Man talking(l+r), Harbor Freight(c)

Harbor Freight/Facebook @tylerandthaliag/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Not me watching this entire video like I’m about to go fix some stuff’: Mechanic shows which tools you can buy at Harbor Freight to cover most of your at-home car fixes

'Real for not gatekeeping.'


Grace Fowler


Posted on Apr 17, 2024   Updated on Apr 17, 2024, 8:58 am CDT

A mechanic on TikTok posted some of the tools you can find at Harbor Freight if you want to cover your car repairs at home.

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Tyler (@tylerandthaliag) has reached over 228,400 views and 19,600 likes on his video as of publication. Tyler frequently uses his account to post all kinds of mechanic tips and tricks. His video has an on-screen caption that says, “Tool Recommendations For Beginner Mobile Mechanics.”

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To start his video, Tyler is standing outside of a Harbor Freight and says that the tools mentioned in the video can help you “do your own repairs or start your own mobile mechanic business.” 

Once inside the store, the first tool Tyler points out is “⅜’s drive ratchet.” The product shown in the video seems to be the “PITTSBURGH 1/4 in. x 3/8 in. Dual-Drive Extendable Ratchet.” 

Tyler says, “I like these because of the nylon grip, and they come with lifetime warranty.”

Next, he adds, “You’re also gonna wanna get a quarter-inch ratchet. Same thing applies—lifetime warranty.” 

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Then, Tyler grabs what looks like a “PITTSBURGH PRO 1/2 in. Drive Quick-Release Extension Bar Set, 4 Piece.” 

“These are a bonus,” he says. “When I started out, I didn’t have locking extensions.”

For beginners, Tyler suggested buying individual tools instead of a kit because “if they break, you can replace them free of charge.” With a tool kit, he says, “you have to bring every single piece back” if you want to use the warranty. 

Continuing his advice for those just starting out, Tyler says he would first start with “metric sockets.” 

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“The colored ones are great,” he adds. “That way, you know which size is which based on the color.” Tyler suggests that as you grow in your personal mechanic journey, you should “upgrade to some impact-rated sockets as you start getting power tools, but if you’re just using hand tools, those should work.”

Next, Tyler recommends getting “some sort of half-inch impact.” 

“You can get the Hercules from Harbor Freight,” he adds. “Get yourself some impact-rated sockets.” Along with that, Tyler says if you’re using impact sockets, you should “definitely get yourself some impact-rated extensions.”

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If you are going to be using “impact for wheels,” Tyler says a “plug nut set, nylon covered,” should do the trick. 

If you’re looking for the right magnetic tray, Tyler suggests starting with the $5 U.S. GENERAL 6 in. Magnetic Parts Holder. “You don’t really need to go fancy and get a bunch of them. … One got me by for a long time,” he says. 

“As far as Jack Stands,” Tyler says, “they are an absolute must. Do not work on your vehicle without jack stands.” In the video, Tyler is looking at a Daytona Jack Stand

The next product Tyler shows is “a big one.” He stands in front of a PITTSBURGH AUTOMOTIVE 3 ton Low-Profile Aluminum Racing Floor Jack with RAPID PUMP. “I got by with this three-ton for quite some time,” he says. “However, I’ve been in business for three years; I can’t lift that thing to save my life anymore.” He says he currently uses a “two-ton racing jack” instead.

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“I recommend not going any cheaper with these,” he adds. “They look nice; they’re fancy, but they don’t hold up.” 

Before ending his video, Tyler says, “Harbor Freight has a warranty, so if they break, you just replace them.”

@tylerandthaliag Not Sponsored or affiliated with Harbor Freight. This was a highly request video! We have many video requests were working on, this is a snippet of what will be included in our course! More to come! #mobilemechanic #mechaniclife #mechanicsoftiktok #carsontiktok #cartok #carguy #tools #mechanic #capcut #cars #carsdaily #carslovers #fyp #foryou #orlando ♬ original sound – Tyler and Thalia 🤍
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Harbor Freight states that it will “replace any hand tool that fails to properly work during the lifetime of the original purchaser.”

“In the event an identical item is not available as a replacement: Harbor Freight Tools reserves the right to substitute a substantially similar item in its place,” its website continues. The Daily Dot reached out to Harbor Freight via email for more information. 

“If you’re using your tools properly, you shouldn’t really be breaking them that often,” Tyler concludes in his video.

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“Everybody knocks Harbor Freight but there are lots of tools as good as name brands, of course power tools Milwaukee is the way to go,” one viewer said in the comments section of Tyler’s video. 

Another wrote, “I would get husky tools or a gear wrench kit.”

Tyler told them, “Video is meant for beginners, this is ground floor for people, once they learn how to use the tools then 100% spend $180 to get yourself a set of gearwrench ratchets.”

“You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on tools for your at home repairs,” Tyler added in an email to the Daily Dot.

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Trade School Future states that many beginner mechanics “don’t know what tools are essential and which are non- essential” and “may end up investing in overpriced, wrong mechanical tools” without proper guidance.

The site notes that it cannot provide an exhaustive list of essential tools “because there are an endless amount of mechanic tools.” However, it recommends 11 tools for beginners: a wrench set, a torque wrench, pliers, a racket set and socket set, socket extension bars, a multimeter, a pry bar, a hammer, a screwdriver, an impact wrench, and a vise-grip.

“This is the perfect starter list for power tools, hand tools and machine tools that will permit you to conduct 90% of all beginner automotive repairs from spark plug to oil changes,” the site states.

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*First Published: Apr 17, 2024, 11:00 pm CDT
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