It’s not gift-giving season without treating yourself to a new toy for your garage. The tools and toys you use aren’t just for fun – they’re also practical and can help protect your investments.
Whether you’re a skilled mechanic or a car enthusiast, here are the 11 best toys for your garage this year.
Commercial Steam Cleaner
A commercial steam cleaner is a worthy investment for any garage. You can use this multipurpose tool to clean and detail your vehicle, thereby maintaining its condition and resale value. You can also use this device to make some extra money on the side by offering your services to other people. By doing so, you’ll be able to pay for your steamer in no time.
This investment is also worth the price tag during the global pandemic. Depending on the steamer you choose, you may have sterilization options that can ensure your vehicle is safe, clean and sanitized adequately.
Recirculating Parts Washer
Take your cleaning to the next level with a recirculating parts washer for your garage. This apparatus comes in both a countertop and freestanding style to suit your space. Use this to degrease and polish your parts to get them free of grime and debris before putting them on your car. This is a must-have tool for anyone who uses scrap parts or works on remodeling projects.
The benefit of using a recirculating parts washer is that the grease won’t be clogging your drains and harming your plumbing. These specialty sinks come with grease traps and a pump to ensure your solvent is applied quickly and evenly.
FIXD Car Health Monitor
There’s nothing as stressful as seeing your engine light come on when there’s no noticeable issue with your car. The check engine light can be triggered by thousands of different issues. Sometimes it can indicate a serious problem. For example, on older cars it can be a sign that a gas cap isn’t closed all the way.
Before you wheel your ride to the shop to get checked over, plug it into the FIXD car health monitor to diagnose the deeper issue. This simple, affordable hand-held tool will pull the code from your car and translate what the lights on your dash are trying to say.
This innovative device also syncs with smartphones via Bluetooth to deliver detailed reports in an easy-to-understand format. You can also schedule routine maintenance reminders and find clickable links to compatible parts when an issue arises.
While this device works for most vehicles, they are not compatible with electric or diesel-powered cars. Additionally, they are not compatible with cars older than 1996.
This simple gift is a must-have for any professional or hobby mechanic. Use this cuff-style bracelet to hold smaller components, like bolts and screws, while working. These bracelets are lightweight and one-size-fits-all, making them a great stocking stuffer or affordable gift for yourself and others.
There are a variety of magnetic wristbands available. Look for one with a durable attachment and lightweight material for comfort during longer jobs. One of the most common complaints is the use of heavy synthetic material that becomes cumbersome and sweaty over time.
Tire Hitch Step
Taking a look under the hood isn’t always an easy feat, especially if you have a truck. However, standing on a stool can be hazardous while digging deep into the inner workings of your vehicle.
The solution to this problem is the tire step, a secure step stool which hooks over the top of your tire. This step puts you in the ideal position to lean over your engine bay without the risk of a slip and fall. The Heininger HitchMate Tire Step is a durable metal step that has a maximum capacity of 400lbs. It also folds into a compact bag for simple storage and portability.
A tire hitch step is also ideal for shorter mechanics who struggle to get the leverage they need to work on their vehicle.
Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
Safety should be a top priority in the garage. Using protective eyewear and noise cancellation headphones are a must-have for personal protection when working on a vehicle. Noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones solve two problems for the garage: they provide ample ear protection while also allowing you to listen to music over the noise.
Some brands of noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones also integrate with smartphones and smart home assistants. While it’s not quite the same as having Tony Stark’s setup in the garage, it is a step closer to the future.
Retractable Extension Cord Winder
This simple garage toy will help keep your workspace tidy and save you time at the end of the day. There are a variety of options for keeping your cords wrapped and tidy, without you having to stand and wrap them around your elbows.
A hand crank extension cord winder is a wall-mounted device that sits next to an outlet. You wind the cord through the device and use the crank to reel it back in when the job is complete. Conversely, there are automatic retraction winders that mount to the wall or ceiling for an even smoother approach.
LED Overhead Garage Lights
If your garage is dim and poorly lit, install a few LED overhead lights to illuminate your workspace. Invest in an overhead light with adjustable panels to adjust the illumination as needed. You can even get motion-sensor lights for an eco-conscious gadget that keeps energy costs low.
You can also get portable LED lights for a more focused approach. This alternative is ideal for both working on cars or at a workbench.
Laser Parking Guide
If your garage is a multipurpose space or home to numerous vehicles, parking can be a nightmare. This ceiling-mounted device is ideal for two-car garages. When you enter the garage, two lasers will guide you into your parking space, avoiding other vehicles or those storage tote bins you were supposed to store elsewhere.
This space-age device doesn’t require any special wiring – it mounts with screws and shuts down automatically after use.
Flexible Tripod Light
Hanging a heavy-duty light on the hood of your car and hoping it doesn’t cast any shadows is a thing of the past. Instead, treat yourself to a flexible tripod light that can be attached to almost any surface and adjusted to focus the light as needed. These devices have numerous joints in the legs so that you can stand it up straight, tilt the light where you need it, or even wrap it around a fixed surface.
Flexible tripod lights are affordable and easy to use. You can also get multifunctional pieces that hold smartphones as well. Once you use one of these versatile lights, you’ll never want to go back to the hanging light that served you so well in the past.
Creepers are a staple for working in a garage. However, these must-have tools have historically been rudimentary, boasting a simple board with fixed wheels. Upgrade your creeper with a convertible version for a functional tool that’s both practical and comfortable.
The best convertible creeper has extra padding for comfort while you work. Look for an option with removable pins to adjust the neck height or convert your creeper into a stool or chair. The Pro-lift C-9100 converts into a seat and offers extra padding and swivel wheels. The Omega 91452 is another convertible option that also offers a low-profile setting that’s useful for smaller vehicles.
These 10 toys will take your garage to the next level this year, making your projects a little easier to finish and a lot more fun to work on.