I’ve been a mechanic for well over twenty years, and I love my tools. I’m sentimental about them; some I’ve had since I was a boy, others remind me of people, places, jobs that went well, jobs that turned to crap.
Over my career, I’ve bought expensive tools, cheap tools, and ones in between. I’ve inherited some of my grandfather’s tools, which I love to use.
When you swing wrenches for a living, you need good reliable tools that save you time.
Most applications will employ Metric size fasteners, but some older kit may use SAE, also known as Imperial or Standard size.
I have a ton of SAE wrenches and sockets that haven’t ever been used, but when you need them, you need them, so you’ll see both types listed in socket and wrench sets.
A good quality tool, if cared for, will last a lifetime; it’s an investment. This page is dedicated to solid tools at fair prices, many of which I own.
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ATV Battery Test Tools
I like the Cartman boosters; they stay flexible even in low temperatures. They have double grip clamps, and the set is guaranteed for 5 years. Picture links to Amazon.com.
This is a clever battery charger, plug it in, attach it to your battery, and forget it. After it finishes charging, it trickles charges, and it’s safe to leave it on all winter. Picture links to Amazon.com. Picture links to Amazon.com.
The NOCO jump starter pack is a serious tool, don’t let its size fool you. This little guy fights way above its weight. Capable of starting a diesel truck engine and yet small enough to fit in your glove box.
It features smart design and technology, it won’t allow you to connect backways, and it features a no spark technology, meaning it doesn’t arc when connected to the battery, nice!
It’s powered by the latest technology lithium battery. But it’s got a few more tricks; it’s a fast charger too (2 hours), which means you can use it to charge not only your ATV or dirt bike but also your car, truck, boat, mower, snow blower battery as well as jump-start them.
Other features include – a charge port for charging your phone or iPad, comes with an eight-mode hand lamp (500 lumens), a 12v 15amp port to power air pumps, or whatever.
I’m a fan.
Cartman battery and alternator tester. This inexpensive tool makes testing your vehicle’s battery and alternator really simple. Connect it up, red to positive and black to the negative side of the battery, and read the traffic light display. Starting and running the vehicle will test the alternator.
ATV Electrical Test & Repair Tools
An inexpensive test light lights red for power and green for ground. Sharp probe for piercing wiring, where back probing isn’t possible.
Every workshop needs a DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter). It’s used to check for continuity in wiring and battery voltage. I use mine every day, and I own the previous model to this one, and it’s still doing its job. Picture links to Amazon.com.
A Power probe is an excellent tool to have around. Great for testing circuits, relays, fuses, checking battery voltage, checking alternator output, checking the ground, and volt drop testing. I’ve had a power probe forever, and it’s still going strong.
This tool is used to check both the spark plug and the coil for spark. Sure, you can check the spark without the tool, but it’s not as good; the tool is designed to stress the whole ignition system. Picture links to Amazon.com.
ATV Torqueing & Measuring Tools
Teng is my favored torque wrench; three sizes are available. I use a Teng torque wrench in the workshop; it’s tough, easy to use, and reliable. A torque wrench is used to tighten fasteners like lug nuts, cylinder head bolts, oil pans, etc. Mechanics will need a 1/2 drive and a 3/8 in drive. This is the 1/2 wrench.
This is the mid-size model; it’s a 3/8 inch drive and ranges from 3.5 ft. lbs. (5 Nm) to 36.5 ft. lbs. (50 Nm). This is the type of torque wrench ideal for tightening plugs, covers, etc. It’s 14 inches long, easy to use, durable, and will go the distance.
This is the baby Teng torque wrench and is not used a whole ton in workshops. It’s a 1/4 inch drive, and it uses an inch-pound (in. lbs.) scale as opposed to ft. lbs. Inch is obviously a finer measurement of torque. The wrench itself covers 50 to 250 in. lbs. It is used for tightening small fasteners, engine covers, etc.
Tusk wheel builders torque wrench 30 to 150-inch pounds set takes the guesswork out of spoke torquing. A must-have for dirt bike wheel repair or building. Picture links to Amazon.com.
The ABN 26-blade feeler gauge set is marked in SAE and metric. You’ll need this set to adjust the valve lash and is useful when setting the armature/coil air gap. You can also use it to gap spark plugs. Picture links to Amazon.com.
This tool isn’t strictly necessary if you have a feeler gauge, but it’s a lot easier to handle. If you haven’t guessed, you use this tool to check the gap in your spark plug, a simple effective tool. Picture links to Amazon.com.
