Make Your Work Easier In The Garage With These Tools

Ever use a split-rim tire iron to pry loose a tailgate pin or a hand pump to extract oil from your engine? Next to duct tape and a hammer, here are a few tools you might wonder how you ever did without.
Make Your Work Easier In The Garage With These Tools
The Dog Box rolling tool chest from Snap-On Industrial is available in three sizes.

Interested in Accessories?

Get Accessories articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Accessories + Get Alerts

What unique tool or gadget do you have around the shop that you just can’t do without?

Jim Hanna, owner of J. D. Hanna Excavating in Warner, N.H., says next to duct tape, WD-40, vise grips and a hammer, his go-to gadget is a split-rim tire iron.

Even though Hanna has never used the tool to separate rims, he says it has just the right angle and length to serve as an effective pry bar.

“We have one in every truck and we’ve probably given a dozen to good friends over the years,” he says. “It’s not something we made, it’s something we buy. We sure would be at a loss without it.”


Officially known as the Ken-Tool T23A 30-inch truck lock ring remover, the tool is available online or from auto supply stores.

“We use it almost every other day for something,” Hanna says. “If we don’t have one in every truck we feel naked. We’re so fond of using it that we try to turn other people on to it. The hook angle is perfect for tailgate pins and/or pulling other pins or bushings, and the compact length still provides good leverage. It’s just a wonderful tool.”

Mark Green, owner of Green Construction Management in Waterbury, Conn., keeps his tools in a utility trailer he custom built about three years ago. Green likes it so much he’s in the process of building another.

“It’s pretty unique the way we have the trailer set up and organized,” he says. “Lasers, cut-off saws, walk-behind saws, compactors, toolboxes, generators – everything is in that trailer. It’s 14 feet long but it’s organized nice and neat. You can walk in it and back it up almost anywhere. A lot of guys will put all their tools in a pickup; unfortunately, a lot of the jobs we’re on are more than a week long, so we want to keep everything safe, secure and locked in.”

Green plans to trick out his new trailer with an auxiliary fuel tank. “A lot of the jobs we do, even being in septic, you can’t get a truck behind someone’s house or in the back over a hill to fill the machines, but we can walk the machines up to the trailer to refuel.”


Tom Canfield, owner of Earth Construction in Rochester, N.H., also believes in keeping everything neatly organized and considers his work van a must for the job site, but for handy gadgets nothing beats his cordless tools.

“I was glad to finally find a DeWalt grease gun. This reduces my battery needs and means the reliable, long-lasting DeWalt batteries I have can do another duty.”

In the world of unique and handy tools, the Oil Extractor from Pela Products might be one to include in your shop. Rather than contorting your body to wrestle loose a drain plug, the extractor enables you to simply pump oil out from the filler tube.

Available in several sizes, the Pela Pro holds about 14 quarts. When used with a 7/16-inch O.D. tube it can remove engine oil or hydraulic fluid from your work trucks, skid-steer or mini-excavator.

“As an engine distributor, we learned that when you have equipment and you have people responsible for maintaining the equipment, if the procedure is difficult or messy, they’re inclined to not perform that procedure on a regular basis,” says Richard Rumley, product support for Pela Products. “With the Oil Extractor it’s a clean operation. Once you use it, you wonder how you were able to live without it.”

Here are a couple more tools you might find helpful around the shop:


Like a puppy on a leash, the Dog Box rolling tool chest from Snap-On Industrial follows you around the shop. Available in three sizes (the large model comes with five or nine drawers), the toolbox is available with either an interchangeable hard steel wagon-style handle that keeps it from nipping at your heels or a soft nylon leash to keep the box from wandering away.

No more fumbling for a flashlight with the ProGear 2760 LED headlight from Pelican Products. The water- and weather-resistant light has a cloth band with battery-life indicator that is comfortably worn around the head. The light weighs about 3 ounces, pivots to 45 degrees and provides up to three hours, 30 minutes of light at low beam (90 lumens) or two hours, 15 minutes on high (133 lumens). Batteries are included.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.