Can You Name These Unusual Garage Tools?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: Getty Images / Cultura / Guido Cavallini

About This Quiz

Do you know jack about garage tools? Whether you are a professional mechanic or avid do-it-yourselfer, here is the chance to prove you are a real car doctor!

Practically everyone knows the common, run-of-the-mill garage tools, like wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers. Many people would be hard-pressed, however, to identify some of the more unusual tools. Those extremely small screwdrivers, for example, or those specialized pliers which are bent at such strange angles that they look like they could be actual surgical equipment instead of repair shop tools. Could you name some of those tools if you saw them? If you think you could, then it's time to head on into the quiz!

Most of the unusual garage tools you come across are meant to get into the parts of a vehicle which are not readily accessible - like the deep recesses of the engine bay. Others are designed with particular vehicle parts in mind and some for particular jobs, such as dent or paint removal during bodywork. Many of them are so highly specialized that only a professional repair shop would have them and only a professional mechanic would know how to properly use them.

So, are you one of the experts or the type of weekend warrior who sees their garage as the ultimate conquest? Whichever you are, start strapping on that tool belt, because it's time to get down and dirty with this quiz!

The long handle and shaft of regular a screwdriver help to provide good grip and sufficient turning force when tightening or loosening screws. They are not of much help, however, in tight quarters. That is why the stubby screwdriver gets so much praise from mechanics who are regularly called on to work in confined spaces inside vehicles.

This relatively new tool has become indispensable to mechanics since it reduces the time and energy spent disassembling parts for the sake of inspecting them. The flexible snake of the inspection camera can wind through tight space and pipes, sending back images for the mechanic to analyze.

The handle on a tool serves several purposes, such as providing good grip and increasing the turning force you apply. There are times, however, when the handle just simply gets in the way. A palm ratchet is the perfect tool to use for jobs in those tight spaces that a long handle just can’t handle!

A jack is used to lift a portion of a vehicle off the ground – it is not meant to be used to keep the vehicle in the air. That’s what jack stands are for! Different jack stands can accommodate different maximum weights, so it is important to buy ones which can withstand the weight of the vehicles being worked on.

This simple tool is used to mark vehicle parts just like a pen or pencil. The marks made with its hardened steel tip are more or less permanent and will not be easily erased as the parts are handled.

The ignition spark tester can be used to check whether a spark plug is working or not, as well as whether it is misfiring. It is a simple and easy way to pinpoint or eliminate possible problems when working on an engine.

It can sometimes be a real hassle (and a waste of time and energy) trying to loosen fasteners which are rusted into place. An electric cutoff tool makes short work of cutting right through fasteners when saving them isn’t a priority.

It’s never a good idea at the end of a job to reassemble parts which are grimy, greasy and just downright dirty. That dirt isn’t just unsightly; it can also prove to be a real hazard once the vehicle starts running again. That’s why professional repair shops invest in a parts washer and why it is a good idea for every do-it-yourself mechanic to consider getting one, too.

Quite a few of jobs which get done in a garage result in dripping oils which can create a slippery and dangerous mess on the garage floor. A large drip pan can collect dripping oil for easy disposal while leaving the work area much cleaner and safer.

This specialized wrench is very useful for tightening and loosening fasteners which are on ends of pipes and tubes. It is a cross between a regular wrench and a box-end wrench, with its small opening being just enough to slip around the tube while providing a secure grip on the fastener.

The design of circlip pliers depends on whether they are meant to be used on internal or external circlips. They also differ in terms of the length and the diameter of their tips, so the mechanic can choose specific circlip pliers to match the size of specific circlips.

Sockets typically come in two lengths: standard and deep, each of which works best for particular jobs. For example, deep drive sockets are very handy when a mechanic is working on a vehicle’s exhaust system and needs to loosen an exhaust clamp from around an exhaust pipe.

Tire changers vary as to the type of wheel-and-tire assembly they can manage. Some are suited for the wheels of standard-sized cars, while others are meant to work specifically with wheels from motorcycles, trucks or heavy-duty vehicles.

The creeper makes it easy to roll under a vehicle and then back out again. Some models are convertible and can easily be transformed into a roll-around seat for working on low areas such as wheels.

Working in a garage means you have to be prepared for plenty of standing, crawling, bending and kneeling while you work. Items such as a creeper, rubber floor mat and kneeling pad help to ensure you aren’t left suffering from aches and pains at the end of the day.

Its bent handle and flexible head allows this ratchet to get to even the most obscured nuts and bolts. It is not the type of tool the ordinary do-it-yourselfer will have in their toolbox but repair shops find plenty of good use for it.

A headlamp directs light to the exact spot you are looking at and working on. Plus, unlike a flashlight, a headlamp offers the convenience of having both hands free to work and it will not get in the way like a hanging light tends to do.