ATV Hand Tools
Antivibration gloves are important; using impact guns for prolonged periods can damage nerves in the hands and arms. It’s a condition known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), and as yet there’s no cure. If you intend to use an impact wrench for a living, please wear anti-vibration gloves. The Vgo is a good quality glove; it’s tough, offers anti-vibration protection, is breathable, and is touch-screen capable.
DeWalt Max XR cordless 20v Impact wrench makes any job a pleasure. It has the power to bust open rusty fasteners and is an excellent tool for the trunk of your car. DeWalt makes great products, this is the latest in brushless tech, and they go on and on. An impact wrench needs specialized sockets, ordinary 1/2 inch sockets will fit, but they aren’t a match for the power of the DeWalt. Impact sockets are specially hardened for the job.
Gearwrench is a pretty solid performer, I have lots of their tools, and they work just fine. This is a 56-piece 3/8 inch drive ratchet with a six-point socket set. Typical mechanics use 1/2 inch, 3/8, and 1/4 inch drive, ratchet, and socket sets, however, a good 3/8 set is a great allrounder.
Six-point sockets grip better than 12 points, and that’s an advantage when working on older cars where fasteners may be corroded. This set covers all the main socket sizes in both Metric and SAE and includes two extensions, a 3 and 6-inch and a swivel extension.
Regular size sockets 6-19mm
Deep sockets 6-19mm
Regular sockets – 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, 1″.
Deep sockets – 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″.
This is a 3-piece wobble extension (3, 6, and 10 inches), these guys are really useful when working on hard-to-reach fasteners. The wobble allows approx. 17-degree offset which doesn’t sound like a lot but makes the world of difference when trying to access fasteners square on.
This is the one tool I use every day because it’s just so versatile. It’s a 3/8-inch drive ratchet with a 180-degree pivoting head and telescoping handle. Need more leverage, pull the collar, and now you have the power to bust open bolts with minimum force.
Can’t work on modern kit without a good Hex and Torx bit set. This Gearwrench master 84-bit set will have you covered. It includes 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch drive.
Hex/Ball End Hex/Tamper Proof Torx/E-Torx/Torx in Metric and SAE.
A breaker bar or cheater bar is a must-have for those stubborn bolts, like lug nuts and suspension work. This 3/8 and 1/2 drive combo is ideal for the DIY’er, it’s strong and versatile.
Speed is everything; this Gearwrench 16-piece ratcheting flexbox head multi-point wrench set comes with all the most common metric sizes (8-25mm).
Gearwrench 28-piece box end wrench set. This is a six-point that grips the fastener head more securely and is less likely to slip. I used 6 points to open fasteners that 12 points can’t.
Gearwrench 20 pieces durable screwdriver set – Philips, Flathead, Torx stubby, and mini drivers. You won’t need another screwdriver; this is the set.
You’ll find a ton of uses for Tekton Prybars with angled tips; they are great for suspension work or where you need to apply leverage in a confined area, saved me a lot of time over the years. The Tekton uses steel caps, so you can apply hammer shock treatment without damaging the handles.
3 lengths – 12, 17, and 25 inches with
Gearwrench 7-piece hook and pick set, you won’t believe how often you’ll use these guys. I use mine every day for so many applications from stripping down components, cleaning, fishing for lost fasteners, disconnecting wiring harnesses and the list goes on.
I can’t work without good light, if I don’t have good light, I find the job goes downhill quickly. I’ve had several of these lamps, not because they break but because I lose them.
I’ve bounced mine on the ground so many times, and it survived. They are a real MacGyver of a lamp, magnet, hooks, LED area light, and spotlight.
A head-mounted lamp is like having a third hand a real advantage when you are doing battle. This rechargeable LEd head-mounted lamp is conveniently sold and delivered by Amazon.com
Every mechanic needs a dead blow hammer, this hammer is perfect for manipulating soft metals that would otherwise be damaged by a regular steel hammer. The two-pound Neiko hammer is up to the job and colored brightly, so it never gets left behind.
Vice grips are like an extra pair of hands. This five-piece will have you covered. The original American-made grips were the best, but you can’t get them anymore. I have an original set, and the quality is outstanding; if you get the chance to buy an old set, grab them with both hands.
Can’t be a mechanic without a good pliers set. Gearwrench makes a good four-piece, it includes square nose pliers, channel locks, Needlenose, and side-cutting pliers.
This useful tool can save a ton of heartache, it’s great for siphoning gas, diesel, brake fluid, coolant, and engine oil. The tubing slips down the engine dipstick tube and is capable of emptying the oil in jig time. Saves crawling under the engine and messing around with covers and drain plugs.
Pro-Lift 3-ton ratcheted axle stands. Strong, easy to use, you’ll never need to buy another and you can use them on your car or truck, RV, boat, etc.
