Beginner Mechanic Tools

When starting out your automotive training, you will need a nice tool set to get you off the ground. These are the best beginner mechanic tools.

Essential Tools for the Beginner Mechanic

All automotive students are required to have their own tool set. But let’s be honest most of them don’t know what tools are essential and which are non- essential. With the lack of better advice, they may end up investing in overpriced, wrong mechanical tools.  The following list of mechanic tools will serve as a guide for aspiring auto mechanics. This list includes some of the most used mechanic tools, the majority being hand tools, and descriptions of their uses. The list is not exhaustive because there are an endless amount of mechanic tools that cannot be covered here. However, you will realize that you need every single one of these tools to be ready for your first day as an auto mechanic. This is the perfect starter list for power tools, hand tools and machine tools that will permit you to conduct 90% of all beginner automotive repairs from spark plug to oil changes. Just remember brands differ and some essential tools for auto mechanics can be bought cheaply while others can’t.

What are the Best Mechanic Tools to Buy?

Wrench Set

As an auto mechanic student, you will work with a lot of vehicle components that are safeguarded with fasteners and bolts and during repairs, most of them will have to be removed. A complete wrench collection is an essential component of the beginner mechanics tool set because bolts come in varying sizes. Quality wrenches are mostly available from 6mm-24mm bolts and can last for many years. In the course of your study, you will use many wrenches, so they can easily be misplaced- always account for them after completing repair works.

Torque Wrench

This tool you will either get in your wrench tool set or you will need to buy on its own. a torque wrench is essential for removing a stubborn bolt or when you need a little extension of reach with a good handle on the repair. Along with the torque wrench you will need sockets. Different sizes of sockets, mostly in metric, will come in handy. Sockets will allow you to get to almost any part of the engine or anywhere else on a vehicle.


Pliers are an essential tool for any auto mechanic because they allow easy gripping of electrical or narrow objects during repairs. Students can use pliers to keep their hands away from the line of sight during repairs. Also, pliers can be used for wire clipping and brake jobs or even removing stubborn nuts or bolts. There are many types of pliers depending on the model, lengths, and shapes and each helps to fulfill a specific auto repair purpose. For example, spark plugs are a unique version of pliers that have wadded jaws, so they can firmly grasp spark plugs without destroying the surrounding elements.

Ratchet Set and Socket Set

Performing engine maintenance or many other auto repairs will require a ratchet. The most important ratchet set you will need will be 3/8in with just the metric socket set to accompany. A vast majority of vehicles you will be working on will require the metric sized sockets so this is a great place to start. For another large chunk of repairs, you will want the 1/4in and 1/2in ratchet with the sockets to match. When you buy the complete set of ratchets and sockets, you will use most of these for the lifetime of your auto maintenance career, they are an essential in any mechanic tool set.

Socket Extension Bars

Sometimes, you need a little extra distance between your hand and the bolt. Socket extension bars provide just that. You can get these in different sockets as well as lengths. If they did not come in your socket tool set, you will want to buy a set of them on their own. These will save you from having to tear apart an entire engine just to remove one simple bolt.


Over the years we have seen a continuous increasing reliance on modern cars on electrical components. As an auto mechanic, new or experienced, you need to have a multimeter to detect any upsurge associated during repairs.  A multimeter is an important component used to diagnose electrical challenges by measuring resistance, current, and voltage in a vehicle. Therefore, it is one of the essential tools for beginner mechanics and comes in handy when diagnosing a problem with equipment, fuses, battery and many more.

Pry bar

Every beginner mechanical toolset needs a high-quality pry bar. The first time you try to do any suspension work, you will get stuck if you don’t have a pry bar. They are essential for automotive repairs and are used to pry-down on controls arms to release ball joints or loosen stuck items. Having a pry bar and knowing how to use it will determine how long you will spend tackling a repair job. You can buy one small pry bar because it’s very versatile and can help you complete various tasks, also they are cheap than a full kit. If your repair works require a big pry bar, you can borrow from your colleges – I bet they will be happy to help you out.


The hammer is not only a vital part of every mechanics tool set, they are simply one of the most versatile tools around. Many expert mechanics will have up to 15 or 20 different hammers, each with its specific purpose. However, when you are a student, you just need 2 to 3 hammers to conduct most repairs—the most import thing is to know how, when and what hammer to use. Buy quality hammers because you will use them a lot and cheap hammers will break easily.

Impact Wrench 

It is important you buy a quality cordless impact wrench, it’s quite a lifesaver. Being among the most essential mechanic tools for auto repair, this tool helps you in driving and removing lug nuts and screws instantly. You will use this impact gun in the workshop for any repair, assembly or maintenance work because of its low-level noise impact and reactionless tightening. Most of them are competitively priced and save you a lot of time.


One of the most popular hand tools known to man, screwdrivers have an endless value in auto mechanic repair workshops. You should not forget to buy one of these tools as there will be many uses when repairing an engine to replacing an oil filter or replacing a spark plug. This tool comes in many variations and most are inexpensive, so you can get a complete set that comprises small screwdrivers that can be used for electronic works or large flatheads which can double as prying tools. Every student should always carry screwdrivers in their beginner mechanic tool set, you never know what the cars in the shop will need – so it’s good to always be prepared.


When we talk about tools for mechanics, we cannot fail to mention a vise-grip. This tool allows you to grab tightly onto anything. They are your best friend when dealing with stubborn nuts and bolts. Also, they can close any leaky radiator. Even if you are under a tight budget, don’t forget to buy at least one of these tools.

How much do Mechanics Spend on Tools?

If you are a beginner auto mechanic student at an automotive repair school, most of them will provide you with a list of tools you should carry with you on the first day of classes. Some of them will even pay for the tools you will need for class. The more you advance in your education you will be exposed to a wide range of tools, which you will need to familiarize yourself with. Therefore, a full mechanic tool set can run thousands of dollars from spare sockets or nuts to air tools and a lot of others. Fortunately, many of the essential tools will be fairly inexpensive as a maintenance tech.

Where to Buy Your Mechanic Tool Set

There are countless ways to buy tools for mechanic training from online stores to your local hardware shops. We have provide links to all of the products on Amazon that we recommend. As a disclaimer, any items you purchase from our links will kickback a portion to us. This is a great way to support us as we create resources and compile information for aspiring auto mechanics. If you are wanting to support a local business, head to one of the hardware stores in your area or ask a local mechanic where they got their tools from.

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