An air hose has to be long so that it can be pulled to any area of the garage where compressed air is needed. A retractable reel mounted on a wall or on the ceiling helps to keep the hose out of the way when it is not in use and automatically pulls the hose back when you are done using it.

The heat gun has several applications in the garage, including helping out with paint removal when bodywork is being done on a vehicle. Needless to say, the heat generated by this tool means safety equipment, such as goggles and gloves, must be worn.

The hydraulic floor jack is the ideal piece of equipment for elevating a vehicle when mechanical work needs to be done on it. Once the vehicle is raised sufficiently, however, jack stands should be used to keep it raised. Hydraulic floor jacks can be bought in a low-profile version for vehicles which sit low to the ground.

Sometimes it is necessary to take the engine completely out of a vehicle in order to work on it. At those times, most repair shops will rely on their engine crane to safely lift the engine and move it, often to an engine stand where it can be worked on.

The ratcheting socket wrench fits into spaces where the handle of an ordinary wrench would not have enough room to turn. The socket fits snugly over nuts and bolts and the ratcheting action means that the wrench will only turn the fastener in one direction.

When a regular-sized impact wrench is too big to fit into tight spaces, then you will need to reach for a stubby impact wrench. Its compact size lets you work in confined areas without sacrificing the power you need to get the job done.

The air chisel or air hammer is powered by compressed air and can deliver much greater force than a manual hammer and chisel would. It can be used to remove tarnish from metal; split bolts which are rusted in place; and cut through sheet metal, among many other applications.

An underhood light is a good way to illuminate the entire engine bay or undercarriage of a vehicle. The light is most often rechargeable and uses LED bulbs. It can typically be clamped on or attached magnetically.

The carpenter pencil is a simple and practical tool to have for making markings, jotting down parts numbers or anything else you would use an ordinary pencil to do. Its shape makes it easy to grip and means it won’t roll away like a round pencil would.

A needle scaler makes very short work of stripping rust or paint from the body of a vehicle. It also works very well at removing built-up gunk from the vehicle’s undercarriage.

Mechanics very often come across nuts which are so corroded or cross-threaded around a bolt that the only way forward is to reach for a nut splitter tool. It is the perfect way to deal with a stubborn, stuck nut while ensuring that the bolt and its threading remain intact.

A digital caliper allows the mechanic to take very precise measurements which is often a key factor when conducting work on an engine. Working with exact measurements helps to ensure optimum performance once repair work is complete and the vehicle is delivered back to the client.

There are many hidden and inaccessible recesses under the hood of a vehicle. Trying to retrieve nuts or bolts which fall into one of these areas can be an extremely frustrating task. This is when a flexible magnet pickup tool becomes indispensable in a garage shop. It can bend and wind its way into narrow, unseen areas to retrieve lost items.

Impact wrenches are designed to deliver strong bursts of torque (turning force) to quickly and effortlessly loosen or tighten fasteners. Electric impact wrenches might not give you quite as much torque as the air-powered versions, but they save you time since you can simply plug them in and get to work.

The automotive stethoscope amplifies internal sounds in very much the same way as a stethoscope used by doctors. It is a very important diagnostic tool especially when trying to pinpoint the source of engine trouble.

Many repair shop tools are powered by compressed air even though there are often electric options available. That is because air-powered or pneumatic tools are generally more powerful than their electric counterparts.

The drive extension bar fits onto a ratchet just as a socket would. Once the bar is in place, a socket can be attached to its other end. This extended assembly can now be used to reach fasteners which are located in awkward, hard-to-reach places.

Flexible sockets are jointed to allow them to reach fasteners which are located in tight spaces and are otherwise inaccessible. They come in a wide range of sizes just like ordinary sockets and can be bought for impact wrenches, as well.

A tire inflator with a gauge helps to ensure that each tire on a vehicle is pumped up to the required air pressure. Tires which have too much or too little air will wear unevenly; make the vehicle harder to maneuver; and reduce gas mileage. They will also put you at greater risk of developing a flat tire.

Using the incorrect tool or your hand to grasp and twist spark plug boots and wires often does more harm than good. A pair of spark plug pliers is specially designed, typically with offset or angled jaws, to reach in and get the get done safely.

The clamps used to hold hoses in places sometimes have a screw or nut and bolt to loosen and fasten them. Some hose clamps, however, are made with a spring action which requires a special tool, the hose clamp pliers, to open them. The hose clamp pliers is designed to squeeze the clamp open and keep it open until it is positioned where you need it.

Hydraulic shop presses typically feature a simple, easy-to-use design along with sufficient power to handle many of the toughest repair shop jobs. Some shops also use a smaller, desk-mounted, manual press known as an arbor press.

A transmission jack is used to remove or replace the heavy transmission of a vehicle. It is usually rated by its maximum weight capacity, often ranging from 600 to 4,000 pounds.

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