While you can always take your minor car problems or building tasks to a professional, many people prefer to accomplish small maintenance jobs themselves. After all, nothing beats that independent feeling of fixing a tire or building a table yourself. Plus, accomplishing DIY auto repairs can save you significant amounts of cash.
However, a handyperson is only as good as his or her tools. In order to get repair jobs done at home, you’ll need a well-stocked workplace.
Whether you're moving to your first home with a real garage, or looking to improve your current garage's functionality, read on. Here are six basic pieces of equipment every garage needs to perform simple car and home maintenance tasks:
1. A Basic Tool Set
If you plan on putting together any kind of furniture, or fixing simple problems under the hood of your car, you'll need an array of common tools. Start with a basic toolbox. Stock up with a few different screwdrivers, gearwrench tool sets, socket sets, and a hammer with nails. With a bit of research, you'll easily find beginner kits that can cover common building and repair tasks.
2. A Work Bench and Storage Equipment
When stocking your garage, it's important to have a logical and clean place to store your equipment. A workbench with organizing drawers is a great place to start, since you'll have both a work surface and an orderly place to keep tools. Along with the bench, consider investing in other organizing tools, like a drill bit organizer. Choose your storage based on the kinds of tools you own, and the kind of work you'll be doing-- carpentry tasks will require slightly different organization tools than automotive tasks.
3. A Portable Floor Jack
If you own a car, you need a portable floor jack. Portable floor jacks offer an easy and quick way to lift a car from almost any angle, providing safe access to the undercarriage for maintenance and repairs.
4. A Bench Vise
Though they seem simple and somewhat non-essential, a bench vise has virtually endless applications. Anytime you need something held securely in place, a bench vise can do the job, and quality vise can last for decades.
5. An Air Compressor
Although a bit pricey to be considered basic garage equipment, air compressors can make vehicle ownership so much simpler. Tire problems are among the most common issues cars face, but they can often be repaired by beginners. With an air compressor, you’ll be able to inflate the tires on your car, bike, lawnmower and more without a hassle. Air compressors are also great for cleaning, and even a small car jump starter/tire inflator can be handy in a pinch.
6. Quality Lubricants
Much like duct tape, lube is a garage and repair kit essential-- nothing beats a container of WD40. Many lubricants can also prevent corrosion, which is extremely important for vehicles and equipment in warm and humid regions. Look for products that can help combat rust to add to your garage stock. Just remember, if the rust protection fluid's concentration of 1:30 (3.3 percent) seemed adequate during the fall and winter, then the concentration may need to be increased to 1:25 (4 percent), or to the point where rust is no longer seen when summer returns.
With these tools, you’ll be ready to tackle almost any basic repair or building task that comes your way. For that feeling of independence and the satisfaction of saving a buck, stock up your garage with these essentials today.