Technicians’ Top 5 Favorite Tools & Equipment – UnderhoodService

Technicians’ Top 5 Favorite Tools & Equipment

Adnan “Ed” Anwar,
president/master technician
Checkered Flag Automotive
Lacey, WA

I own Checkered Flag Automotive with my wife Mary. I’ve been fixing vehicles since 1982. I’m a certified master technician, CM HDT, Auto L1, PSI and CNG. We have owned the business since 1998 and purchased the shop and land in 2005. Checkered Flag has a crew of three, features state-of-the-art equipment and provides first-class service. The shop has five networked computers, so if one technician is doing an alignment, and one is looking up service bulletins, still another can be ordering parts off the Internet and finishing up the repair order. The shop is also an ACDelco TSS dealer.

My favorite tools are:

The Sun 500E — I can use it to diagnose. With Shop Key, I can do the work order and go on the Internet to order parts.

Identifix Direct Hit (also on the Sun 500E) — I can’t say enough good about it. I started out with Autoline in 1992 and have fixed many cars, and saved time and money by using this service.

NGS — The best scan tool for Fords (my specialty). We also use the Sun 500E to flash Fords.

The Power Probe — Since I picked it up, I have not used the test light.

Snap-on Vantage — It’s old, but it’s still my favorite DVOM.


Eric Ennen, owner
Ennen Automotive
Quincy, IL


Cornwell Tools TechForce Diagnostic Scanner — Easy and fast.

Skye R-134a A/C Service Center — Very easy to use and accurate.

Snap-on hand tools — The grips are good, so these tools don’t slip.

UView Megalite Spotgun — Makes leak detection easy.

Snap-on MT2500 Scanner — Excellent on pre-1996 vehicles; easy to use.


Sam Nutter
Sam’s Garage
Northbrook, IL


I think my number one tool is ALLDATA. I think it has the most information and best value.

Next would be my Vetronix Tech 2 and the TIS 2000 program. I work on a lot of late-model GMs and this puts me at the dealer level. I can also flash the computers with updates.

My MotorVac Smoke Machine and Coolant Flush Machine. These find leaks fast and there’s no coolant mess.

My Snap-on MODIS — a powerful tool.

My Coats 5065 EX Tire Machine — great for cars and trucks.


Rick Wilson
K&K Performance Automotive
New London, MO


Snap-on MT2500G — Easy and quick to use.

Snap-on 1/4 Flex Head Ratchet — Fits in tight spots.

iATN — Most valuable info source ever!

Sun LS2000 DSO — Needed for accurate diagnosis.

4-lb. Sledge — For the difficult situations.


Darrin Berndt, owner
My Mechanic
Bremerton, WA


First, let me say this was a more difficult process than I thought it would be. We are an independent shop that specializes in high performance and custom builds. We also supplement our income with regular maintenance of people’s daily drivers. With that being said, here is my list:

Snap-on Vantage Pro — I reach for this tool all the time. On top of it being a graphing multimeter, it also has a huge wealth of auto service info in it. I just don’t know how I did it without this tool.

Victor Oxy-acetylene Torch — There is just no substitute when it comes to rusted-on nuts and bolts.

Snap-on Torque Wrench — There is nothing I can really say other than “peace of mind.” Snap-on IM32 Compact Impact Wrench, AKA the butterfly — I like this one so much I own two of them. One is a backup for when I wear the first one out and send it in.

Miller 251 Wire Feed Welder — With us doing custom work, there is no substitute for a good wire feed welder, and this one has never let us down.


Rick Bettge, lead technician
Sunbelt Rentals
Knoxville, TN


I work heavy equipment and these five tools are lifesavers!

Makita 3/8” Battery-operated Impact Wrench — Used daily.

Makita Drill and Flashlight — Also used daily.

Ingersoll Rand 1/2” Super Duty Air Impact Wrench

Snap-on Test Light — I’ve been using it for 20 years.

Tektronics DVOM — Indispensible.

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