digital Multimeter! This handy, little tool packs a powerful punch in such a compact instrument. You’ll be able to test relays with ease, and figure out what might be the root of your problem before going to the garage. For mechanics this is an absolutely invaluable tool. You probably already know that, though! This is a great multimeter model that you should definitely consider investing in. It’s money well spent, especially since it’s so affordable!
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Easily Understandable
You’ll never question the reading that this multimeter puts out. It’s built to be easily understood by even the most inexperienced operators. The back-lit display has large,numbers which are clearly labeled. The large dial is circled with bright, crisp options in white lettering. Twist it around until you find the proper setting, and troubleshoot with ease! Everything is boldly labeled for your convenience.

Measures WIth Accuracy
The last thing anybody wants to worry about when working with electricity is a mistake while measuring it. You want to be sure that you’re erring on the side of caution. These situations can be life or death, after all. You don’t want to mess around. AstroAI is a great brand that understands this. They took into account the needs of their customers and produced this model with extreme accuracy in it’s readings.

Cost and Value
This is easily the most affordable item on this list. There’s literally no excuse for not adding it to your arsenal- and fast! You might not think it will come in handy, but trust us when we say it will. Car troubles are common, and you don’t want to get caught off guard. As for the mechanics out there, we know we don’t have to lecture you on the usages of a multimeter. You’re familiar with what an absolutely invaluable asset these gizmos can be! It’s got a great price tag, solid reviews, and will help you figure out the problem that much sooner. You really can’t go wrong with AstroAI, after all! They’re a great brand with a reputation for high-quality products that are easy to use.
Pros
  • Great option for beginners
  • Has a large variety of functions
  • Has a small stand on the back for easier use
  • Includes a setting for audible continuity test
  • Excellent customer service offered
Cons
  • Difficult to troubleshoot ground path continuity
  • Using the wrong setting can damage the device

4. TireTek Tire Pressure Gauge

Even the best emergency kits are not complete without a tire pressure gage. They are especially useful when kept with a tire repair kit. This is because you should always check your tire pressure if you believe you might have a leak. It’ll tell you exactly how much pressure you’ve lost, and where you’re at when it comes to repairs. Regardless of whether you have a repair kit or not, however, you should keep a pressure gauge in your car anyways. It’s useful on all on its own. Even for the most amateur car owners, these products are an invaluable tool that will always be useful at some point in everyone's lifetime. For example, if anybody in your family just got their first car it makes an excellent gift. Empowering young drivers is important for safety. Get yourself one while you’re at it if you haven’t already.
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No Batteries Required
Some models require the use of batteries. TireTek decided to skip this method entirely. This model is reliable, easy to use, and works in all weather conditions. Never worry about keeping extra batteries on hand, or winding up with a gauge that’s dead when you try and use it. Out of all tire monitoring systems out there, this is among the best. TireTek has surely proven themselves with the production of this quality instrument that is crucial to have in your arsenal of tools. It’s also a fantastic addition to any emergency kit for general maintenance by ordinary consumers, not just mechanics.

Large-Scale Dial
There are a lot of products on the market that have small letters which are hard to see. This is not the case with this pressure gauge! This TireTek pressure gauge will be easy for you to see, which means identifying the problem is a breeze. This is especially useful for mechanics who may have poor eyesight. The clear display allows for better clarity, which is useful when you’re working in low-vision conditions and you also have trouble seeing in general.

Cost and Value
The TireTrek Premium tire pressure gauge is an excellent option for those on a budget. There are so many useful features that it can be hard to believe how affordable this little gadget is! You’ll definitely appreciate the simplistic design and the use with which you’ll be able to use it. The large-scale dial makes seeing the readings effortless even for those with poor vision. It stores easily in a small space. This makes it easy to keep on hand at all times for testing tire pressure on the go. Keep it with your tire repair kit for the ultimate set of tools for taking care of all your tire woes. This little piece of equipment works in all weather conditions and doesn’t require batteries. That’s one less expense on your end, which is always valuable!

