Tools You Need In Your Home Garage

Tools Every DIYer Needs In Their Workspace

Taking up a new project this summer? Or do you wish to set up your own garage at home? Tools are a necessity for anyone who wishes to work on anything whether it's your car, your home, or maybe a new hobby like model making or woodworking, etc. If you are starting out in the “garage game”, then you need to have these tools in your garage to essentially get any work done. 

1. Hammers

Hammers have been one of the first tools to ever exist and still continue to come in handy to this day. There are many types of hammers and each has its own dedicated purpose. For example, a claw hammer allows you to pull out a nail or apply leverage and a dead blow hammer is ideal for hammering out things without damaging the body or surface. A sledgehammer is an indispensable tool when shear power is needed. Having the right set of hammers in your toolbox is a necessity in every workspace. 

2. Screwdrivers

It is impossible to imagine a garage without a good set of screwdrivers because a screwdriver is one of the most essential hand tools in any workman's bit. Three principal parts of a screwdriver are the handle, shaft or shank, and the drive tip. The handle is used for gripping and is usually made of hard plastic or rubber. The shaft is made of strong steel to resist bending or twisting while force is applied. The drive tip or the bit is an integrated part of the shaft and is used to drive the screws. This seemingly simple set of parts is an integral addition to every handyman or woman’s toolset. The driver tip comes in different sizes and shapes to allow working on different types of screws and nuts. The most common types include Phillips heads, flatheads, Torx heads, etc. 

3. Wrench

You will need a wrench when working on anything with a nut or bolt, so their importance in a toolbox is quite evident. A combination wrench is a combination of open and closed-end wrenches. They are made up of an open-end on one side and a box-end on the other. They offer the best of both open and box wrenches as the open end is used for tightening and loosening in small spaces and the box end for leverage and firm grip around nuts and bolts. Combination wrenches either come in single sizes or are offered in a pack that consists of different size wrenches. 

Combination ratcheting wrenches are similar to traditional wrenches except that it comprises a ratchet at one end that allows the tool to spin only in one direction at a time. This allows easy positioning of the tool without releasing the fastener. The combination ratchet wrench saves time and allows faster turning. However, they are not as powerful, rigid, and fixed as non-ratcheting wrenches. 

4. Ratchet And Socket Set

A well-stocked toolbox is essential if you are establishing a collection or adding to your existing tools setup. Ratchet and socket sets are one such tool that is used for many repairs and projects in any garage. The ratchet allows the user to turn the fastener without repositioning the tool repeatedly. Ratchet and socket sets are available with different types of connectors and extensions that make it very easy to reach tough spots and tight places. The socket grips the fastener and avoids slippage. 

Ratchets come in various sizes like 3/8 inch drive, 1/4 inch drive, and 1/2 inch drive. The ratchet drive size is selected based on the nature of the job, the heavier the job the bigger the drive size. 

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5. Pliers

A plier is a versatile tool as it is useful in many situations. Pliers can be of different types depending on the construction, but the working of most pliers is similar. Plier consists of a nose or jaw used for gripping an object, a fulcrum that acts as a pivot point where the jaw and handles connect. Pliers are also provided with cutters which are a sharpened sections at the base of the jaws and are used for cutting wires and cables. Common types of pliers include long-nose or needle-nose pliers, locking pliers, cutting pliers, etc. 

6. Files

A file is a hand tool, used for trimming or finishing a job of metal or wood. It is made of high-carbon steel and has numerous cutting points on one side. After cutting a job of the metal or wood, the surface becomes rough, and a file can be used to smoothen out the roughness. Files are also used for sharpening the edges of other cutting tools.

Files are of various types and are classified on the basis of their shape. Types of files include flat file, round file, half-round file, triangular file, square file, hand file, knife-edge file, etc. They are also classified on the basis of the number of teeth across the length. A bastard file has fewer teeth across its length, a rough file has more compared to a bastard file and is used for rough cutting. Similarly, a second cut file offers smoother cutting because of more teeth compared to a rough file, a smooth file has more teeth and a dead smooth file has the maximum number of teeth for smooth cutting and finishing.

