Top 10 Tools: Lou Fort, K.A.R.S. Inc.

Sept. 8, 2014
A lead technician at a full-service independent repair facility weighs in with his top tools in the shop.

Shop: K.A.R.S. Inc. 

Technician: Lou Fort, Lead Tech

Location: Huntingburg, Ind.

Harold Louis (Lou) Fort has 30-plus years of professional experience turning wrenches as an ASE Certified Master Technician. He has an associates degree in Automotive Technology, and has worked for both dealerships and independent repair shops.

Now Fort works full time as the lead technician at Konerding Automotive Repair Service, or K.A.R.S. Inc. in Huntingburg, Ind. "K.A.R.S. is a true full-service Independent (foreign / domestic / industrial / agricultural & marine) repair service & body shop with 24-hour towing and recovery service," says Fort. "We work on pretty much everything, big or small, be it a moped or Mack Truck. We also sell and service trailers of all sizes.

"In short, we will work on anything," he says.

  1. Snap-on Tools pocket screwdriver, No. SDD204O. "Hands down this is the most used tool I own," says Fort. "I use it to open boxes, pop panels loose, turn screws, release connectors and much, much more." At 4-3/4" long, this 0.25" flat tip screwdriver features a pocket clip. 
  2. TerraLux LightStar 80 Penlight. "This penlight has a rugged ‘bite grip’ that is nice when holding it with my teeth, and the high CRI (color rendering index) LED brings colors to life, making wire colors stand out." The LightStar80 also features a rubber bite grip for hands-free use, comes with a pocket clip and two AAA batteries, and is available in standard gray and high-visibility orange. 
  3. Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool. "Don’t leave home without it! With this tool on my belt, I can hold, cut, file, strip wires, pull fuses, turn screws and more with only one free hand, at the drop of a hat." The Wave weighs 8.5 oz, with a blade length of 2.9" and a closed length of 4". Available in two colors: stainless steel or black.For more information, visit:
  4. Induction Innovation Mini-Ductor II flameless heat system. "When you need a lot of heat but don’t want a fire, nothing beats induction heating." This 110V, 15-amp handheld flameless heat system instantly heats and removes seized nuts, bearings, pulleys and other metal or mechanical hardware and parts without the danger of an open flame or potential damage to nearby plastics using Invisible Heat. For more information, visit: 
  5. Redline Detection SmokePro Air Complete. "This is a 100-percent portable diagnostic smoke machine that won’t break the bank to own."  The Air Complete comes with its own onboard micro air compressor, eliminating the need for shop air or gas tanks. For more information, visit: 
  6. Redline Detection Easy Intake. "By far the fastest tool I have seen or used for setting up smoke testing of either a intake or exhaust system." Featuring an inflatable block off bladder with a pressurized vapor pass-through, this tool allows technicians to test an entire intake or exhaust systems quickly and easily. For more information, visit: 
  7. Snap-on Verus Pro. "A solid scan tool for OBD I or II vehicles that lets you take your service info with you to the vehicle (assuming you have access to a wireless network), loaded with component test information and a decent scope / meter for a little quick testing, all in one tool. And you can load both IDS and MDI applications on it." The Verus Pro also features a data manager, waveform library, schematics, access to TSBs, online technical forum, Fast-Track Troubleshooter, guided test procedures and verified repair tips. For more information, visit: 
  8. PicoScope 4-Channel Standard Kit, No. 4423. "Just what the doctor ordered when in-depth diagnostics of all-things-electronic are needed," says Fort. "When set up properly, a PicoScope will show you see what other scopes can’t." For more information, visit:
  9. Ingersoll Rand W7150 1/2" cordless impact. "It’s got the power and speed needed without being held back by a hose or cord."  Weighing in at 6.8 lbs and measuring 9.4" from tip to tail, the W7150 provides 780 ft/lbs of reverse torque, and 1,100 ft/lbs maximum torque. For more information, visit:
  10. Rockford Consumer Products Portable Power Source/Mini Jump Starter. "Need a jump start, or a charge for a laptop or cell phone, and there isn’t an outlet or charger in sight? The PPJS can do it all and more in one small package." This jump starter offers three power ports for charging, nano Lithium batteries that can hold a charge for up to a year, and a built-in flashlight with an S.O.S. pattern for emergency use.  For more information, visit:

Sponsored Recommendations

Access Carside OEM Repair Data with MOTOR TruSpeed

Now available on all Autel MaxiSYS Ultra Series tools, MOTOR TruSpeed Repair delivers expanded OEM service and repair data within days of being published by

ADAS Case Study: From 10 Calibrations a Month to Over 10 A Day

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Autel MaxiTPMS TS900: 3-in-1 TPMS Tablet

Originally published by Tire Review, April 4, 2024

Ask The Expert: The Basics & Benefits of Bringing ADAS Calibrations In-house

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!