5. Crescent Mechanics Tool Set

5. Crescent Mechanics Tool Set
If you’re just starting out with car tools then you need a full set. Beginners are starting from the bottom, so it’s important that the first addition to their collection has everything they need. If this describes you then you should seriously consider this fully loaded set. It features rave reviews from multiple satisfied customers! It is also an excellent option for optimal storage space. There is a spot for literally every tool it comes with. This is a great feature for keeping everything in its place and being able to find the right tool in a flash. This kit isn’t just for newcomers, however. It’ll make an excellent piece in anybody’s arsenal. Even the most seasoned mechanics can find a use for this superior piece of craftsmanship.
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Updated Version
This product is an updated version of their best-selling model: CTK170CMP. Being an updated version means having all of the up-to-date options a consumer could want. They’ve included a sturdier blow mold case, as well as a new and improved set of screwdrivers... plus so much more! It’s important to make sure that your tools are up to standard. Don’t get left behind while everybody else moves on up. Update your life, and your toolset, with this fantastic product that has garnered so much respect in the automotive community. You’ll wonder how you didn’t decide to make the leap earlier!

A Place For Everything
It’s difficult to keep your tools organized. There are entire articles written entirely on this topic, and the best ways to keep things in place. Maintaining organization is a big deal in the mechanic community especially. You need to know which tools are where for easy access, and efficient repairs. This Crescent tool set comes with a sturdy, molded plastic case which has a spot for quite literally every tool it comes with. Right down to the tiniest parts there is a place for every single tool to rest! Some companies only include a limited amount of storage, and still, others don’t include a carrying case at all. This is a helluva bargain even just for how much easier your life is going to be after you buy it!

Cost and Value
As far as tool sets go this kit is actually very reasonably priced. Some sets can set you back a couple hundred bucks. This is a lot of money for most people. If you want an affordable option with limitless possibilities then the Crescent CTK170CMP2 is absolutely the best option for you. It earns itself a high rating because of the sheer volume of happy customers. Whether you’re a green to the world of car tools, or a connoisseur of vast experience, you’ll find this kit surprisingly useful. The carrying case is a huge bonus for ultimate organization. Keep every tool within grasp, and right where you can find it. Apex Tool Group has given some serious upgrades to this best-seller, and it’s well worth the splurge.
Pros

Compact option for easy storage

Travels easily for jobs on the go

Large assortment of tools you need

Tools meet new ANSI and ASME specifications

Full satisfaction guarantee

Cons

Issues with company’s quality control

Lower-tier level of quality

6. Kensun Swift Air Compressor

6. Kensun Swift Air Compressor
This is the third and final component of the holy triad of tire care. If you have a pressure gauge and a repair kit you’re halfway there. This piece of equipment is used to inflate tires in just minutes. It can be charged through a wall port. This is, honestly, the best method of charging. However, even if it’s dead you can still use it on the go. It features an AC/DC capability, which means it can also plug into your cigarette lighter. The lightweight design helps this compact machine be packed away pretty much anywhere. You’re now able to check the pressure in your tires, and then fill them to the correct air level. Have a flat? Fix it up in a snap using your repair kit, and then restore it to full capacity. This will buy you some time to get to the shop and swap out that tire for a new one.
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Dual Charging Capability
This is an amazing detail that really adds something special to an air compressor. This model by Kensun is able to run off of both AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current). That feature gives you ultimate access to this air compressor even on the go. Never get caught off guard again when it comes to your tire pressure, or end up stranded in the middle of nowhere. This handy device can be plugged into your cigarette lighter for easy charging anywhere. It’s ability to run off of direct current power is a huge plus! Even if the battery of the Kensun Swift Performance air compressor dies you can still ensure safely inflated tires.

Works In A Flash
Don’t wait around for lesser models to fill your tires up. This air compressor by Kensun lives up to the “Swift Performance” in its name. It reportedly fills tires in about two minutes, and many consumers have reported that this is correct, and give this product some seriously great reviews. When you’re in a situation where your tires need to be filled in a hurry the last thing you want to do is wait around. This is especially true if you’re stopped in a dangerous location like the highway, for example. Low visibility situations are also a huge issue in general. It’s not always possible to pull into a safe location when your tire goes flat. Be prepared in case of the worst with Kensun.

