Power Tools

Power Drill

battery drill A good quality battery drill is one of those essential tools

Trolley Jack

jack A good quality trolley jack will give you relliable service for many years. Before you buy make sure your jack will be up to the job of lifting your car, add some margin in too so that your jack lifts with minimal effort.


Pillar Drill

pillar drill These drills are so usefull when drilling precise holes in metal, hand held drills cannot comptete with there accuracy, bits will also last longer and not break off.


Angle grinder

angle grinder Pritty essential even if your not modifying, thes can be very handy when removing seased bolts or cleaning off rusty components.
wire brush bit for angle grinder Wire brush attachments are an excelent way of cleaning rusty metal up quickly, however have some protective cloaths on because those wires do tend to fly off and hit you.
cutting disk

Cutting and grinding disks are two very different types of disk.

The cutting disk is a thin disks cut easly through metal but break up when grinding. Therefor a thicker disk is used for grinding.

Bench grinder

bench grinder Filing down, cleaning or pollishing


Compressor & accessories

a compressor

A compresor is a really handy tool to have in the garrage, prices are so cheep now that you'd be silly not to have one. However compressors come in different sizes and outputs. Be sure that you know what you want to do with it before you purchase. Compressor output is mesured in CFM and tools will state how much air they require to run them. The bigger the tank the longer the compressor can operate without the compressor mortor running. 50 Ltrs is a good size,

Sealey have just released a 50L vertical standing compressor (pictured), this has a tiny foot print so will fit in even the smallest garrage. Buy it now at just off base.

Check out my review here

compressor air reel Once you have a compressor you may not wish to lug it round with you every where you need it. A compressed air line is very handy but storage is a problem, these reels are excelent and come in a variety of sizes and prices.
compressor oiler This device removes water from the air line, as the compressed air will generate water from the atmosphere. This can be unwanted dammaging tools and getting in to paint. They also allow oil to be fead down the pipes to tools used on the line. Obviously if painting is your primary purpose for using compressed air oil is not somting you would want to introduce.

Brake bleader

brake pressure bleeder Possably the best tool i have ever purcased this tool makes bleading brakes simple. The tool sucks the fluid through the brake system from each caliper or drum. This makes the whole process a one person job, no peddle pumping! If you have a compressor this tool should be a no brainer

Impact wrench

When that bolts a little tight these kiddys can really lighten the load, a good quality one is essential for maximum torque. These are either powered by air or battery packs both offer impressive performance but the latter can be very expensive. They are not to be used to torque up bolts as you will dammage threads! Always use a torque wrench. They are not really essential tools but can be usefull, a long metal bar will in many circumstances do just as well. Do not buy a cheep one they will inevitbly offer very poor performance.

Air blower

blow gun Blows air.. Handy

Timing gun

timing gun

These guns operate by connecting them to the cars battery and the 1st cylinders HT lead. The gun then flashes a strobe in time with the spark. Pointing the strobe at marks on the engines pullies you can see if the marks are correctly aligend. most engines need the spark to trigger at some degree before top dead centre (when the piston is at the top of the cylinder). Once you know where it should spark this gun will show you if this is off.

Increastingly these simple timing guns are becoming obsolite i cirtainly can't remember the last time i used one. Modern engines tend to be well marked up and are easy to time correctly. Coil packs are replacing the HT lead and distributor based ignition systems meaning these guns use are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Engines that do use HT leads often employ waste spark systems which again render simple guns useless. Check cairfully that your motor will work with the gun before you buy. More advanced guns are avalible at a price.

Mig Welder

mig welder For anyone restoring an old car or making modifications a mig welder is practicaly essential. It is important to purchase a good ampage welder 150amps is a good size.
co2 bottle Ensure that you have a good size gas bottle as well the small disposable bottles will be consumed quickly and are expensive, sealey do a 1kg bottle that can be exchanged.

Engine crane

engine crane

You dont always need one. These days alot of cars can be dissassembled to a point where you can pull the engine out of the front using a trolley jack or similar.

However i find them very usefull on older cars (like mk1 golfs!) to finely move large engines or to make fine ajustments, avoiding dammaging engine bay paint work.

Somthing like this takes up alot of space even when folded up, consider hiring this tool. Just be sure to plan your work, as it could end up being cheeper to buy the tool then sell it once the job is done.

Engine stand

engine stand

Never buy one of these, they come free with loads of stuff! check out sealey offers on there website.

If you plan to fully rebuid an engine there great, the ajustable arms fit in to the blocks gearbox mouting bolt holes. You can rotate the engine on the stand to access both the top and bottom quickly and cleanly.



So a little extravagent for the home garrage, but sometimes they come up cheep and are relitively easy to stow away (appart from being very heavy).

These are often essential for pressing in wheel barings. Bushes can sometimes require pressing but often other methods are avalible. However purchasing one of these is only the start, you will then need to collect a selection of odd bits of mettal to use as props and guides so that the work can be heald properly.Ultimatly this will depend on what you are pressing and the shape of the component.

Plasma cutter

plasma cutter

Not exactly an essential peice of equipment but a plasma cutter can be a really handy bit of kit. They cut cleanly and can cut shapes with much more accuracy than an angle grinder ever could. Note most plasma cutters will require a seperate air compressor.

These inverter plasma cutters are cheep and work well they will also double up as a tig welder, although these cheep units are not able to weld aluminium.

Battery Conditioner

For batteries that have lost charge and will not hold a charge, all may not be lost. It may be possible to use a specail charging device to restore the battery. I have tried and tested this on a standard battery, after ensuring fluids are correct it took about a week for the light to turn green on the charging unit.

For about half the price of a standard battery they are a great investment if you can wait for them to work. They are also excelent at protecting a battery that is only use infrequently.

This Ctek unit is very nice, compact with quick release wiring. It comes with two sets of connectors a standard crock clip and a set that can be wired in permenently.