7. Pry Bar

A pry bar is also known as a crowbar or wrecking bar. Pry bar helps to provide leverage to break apart almost any component and knock things loose. Pry bars have an angled and flattened end that acts as a lever, allowing you to apply a significant amount of force between two objects. They are made of durable steel and are available in various shapes and sizes. Different types of pry bars include alignment pry bar, digging pry bar, cat's claw pry bar, flat pry bar, etc.

8. Impact Wrench

An impact wrench is an automated device that helps loosen or tighten bolts and nuts with little to no effort making it an ideal tool for any garage. The impact wrench is capable of generating high torque which allows easy removal or tightening of bolts. They are generally used in combination with pneumatic or electrical power. Impact wrenches are offered in different torque capacities, sizes, and chuck types and you can choose among these factors depending on the job you need to work on. Impact wrenches have the ability to quickly remove and tighten nuts and bolts. This decreases the effort required and makes it easier to finish the project. These wrenches, assisted by an air compressor or electric motor, have more power than your hands and are very easy to use.

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When using an impact wrench you cannot use the standard socket sets, as they are not designed to handle the high torque the impact wrench generates. Impact sockets are made of heavier duty material compared to regular sockets and come with a black-oxide coating that can withstand constant vibrations without chipping, unlike the chrome-finished ones. 

9. Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is a tool that is used for tightening a nut or a bolt at a specific torque. Each vehicle comes with specific torque specifications for each part set by the manufacturer. Not only the wheels but other components like cylinder head bolts, oil pan bolts, etc should be tightened with the specified torque value recommended by the manufacturer. This is important for the safety and performance of the component. The use of tools like torque wrench allows the fasteners to be tightened to the proper tension, which helps to avoid damage from over-tightening, ensures the safety and long life of the component.

A torque wrench is a sensitive and precise tightening tool that measures the amount of force or torque applied while tightening a nut or a bolt. The handle of the wrench comprises an internal indicator that is connected to a calibrated scale. The scale shows the amount of torque applied while tightening a bolt. Torque wrenches are classified into beam type, dial type, and clicker type based on the way they take readings. Beam type uses a pointer that shows the reading on the scale as the force is applied. The dial-type has a dial indicator attached to the case of the wrench whereas the clicker type has a spring-loaded lever that can be adjusted to the desired torque reading and when that limit is achieved while tightening the bolt, the wrench creates a clicking sound alerting the operator that the torque limit has been reached. 

10. Tool Organizer

With so many tools, it can be difficult to maintain and preserve them all properly without losing or damaging them. This is why tool organizers are a must in every garage. Anyone with a large collection of tools requires a tools organizer. Toolboxes are commonly used to store a large number of tools, but the problem with them is the mess and clutter they cause. Without proper location for every tool, it is hard to find the right tool when needed urgently. Therefore, it becomes necessary to invest in tool organizers. An effective tool organization strategy makes the workplace more productive by saving time, prolonging the life of the tools, and keeping you safe from any mishaps. 

Tool organizers are used for storing a wide array of tools in a large movable rack built from different materials like steel and aluminum. They comprise drawers and cabinets to compartmentalize your tools according to your liking and are equipped with wheels so they can be moved easily. 

11. Level

Levels are an incredibly important tool if you want to create anything accurately. Getting the right angles can be a daunting task, but a level makes the job effortless. These are an essential addition to any toolbox and help you create structures or things accurately.

12. Breaker Bar

Those tough bolts or nuts are no match for those who hold the breaker bar. A breaker bar, power bar, or extension bar is a long bar that extends the wrench to apply more torque for the same amount of force by increasing the length of the wrench. Bolts and nuts have a tendency to corrode and seize making it very hard to undo them with just a wrench. The breaker bar is a simple yet effective tool that helps remove even the rustiest of bolts. They are also good for removing jammed lug nuts, so make sure to have one in your garage or vehicle at all times. 