Cost and Value
You can’t really put a price on security. Car problems are a sad fact of life, and you need to be prepared for the worst. There is no kit more valuable than one dedicated to tire repair. An air compressor is an essential part to that kit! Filling up your tires on the fly can allow you to work on some borrowed time. This can mean being able to drive to a safe location for the repair process. This portability is mostly due to the dual charging system. Being able to charge this handy tool gives you ultimate mobility to go wherever you want to. No matter how far out into the unknown you travel you know that you’ll be ready in case of emergency. There’s no better security than knowing that you can save yourself in any situation. The independence having this machine can bring you is well worth the affordable price that Kensun charges.
Pros
  • Advanced functions
  • Easily stored compact model
  • 3 extra attachment nozzles
  • Versatile usage for other inflatable objects
  • All issues easily resolved through customer service
Cons
  • Some units arrived faulty, or broke quickly

7. BAFX Diagnostic Scanner

7. BAFX Diagnostic Scanner
When your check engine light comes on you know there’s a problem. These issues can range from mildly inconvenient false positives to disastrous malfunctions that require expensive repairs. So, when this happens what’s the first thing that you do? Call your mechanic, right? After all, they’re the automotive specialist that you defer to for all things car related. They inspect your vehicle, and they offer advice on a range of problems. What if there was a less expensive way to get your answer, though? Well, there is. Diagnostic scanners are a little known, but ultra useful, tool you can keep on you. They plug into your car and can tell you what the check engine light is signaling. If you know what the problem is ahead of time it gives you the option to shop around for a solution. You might even be able to fix it yourself!
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High-Tech Solution
This bad boy is able to communicate with your phone over a Bluetooth connection. This is such a useful ability since it gives you all sorts of information right at your fingertips. Easily search for the solution on the internet once your phone gives you the lowdown. You’re able to access more information than you would on a regular scanner as well, and in a much simpler format. It’s a great feature on an even greater product. BAFX Products made sure to streamline their app for a better customer experience. Invest in this diagnostic scanner and give yourself peace of mind when it comes to car trouble.

Easy To Use
Don’t let the “high-tech” parts of this diagnostic scanner trouble you. A lot of mechanics err on the side of caution when it comes to new technology. This is totally understandable! You’ll find, however, that this diagnostic scanner is a great asset and a fantastic upgrade from your current scanner. The app is easy to install, and even easier to connect with. You simply turn on your scanner, turn on your Bluetooth, and follow the instructions manual. It can seem intimidating using a new product but BAFX Products worked hard to deliver a car scanner that is accessible to all skill levels. This gives a greater range of usage and helps even the most technology illiterate of us to use this tool with ease.

Cost and Value
There’s no better tool to have than a digital scanner. This is a product that isn’t widely owned, but it really should be. A lot of people aren’t even aware that you can buy these products at very reasonable price points. This model by BAFX Products delivers on the promise of affordability without sacrificing quality. You’ll love the simple design of the scanner itself. It comes encased in a durable, plastic sheath that protects the inner components. The style is straight to the point and looks great. Even better is the design of the app that it is used in conjunction with is very well made. The streamlined interface will give you insight into the vehicle that you couldn’t access before. There are so many features packed into this little too it’s almost unbelievable. Honestly, for how much these are, it’s a wonder more people don’t know about them and own them!
Pros
  • Compatible with Android OS
  • Affordable option for anybody
  • Includes complete instructions manual
  • Easy Bluetooth connection process
  • Instant readings and access to live data
Cons
  • Incompatible for any OS besides Android
  • Requires an app to use

8. Stanley Mixed Tool Set

8. Stanley Mixed Tool Set
Having a mixture of tools is essential for every single car owner out there! Whether you’re looking to start some DIY work, actively work with cars, or just own casually, it doesn’t matter. You need to be able to do simple repairs on command. This can save you a boatload of money, and a heck of a lot of time. Sounds good to us! A mixture of tools has never been easier to pick out since Stanley made this mixed toolkit! It comes preloaded with everything you could possibly need for small repairs on the go. Pack it away for easy storage in your trunk, and bring it out when the time comes. Whether it’s a tire repair or an oil change the Stanley Mixed Tool Set is here to help! Get this in your car, and get on your way.
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Full Polish Chrome
Stanley made sure to include this detail which is both practical and pretty, This detail doesn’t just add a sleek touch, as nice as it may be. It also creates a barrier against corrosion. This protective coating gives you the security of knowing that your toolkit won’t succumb to the elements. Corrosion can also be caused by any metal-on-metal action, so as you can imagine it’s good to give any tool designed for cars this sort of protection. Not all products come with an effective corrosive-resistant seal, however. That puts this kit ahead of its class!

