Tools you swear by?

Now I’ll admit I’m a bit primitive, I gravitate toward tried and true hand tools and I’m not impressed by shinny and techy tools or high price brands. With that said I have several tool brands I gravitate toward. Tekton being one, Hobart being another, Ace Professional being another one.

What are the tools you swear by when wrenching on karts trackside or back home in the garage?

Disclaimer: This thread is inspired by every 10 mil socket, ratchet, and wrench that was either borrowed, stolen, and lost when I didn’t realize it until I was trackside and noticed all mine where missing) so I was forced to use the wrong size substitute striping out everything I touched.

Wanna get me into your creepy van, candy isn’t required . . . :rofl:

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Knipex Cobra Pliers

They can remove anything from a seized bolt to a stripped screw, their clamping force and ability to remove stubborn objects is amazing. In fact just the other day I was re doing my brake pads on the car and the piston compressor got stuck (it was a cheap harbor freight one). I tried vice grips, moving the nut into the steel backing to try to lever it out, nothing worked but one twist of the Knipex cobras and the bolt released.

The saying “worth their weight in gold” is not squandered on these pliers in my opinion. The amount of times they have not only saved my a$$ but my wallet is plenty.

Knipex 00 20 09 V02 “Cobra” Pliers Set (3 Piece)

i cant live without my ipmact wrench, i can dissasemble a engine in 10 min and switch a rear axle in 15 alone. Al the bits and stuff i need!

Depends, as a Professional Mechanic I have a ton of tools. My karting box is mostly ICON feom Harbor Freight stuff which works nicely and its convenient for me to warranty any issues.

However, 1 tool you MUST have for karting is a set of 1/4 inch RBRT allen bits.

Absolutely, worth every single penny.

i have similar one but what do you use them for? i only use for removing sprocket from clutch drum on x30? and for my carb

Every single allen on the kart except my engine mount (8mm) i have a RBRT T handle for that.

Makes allen bolts so much better.

but arent thoose allen?

Lol, sorry Allen bolts its 3am here brain fog ( edited earlier posts)

oh now i get it! i use those all the time too but i have a bit impact so i dont use 1/4 i use bit adapter thingy

Beta T-handle hex set


Milwaukee electric ratchet


I use several DeWalt 20V cordless tools nonstop. By far my favorite are the small air compressor (which surprisingly even works to mount tires) and the small impact, but also seeing frequent use are:

  1. Oscillating tool to clean up tires without adding heat to them
  2. Heat gun to shrink-wrap tires
  3. Vacuum to tidy-up from little dude’s off-track excursions
  4. Mini leaf-blower to tidy-up from little dude’s off-track excursions
  5. Fan, generating a breeze while working on kart or to keep driver cooler sitting on the grid
  6. Radio for pit space entertainment
  7. Lights for early spring/fall mornings working in the trailer at the track

I wish DeWalt made a cordless dremel-type tool that wasn’t a giant die grinder.

I also use a big Yeti lithium battery pack to charge up camera, Mychron, and DeWalt batteries, as well as run anything I need to plug in to operate like a Dremel or helmet dryer.

Pen light for inspecting piston/cylinder

Long reach hex bit socket set- even just being cheap Harbor Freight, these things are the shit

Kobalt 1/4” socket driver handle (for needle/clip removal from slide)

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I swear to god this has gotten me out of soooooo many holes. Few bucks from crappy tire :grin:

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I’ve been eyeballing these and this post is going to make me pull the trigger.

I had cheap tools cause me headaches this year with rounded bolts or allen heads or the sort and I’ve been on a mission for the last few months to get “better” tools for the critical stuff that I use every time I open up the box.

My milwaukee 3/8 impact and electric 3/8 ratchet have been staples in the box and aren’t going anywhere soon. Literally use them every time I work on the kart.

Next was Allen T-handles - I moved to PB Swiss and haven’t looked back…ordered more to complete the set just the other day as a matter of fact.

I’m actually loving the PB Swiss stuff soo much that I ordered the T25 Torx driver for the carb work, 7mm driver for taking off the airbox and a full set of screwdrivers to replace my old worn craftsman / husky mix that I had going on.

I purchased a Wera phillips 00.60 for the reed cage screws (probably would have gone PB on that too but I got this before I found the PB stuff).

I’m 90% certain I’m moving to Koken Z-EAL ratchets…I have great old professional craftsman units from 30 year ago but parts are almost impossible to get these days and they are starting to skip teeth and show wear from years and years of use.

I use a 10mm ratcheting wrench every time I open the box for the chain guard and my current Kobalt unit is on the fritz…looks like Proto and Snap-on seem to be top of the pack for these but I"m open to suggestions.

Was lookining at a full set of Proto box end wrenches but honestly other than the 10mm and 17mm I don’t use them that often and I have a 30 year old set of craftsman from back when they actually made decent tools so I won’t likely do anything with wrenches this year…thought the RBRT Mac stuff (and the spinoff brands under that umbrella like USAG) is tempting

Home made tire filling tool. Didn’t like fighting valve stems buried deep in rims and holding my hand inside the bomb while beading tires!

Locking chuck for valve stem with quick connector on it, air line with quick connector, tire filling valve with pressure gauge and quick connect on each end. I plug the valve in at the portable compressor, plug the hose in the valve, plug the chuck in the hose, get the bead set, and the set the tire at the end of the hose and fill to seat the bead from 15 feet away.

After seeing someone have a rim failure while filling, I decided I want no part of my hand inside there anymore!


Doesnt need to be HF but a flux core welder see’s action about every race weekend

DeWalt 20v user here. I have been filling product line gaps with Craftsman v20 tools plus a battery adapter. In some cases I get the same tool for half price because it molded in red vs yellow (like the underhood light).

I have a similar tool and a set of Allen bits to go with it. I keep those in a rollup bag of ratchets. That one bag can knock out 90% of what I ever have to do.


Wait that Craftsman dremel-looking thing will run off my DeWalt 20V batteries?

Is it inappropriate to offer to kiss you for this sharing of knowledge? :heavy_heart_exclamation: