Tools make our lives easier. Having the best tools for the right job, means we work faster, more efficient, and overall we take less of beating.
Car repair is difficult, dangerous, and time-consuming. Straight up, being an automotive technician as a career job is not inviting. People complain of back problems. wrist issues, and pain. Whatever tool you can buy to make your life easier is worth investing in. I stand 100 percent by that. To literally make yourself 100 times faster than doing it by hand, buy a drill and some driver adapters. Literally, it is such a cheap investment, in the beginning, to just increase your speed by 100x. If the only thing you can afford is a $10 garage sale drill and some driver adapters– please, for my sake watching you do car repair (buy it!). Otherwise, grab yourself a nice impact drill driver set, and maybe throw in a 3/8 & 1/2″ drive ratchet and you’re ready to start ripping through repairs.
It will give you aches, pains, and overall leave you feeling pretty beat up.
Carpal tunnel, wrist pain, cramping in your arms, are all things that can happen when you spend a lot of time-wrenching on cars.
Level 1 (Most Inexpensive / Works Great):
Having an impact driver (or drill if you’re really on a budget) will save you so much pain and time.
Sure, it can’t fit on every bolt. Sure, it doesn’t make sense to use all the time.
But it can speed your repairs up by over %1,000 percent. Drills can spin around 500-2000 rpm’s. How fast can you spin a ratchet?
It is a fraction as fast as that.
There is a reason why every single professional mechanic or technician either has access to air tools in their shop or they own an impact wrench with a driver adapter set.
Because it literally saves their lives and their health.
If you’re on a total budget just pick up a regular drill (super cheap) and slap an adapter set that lets you drive (1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ sockets).
Tool Trick Tip: Do not use the impact driver to break the bolts or nuts loose right away unless they are very small, and or you are using impact sockets.
If you just want to use your regular sockets and don’t have a drill / impact rated at a high torque capacity, then just break it loose by hand (better anyways to feel if it is going to break) then run it out with the drill.
It is so easy it will become second nature to you.
There are three levels to this setup you can get, all depending on your budget and how often you are wrenching on cars.
First rung is like what I am using in this video.
This is the most budget and the easiest to do.
You can come up on a regular drill pretty much at any garage sale, thrift store, or used tools shop.
You can also buy a new drill on Amazon for cheap. It doesn’t need to be super high quality as you’re just using it to run bolts out after you have broke them loose (doesn’t need much torque.)
Here I am using a cheap drill in a video with a 3/8″ drive adapter. You can see how much time it saves me. Video is cued up to when I am using it.
This is the first rung and the easiest / least expensive. You can probably get all this for less than $30-40 dollars depending on what you buy new / find for cheap. Here is a great adapter set that you use in the drill to be able to use whatever sockets you want.
If you’re in the low budget and still want to be 100x faster than someone not using a drill. You only need these two things:
Level 2: The Extra Power You Need For Daily Grinding / Wrenching
Have a little more to invest than just a regular cheap drill?
Why not just buy a drill set? It works great for automotive repair and also for stuff around the house. You will always use an impact driver and drill more than you think.
Having a great set is like the first thing most people buy as adults. The price of contractor grade tools has just gone down and down, and they’re readily available for you to use for car repair as well.
You still need the same adapter set as mentioned before, but level two simply refers to the quality of the drills / drivers.
Now here is where it can get a little sketchy.
There are a ton of brands out there for power tools. This is just simply the one I have the most experience with and love.
Beginner Level Within Level Two:
The Milwaukee 18v Impact Driver and Drill Set (Super Common)
Expert Level (Contractor / Technician Level) Within Level Two:
Why is this level two? These are the fuel version of the same drill / driver combo. Fuel simply means they’re brushless motors and last longer / use less battery.
That is why it is level two. Simply a level up, but that costs a couple hundred more. It is up to you whether you want the best of the best.
Here is me in one of my videos where I am using my Milwaukee (non fuel) drill to help with an install of a deck plate mod on my toyota.
Do you need the fuel drivers? That is up to you.
Personally I think you’re okay with the standard ones, I have abused them and they don’t quit.
Expert Level for Just Car Repair:
If you’re mostly just going to be doing car repair with these tools. Then seriously just buy this set and get it over with. These are epic.
Beginner Level Within The Expert Level:
Top Level If You’re Wrenching Daily Without Air Tools:
Both of those sets come with a battery and charger. You then can add on more tools / batteries:
A smaller sized driver for automotive repair (won’t wear you out as fast):
Level 3 Expert Expert Once You Have Your Drill / Driver Sets:
This was the last one I added to my toolbox and likely the least used / but most awesome to have when needed.
You should only buy this tool once you already have all the goodies mentioned above in one form or another. I don’t care what brand you buy.
Just make sure you have a way of driving bolts and nuts faster than just doing it by hand.
You will save soooo much time it isn’t funny.
Then once you have that, might as well apply the same thought process to those huge / large / gnarly bolts.
Why should you have to go grab your breaker bar for lug nuts / transmission bolts etc. If you’re out on a mobile call, working in the field, or just rotating your tires.
How cool would it be to have the power of a 1/2″ impact air gun in your hands anywhere you go?
Well that is exactly what you get when you buy one of these bad boys like I have. Here is mine:
Here is what I have for my 1/2″ huge torque driver (the one in the photo). If you buy the other m18 milwaukee kit the batteries will work in it as well, but I bought a bigger upgraded battery since it tends to drain batteries pretty quick if doing heavy duty stuff.
& the upgraded battery:
Why is this the last thing you should buy?
It is heavy, loud, and only great for those times you just want to break stuff loose without grabbing the breaker bar (tire changes etc). It is way too heavy to use on small bolts / you’ll break everything until you develop a hand feel for it.
Here is me using my 1/2″ huge torque milwaukee driver to tighten a hose clamp. I also warn that you should only do that if you have developed a good hand feel. I must not of had my other small drill around. Video cue’d up to the exact sweet spot.
There you go. These tools will save your health and are awesome gifts to get anyone in your family that is out there wrenching on cars with just hand tools.
You won’t regret it and you’ll feel a lot more professional all the sudden.