ANSI Standard Compliant
ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) is a non-profit company dedicated to ensuring that products are developed under a general set of criteria. This is a voluntary service that provides a consensus from the manufacturers of products. Knowing that a set of tools, or any other product, is ANSI compliant means that you know it’ll hold up to expectations. You’re getting a toolkit that has been put up against a list of criteria and passed. Now, that’s a brand you can trust!

Cost and Value
As it turns out this is a great value for your dollars. Not only are you getting exactly what you need in one fell swoop, but you’re also getting peace of mind. The corrosion-resistant full polish chrome is a great topper for this product. It creates a flashy, elegant product that is both functional and great to look at. That’s a great combination to have! When you’re buying tools we know you aren’t looking for a “pretty” product, necessarily. Looks don’t matter when it comes to functionality. You want something that is rugged, long-lasting, and will get the job done when you need it. It’s nice, however, when you can easily get the best of both worlds in one sleek package. That’s what Stanley is offering to you here! Even better, these tools are ANSI certified. This means that you know they’re dependable, and up to standards that you can trust.
Pros
  • Protective finish
  • Good starter kit
  • ANSI certified
  • Easily kept in car trunk
  • Excellent option for storage
Cons

Can be difficult to remove pieces from case

Mainly for the average car owner

9. Tekton 1/2" Torque Wrench

9. Tekton 1/2
Tekton does their best to ensure you have as best an experience as possible. They’re known for excellent customer service, well-built products, and the drive to do better. There are few tools on the market that will reflect these values as well as their ½ torque wrench. This model comes calibrated, is made entirely of steel, and will last you forever and a day. Experience the level of care that goes into the construction of Tekton tools with this essential addition to your automotive tool collection. There is no better tool to have! These wrenches are necessary for removing lug nuts in tires, and you never know when that might come in handy. Don’t be caught off guard! Ensure your own reliability with a torque wrench that lasts.
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All-Steel Construction
Many tools are made out of different parts, which can include plastic. This is obviously not a durable material, and absolutely not one you want on your tools. A consistent, one-material standard should be on your checklist of things to look for! Tekton crafted this torque wrench from a single piece of steel with no plastic parts to wear out or get easily damaged. That type of commitment to quality is admirable!

Pre-calibrated Accuracy
Enjoy the feeling of your package arriving, and the contents coming out ready to use, when you choose the Tekton ½ Drive-Click Torque Wrench. There is no better way to start your day than with such an easy-to-use, consistent product that takes no time to set up. It comes calibrated with +/- 4% accuracy, which is pretty great as far as measurements go. There are certainly tools on the market that get a better reading, but not for the value you’ll get here. After all, true value is calculated not just from the price-tag, or the features, but through a combination of both.

Cost and Value
Speaking of value, that’s what we’re about to explore. As you can see above we already love this product. It’s simple, durable, and everything you could want in an automotive tool. Although it is a standalone, you’ll find that the capabilities of this wrench more than make up for that. As we’ve said before sometimes it’s good to invest in a few stand-alone tools to supplement the kit that you buy. This ensures that you are getting the best quality for a fraction of the price. A torque wrench needs to be able to stand up to the job you throw at it. This encompasses so many tasks! Make sure you aren’t making a mistake by investing your money elsewhere. There is no better bang for your buck as far as torque wrenches are concerned.
Pros
  • Reversible ratchet head
  • High-contrast scale in two ranges
  • Measures torque in clockwise direction
  • These should be straight to the point
  • You can use amazon reviews to find pros
Cons
  • Some models arrived in faulty condition
  • Results may be somewhat inaccurate

10. DeWalt Mechanics Tool Set

10. DeWalt Mechanics Tool Set
Dewalt has continuously proven themselves to be a reliable, trustworthy brand. There name is known in most households if there’s even a lick of tool knowledge there. This is especially true in the automotive industry where these tools are used daily. You know that you can trust in Dewalt, and this little starter kit is a testament to that! You’ll find tight, little cubby holes for each and every part it comes with. No more lost parts, and no more questioning where anything is! On top of this, the molded carrying case can be easily stored for quick, effortless travel. Knowing that you have this set at your garage is good. Knowing that you can also bring this set to wherever it’s needed is better! The Dewalt name is trusted for a reason. You’ll find out very quickly just why they’re a fan favorite when you decide to try out this mechanics tool set they’ve created!
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Anti-Slip Vinyl
Achieve maximum levels of comfort, and let your hands take a rest. This tool set comes with a durable, anti-slip vinyl grip on the bit driver it includes. This gives you a solid, but relaxed, grip while in usage. The non-slip material will keep you from flopping around, and keep the tool right where you need it- on the job you’re doing. There are so many ways in which working with tools can be horrible for your hands. Don’t let yourself get caught up with carpal tunnel on a small project. Make sure your tools have a good grip so you can have some relief.

