More than a house for your vehicles, a garage is where you store important tools for jobs beyond household work. If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a repair master of the house, most probably you also want to turn your garage into a workstation. If so, you need tools and equipment geared up in your garage to make it a productive place. Here are the tools every garage should have:
To give yourself a space to work in your garage, a workbench is a must. You need something that is heavy enough (ideally more heavy-duty than a typical dining table or office desk) so that it won’t move around while you work. It also needs to be able to support heavy items. Garage workbenches are either built or bought. It can be as simple as slapping a solid-core plank of wood, plywood or MDF placed on top of two sawhorses. If you want something that looks more presentable, you can build your own workbench using plywood pieces, and you can have it custom-made with your desired style. You can build some drawers or shelves underneath if you want. But if you’re going to buy one, opt for a butcher-block surface. Place a pegboard behind your workbench to keep frequently used hand tools within arm’s reach.
If you’ll be working on certain jobs where you need an additional set of “hands” to hold something in place, you need a vice for your workbench. A workbench vice is handy when you’re working on items like a radiator or a carburetor. It’s also helpful in jobs like gluing, using sandpaper, doing metalwork, cutting conduit or cutting using a handsaw.
2. Proper flooring
While many people are content with having a slab of cement as a garage floor, it’s better if you upgrade your floor into something more forgiving to the feet. Also, an upgraded finish will be more forgiving to dropped objects, and also makes it easy to find something small that dropped, like a screw or nail.
Tiles is a common choice when it comes to garage floors. Modular tiles are a great choice. But if you think the slab of cement is no problem, at least place some anti-fatigue mats on the floor in front of your workbench. This way, your feet will feel less tired whenever you’re standing while working over long periods of time.
3. Work and task lights
Inadequate lighting can strain your eyes, hurt the quality of your work, and may lead to costly or damaging mistakes. A ceiling-mounted general lighting for the garage is not enough. Install task lighting above your workbench to provide illumination where you need it most. Also, portable work lights are a great help, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Portable garage lights you can use under your car are very helpful as well.
4. Hand tools
Now that your garage is workable, you must own helpful hand tools that you need for different repairs, construction or crafts. These are the must-have hand tools for your garage:
- Screwdrivers (Philips and flat head; a screwdriver set is more preferable)
- Saws (handsaw, hacksaw, plywood saw, etc.)
- Wrenches (crescent wrench, socket wrench and hex key set)
- Pliers (needle nose and vice grip)
- Utility knives
- Breaker bar
- Measuring tape
- Gardening tools like rake, shovel, spade, trowel, axe, etc.
5. Power tools
While hand tools are used manually by the hand, power tools are more complex tools and they either operate through electricity or battery. Tools that are often needed include:
- Air compressor
- Dremel tool
- Wood router
- Jack hammer
- Circular saw
- Miter saw
- Nail gun
- Pressure washer
- Lawn mower
6. Toolbox and tool storage
The more tools you have, the more important it becomes to get organized. Frequently used hand tools can be stored in a pegboard. Other hand tools, as well has hardware like screws, nuts, bolts and nails, are better stored in a traditional toolbox. A toolbox is an organizational storage box that has plenty of compartments for storing and keeping tools and other items. Having a handy toolbox makes it easier to look for items and bring it anywhere needed, like for instance, if you need a nail and a hammer to hang a portrait in your bedroom.
If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a handyman, you most probably have a larger haul of tools, so it’s best to consider a roller cabinet-and-chest combo.
7. Safety gear
Some garage work requires extra protection for your hands and eyes. You must at least own safety goggles and a pair of work gloves. A pair of safety goggles can help protect your face from elements like sawdust (when cutting wood or sanding) or chemical splashes, Opt for those with adjustable straps so you can easily wrap it tight to your face. For work gloves, go for leather or mechanic gloves. Earplugs or earmuffs can also be helpful, especially when handling noisy power tools so as to prevent impairment in your hearing. If you’ll be handling garage work that emits chemicals or debris, it’s best to use a face shield together with your safety glasses.
Besides these safety gear for your body, you must also keep a first aid kit handy in your garage. Accidents in the workshop happen, so make sure you’re ready for these things. Keep a fire extinguisher in your garage so you can be ready in case of electrical or chemical fires.
8. Power strips and extension cords
Power strips and extension cords should come in handy, especially if you use a lot of power tools, or if your garage lacks enough power outlets. It’s best to place a 6-10-outlet power strip on the wall behind your workbench so you can easily plug or charge your power tools.
9. Floor jack and jackstands
If you are going to work on your car on your own garage, you certainly need floor jack and jackstands. You need at least 4 jack stands to hold your car safely. When buying a jack and a jackstand, make sure that it can hold the weight of your car.
10. Shop vac and cleaning supplies
Garage work can be really dirty and messy. A regular household vacuum cleaner may not be able to handle all the dust and dirt plus all the mess, so you need a shop vac, which is a heavy-duty cleaner. Most shop vacuums can tackle wet messes and suck larger objects like wood chips. Because of the nature of the jobs handled in a garage, other messes like small scraps of metal or misplaced nails can be damaging to an ordinary vacuum cleaner. Also, don’t forget to keep a broom, dustpan and mop handy.