15 Must-Have Tools for Your Garage


Your Toolbox Isn’t Complete Without These Products from Mac Tools

If you’ve rebuilt an engine, replaced rusted floor pans, overhauled your car’s suspension or even changed the oil in your daily driver, then you know having the right tools for the job makes for a smoother process. The truth of the matter is that if you have a problem with your car, there is a tool to fix it, and a technician that knows how to use it. The great thing about being in the hot rod industry is that all of today’s cool tools are available to regular Joe’s, as long as you’re willing to fork over some cash. Manufacturers such as Mac Tools have been in the game for decades, and offer thousands of specialty tools to help automotive technicians and weekend warriors work efficiently. These tools can help you work on a project car, or offer many uses around the house, so there’s no excuse to skimp on tools when so many are accessible.

We recently attended the Mac Tools Tool Fair in Nashville, Tennessee and scoped out all of the new products for 2017. The fair also gave us an opportunity to see some of our favorite tools, and create a list of must-have tools for hardcore car guys. Sure, you probably have a great collection of tools already, but we’re passing along some tools that you could put to work in your garage. Price point, convenience and overall usage play into our compilation of cool tools, and the folks at Mac Tools speak our language when it comes to practical tools for car guys. Take a look at our list of must-have tools for your garage, and be sure to check out www.mactools.com for even more selection.

Mac Tools is introducing a new line of brushless motor cordless tools that they’re calling “BL Spec”. The brushless motor design offers more power and a more compact design. This allows the impact to fit in hard-to-reach places, especially when combined with the new stubby impact-grade sockets, also available from Mac Tools. Shown here is the MCF991 20-volt 3/8-inch drive brushless impact driver, a must-have tool for any car guy.

We’ve all been there—you just can’t quite get the right approach angle on a stubborn bolt. Universal joints have been around for a long time, so that is normally the go-to item, but they rarely give you enough flexibility to get the job done. These new 360-degree universal joints from the Mac Tools Expert product line offer 45 degrees of directional tilt and 360 degrees of rotational movement.

You likely have a plentiful supply of air tools in your toolbox, but this is a great addition for an enthusiast who already has a grinder, a cut-off wheel and all of key air tools. This is what Mac Tools calls a Surface Blaster (part number MB6901), and it puts a fresh spin on removing paint, rust and other unwanted material. It is shown with a rubber eraser wheel, which is great for removing trim adhesive or decals without harming the paint. Other media is available for aggressive paint removal.

If you’re using an air-powered or cordless impact driver, you need to use specialized sockets that are designed to take the pounding abuse. Deep well impact sockets have been readily available for years, but these stubby impact sockets from Mac Tools’ Expert line are a major problem solver for hard-to-reach areas. The stubby sockets are available for 3/8- and 1/2-inch drive, and available in standard and metric sizing. The aluminum rail is a cool piece to keep them organized.

Rust repair, body modifications and other fun stuff can be greatly limited if your only weapon is a standard cut-off tool. When a limited range of motion prevents you from making a precise cut, the extended reach cut-off tool comes into play. The ATQP40EA offers a four-inch reach with a 90-degree blade angle. Even though this may not replace your standard cut-off tool, you’ll reach for it more than you think.


Surely by now, you have been lured into getting a set of ratcheting wrenches. They are awesome. But if you still don’t have a set in your toolbox, or if you need to update your stash, consider the new Mac Tools Precision Torque versions, which have a cool feature that grips the fastener better than any wrench we’ve seen. The gripping feature prevents the wrench from slipping off the nut or bolt after it has moved away from the mounting surface.


A good shop light can come in handy when working outdoors, but it also helps inside your garage, when working on suspension or under the hood. We remember the days of shop lights that would get so hot that fire damage was the main trade-off for being able to see what you’re working on. That’s why we put this new Mac Tools Pro Eye area light on our list of must-have tools. The Chip-On-Board LED light can be used as a corded appliance, or unplugged to go wherever you go with a long-lasting lithium ion battery. It has three settings that provide a tremendous amount of light (500, 1,000 and 1,500 lumen to be exact), and our favorite part is that the light is cool to the touch, even after hours of use. The magnetic base is the icing on the cake. We need these in our shop!

We’d normally advise you to stay away from adjustable wrenches when working on a hot rod, but having a couple of these new wide-mouth units from Mac Tools wouldn’t be a bad idea. The new design offers a much wider range of fastener fitments, and the bulletproof design will keep the jaw secure during use.

We’re huge fans of reciprocating saws, but most of the time these saws are extremely bulky. The new Mac Tools Heavy Duty Geared Air Saw is a cool piece that will likely be replacing our cheap electric sawzall. The typical drawbacks of an air saw is stalling, and the tiny blade that quickly bends, breaks or dulls. The new Mac Tools unit features a gear driven design, which makes it nearly impossible to stall during operation. Our favorite feature is that the saw accepts small air saw blades, as well as standard reciprocating saw blades.

You don’t want to need this tool, but if you’re going to be removing a broken bolt or stud, this is the tool for the job. It features a flat jaw that slides over the remaining portion of the bolt or stud, and then a heavy duty bolt threads into the jaw to tighten it onto the stud. The XMSR1 kit comes with four jaw sizes, which fit standard and metric threads.

We can all agree that a cheap bit driver set is more trouble than it’s worth. They break and with one wrong move, the edges round off to an unusable state. This new item from Mac Tools features a set of medium and long bits, with suitable strength and flexibility for use with an impact driver.

This is quickly becoming a must-have tool for car guys. Cordless impacts offer crazy amounts of torque, and with a 20-volt lithium ion battery, this American-made Mac Tools version is ready for action. If you’re changing wheels in the driveway, pulling parts in a junkyard or wrenching in the pits at your local drag strip, this 1/2-inch cordless impact needs to be in your arsenal.

While it is technically an upholstery tool, this is a useful tool for any vehicle manufactured in the past 30 years or so. The notch allows you to pry out those pesky plastic push-style clips that hold everything from interior door panels to inner fender aprons.

For the enthusiasts who want to tackle the bodywork side of building a hot rod, we’d suggest investing in a good sanding block. We’re not talking about the rubber deal you can get at the local department store—we’re talking about something that will actually help you straighten the panels to perfection. This flexible sanding block is a new item from Mac Tools, and it’s available in 7-3/4 inches and 15-3/4 inches (shown). The flexible design and spring loaded center pin offer excellent flexibility for contoured shapes.

Last but not least, a great collection of tools is useless without having easy access to them. Even if you have a huge toolbox with thousands of tools in it, you’ll find yourself struggling to find the most common tools. A roll-around cart makes garage life a little easier. You can put the essentials in the three drawers (Mac Tools also offers six-drawer versions) and then have plenty of room in the top storage compartment. Whether you’re a professional who uses tools to make your living, or just a guy turning wrenches on the weekend, a utility cart is an awesome addition to your garage.

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