Excellent Organization
Are you the type of person who’s always losing things? C;mon, be honest. We’ve all definitely been there… and some of us still are! There’s no shame in admitting that you need an organizational system that you can trust in, and use repeatedly. Dewalt took this into consideration and made sure to offer these tools in a handy case. You’ll find a secure slot for every single product so you can keep track of any missing pieces. This also gives you the ability to move these tools with you wherever you go. Garage party with the buds? Bring your car, and your tools, so you can work together.

Cost and Value
You’ll be getting a great starter kit with an excellent storage option and a name that is trusted across the board. That seems like value to us enough! For Dewalt, however, it’s just the beginning. These tools are mostly made with one-piece construction which makes them durable, and dependable. The carrying case is molded to the exact specifications of the products, so they won’t bang around when they’re stored away. Of course, you’ll need to buy supplementary tools in addition to this set. That goes without saying. But we think that overall it’s a fantastic option for anybody who is just starting out and needs a solid assortment of ratchets to complete projects with.
Pros
  • Offers high torque ratcheting
  • Comfortable anti-slip grip
  • Great starter kit of 72 tooth ratchets
  • Perfect for DIY jobs on your car
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
Cons
  • A very basic set

 

We hope that after reading through this list you’ll have a better understanding of the best tools on the market. This collection of superb products range from complete sets for mechanics to essential stand-alone tools to supplement them. There’s a lot of products to choose from, and a lot of information out there to take in on the subject. We promise that it won’t take long to figure out exactly what you need! Regardless of what job you need to tackle, there’s a solution for it with the models listed above. Owning any vehicle, after all, is a huge commitment. Things go wrong all the time, especially on older models. This can spell trouble for those shopping on a budget, or for first-time car owners. There are a lot of people who are moving toward doing their own jobs in order to save money. This is a great option, and you’ll find that for simpler fixes you don’t have to see a mechanic at all. It can give you a feeling of empowerment to know that when trouble is at the door, you are ready to respond. It’s good to be prepared, too! Having some essential tools packed away in your trunk can be the difference between an expensive tow, and being able to get back on the road that much sooner. Don’t get caught without the basics or, sooner or later, you’ll find out why they’re the basics!

 

Criteria Used in Evaluation

Of The Best Car Tools

Construction

This piece of criteria is absolutely crucial. The craftsmanship that goes into a product goes a long way in determining the longevity of that product. How a tool is made, and the care that goes into this process, means the world to how it will work in the real world. You care about making sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Naturally, we care about finding you the best deal. These two missions combined translate into us finding the most well-made items for the right price. A lot of people think that good construction costs a pretty penny. That can be true, don’t get us wrong! But in this case, you can definitely find stellar equipment while saving the strain on your wallet.

It’s important to look for brands that have a great reputation. Here are some good names in the industry to look for:

See any familiar ones? Probably! After all, we reviewed quite a few of those brands on this list. Of course, these aren’t the only good brands to look for. There are so many names out there, some of them featured above, for you to explore. Compare prices across the board, and go with the one you can budget for best. If you’re choosing from any of the aforementioned brands, or most of the others featured on this site, you know you’re going to get a great deal! More than that, you know that you’re getting a well-constructed product you can be proud of.

Material

You can think of this criteria as the sibling of the construction. Good construction goes a long way, but it means nothing if the tool doesn’t have the correct materials. For example, a huge thing to look for in tools is one-piece construction. This can depend on the style of tool, but for the most part, having a piece that’s wholly constructed from one piece of metal is preferable. It’s more durable, and there’s little chance for breakage on the overall body. Parts that come with multiple pieces have a better chance of snapping apart, especially during jobs where a lot of leverage must be applied. The higher the torque, the higher the chance that a product will fail when you need it.

