Other hand tools

Hammers 

You’re going to need something to hit your motorbike with at some time, either to get something on or off or possibly just out of frustration!

Really any normal hammer you happen to have will do the job. But if you don’t have a hammer and are getting a new one, go for a ball pein hammer (sometime known as an engineer's hammer). These are the most versatile for general shop use.

They can come in slightly different sizes/weights such as 16, 20 or 24 ounces. Don't grab the lightest as it won’t be effective. Select the size that you can comfortably support in an extended arm and that you can do about 5-10 continuous practice swings in the shop without your arm or wrist falling off.

Measuring and marking tools

Without a doubt at some point you’ll be measuring something on your bike. A few key items you should invest in are:

  1. A tape measure, for general measurement, particularly for measurements over 30cm/12in
  2. A 30cm/12 in steel ruler for accurate measurement of small parts or marking out new parts. If you can, getting a 15cm/6in steel ruler is also very handy for those places where a large steel ruler or tape measure won’t fit.
  3. Decent set of pencils and/or Sharpie-style markers
  4. Centre punch, used with an engineer’s hammer to mark metal with a small dot or depression.
  5. While not essential, a circle template and/or a compass is very useful for marking out holes and curves, as is a set of French curves

If you want to take the accuracy up another notch, getting a set of digital calipers is a great investment. Not only great for very accurate marking out, but also essential for getting accurate measurements of round parts, thicknesses of brake discs etc.  

Other useful hand tools 

Even if you don’t plan on tearing your bike to pieces, at some point you'll probably have to take the spark plug(s) out. Some socket sets contain a spark plug socket, in which case, problem solved. 

However, if it doesn't contain the right socket size, you can buy a specialty spark plug removal, which is a a simple tool with a socket at one and and a T-handle at the other. This tool will only extract a few dollars from your wallet, but at some point you'll need one to suit your bike. 

Torque wrenches are also very handy (and necessary) if you are starting to assemble important systems, such as engines and brakes. If you need one, look for one with a ⅜" drive allowing your existing sockets to be paired with the torque wrench. 

Whilst angle grinders are discussed in the power tool section, a hacksaw is a great investment for small quick jobs such as cutting screws to size. These are discussed more in the metalworking fundamentals section. A couple of different types of files are also very useful and these are also discussed in the metalwork fundamentals section.  

Finally, a steel or brass wire brush for cleaning, a box-cutter knife and a pair of scissors are some ancillary items that round out the hand tool basics.

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