One of the biggest barriers for people who want to pursue a career as a mechanic is tools. Technicians need a large set of tools and they are not cheap. Many techs who have been in the trade for several years will have a tool collection worth over $50,000 or more.
The costs really start adding up when you are buying specialty tools and higher quality tools. For techs just starting out, you don’t need to get too crazy and there are some good spots where you can get tools cheap as you start building your tool collection. Read below to find out where you can get some good bargains.
It can take some time and some digging around but you can find some real gems at Pawn Shops. Especially if you know what you are looking for, many Pawn Shops don’t really know what they have and are trying to move them as quick as they can. This can be a great way to pick up some expensive tools on the cheap.
Over the past couple of years, Facebook has quickly become one of the best ways to pick up 2nd hand tools. Using either Marketplace or Tool/Mechanic groups you can find some great deals, especially from techs that are retiring or are switching specialties
Discount Tool Shops
Places like Harbor Freight or Canadian Tire sell lower quality tools. These are not going to be a great long-term solution but when you are just getting started they can be good enough and often they have huge sales where you can pick up a lot of tools for cheap.
Many techs will start with low quality tools and replace them as they go. Once you start working you will get a better idea of what tools you need for your specialty. You will want to invest in higher quality tools for those that you use most often.
Online Sell Sites
Online 2nd hand sites such as Craigslist, Ebay, Kijiji can also be a good source for buying used tools. A lot of times you can find techs that are getting out of the trade and are unloading their tools. You can also find people that have inherited tools and have no need for them.
Estate Sales/Garage Sales/Yard Sales
Garage sales are not a reliable way but if you look you can get lucky and find an estate sale with a whole pile of tools that are being off-loaded cheap.
Tips For Owning Tools
Getting tool insurance is a good idea. Some shops will already have your tools insured, if so great, don’t worry about this just make sure you keep a record of what you have. If your shop does not have insurance, you should invest. I have spoken to too many techs who had to retire early or change professions because a robbery or fire wiped out all of their tools.
Save on the Box
Many techs get excited and buy a super fancy looking box from one of the major tool manufacturers. They look super cool but no box will make you a better tech. You can get a much more affordable, basic looking box that will still hold your tools. If you really want that purple and green box with built in LEDs and a TV, save up and buy it with cash. If you have to go into debt buying it, you will be paying it off for a very long time.
Take Care of Your Tools
If you take of your tools they will last. You will not need to replace them and when you retire you can sell them to someone who is just entering the trade, continuing the cycle.
I hope this helps, tools are important but hopefully, you can save a bit of money when building up your tool collection. If you have your tools and are looking for a new job check out our job board at https://rockstarmechanics.com/jobs or give us a call at 1-833-937-3546 or e-mail us at [email protected]