Five Must-Have Time-Saving Tools


By Chris Pollitt

Life is busy, so when we do find the time to tinker with our beloved classic cars, there is nothing wrong with wanting to maximise that time. We want to be productive and get stuff done, not spend three hours fighting with one particular bolt, or looking for the screwdriver we could have sworn we just put down. 

While we can’t promise you that every nut and bolt will loosen with refreshing ease, what we can do is guide you on your way to maximising your time with these must-have garage tools and accessories. Spend a couple of quid on this little lot and you’ll be laughing, you’ll save time and you won’t lose that M8 nut you just removed. Time to become the master of your tinkering time. 

1) Dremel 3000 Rotary Tool

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Never underestimate the usefulness of a Dremel. For forty quid you can have a proven, hardly little tool that will make light work of almost any task thanks to the vast array of fittings available. You need to cut something? Dremel can do it. You need to polish something? Dremel can do it. You need to grind something? Guess what? Dremel has you covered. 

Of course, there is no escaping that a Dremel is for doing stuff on a small scale. However, that has a lot of applications when it comes to your classic car. If you need to do finite bits of grinding, or clean up a small bit of rust, this is better than busting out the grinder and death wheel. 

Got stubborn nuts, bolts or old rivets that need to be cut out or drilled? The Dremel can get in there and do the job in a space your conventional drill can only dream of squeezing into. It is a great bit of kit. Honestly, you’ll be looking for new things to try it out on, it’s brilliant. 

2) SKmoon Damaged Screw Remover

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There is nothing, and we do mean nothing worse that fighting with old screws that have rusted tight, or even worse, have rounded out internally so the screwdriver can no longer get purchase on them. And then what do you do? You can drill it, sure, but the body of the screw is still going to be there. It is a nightmare, plain and simple.

What you need, then, is this damaged screw removal tool from SKmoon. This immensely clever bit of kit features four removal tools (they’re the same, but increase in size) so you can tackle any size screw. You affix the tool into a drill and then, using drilling end, you go at the screw. Then you remove the tool from your drill, spin it round and the reverse thread drills into the screw and removes it. How clever is that? 

And all this pain saving for a mere eight quid. That is about as bargainous as things come. No more shouting, no more wanting to cry because one self-tapper has decided to round out. Just use this tool and whip out even the most stubborn of screws. Brilliant. 

3) In-Situ Brake Pipe Flaring Tool

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Nobody likes having to do work to the brakes. They’re dirty, brake fluid is evil and bleeding them is a faff. None of that, however, compares to the heartache that comes from having to replace brake lines. But replace we must, seeing as most old brake pipes are made from rust’s favourite – mild steel. As such, they corrode and then the MOT tells us off. 

The front lines aren’t too bad, as they don’t have far to go. The rears can be a real swine though, especially as they run internally on some cars. And that’s going to be a headache to replace. What if you could just cut off the corroded bit at the end and then re-flare it. Well, thanks to this bit of kit you can. 

This ‘in-situ’ flaring tool lets you flare brake lines while they, well, are on the car. Our Editor has this tool and swears by it after it saved him hours of work on his project. You simply cut the old pipe, slide on a new union, then use the tool which holds the pipe while you turn a shaft with a spanner. Shaft goes down, flares the pipe, job done. 

4) Bosch UniversalInspect Camera

carandclassic, motoring, automotive, workshop, workshop tools, garage tools, classic car tools, classic car, retro car

Just because our cars were made in the past does not mean the tools we use to maintain them must be. Technology is our ally in the ongoing tinkering wars, so let’s use it! A case in point would be this nifty little inspection camera from Bosch. With this, those hard to reach spots will no longer be shrouded in mystery. 

This is an immensely clever bit of kit. First of all, the camera head is tiny, meaning you could look down the bores of an engine via the spark plug hole with ease. And there is an LED light, so you can see everything. You can zoom in, too. And if the camera ends up upside down as it snakes in, you can rotate the image. And you can take pictures and store them on an SD card for later inspection.

The applications here are endless. Fuel tanks, cylinders, cylinder heads, exhausts, sills, inner panels, hidden wiring. This little camera from Bosch can be your eyes, and all without needing to pick up a single spanner in most cases. We truly do live in the future. 

5) Ryobi Cordless Impact Gun

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If you don’t have an impact gun then you’re missing out. Nobody likes straining over stubborn nuts and bolts. You give yourself a mild hernia, you slip off the spanner and punch the floor at mach two or you slice your knuckles to shreds. That’s not fun, and it’s not the kind of stuff that makes you love your classic more. It makes you resent it. You need an impact gun.

The technology used to produce these lithium-ion little monsters has moved on so much, and now there is very little a battery-powered gun can’t do. Take this Ryobi one, for example. It packs an impressive 400Nm of torque, which is enough to beat almost any bolt into submission. 

Buy an impact gun and those big jobs that you dread will become the work of but a moment. Suspension stuff, brakes, hubs, engines, all will be at your impact gun-based mercy. You’ll never pull a muscle on a spanner again. Bliss.

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