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4 Things Every Mechanic Must Have in Their Toolbox (That Aren’t Tools)

Mechanic's Toolbox

Most mechanics have a long and ever-growing list of tools to add to their toolbox. As you build up your arsenal, make sure you leave space in your toolbox for a few indispensable items.


When it comes to jobs in dark or tough to reach places, nothing beats a flashlight’s ability to shine a light on a problem. While most vehicles are equipped with a hood light that is useful for basic jobs, like replacing a battery or checking the oil, there are many places under the hood that this light just can’t reach. Some engine and exhaust problems require mechanics to work from the underbelly of the vehicle, which makes the hood light unimportant. Flashlights that have a tail magnet are especially useful for mechanics, offering the flexibility of hands-free lighting once the perfect lighting angle is found. Just touch the flashlight to the nearest metal surface and enjoy steady light right where you need it.

Ear Protection

Being around loud exhaust systems, engines, and tools without hearing protection can result in permanent hearing loss. If working on machinery is your daily job, the risk of hearing loss is multiplied. Dampen the loud sounds in your work environment by investing in over or in-ear hearing protection and maintain the long-term health of your ears. When choosing your ear protection consider whether you need to muffle or completely eliminate the sounds of your working environment. For mechanics who diagnose problems by listening to the irregularities in the engine or exhaust, it might be a good idea to have a number of noise reduction options available.

Zip Ties

They may not look elegant, but zip ties will certainly help get the job done. Zip ties are incredibly versatile, making them a great addition to any toolbox. Highly heat resistant and sturdy, zip ties can be used in creative ways to replace small plastic pieces that break with wear and tear, bundle wires, clamp down insulation, and more. Zip ties are also relatively inexpensive, so they won’t break the bank if you find yourself needing to cut them away to make adjustments.


There are a lot of nuts, bolts, and washers holding an engine together. Sometimes, removing these fasteners can be a bit like a game of operation. One false move and everything might fall into a small gap in the machinery impossible to fit a hand through. A magnet can help retrieve these errant items and help keep a small project from turning into an all-day problem. Choose a magnet with the ability to extend so that you can get to the furthest reaches of a difficult work spot. When you’re done working, a quick sweep with the magnet can also ensure you haven’t forgotten or dropped any important fasteners on the shop floor.

While they may not be as flashy as an impact driver or as high-tech as a code scanner, adding these four items to your toolbox is a smart move for every mechanic.

Author’s bio: Lauryn Pleva is a Junior Content Writer for Boxwood Digital, an Ecommerce SEO agency in Lakewood, Colorado. When she’s not writing, Lauryn enjoys exploring the many outdoor experiences Colorado has to offer. 

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