Upgrade the Automotive Sanctuary
10 of the Best Father’s Day Gifts for the Home Mechanic
A quick glance at any home mechanic’s loaded workbench, and it’s probably easy to assume they already have everything they need. But odds are good you’d be wrong: There’s always a new tool required for the next job, and there’s no socket set too large. That said, automotive tools are an intimidating market to go shopping in, which is why we did some of the heavy lifting for you this year ahead of Father’s Day.
Viair 85P Portable Air Compressor
Chances are yur dad already has one of those keg-sized air compressors sitting in the garage, but that won’t do him any good if he needs to fix a flat out on the road. The Viair 85P Portable Air Compressor is compact, comes with a convenient carrying case and can plug directly into the 12-volt outlet in a car’s center console or dashboard
Craftsman 85-Piece Universal Max Axess
Grabbing a six-point socket when you need a 12-point is not only a time suck, but also frustrating, especially if a job isn’t going as planned. (Do they ever?) Take the trouble out of the equation for dad and give him a Craftsman 85-Piece Universal Max. The universal sockets fit almost any kind of nut, and as long as he keeps everything in order, finding the right size should be no problem.
BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android
As much as many dads like to call themselves home mechanics, smart money says none of them can figure out exactly what’s wrong with a car just by staring at the “engine warning” light on the dash. Not only does the BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool take the guesswork out of the equation by diagnosing the problem, but it works through an app on both iPhone and Android devices — no extra tools needed.
Pro-Lift Foldable Z Creeper
One of the unsung heros of the home-mechanic’s garage is the creeper. It makes some of the most uncomfortable work underneath the car a little more bearable and a lot comfortable. Aside from getting a softer cushion, it’s hard to imagine an upgrade. The Pro-Lift Foldable Z Creeper, however, can fold up into a seat, adding an entirely new dimension to your dad’s workspace.
Bayco SL-8908 Fluorescent Lights
You know those projects that dad says should only take an hour or two but somehow always end up going into the night? That’s what the Bayco Light is for. He won’t want to admit he’ll need it at first, but ultimately he’ll be thankful he has powerful fluorescent lighting to work under well into the darkest hours.
Nothing beats a good pair of vice grips — it’s like an adjustable wrench on steroids ready to tackle any stubborn nut or bolt. The Irwin Vice-Grip is made from high-grade heat-treated alloy steel for strength and durability, but has hex key adjustments to dial in the pressure for ease of use.
Pull N Wipe Microfiber Shop Towels (100-count)
Of all the tools in any home mechanic’s garage, none get used more often or in more ways than the shop rag. Need to mop up a spill, grip an oil filter, clean your hands or buff a piece of metal? The shop rag is the tool for the job — and you can get dad 100 of them for just $30.
Industrial Brand Torque Wrench
When the owner’s manual calls for a certain torque on a bolt (say, when putting a crank case back together), your dad is going to
want need an accurate torque wrench. This one has a dual scale, is dual-direction calibrated and has laser etched markings for easy-to-read measurements.
Sunex 3-Ton Aluminum Floor Jack
The one tool that does most of the literal heavy lifting around the garage should be tough and reliable, but most of all, make the job easier. The Sunex Aluminum Floor Jack can lift a maximum of 3 tons nearly 20 inches high, and does it in only 7.5 pumps. It also has side handles to more easily position the jack and rubber saddle pad as a buffer to protect the car when it’s being lifted.
Briggs & Stratton Oil Extractor Pump
One of the best innovations in the art of the oil change is the oil extractor pump, like this one from Briggs & Stratton. The days of jacking up the car, crawling underneath and wrestling with a stubborn drain plug are over. Simply feed tube down to the oil pan from the top end of the fill point, start pumping, and let the building pressure finish the job.