Tools for the shop known for reliability and speed

SHOP: Midnight Auto Repair Service

LOCATION: Annapolis, MD

OWNER: Mike Ford

Mike Ford taught auto repair at the U.S. Naval Academy before opening his own repair shop in 1989. The shop stayed open from morning to midnight, and from midnight to 4 a.m. he delivered cars to their owners, hence the name Midnight Auto Repair Service. “When you can’t be without your car, call the man from MARS” became his advertising jingle.

1) Snap-on ignition pliers

“We carry these with us everywhere we go,” Ford says of the ignition pliers which he refers to as “baby dinosaur” based on the tool’s appearance. The tool doesn’t slip no matter how hard it’s squeezed. The small size allows him to carry it in his pocket, saving a trip to the toolbox. Ford still has the original tool from the 1920s, which is no longer made but can sometimes be found for sale on the Internet. For an updated version of this tool, go to

 2) Fluke 88V Multimeter

The Fluke 88V has a combination of advanced functions for more complex and unique testing. It has an adjustable bright white backlight and a high-impact rubber holster that protects the meter from accidental drops up to six feet. “You’ve got to be able to understand low voltage drops. That meter is indispensable. For more information on this product, go to

3) Snap-on Abrasive Blast Cabinet

The Snap-on Abrasive Blast Cabinet, No. YA3825, cleans metal parts right down to the bare substrate. “We use it to clean parts. We work on a lot of old classic cars, so cleaning is very important.” The blast cabinet’s high efficiency dust collection system uses an enclosed cartridge filter to separate dust from useable media, providing visibility during use and minimal wasted media. It has a right hand door for smaller parts and a unique clamshell lid that facilitates easy loading of heavy parts. The work area comes lit with two fluorescent lights for increased visibility. For more information on this product, go to

4) GearWrench spline drive ratchet wrench

GearWrench ratchteting wrenches are available in both SAE and metric measurements. “That fits anything.,. That’ll fit a 6-point, a 13-point a square head, you name it. That will fit anything possible.” For more information on this product, go to

5) Streamlight Pocket flashlight

The Stylus Pro LED flashlight is a secondary light that can be carried in a pocket or on a tool belt for looking under a hood or chassis. “You the beam to whatever you’re trying to see.” It uses a 0.5 watt, high-flux LED, as well as micro optical system technology to deliver greater light output. It measures 5.3”, weighs 1.64 oz and provides an output of 48 lumens and a continuous regulated runtime of 7.5 hours. For more information on this product, go to

6) Snap-on Ratchet, Air, Mini, Cushion Grip, ¼” drive

The FAR2500 air ratchet with cushion grip features balanced lightweight housing weighing 1.4 lbs for improved control with less user fatigue. “You have so little room to work in today’s cars.” The soft-grip handle with increased comfort and reduced vibration insulates against cold. The hard-coated motor plates prevent scoring for longer tool life. Improved rotor vane with more power and speed alow for greater performance in low-pressure environments. For more information on this product, go to

7) Matco Tools 6S  Toolbox

Matco’s 6s Series triple bay toolbox, features up to 25 shallow, medium, deep and extra-deep drawers that can be customized to any need.  The 8" spring-loaded casters are made of phenolic composite to ensure the box will stand up to common automotive solvents and chemicals. Ford had his toolbox custom painted pink. “I like the size and room it has. It’s one of the best.” For more information on this product, go to

8) Matco ¼” battery operated 10.8V

Matco Tools MUC108IW lithium battery-powered 1/4"-drive impact wrench is just over 7” tall and 5” long — and delivers a maximum of 55 ft/ lbs. of breakaway torque. One 10.8V lithium battery powers five other tools in the same voltage. Trigger-activated LED to improve visibility. “It has power and it’s a small size. I use it for a lot of stuff.” For more information on this product, go to

9) Snap-on 7.2V reversible drill CTS561CL

The Snap-on 7.2V Cordless Screwdriver, No. CTS561 features a pistol grip-style handle for ease of use and extra comfort, a rocker style forward/reverse toggle switch, and 1/4" quick-change chuck. “You can get it in and out of tight places. It has enough power.” The auto spindle lock provides for use in manual applications. ” For more information on this product, go to

10) Snap-on MIG Welder MM140SL

The Snap-on 'Muscle Mig" Wire Feed welder welds up to 1/4" in a single pass and is used in custom fabrication shops where voltage input is limited to 120V. “You need to get a small enough tool head to get into tight places. I use it for welding tig weld, mig weld and aluminum weld. This one will do everything.” It includes a cylinder rack, mig torch with 10' cable and 20' power input cable. It comes with a 2-year warranty, except for the MIG torch and consumables. For more information on this product, go to