Basic Industrial Maintenance Tool List
For Industrial Maintenance Technicians & Mechanics
Basic Industrial Maintenance Tool List: Every work environment is unique. Each will require specific and specialized tools beyond the scope of this entry. This post is centered on a foundation set of suitable tools for many electrical and industrial maintenance applications. This is a starting point to build upon. As I have written elsewhere, providing tools to your maintenance team is a critical part of getting quality results in their work.
I prefer to select the tools and dictate additional items to be in the mechanic, technician, and electricians’ toolbox. Remember, our goal is to maintain and repair the equipment properly and efficiently. By keeping some additional items such as hose fittings, fuses, fasteners, tapes, and anything relevant to your equipment, unnecessary trips away from the job can be reduced or possibly eliminated.
Don’t Carry What You Don’t Need.
I believe it’s also important to not include unnecessary tools. We are somewhat programmed to buy tools in sets such as socket sets, screwdriver sets, wrench sets, etc. The reality is all of those included tools take up space that can be better occupied by more important items; they also make the toolbox heavier and more difficult to move. Today we have the option of cleverly designed tools and even specialized sets of tools that can do a lot with only a few tools, and there’s no loss in quality or effectiveness. German companies such as Wera, Wiha, and Knipex are great in this respect.
As you scroll down this page, you will notice I mention tool “sets,” which might appear contrary to what I stated in the previous paragraph. There are two points to this. The first point is I never said not to buy tools in sets; I said the unnecessary tools don’t need to be in the toolbox. The second point to this is simple economics. It’s almost always more cost-effective to buy tools in sets rather than individually.
A simple test is to look at your wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers and see if any look brand new. If you have owned the tools for a reasonable amount of time and look brand new, you don’t need them in your toolbox.
Don’t Include Tools that Facilitate Poor Results.
I have often seen maintenance personal make Vise Grip Pliers, Channel Locks, and Adjustable Wrenches their primary tools. Unless there is a job requirement, the first two examples should probably be completely left out of the toolbox. While they have their time and place, keep them in the shop or tool crib and make them inconvenient to use. There are quality adjustable wrenches like the Proto model listed below. Unfortunately, most mechanics and technicians are unaware of the option. Something else to consider today, German tool manufacturers Knipex and Wera are changing the tool landscape with designs not seen before or improved versions of the old stand-bys mentioned. Previously. To see examples, look at the Knipex Pliers Wrench and the Wera Self Adjusting Joker Spanner Wrench. Both of these tools can eliminate several other tools.
You might be interested in what’s in My Toolbox.
Toolbox & Tool Storage
The Toolbox: U.S General 26 In. X 22 In. Single Bank Roller Cabinet
I’m not typically an advocate for Harbor Freight Tools, but they have managed to hit a home run with their U.S General Toolboxes. The U.S General line represents a perfect compromise of cost versus quality. The U.S General, 26 Inch Toolbox features eight 22″ deep drawers, and that’s important to me from a storage space and organizational standpoint. Most inexpensive toolboxes have five to seven drawers. I also like that U.S General has matching add-on cabinets and drawer organization, making the U.S General Toolboxes a complete tool storage solution. These toolboxes in no way compete with Snap-On or the Icon brand that Harbor Freight carries. They aren’t meant to.
Keep in mind my team does not use heavy-duty air tools, hydraulic pullers, etc. They carry the tools listed throughout this page.
From Harbor Freight:
Get up to 9,800 cubic inches of accessible tool storage with this compact, heavy-duty roller cabinet. This tool cabinet has top-quality features like ball-bearing drawer slides, rolled drawer edges, and glossy powder coat paint. The roller cabinet features 8 drawers with a variety of heights to accommodate large and small tools. With heavy-duty 5 in. metal casters, this unit can hold 1000 Lb. of tools securely. The powder coat finish is durable and easy to clean.
- High capacity, full-extension ball-bearing drawer slides
- All welded steel construction
- Industrial powder-coated finish resists rust
- Secure detents keep drawers closed
- Two fixed and two locking swivel casters
- Non-slip pre-cut drawer liners in all drawers
- Barrel lock keeps your tools safe and secure
Additional Toolbox Storage:
Wire Strippers & Cable Strippers
- Jokari 20310 Sensor “Special Mini” Automatic Wire Stripper – PVC-coated cables, PUR-coated sensor/actuator cables, Shielded cables, Unshielded cables, TPE U cables, PUR-coated halogen-free sensor cables, PUR-coated cables
- Jokari 20300 Sensor Special Automatic Wire Stripper – This tool is similar to the Jokari Sensor “Special Mini” listed above. The difference is it’s made for larger diameter sensor cables.
- Jokari 20050 Ergonomic Super 4 Plus Automatic Wire Stripper – This wire stripper performs admirably on wires ranging from 24 gauge to 10 gauge. Don’t expect it to strip wires outside its stated range.
- Jonard WSA 1439 Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper 14-30 AWG – The Jonard WSA 1439 takes over where the Jokari 20050 leaves off.
- Jonard Tools CST-1900 Round Cable Stripper – The Jonard CST-1900 is half the cost of the Phoenix Contact WireFox D40 that I use and works just as well. The Jonard tool was unknown to me when I purchased the WireFox.
- Knipex 97 62 145 Crimping Pliers For End Ferrules – For myself I prefer the Knipex 97 53 18 Twistor16 Self-Adjusting Crimping Pliers for crimping ferrules but at $150 I can buy four pairs of the Knipex 97 62 145 ferrule crimper. These are great crimpers in their own right and are fine for the needs of maintenance technicians and mechanics who infrequently crimp ferrules. If a team member crimps ferrules regularly the more expensive auto-sizing ratchet type is worth the cost.