13. Funnels

Dealing with liquids when working in a garage is inevitable so a good set of funnels will come in handy quite often. They are simple equipment that costs very little but is very helpful. They are offered in various sizes like a 2-quart funnel, 3-quart funnel, and types like capped funnel, adjustable, flexible, or extendable funnels.

14. Shop Vacuum

When you are in the zone and busy working on things, you should not be worried about making a mess. So it is useful to have a shop vac in your workshop to quickly and effortlessly clean up even the biggest mess. Shop vacuums come in two types; industrial and household. Industrial shop vacs are extremely powerful and some even have the ability to suck up wet dirt easily. However, these need to be professionally installed and can be quite expensive. On the other hand, heavy-duty household vacuum cleaners are powerful enough for daily use and are suitable for DIYers and home garage users. 

15. Air Compressor

Air compressor is multifaceted equipment that is useful in every garage and fulfills the needs of both industrial and home applications. There are many advantages to having an air compressor in your garage. There is a wide variety of tools that work pneumatically which can increase productivity tenfolds in your garage. Some of the things that can be easily done thanks to air compressors are fixing flats or inflating, pressure washing, sandblasting, or supplying power for operating tools like drills, sanders, grinders, nail guns, spray guns, etc. The capacity and motor are a few things you need to consider when buying a new air compressor. 

16. Air Tools

If you do own an air compressor then you have a wide variety of air tools at your disposal.  Unlike electric tools, air tools do not require a power source to run and hence are much lighter and also have higher power outputs. Since they do not have a motor inside, there is no likelihood of failure. They also last a long time and need little to no maintenance. The compressed air can be used to run tools like pneumatic wrench, ratchet, grinder, drill, hammer, paint sprayer, saw, sanders, air blowguns, etc. The compressed air can also be used with other equipment such as a sandblaster, high-pressure washer, and vacuum. 

17. Workshop Lights

Any decent workstation or garage requires adequate lighting. Lack of proper lighting is not only a safety hazard but can also reduce your efficiency when working on any project. There are plenty of lighting options out there for your garage like light fixtures, overhead LED shop lights, under-hood work lights, flashlights, headlamps, etc. if you are working in tight spaces then you also need flashlights for better illumination in such areas. It can be difficult to work under your car while carrying out repairs, especially at night. Under-hood lights are the best solution and offer a good view of your engine and the underside of the vehicle. These lights provide the freedom to work with both hands and keep you safe from other factors while working under the vehicle.

18. Bench Grinders

A bench grinder is used for many tasks like cutting, sharpening, grinding, shaping, buffing, polishing, etc. It is essential equipment to have in any garage or workshop to carry out repairs and fabrication. They are used for sharpening objects like chisels, saw blades, knives, etc. Often vehicle repair and maintenance require minor fabrication and metalwork. This is when powerful equipment like a bench grinder comes in handy. 

19. Vise

Vise provides a helping hand like none other. They help you grip things securely so you can work on them and come in handy in many situations like welding, cutting, grinding, etc. If you will be working with heavy objects that need to be held tightly as you work on them, then a vise is irreplaceable. The vise comes in different sizes for different work environments, choose one according to your requirements. For general use on DIY projects or working with vehicle components a 4 - 6 inch vise would suffice. Make sure your workbench is able to handle the weight of the vise as they tend to be quite heavy. 

20. Safety Equipment

When it comes to safety, you can not and should not compromise. So make sure to carry all necessary safety equipment whenever working on anything. A few of the most essential safety products for a garage include safety glasses, welding masks, nitrile gloves, safety apparel, safety boots, mask, first aid kit, and fire extinguishers.

John Framigllia
Technical Writer
Our technical writer is known for simplifying automotive parts and services. Intuitive with various vehicles and manufacturers, he knows how to simplify complicated problems.