Quality Ares aluminum nine-piece 3/8 drive oil filter set that will cover most vehicles, both cartridge and canister style filters. The set includes eight filter cups and one universal filter tool.
ATV Coolant System Repair Tools
A No-spill funnel makes filling and purging air from the coolant system easy. If you’re going to flush or change your coolant, this tool will make you look like a pro.
Combustion leak test kit. Head gasket failure isn’t always so obvious. In those cases use this chemical leak tester. Check for combustion chamber leaks into the coolant system. Comes with a test tool and chemical, enough product here for about a dozen tests.
Perfect coolant system and rad cap test kit. Coolant leaks out and air sneaking into your coolant system are common causes of overheating, poor heat, and intermittent heat. Very often, the issue is simple: a bad coolant cap or loose hose clamp. This little tool, while not premium quality, is perfect for the occasional user.
It pressurizes the system, and the gauge and your ears will tell you if there’s a leak. Check that it suits your vehicle before pulling the trigger.
Remote hose clamp tool made by Astro. Some coolant hose clamps are impossible to access without the use of this ingenious tool.
Most small engines will have a gas tap, which is really handy when removing the carburetor, and stops gas flowing all over the shop. However, clamps are still very useful; these clamps simply squeeze the fuel line and prevent a spill while you perform surgery. Works great on coolant system hoses, too. Picture links to Amazon.com.
Ethylene Glycol coolant tester is easy to use and durable. Take a sample of the coolant and read the floating discs to check coolant strength, simple!
I love my refractometer because it does it all, and measures both coolant types – ethylene glycol and propylene. Measures the freezing point of windshield washer fluid. Not only that, it measures the specific gravity of battery acid which indicates the state of charge. It also measures Urea strength in DPF fluid, so if you drive a diesel truck, you’ll have another use for this tool.
ATV Compression Test Tools
OTC make good tools, you don’t use a compression test kit every day, but when you need it, you want it to be reliable. That’s especially true when diagnosing major engine issues.
This kit is easy to use and reads in psi and kPa. Comes with a 10mm adaptor, 12mm adaptor, 14mm on 12-inch flex hose, 14mm long reach on 12-inch flex hose, and 18mm adaptor.
A large dial with a quick coupling connection at the end of a 25-inch flex hose.
The OTC is a quality kit and will last many years of use. A leak-down tester will require compressed air. The tester measures how much air escapes a cylinder and helps you find weak rings, valves head gaskets, etc. Picture links to Amazon.com.
ATV Brake Repair Tools
Simple easy-to-use brake tool, twisting the knob pushes the piston back into the brake caliper. Makes the whole job move like butter. Picture links to Amazon.com.
Brake fluid moisture tester, this simple tester is a really fast way to check the moisture content of your fluid. Brake fluid should be changed every three years. Moisture inside the hydraulic system is, as you know, bad for a couple of reasons.
First, it reduces brake performance when the fluid gets hot and second moisture inside the system attacks metal components causing corrosion. This will lead to caliper, brake line, and master cylinder damage.
Useful one-man vacuum brake and clutch bleeding kit that won’t hurt the pocket. It’s perfect for occasional brake maintenance chores, is easy to use, and gets the job done. Picture links out to Amazon.com.
Pulling & Holding Tools
A flywheel (rotor) puller is required to remove the rotor. And rotor removal is a must if you need to replace the stator/pickup assembly a common cause of no-start (no spark). The TUSK puller is a nicely made piece of kit and makes a difficult job really easy. This puller suits most Yamaha models; the picture links out to Amazon.com, where you can check the complete compatibility list.
Attempting to remove a rotor with a regular 2 or 3-jaw puller isn’t advised, as it can damage the engine casing.
The tusk clutch holding tool is required for holding assemblies while the fasteners are being released and fastened. It is best to avoid using an impact un on sensitive engine components if possible. Picture links out to Amazon.com.
A bearing and seal puller is a must-have tool if you are attempting bottom-end repairs. This set specializes in removing blind bearings, it employs a small slide hammer and various fittings to grab, hold, and remove the bearing or seal. Picture links out to Amazon.com.
U joint and knuckle balljoint removal and fitting are easy and satisfying with the right tools. This set will have you covered and comes with a selection of adaptors and accompanying cups together with a C press. Mechanic tip – always lube the threads before use, preventing thread damage. Picture links out to Amazon.com.
The Tusk wheel bearing greasing tool makes bearing maintenance a ton easier. Remove the wheel and drive shaft fastener, lube the tool seal before fitting, and finally grease. Rebuild, job done! Covers most Polaris models. Picture links out to Amazon.com.
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