- Wiha 43618 Ratchet Crimper for Standard Connectors –
- Fluke 179 True-RMS Digital Multimeter –
- Fluke T6-1000 Electrical Tester –
- Fluke 1AC II Non-Contact Voltage Tester –
- Banner DBQ5 DC Proximity Sensor Tester – The DBQ5 is a portable Demo Box for powering dc self-contained sensors for testing purposes and provides a 4-pin euro-style quick-disconnect fitting.
- Used to power dc self-contained photoelectric sensors for testing purposes
- Designed around the 4-pin Euro-style connector
- Powered by three standard 9V batteries (27V dc) for very long service life
- Features bi-color LEDs that indicate not only sensor output status but also output type (NPN or PNP)
- A 4-pin wiring barrier is mounted on the top of the box to allow the connection of cabled dc sensors.
- Proto J704L Clik-Stop Adjustable Wrench 4″ –
- Proto J706L Clik-Stop Adjustable Wrench 6″ –
- GEARWRENCH 20 Piece Ratcheting Wrench Set, SAE/Metric – 35720 – Includes SAE sizes: 1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16 and 3/4 in, Includes metric sizes: 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 millimeter.
- GEARWRENCH 28 Pc. 6 Pt. Combination Wrench Set, SAE/Metric – 81923 – Includes SAE sizes: 1/4 in 5/16 in 11/32 in 3/8 in 7/16 in 1/2 in 9/16 in 5/8 in 11/16 in 3/4 in 13/16 in 7/8 in 15/16 in 1 in 6mm 7mm 8mm 9mm 10mm 11mm 12mm 13mm 14mm 15mm 16mm 17mm 18mm 19mm Includes metric sizes: 1/4 in 5/16 in 11/32 in 3/8 in 7/16 in 1/2 in 9/16 in 5/8 in 11/16 in 3/4 ,13/16 in 7/8 in 15/16 in 1 in,6mm 7mm 8mm 9mm 10mm 11mm 12mm 13mm 14mm 15mm 16 mm,17mm 18mm 19 mm
Hex Key Wrenches
- Bondhus 20399 Ball End L-Wrench DoublePK w/BriteGuard & GoldGuard Finish –
- Wiha Precision Hex Inch Screwdrivers 8 Piece Set 26391 –
- Wiha Precision Hex Metric Screwdrivers 8 Piece Set 26390 –
- Knipex 86 05 180 7 1/4″ Pliers –
- Klein Tools J203-7 Pliers, Long Nose Side-Cutters, 7-Inch –
Socket Sets & Sockets
- GEARWRENCH 35 Pc. 1/4″ Drive MicroDriver Set – 85035 –
- GEARWRENCH 51 Pc. 1/4″ Drive 6 Pt. 120XP Mechanics Tool Set, Standard & Deep, SAE/Metric – 80300P –
- GEARWRENCH 56 Pc. 3/8″ Drive 6 Pt. 120XP Mechanics Tool Set, Standard & Deep, SAE/Metric – 80550P –
Screwdrivers & Miscellaneous Drivers and Minature Tool Sets
- Wera 2054/7 Kraftform Micro Hex Metric Precision Screwdriver Set –
- Wiha Precision Long Slotted/Phillips Screwdrivers 5 Piece Set 26192 –
- Wiha SoftFinish Slotted/Phillips Screwdriver 8 Piece Set 30298 –
- Wiha 26 In 1 Ultra Driver Bonus Pack 77795 –
- Wiha Master Tech 65 Piece Set – ESD Handle, Mini Ratchet, and MicroBits In Metal Storage Box 75965 –
- Wiha 8 Piece Insulated PicoFinish SL/PH Set 32088 – This is the most used screwdriver set in my toolbox.
- Wiha 7 Piece Insulated SoftFinish Screwdriver Set 1000-Volt VDE Set 32099 –
Precision and Alignment Tools
- Mitutoyo Digital Caliper “500 Series” –
- 1-2-3 Blocks (2 Pairs) –
- Machinist Square Set –
- Pec Tools 3″- 6″ Flat Machinist Squares –
- Starrett Machinist Level, 98-6 – 6 Inch Precision Leveling Tool with Cast Iron Base –
- OTC 1024 5-Ton Reversible Jaw ‘Grip-O-Matic’ Puller –
- Nupla 10027 SFS-2SG Standard Power Drive Dead Blow Hammer –
Handheld and Portable Power Tools
I include power tools in the Basic Industrial Maintenance Tool List because cordless drills, cordless drivers, and cordless impact wrenches and ratchets have become commonplace, replacing corded and pneumatic versions of the past. Today cordless tools rule, and the following comments apply to them.
I’m not normally a brand person, but I have strong opinions and preferences about power tools. Simply put, I prefer to buy and use the best tool for the job. That said, in an industrial environment, it makes sense to select one brand and standardize on it, as long as the tools are industrial quality. My brands of choice are Bosch, Milwaukee, and to some degree Ingersoll Rand. My current company has standardized Milwaukee M18 Fuel power tools. The tools below are what we use presently.
- Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2697-22 18-Volt 1/2-Inch 2-Tool Combo Kit, which includes the 1/2” Hammer Drill Driver (2607-20) and the 1/4” Hex Compact Impact Driver (2656-20)
- Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/2″ Drill Driver (2803-20)
- Milwaukee M18 FUEL SURGE™ 1/4″ Hex Hydraulic Driver (2760-20)
- Milwaukee M18 FUEL SUPER SAWZALL® Reciprocating Saw (2722-21HD)