Three Benefits for Using a Portable Tool Box | Power Sports and More

Most people who own motorcycles or performance vehicles do quite a bit of mechanical work on their machines, and many own well-equipped garages where they work on more in-depth projects.

But as anyone who owns a motorcycle or performance vehicle will tell you, performance machines require rigorous maintenance. Smaller issues such as blown-out headlights or loose battery terminals can and do occur while the machine is out on the road.

To combat this, many drivers keep a portable tool box with the motorcycle or vehicle. This allows drivers to tweak their machines and make minor adjustments on the fly, often saving drivers time and money.

This article will discuss a few of the benefits of using a portable tool box, as well as provide several suggestions for tools to take with you on the road. Read on to learn more.

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No matter which size or model tool box you go with, you will be forced to condense your tool selection down to a limited number of pieces.

Bigger, longer tools such as breaker bars or drills obviously won’t fit in a portable tool box, so most of your choices will be limited to common hand tools. Here are some suggestions:

  • A small ratchet and socket set, with socket heads corresponding to your machine or vehicle. For example, many Japanese cars and motorcycles require Metric socket sets, so it would behoove you to take a set that matches up with the machine you plan to work on.
  • Moreover, an operator should consider adding a few deep sockets to their portable tool box, as deep sockets will help get to hard-to-reach places on your cycle or machine.
  • A number of screwdrivers with different heads, including flathead (slot head) and Phillips head as well as unique heads such as Torx, Allen head, or star head. This article overviews the different types of screwdriver heads, but you should have a good feel for what your particular machine or vehicle tends to need.
  • In the same vein, a small number of screws, bolts, and washers corresponding with those already on your machine, cycle, or vehicle is a smart idea, as these pieces can shake loose during routine use.
  • A small pair of pliers – perhaps needle-nose pliers for extra-fine work or removing hard-to-read clips – is a strong addition to any portable tool box.
  • The same goes for an adjustable wrench. You may want to bring two wrenches, one with a longer handle for loosening snug bolts and one with a short handle for getting into tight spots.
  • Teflon tape (otherwise known as thread seal tape) is an easy addition to any portable tool box, as it’s very inexpensive and can be used to ensure a snug fit for any bolt or screw. Some machinists might prefer a super-adhesive material such as Locktite, but while thread seal tape doesn’t have the same hold, it’s also easier to undo in the event of an error.
  • By the same logic, a small roll of electrical tape can come in handy in a number of different ways.
  • Many people who work with their hands carry at least one small knife with them at all times. Both a pocket knife and a utility knife can be used in a multitude of ways in lieu of other tools.
  • A penlight or small flashlight is a good idea, in the event you need to make a stop-gap repair at night.

These are just a few suggestions. The nice thing about a portable tool box is that it’s a reflection of you and your personal needs at a given time.

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The type of portable tool box or tool bag you keep in your machine will vary to a great degree based on available space.

The truck of a car obviously has more space than the storage compartment on a motorcycle, so space and necessity will largely tailor the type of tool kit you keep in your machine.

Many motorcyclists will keep a smaller tool bag or tool roll such as the Carhartt
Legacy Tool Roll. The Legacy Tool Roll is just 13” x 3.5” when rolled, fitting very neatly into the side compartment of a motorcycle.

A tool roll such as the Legacy Tool Roll can keep a number of hand wrenches, ratchets, small screwdrivers, pocket knives, and connectors, and at a weight of under ten ounces, can be carried on almost any motorcycle.

Another option would be the Enduristan Tool Pack, which like the Carhartt Legacy Tool Roll can be down to an 8” x 5” parcel.

Tool pouches like this allow cyclists to keep essential tools with their machine at all times without adding significant weight or bulk to the motorcycle. For many cyclists, collapsible tool rolls make the most sense, given the particular needs of their machine.

Another option would be a zippered case such as the Craftsman 42-piece Zipper Case tool set.

Unlike the tool rolls mentioned above, this Craftsman set comes with a number of Metric and standard socket heads, wrenches, a
screwdriver with adjustable head bits, Allen keys, and a small ratchet.

For many cyclists and drivers, this set would represent most of the tools they would ideally need if they had to do a quick roadside adjustment on their machine.

Like a tool roll, this zipper case weighs under two pounds and is about the size of a paperback novel. It could easily be carried in the storage compartment of most motorcycles if needed.

There are a number of similar options on the market if a driver or rider wishes to take a portable tool box or kit with their vehicle. Space considerations will obviously vary greatly from machine to machine.

Carhartt Legacy Tool Roll, Black

  • Tool roll made of rugged synthetic material with Rain Defender durable water repellent for protecting and organizing tools
  • 18 slots for various size tools; 3 small parts pockets with hook and loop closure for small tools or utility items
  • Dual side release buckle closure and top haul handle for convenient and secure transport
  • Versatile organizer for small tool sets, gun tools, tech tools, camp utensils or even painting supplies
  • Carhartt Tool Roll: 26 x 13 inches (unrolled), .6 pounds

If the owner of the machine or motorcycle is at all handy – and chances are good that a motorcycle or performance machine owner can at least turn a wrench – there’s really no downside to keeping a small portable tool kit in the side compartment of your machine.

But if you need more convincing, here are three good reasons to keep a portable tool box with your machine:

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The main benefit of keeping a portable tool box with you is that you can complete repairs or tweaks as needed. Nuts, bolts, and wires are prone to shaking loose during longer rides, and a portable tool box allows drivers to tighten and adjust as needed.

Many cycle and vehicle owners are gearheads and love to work on their own machines. But even if you aren’t especially mechanical or enthusiastic about working on your own vehicle, keeping a few common tools with your cycle or vehicle is still a sound practice.

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Ask anyone who owns a garage: what tends to happen is that tools, especially rarely used ones, tend to accumulate and clutter up space. Crucial tools become difficult to find, as most people can find every screwdriver or socket head except for the exact one they need at any given time.

A portable tool kit truncates your run of tools down to the necessities and keeps these essential tools in one easy-to-find location, eliminating a lot of clutter and saving specialized tools for bigger projects.

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While it’s a point of pride for some drivers and riders to be able to work on their own machine, for others, it’s a simple matter of practical cost savings.

Being able to identify and possibly fix some of the lesser issues with your cycle or vehicle will save you quite a few dollars in repair shop fees, to say nothing of time and frustration.

Moreover, it shouldn’t be a problem to put together a good portable tool box for $50 or less, based on the tool rolls and zipper-case kits that we found online.

Vehicle repair can be daunting, especially if you did not grow up around machines and tools. That said, a wide spectrum of self-educational tools now exists, including online repair manuals and do-it-yourself video guides.

Even if you lack the mechanical know-how to rebuild the engine or transmission on your machine, being able to check and monitor your own fluids, fuses, lights, and so forth is both empowering and wallet-friendly.

Keeping a portable tool box or tool kit in your bike or vehicle is a good idea for a number of
reasons outlined above.

Many portable tool boxes are compact, light, and quite affordable. While many cyclists and riders
undoubtedly have entire workspaces dedicated to repairing and packed with tools of all types, keeping a road kit on your cycle or machine is basically a no-lose proposition.

For those less enthusiastic about machine repair, there’s certainly no harm in familiarizing yourself with your machine, and being able to perform a few routine maintenance procedures on your vehicle or cycle will save you a significant amount of time and frustration.