Another detail that you should put on your list is protective coatings. Some models will come with a corrosion-resistant finish, which means that the metal will resist breaking down. Corrosion is caused by metal-on-metal contact, or exposure to the elements. If you want to know more, we have a FAQ section below that can help. For now, however, we don’t need to get into the science behind it. Just know that these coatings are a valuable asset to have, and worth paying a little extra for. There are ways to coat your product aftermarket, sure, but why put in the hassle? Especially for casual car fans! Just look for a protective coating, and avoid unnecessary stress.

Coverage

Everybody loves a multi-tool that can do everything you need, and more! There’s nothing better than being able to save money because you can use one product for multiple jobs. It’s no secret that tools are great for use in other places than just in the car. For those of you who might not be into DIY automotive projects, this is something to look for. If you’re a person who loves working on their own car it’s still a good idea to cover multiple areas with a single product. In this case, however, you should be looking for car-specific multi-use tools.

Coverage refers, of course, to the tool’s ability to cover more than one area. This isn’t generally something you find in automotive tools, but we worked hard to provide some great options. If you don’t find what you’re looking for then we want you to know that this is one of those lesser-known areas that really packs a punch. You should always be aware of what the product you’re looking at is fully capable of. This means a little more research on your end, but it means a better fit for you and a better overall product. It’s well worth the extra work in our opinion!

Organization

For most of us, organization is a huge issue. We all know more people who are disorganized than people who actually have their ducks in a row. It’s a fact of life! Organization is a skill that eludes many of us, and because of this, we need to find it in the easiest ways possible. We provided ample options in our list for storage! There are a ton of products which come with carrying cases for both efficiency, and mobility. You’ll never misplace a tool if you have a place to put every single one. Garages are filled with shiny, metal things and it’s easy to misplace a nut or wrench in the mess. When you put your tools away, no matter what, you’ll know something is missing. More important, you’ll know what, exactly, is missing! This means less time searching on your part. And, hey, we like the sound of that!

If the product does not come with a carrying case that’s okay! It’s a huge plus and something to watch for, but there are a few options if it doesn’t. Some cases come with extra slots. These can be for things like drills, batteries, or flashlights. If the case doesn’t come with extra slots, you can switch tools out. Let’s say you’re happy with a set, but you want to upgrade a couple tools to a better brand. Just pop out the old one, store it away somewhere else, and replace it with your new tool. Most of them should be interchangeable. You can also purchase organization systems at any supply or hardware store. Some people like to get a new case, anyways, since they can really pick out a nice one that has all the options they want.

No matter what, you should have a case that’ll organize all of your automotive products! You want to be able to find them in a pinch when you need them. Make sure they’re within reach, and easily accessible for a safer, better automotive experience.

Frequency Of Use

One of the biggest features that we look for in a product is the potential for a lot of use. Basically, we want to find products that you’ll use often. After all, you want to get as much as you can out of your automotive tools! Because of this we focused on a lot of models which can be kept in your car, and will be the most useful if you break down somewhere. There is, in fact, a theme at play here. Most of these tools fit into certain categories! We can break this down into three bullets:

– Tire Care
You always, always, always want tire care products on you. At all times. No joke! This is one of the biggest problems that car owners can face, and can cost you a pretty penny. It’s best to be able to take care of small jobs on your own. This category is comprised of, naturally, products which are for use on your tires. This includes tire repair kits, pressure gauges, air compressors, and more. The first three are the “holy trinity”, so to speak, meaning you should have those with you no matter what. If you are shopping on a budget and can only spend so much then those three will be perfect for you!

– Diagnostic Tools
One of the best, most essential tools you can have at your disposal is a diagnostic scanner. Imagine this: you’re driving along, not a care in the world. It’s summertime, and the breeze is cool, and the air smells fresh. You’re warm, and happy, and ready to take on anything. Boom! Your check engine light is on. Normally this is cause for a lot of concern. Most people are pretty terrified to take their car to a mechanic at this point, since it could literally mean anything. Sometimes the owner’s manual can be a big help. Other times you really have to suck it up and head to a professional.

A diagnostic scanner is helpful because it means you can mostly skip the hassle of dealing with a garage. This means money, and time, saved. A good diagnostic scanner can be used on the go, or at home, to determine what the problem is. Hey, maybe with a new set of tools you could even fix it yourself!

