Many people are turning to servicing, maintaining and repairing their cars themselves. There are some essential tools and pieces of equipment that every home mechanic should have to make their lives easier and improve their workspace. Here’s a selection of our favourites.
A ‘proper’ toolbox/cabinet
Depending on how much you want to spend and the range of jobs you are taking on, you should be organising your tools in either a box or a cabinet. Toolboxes are great for storing smaller tools and components as well as taking them all with you to the task, whereas cabinets can store a much greater number and range of tools – but are typically fairly static.
Choose the right type of tool storage for your needs and make sure it is of a high quality (construction and materials) and you will still be using it for decades to come.
These are an essential for any garage. A mechanic’s seat is essentially a height-adjustable stool on wheels. It can usually be lowered more than a typical adjustable chair, allowing you to sit and work comfortably for sustained periods. If you are even considering lengthy tasks like sanding or painting your vehicle, the first thing you should do is get a mechanic’s seat.
If you have back problems or suffer from posture-related aches and pains, a saddle-type stool is the best option as the shape of the seat will make you adopt a more ergonomically appropriate position. Working underneath your vehicle? Get a lay-flat ‘creeper’ seat – in its flat position it is a bit like a heavy-duty skateboard with padding, so you can slide in and out of position super easily.
On the subject of working under your vehicle – you’ll need a jack. Hydraulic jacks are available in a few different types, so make sure you get the right one for you. A bottle jack takes up very little space in storage or in use, but isn’t necessarily as stable as a trolley jack. If your car is sporty/lowered, make sure to get a jack with low clearance – any quality supplier should be able to help you out. Similarly, if you drive an SUV or heavier vehicle, make sure that your jack has the appropriate lifting capacity. Never use a jack that is not suitable for your vehicle – if it fails while you are under the vehicle you will suffer serious injuries.
First aid/fire safety
Often overlooked by the home mechanic, don’t forget to stock your garage with appropriate first aid and firefighting equipment. Grinding metals, changing batteries and other electrical equipment can quickly produce sparks that can ignite whatever’s lying around – a fire extinguisher will prevent serious damage to property, vehicle and people.
Likewise, it’s easy to slip with a screwdriver and cut yourself, or have the bonnet close on your head/hand (it sounds like it would never happen, but there’s not a professional mechanic in the country who hasn’t seen it or experienced it – and they’re professionals) so make sure you have some plasters, gauze, bandages and disinfectant ready for use.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk