Must-have tools for every mechanic, based on personal experience. Check out this list for the best tools for the mechanic!
There’s almost nothing more satisfying that being a successful mechanic. The person people go to when the car breaks down and they have run out of options. Someone who can say, “Yeah, I think I know what the problem could be!”
But a good mechanic can only be as effective as the tools in the toolbox. In the following list, I’ve outlined the best gifts for the mechanic in your life. I’ve included links to each tool, too. For more information on each tool, click the link to see the product page.
I personally either own or would like to own every item on this list, I hope you find this list useful!
#1 – Socket Set
Every mechanic should have a nice socket set for the shop, but also one for the car or truck. This is a great compact set of sockets with a decent case that is easy to grab when you are heading out for some emergency maintenance situation. It can also be great for keeping in the trunk for roadside emergencies.
This set contains all the most common sizes, both Metric and SAE, for working on by American and foreign vehicles, as well as for other jobs requiring nuts and bolts.
I’m starting with the classic Leatherman multi-tool. For a more detailed review of this multi-tool, check out this post. This is one of those tools that if you had to choose one to keep with you at all times, it would be this. It’s got all the basic functions necessary for a lot of maintenance jobs, and can save you a trip back to the shop when you just need a simple tool like a screwdriver or pliers.
It’s got the pliers, knife, Philips and Straight screwdriver, and more. I should also mention that Gerber has some of these multi-tools that are really big and clunky. This one is one of the lightest, full-functioning Leatherman’s available. I own this one and use it for basic mechanic work when I don’t have access to my shop tools.
If your mechanic doesn’t already have one of these, get one, you can’t go wrong. The Leatherman is an all round great tool to keep handy. Great for stashing one in the vehicle for emergencies.
Click the link to find out the current rate on Amazon.
#3 – Dip-Stick T-Shirt
First we need to start with the right outfit. “Grease monkey” is the old-school term for a mechanic. It originated during the industrial revolution and now refers mostly to car or airplane mechanics. This is the perfect shirt for tooling around in the shop.
#4 – Set of Screwdrivers
Every mechanic needs a good set of screwdrivers. These ones are nice because of the bright color; easy to spot when you need them. It’s also nice just to have a matching set, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like the hodge-podge of mismatched screwdrivers as much as the next, but sometimes a set with all the most used sizes, is really nice to have.
This particular set includes the screwdrivers necessary for 90% of jobs requiring one.
#5 – Tool Bag
Now that you’ve got all these tools, give him something to put them in!
In the old days, mechanics used to go around with enormous metal toolboxes. Why? The tools are tough enough to handle being jumbled together, and they jumble whether they are in a durable bag or an incredibly heavy metal box. Tool bags are the new normal for most mechanics.
I have this Stanley tool bag, and it is the perfect size for bringing out to car or some other remote place to perform some maintenance. It has internal pockets for some of the smaller tools. Reasonably priced, so pick one up at the link below.
#6 – Jack Stands
When he has his head and neck underneath that 2-ton vehicle, do you really want to be trusting the scissor jack that came with the car? He’s tough but not dense…
Get a pair of jack-stands and don’t worry about the vehicle collapsing on him. Get a gift that can actually save lives!
This set of 2-ton capacity jack-stands are best sellers.
#7 – Socket Wrench and Sockets
This is the perfect gift if you want several people to go in together. Each component isn’t a bank-buster, but together makes a really excellent set.
The 1/2″ Socket Set is used for the bigger, manly jobs, like working on the cars and trucks. This isn’t the 3/8″ drive for general maintenance, or, heaven forbid, the (almost useless) 1/4″ Socket set. I personally bought and use these Stanley sockets and can say that they definitely get the job done. I like the switching mechanism between clockwise and anti-clockwise. It just works more smoothly than others I have used.
Click the links to see the current price.
Need a stocking stuffer related to these? Get this 3-pack of extensions for those hard to reach spots.
These wrenches are awesome! Great for tight spots where your arm is buried deep into the mechanical jungle, and you need to turn a nut or a bolt, a ratcheting wrench allows you to tighten or loosen without needing to remove the wrench from the nut.
I have this exact set, and used them yesterday. Hard to go back to a fixed wrench after using these!
So helpful when working on a bolt that is not easy to get to, and helpful in general even if it is. Great gift for any grease monkey, this set of 20 has you covered for both SAE (English) and Metric.
Check the link for the current price.
#9 – Hydraulic Jack
This is another one of those time saving devices. I’m constantly jacking up the vehicle by hand. This gets time consuming and really unneccessary. Why waste time when you could be spending it on the fun stuff? This is next on my purchase list because they are just so handy and I keep hearing such great things about them.
Keep this jack in the garage, and give your mechanic the ability to quickly checkout that strange noise you’ve been hearing!
This is the 3-ton unit, for plenty of lifting power.
#10 – Torque Wrench
Did you know that there is a tightness specification for every nut and bolt on your vehicle? Too loose, and the part can fall off. Too tight, and the threads can be damaged, leaving you susceptible to problems in the future.
Don’t risk it! Use a torque wrench and get the proper tightness for every nut. I bought this torque wrench and I’ve been really happy with it. I use it for everything from brakes to bearings. If your mechanic doesn’t have one of these, it will change the way maintenance is done on your vehicles. Everything just goes more smoothly when nuts are torqued properly. Pick this one up on Amazon.
And as a Bonus, #11:
#11 – Impact Wrench
This tool was life-changing for me. Suddenly jobs that were taking 4 hrs were taking two. It literally cut the time to do jobs in half. Do you know how often you have to remove lug nuts to do most DIY repair work on vehicles? If the mechanic in your life is still removing lug nuts by hand, do him/her a favor and get them an impact wrench.
This is the only tool on the list that requires an air compressor, so make sure they have that, but if so, this one is really nice.
This is the impact wrench I use, and it is really a great tool, plus it just looks like a beast! This would be a great addition to any tool shop. Check the link for the current price.
Also, in order to last for years to come, it will need to be lubricated. Consider a bottle of some air tool lube, as a stocking stuffer.
Well, there you have it. I hope you found this helpful in finding the perfect gift for the mechanic in your life!
Need more ideas? Check out the Top 17 Best Christmas Gifts for Men!