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Hagerty Employee

6 measuring tools you need in your garage

Measuring tools are the unsung heroes of most toolboxes, despite any jokes you’ve heard about how “real mechanics don’t use those.” However, the fact is that precision matters when doing things the right way and building something that will last. Whether fabricating from raw materials or making adjustments to an already assembled engine, here are six tools just about every home DIY enthusiast should have in their toolbox drawers.


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New Driver

One thing that should added to your torque wrench suggestion. ALWAYS RETURN TO ZERO after use. This is the biggest reason these end up no more than ratchets after a while. 


“when you can measure what

you are speaking about, …

you know something about it;

but when you cannot measure it, …

your knowledge is of a meagre

and unsatisfactory kind…” Lord Kelvin 1883

Intermediate Driver

one other item, very simple and very useful is a square. the most versatile would be the "combination" square which consists of a 12" steel rule, with adjustable position attachments providing, 90 deg, 45 deg, and adjustable protractor

Intermediate Driver

I always have a rafter square chose. 

Intermediate Driver

I would be lost without my "no contact" IR thermometer. Checking for a high temperature on an auto transmission or rear axle. Or that one cold exhaust port, or hot brake drum.


All good choices, but one could add a couple of different length strait edges, and a screw size gauge also.  Tom O

Intermediate Driver

The caliper is being used improperly. The internal jaws go against the outer edges of an opening (or in this case two openings).


Great choices, but one could also add a couple of different length straight edges and a screw size gauge. Tom O

New Driver

Kyle, nice piece! But those pictured are not vernier calipers -- they don't have vernier scales. Back when digital calipers didn't exist and dial calipers were very expensive, we ordinary mechanics made do with vernier calipers (and kept them next to our slide rules.)