Whether you’re buying tools for the very first time or if you’re adding more tools to your already-full-to-the-brim-with-tools shed, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
These tips will help you not just save money but also that you get the best possible tools for your money.
Tip #1: Buy for the Long-Term
If you’re on a tight budget, buying a cheap off-brand tool might be tempting instead of spending more money on ones from a well-established brand might be tempting.
But there’s a big problem with this approach.
These off-brand tools are often shoddily made, and it’s not rare that corners are cut during production.
Either way, these tools will break easily and, above all, sooner than the equivalent from reputable brands.
So despite the alluringly low price tag, you’ll have to buy the same tool twice.
Just like it pays to buy the best possible motorcycle gear that you can afford, it also pays to buy the best possible tools you can afford.
Tip #2: Start With the Most Essential Tools
If you’re someone who’s just building up a collection of tools, it might seem a bit overwhelming when you realize just how many tools there are.
But with that said – do you really need to spend a fortune on a hydraulic lift or a compression tool?
The answer is no.
Yes, these tools will come in handy at some point, but they shouldn’t be the first ones you spend money on.
Instead, prioritize tools that you can use for the most basic maintenance tasks, such as:
- Socket wrench and socket handles
- Tire pressure gauge
If your budget allows it, it’s also worth considering a brake bleeder kit – they’re not expensive and make bleeding your brake system much easier.
Tip #3: Invest In a Good Toolbox ASAP
So, you’ve got the essential tools – but where are you keeping them?
Are you keeping them in a place where they’re easy to find? After all, time spent looking for missing tools is time wasted.
Not only that but what about if you need to carry all of your tools somewhere else?
It’s easy to forget this, but the toolbox is just as essential as the tools inside it.
Once you have one, you have both a convenient storage space for your tools and a way to take them with you.
Tip #4: Skip the Tool Chest (At Least at First)
What’s wrong with a tool chest? Nothing – if you’ve already got a large amount of tool cluttering up your shed or garage, and you can afford one, go for it.
But if you’re someone who’s buying your very first tools, it’s too much of an investment at this stage.
Furthermore, even though many tool chests have wheels on them, they’re no good if you live on the top floor of an apartment building (especially one that doesn’t have an elevator or lift).
Start by buying a decently sized toolbox. Then, when it’s too small to fit all of your tools, buy a bigger toolbox until you’ve worked your way up to a tool chest.
Tip #5: Check All the Torque Specs for your Bike BEFORE You Buy a Torque Wrench
Are you investing in a torque wrench? Good call – it’s one of the most valuable tools you could get.
But there’s one thing to remember: not all torque wrenches are made to cover the same torque ratings.
Some smaller ones will only have a maximum torque rating of 60 Newton Meters (about 44-foot pounds).
So therefore, if you buy one of these torque wrenches, only to discover that the rear axle nut for your 2015 Yamaha MT-07 has a torque spec of 150 Nm (or 110-foot pounds).
Therefore, remember to check the torque ratings in your owner’s manual and verify that you can set the torque wrench to that setting.
As a helpful tip, use the rear axle nut as your frame of reference – this is usually the part of the bike that requires the highest amount of torque.
Tip #6: Good Tools Will Pay for Themselves
True, this isn’t as much of a tip as it is a piece of encouragement, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
If you’re someone who gets buyer’s remorse quickly after spending money, buying tools for as much as $500 might cause you to break out in cold sweat.
But remember that having good tools will be a good investment in the long run. You buy these tools once, and they’ll continue to serve you for years (assuming you remembered Tip #1).
Even better – many of these tools can be helpful in daily tasks around your home – it’s a 2-for-1 deal.