Five More Essential Non-Spanner Tools

Spanners and sockets are key to working on cars. But it will only take one or two jobs to realise…

Spanners and sockets are key to working on cars. But it will only take one or two jobs to realise that your tool collection needs to go beyond that. A while ago we flagged up five tools that are an essential part of your collection, and today we are here with five more.

Big fat hammer

Sometimes things don’t come apart. You can pull, you can push, you can try fancy leverage techniques. By this point, you’re dripping with sweat, you have exhausted your vocabulary of indecent words, and you’ve gotten no further. It’s time to use a little persuasion. This is where the big fat hammer comes into play. Suspension arm that won’t budge loose? Bash it. Brake disc seized to the hub? Pound it. Sometimes a little shock and awe is all it takes.

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Magnet on a stick

As a compliment to the flexible claw grabber we mentioned last time, a small magnet on a telescopic stick is an incredibly useful tool as well. This is particularly true when you’ve dropped something into a crevice and you can’t see it, or it has disappeared behind your workbench. Fish around in the general area, and wait for that satisfying ‘click’ as the lost item attaches itself to the magnet. In fact, if you go to Amazon, you’ll find a claw grabber, magnetic tray, and a magnet on a stick offered as a convenient bundle. Even more apt is the name: NoCry. Because these will save you from many tears.

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Steel drill bits

Bolts break. Screw heads round off. It’s a fact of life. And if it’s sheered off below the surface, your only option is going to be to drill it out. With a good set of high-speed steel bits and some lubrication, you can make quick work of a broken fastener. What’s more, if you follow Ralph Hosier’s advice and resharpen them from time to time, a good set will last you for ages.

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Writing implements

Be it a whiteboard, or a piece of cardboard and a Sharpie, being able to write things down as you go is key. A checklist of tasks will keep you focused. A bigger project might require some drawings and diagrams, or maybe you need to make note of some calculations. Having something to hand that you can quickly write on will help keep you organised.


Because how can you work on cars without a brew? And make sure you serve it up in a Not2Grand mug!

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