Small engine repair includes work on boats, motorcycles, lawn mowers, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles. When an engine needs repair, mechanics need specialized tools. The type of tools required depend on the size of the engine and the type of repair. Most repairs require the same basic tools every small-engine repair mechanic should have access to.
Hand tools are the most commonly used for small engine repairs. Because they are smaller, portable and convenient to use, they are a staple of any mechanic's tool supply. Hand tools are especially essential for removing or securing parts in small, tight spaces of an engine. The most commonly used hand tools are wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers.
More complicated repairs might require the use of power tools, such as drills, grinders and electric screwdrivers. Drills and grinders are used to make adjustments to parts for better fit, and electric screwdrivers help remove and secure nuts and bolts more quickly.
Because engine problems must be diagnosed before repairs can begin, diagnostic tools are important. Diagnostic tools range from compact, small devices to large, sophisticated, stationary equipment. Repairing smaller engines might require the use of both; however, compact, portable devices are more beneficial for mechanics who travel. Smaller diagnostic devices include tools used for detecting bad engine parts and tuning engines, such as compression gauges, ammeters, voltmeters and computerized engine analyzers.
Some repairs require the use of a mechanical jack used for heavy lifting. Jacks are especially important for accessing parts of the engine that extend underneath a vehicle. Small mechanical jacks are portable and compact, whereas large hydraulic jacks are stabilized and best used in a shop atmosphere. Also, safety is an issue in regard to engine repair, especially when power tools or devices with electric current are in use. For this reason, mechanics should always have safety goggles and work gloves nearby.