– Repair Kits
So, you figured out what’s wrong… what now? If it’s a problem with your tires then you already have what you need. Or, at least, you should. A tire repair kit is one of the biggest things that you need to keep on you. It’s been mentioned enough times for that point to be driven home! Another huge bonus is a basic tool kit. A set of mechanics tools will do very nicely for this purpose. Although, it won’t help you if you don’t know how to do basic repairs. We suggest also keeping a manual for basic repairs because of this. You can always refer to your smartphone, too. Alternatively, research a little into it and keep a bigger set so you can practice while at home!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

About Car Tools


Q: What is corrosion?

Corrosion is an electrochemical process in which electrons are transferred in such a way that it causes damage to the materials they’re transferring across. We’re not going to get that fancy, however! Basically, corrosion is a natural process that will affect all tools at some time. It can be caused by moisture, metal-on-metal action, humidity, and more. You’ve probably already heard of corrosion in a different name, though. Corrosion is actually the reaction that you can thank for causing rust!

Q: How do I prevent corrosion?

It isn’t too difficult, luckily, to prevent corrosion. Keep your tools dry, clean, and stored properly. Make sure that they aren’t clunking around where you’re keeping them. This is why ultra-organized cases are important. When every tool has a place they’ll stay secure instead of shaking around when you’re traveling. Generally speaking, just take proper care of your tools, read the manuals they come with, and do a little reading into good care practices. If you take these steps then you’ll be good to go!

Q: What are good protective coatings?

Several coatings are helpful in the prevention of corrosion, or rust. We really recommend steel alloys and tools made out of a single piece of metal. Alloys are great at protecting against corrosion. We also suggest the original “protective coating”- a proper place to store your tools! On top of this there are a few powder coatings, and other materials, that can help. You’ll be able to see the materials, and whether they’re protective or not, in the details provided by the manufacturer.

Q: How many tools do I really need?

This is highly dependent on what you’re looking to do! Don’t shy away from larger kits. You may find that somewhere down the line most of those tools become useful. At some point, you’ll be doing a job that requires a little more than usual. When that happens, with a larger kit, you’ll be prepared!

Q: For a casual user, which products are absolute essentials?

We get this as an inquiry a lot. It’s pretty complimentary to the above question! Think of it as a follow-up. So, on the other hand, you have to take into account what, exactly, you plan on doing. If you’re really not looking to do much of anything then we suggest the bare minimum:

  • A diagnostic scanner
  • Tire gauge
  • An air compressor
  • A tire repair kit

These are the products that you really, absolutely need on you at all times. They’re always handy in an emergency, and can get you out of some tough spots!

Q: What is the best brand for automotive tools?

This is a trick question for sure! There is no one brand that puts all others to shame. We’ve mentioned a few fan favorites above, and we always pick the best for our reviewed products. There are always more brands to explore, however, and other products to see. Eventually, you’ll probably find a personal favorite. Make sure to try lots of different types until then!

Q: Which products should a toolkit have in it?

So, quite frankly, there are too many small parts to mention. Because of this we really suggest buying an all-in-one set of multiple tools. These sets are specifically designed to get a person started out on the right foot. Tool sets have all the necessary products for most small jobs. You can then begin to supplement with tools that you find you need as you go along.

Essentially, like so many other things, this depends on you! This above style of doing things is suggested because it lets your toolkit fill up with the things you need. You aren’t buying fancy products before you need them, and you’ll never have tools gathering dust that just aren’t useful to you.

Q: I keep seeing “ANSI.” What does that mean?

ANSI stands for “American National Standards Institute.” This is a non-profit organization that basically sets the standards for all types of products and processes. A company accesses their services voluntarily, so you know that ANSI certified tools were crafted with care!

Q: Do I need a “lifetime warranty”?

Well, in short, yes. You can decide to forego it, of course, but we highly recommend you invest in one. Tools can break, or wear out, over time. In fact, given enough time, every tool will! With a little luck this won’t happen until much later in the products lifetime, but it’s better to be on the safe side. You don’t want to find out that your tool is broken just a few months after the warranty, for example, with no extra protection. Investing in a lifetime warranty means saving your future self some money. Trust us- your future self is currently thanking you!

Sources

  1. ANSI – What is ANSI? 
  2. Wikipedia – Corrosion
  3. Rust Gone Wild – How Does Corrosion Work?
  4. The Balance – Corrosion Prevention
  5. American Galvanizers Association – Protective Coatings