For independent tool distributor James Stinson, it’s more of the younger techs who are purchasing hand tools on his truck. Not only are they buying to build their inventory, but they buy to have the “latest and greatest,” he notes.
What hand tools are best for young techs?
Although it really depends on their role within the shop, new/young technicians should have a good set of ratchets, sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, magnetic pick-up tools, mirrors, and oil filter wrenches, Cal-Van Tools’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing Matt Kenny says.
SK Tools’ Chris Sanford, vice president of sales, would also add extensions, various pliers (such as solid joint, tongue, and groove, and retaining ring pliers), pry bars, scrapers, a torque wrench, punches and chisels, and hex keys.
“For a new technician, there are a lot of good starter sets out there,” Sanford says.
However, with many to choose from, Sanford advises when looking to buy a starter set, they should build their practice strategically. For example, a 143-pc set may be more effective than an 850-pc set.
The 850-pc set may sound exciting and all-encompassing but might not make financial sense for a young technician to take on right away.
“That 143-pc set is just as effective for a beginning technician,” Sanford says. “They then can add as they are financially able to. If they are not careful, they can rack up thousands of dollars in debt and be paying on that for years.”