QotW: What’s the one tool you can’t live without?

Today, May 9, is Tool Day in Japan. It’s a relatively new holiday, founded only in 2021 by KTC, Japan’s number one tool company. The purpose of Tool Day, according to KTC, its to spread knowledge about tools, their correct usage, and maintenance methods. They recommend that on this day, owners learn how to use the tools properly, clean and polish them, or use  them to maintain a car.

A well-kept tool box is key for any JNC owner, but it takes time to build. At the very minimum, a set of metric wrenches are a must-have. On the other end of the cost spectrum, so is a torque wrench if you want to do anything beyond an oil change. In an emergency situation there’s not much than can beat a set of locking pliers, which can double as screwdrivers, wrenches, or even a make-shift differential. They’ve gotten us out of many a jam.

What’s the one tool you can’t live without?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What cars would you put in your $250,000 dream garage?“.

As much as we’d like to award the win to jan groenendijk‘s list with multiple variations of the Mitsubishi GTO or Fred Langille’s list with all the Pike Factory cars plus an armored personnel carrier, in terms of well-rounded collector cars we think Taylor C. hit the nail on the head.

1994 Skyline GT-R V-spec II – $57000
2000 Fairlady Z Version S – $20000
1997 Acura NSX – $71000
1994 Miata RS Limited – $16000
2005 LS430 – $13000
2005 Honda Accord Euro R – $20000
2008 Subaru Legacy S402 wagon – $29000
2000 Hiace Super Custom – $24000

For a set of “forever cars,” I wouldn’t mind having these in the garage. Definitely a noticeable departure from my previous wish list, but I guess this list tries to focuse on JDM as well as “collector,” however I feel that “collector” is subjective.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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16 Responses to QotW: What’s the one tool you can’t live without?

  1. Art says:

    A jack to jack up my car. That’s step one in (almost) all car maintenance!

  2. Fred Langille says:

    Things like metric wrenches, torque wrenches, screwdrivers are a given in any toolbox. But, its the things that are not commonly thought of that make a difference in situations. I include … and have in my emergency kit for both my S-Cargo and my ’22 Hyundai Kona … the following:

    Duct tape
    emergency safety triangles
    mechanics gloves
    cheap coveralls
    rain poncho
    extra oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid
    small gas can
    multi tool
    small water can
    selection of fuses
    $50 in small bills

    Some of these may sound odd but, after having a need for one or the other at various times, I stand by my selections.

  3. Scotty G says:

    A 10mm socket and/or open-end/box wrench.

  4. j_c says:

    Magnet on a telescoping stick is a life saver when bolts and nuts drop into nooks and crannies.

  5. Land Ark says:

    I bought three sizes of Nepros (by KTC) ratchets a little over a year ago and they look amazing. I say look because I am too afraid to actually use them! Right now they are displayed in my office as works of art. One day when I bust my knuckles open using my normal tools I will break them out.

    I recently bought a pair of locking hose clamp pliers and after years of just using regular pliers I must say it is life changing. From frustratingly ruining brand new tension rings or firing the across the garage to installing them with ease I don’t know why I waited so long to pick up a pair.

  6. Clif says:

    Vicegrips are my number one tool. I end up using them on just about any job I do!

    No ‘locking pliers’, they’re called vicegrips around here. Some even call them viciousgrips.

    I’ve found the original US ones are by far the best, nicest locking and unlocking action by far.

  7. Taylor C. says:

    All my Japanese cars extensively call for a 10mm socket. Although my German cars prefer Torx, there are still a few lingering 10 mm bolts / nuts to be found. The majority of times I’ve opened the tool chest to work on the cars, it’s been to grab the strip of metric sockets. And within that strip (be it 1/4″ or 3/8″) it’ll lean more towards 10mm.

    At this point I think I have four (4) 10mm sockets in standard / deep / 1/4″ / 3/8″. I lost (who hasn’t) my 3/8″ deep socket 10mm, and although losing any tool would be upsetting, I was literally heartbroken, panicking at how life would continue. I haven’t replaced it, but each time I the drawer, I always see that empty spot on the metric strip.

  8. Jim Klein says:

    The Big F’n Hammer with the Credit Card a close second 🙂

  9. Joe Musashi says:

    The 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21 mm in combination of sockets and wrenches.

  10. Alan says:

    My Ko-Ken titanium alloy socket set, of course.

    I’m looking to refinance the house so I can replace the missing 10mm.

  11. speedie says:

    This is like the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” (you parents out there know what I’m talking about). My initial response was a 10 mm socket, but then I realized I would need both a standard and deep socket plus a ratchet wrench, three different extension bars, and a swivel head to be able to reach all the bolts I usually have to attack. Then I come across a 12 mm bolt as there always seems to at least one if there are more than three bolts holding a part on. So if someone gave me a 10 mm socket….

  12. Zu says:

    Ratcheting wrenches are game-changers in tight spots. Also always have my flashlight on me and headlamp close by

  13. Jonathan P. says:

    Not going to lie, the most used tool in my tool box isn’t a socket or a hammer or an impact wrench. It’s my pocket flathead screwdriver with a magnet on the end. Dang thing has come in handy at work and at home. Drop a bolt? Stick the screwdriver shaft into a bit of hose and pick it up! Need to open a box? It can open boxes. Need to scrape an old oil sticker off of a windshield? It can do that. Miniature pry bar? Only if you’re careful. Tightening screws as intended? Not as often as the aforementioned, but yes.
    I’ve had it for going on four years now, it’s a good tool.

  14. Christoph says:

    Rust remover unfortunately…

  15. f31roger says:

    Tool day!!! That’s a pretty cool concept!

    A few years back, I had a shared underground garage at my apt complex. Someone took all my tools I had gotten since I was a teen. Admittingly, not always the quality stuff! But I used to work in a machine shop and I lost a ton of specific tools I really liked.

    Nowadays, I’ve become some kind of tool collector and I don’t even care the brand.

    My basic go to… is the $1.99 screw driver special from Harbor freight with the blue handle.

  16. David Meyer says:

    My Fluke multimeter. Because 35-year-old Japanese electronics.

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