Home Depot Tools You Should Keep in Your Car

/ / Car Accessories
person with orange emergency set walking toward truck

Home Depot is a fitting name for the popular retail chain since it sells a wide range of tools and equipment you can use for building and maintaining your home. However, it also has plenty of products that either can be used or are designed specifically for your car. It’s no secret that auto mechanics can charge pretty steep fees, so if you can make your own repairs — especially if they’re minor ones or simple tune-ups or oil changes — you can save a lot of money by taking care of them yourself.

Obviously, some tools are more suited for larger repairs or if you’re making changes to your car, and there are some must-have Home Depot tools for every home garage you might want to consider adding to your tool collection. But there are also tools that make more sense to actually keep inside your car, whether it’s in your trunk, glove compartment, or somewhere else where you can access them. These tools are for situations where you might need to make quick repairs on the road that can’t wait until you’re home, like jumper cables or a lug wrench or accessories needed in the moment, such as a snow scraper.

It’s also a really good idea to keep an emergency toolkit in your car that includes first aid, hazard reflectors, a fire extinguisher, and other essentials you may need in an emergency or when stranded on the road. In addition to those items, here are five Home Depot tools you might want to keep in your car based on positive reviews from reputable publications that have tested them (more information on this evaluation process can be found at the end of the list).

Klein J203-8 Heavy Duty Journeyman Pliers

Klein J203-8 Heavy Duty Journeyman Pliers

Needle-nose pliers are one of those seemingly simple tools that have such a wide range of uses that it’s always smart to keep a pair in a junk drawer or — if you’re on the road — in your car. Whether it’s pulling out stuck fasteners, repositioning wires, or picking up just out-of-reach bolts that have fallen in your engine block, you don’t want to get caught in a situation where you need pliers but don’t have them.

Named the “best needle-nose pliers” by Wirecutter, Klein J203-8 Heavy Duty Journeyman Pliers are a great choice for your car. The pliers’ heavier, induction-hardened design gives it strong gripping and cutting power, while its hot-riveted joint reduces handle wobble and provides a smooth squeezing action. Its slim head makes it ideal for use within your engine block, and its extended handles give you a greater reach and leverage. The dual-material handles are soft, comfortable, durable, and able to ensure a firm grip.

One downside to Klein’s heavy-duty pliers is that they’re a little more expensive than other similar products you could buy. However, you might find that added cost worth it since you’ll want a reliable pair when you need them in an emergency. You can purchase the Klein J203-8 Heavy Duty Journeyman Pliers from Home Depot for $34.99.

DeWalt Jump Starter and Air Compressor

driver in the cold using DeWalt Jump Starter and Air Compressor

DeWalt is one of the more popular major tool brands, and in addition to DeWalt hand tools and power tools, it also makes a Jump Starter and Air Compressor that you’ll want to keep in your car. With 1600 peak amps and 750 instant amps, it can instantly jump start your dead engine without needing to rely on another vehicle with jumper cables — which is incredibly useful if it’s the middle of the night or you’re alone on a highway. It works well in cold weather and is powerful enough to work with cars and trucks alike, up to V8 engines.

The included 120 psi digital air compressor will also be great in a pinch if you need to refill the air in your tires. It uses a brass-tipped nozzle that quickly fits to your tire’s valve stem and will automatically shut off once it’s finished. In addition to the compressor and jump starter, the tool has several other useful functions, including a bright LED work light and a power bank to charge your mobile devices and other items. It also features dual 120-volt AC outlets connected to a 500-watt power inverter — making it useful not just for emergencies but also for campsites and tailgating parties.

Pro Tool Reviews gave the product an overall positive review but noted that it takes longer to charge than many other options. Also, lead acid batteries self-drain quicker than their lithium-ion counterparts, so you really need to make sure you don’t let the battery drain too deep that often to preserve its shelf life. Whether your tire is running low or your battery isn’t starting, you’ll be grateful you’ve got the DeWalt Jump Starter and Air Compressor on hand. It’s available for $193 from Home Depot.

BirdRock Snow Moover

BirdRock Snow Moover brushing snow off windshield

There’s really no excuse not to keep an ice scraper in your car. Even if you live in a warm climate, the weather is seemingly unpredictable, with places like Texas seeing snow and frost conditions from time to time. It’s better to be safe than sorry and grab an ice scraper and snow brush to keep in your car, just in case.

Wirecutter includes the BirdRock Snow Moover on its list of the best ice scrapers and snow brushes, and it’s not hard to see why. It only weighs 2 pounds and can be disassembled for compact storage so that it won’t take up much room in your trunk or vehicle’s interior. It also has a comfortable foam grip. Since it can extend to up to 60 inches (depending on which model you get), you’ll be able to reach and remove snow and ice off your windshield even on larger trucks and SUVs.

The ice scraper is detachable, which can give you more leverage, and includes jaws to break up tougher ice before scraping it away. Perhaps the biggest advantage to the product is that it uses a foam brush rather than broom bristles, which enables it to dry quicker and leave less of a mess in the car when you’re done with it. Wirecutter does note, however, that the foam material is “less deft in nooks and crannies, like around the wipers and license plate.” While the 55-inch model is currently out of stock, Home Depot sells the very similar BirdRock 58-inch Snow Moover for $34.99.

Ryobi 18V One+ ½-inch High Torque Impact Wrench

person using Ryobi ½-inch High Torque Impact Wrench on tire

One of the most common emergencies on the road you might need tools for is a flat tire. It’s always a good idea to keep a spare on hand in case you don’t have run-flat tires, and using an air compressor or Fix-A-Flat isn’t an option. To aid you in changing your tire, you should consider keeping the Ryobi 18V One+ ½-inch High Torque Impact Wrench in your vehicle. Not only will it enable you to quickly remove stubborn lug nuts with minimal effort, but it’s also one of the best Ryobi power tools to use on your car in general. Impact wrenches are very versatile and useful tools, and you can also use it with your engine and other automotive repairs.

After hands-on testing of the product, Pro Tool Reviews gave the impact wrench a positive review, highlighting its “comfortable grip” and “very manageable weight,” as well as its “excellent power level.” It has a four-mode speed control with a trigger mechanism and boasts 1,170 ft-lbs of breakaway torque and 700 ft-lbs of fastening torque. Plus, it’s cordless, making it perfect for use on the side of the road. One drawback to using a motorized impact wrench is that too much power can damage your tires, so be mindful when using it to remove lug nuts, and don’t go overboard with the tool. You can purchase the Ryobi 18V One+ ½-inch High Torque Impact Wrench for $119 from Home Depot.

Nitecore NU25 Headlamp

Nitecore NU25 Headlamp

You should definitely keep a flashlight in your car, which can be used not just in emergencies but for applications as simple as looking for something you’ve dropped underneath your seat. While there are plenty of great flashlight options available from Home Depot, you might want to get the Nitecore NU25 Headlamp, which wraps around your forehead for hands-free use. This makes it especially useful when you’re working in your engine block or changing a tire in the dead of night.

Nitecore manufactures some of the best illuminators on the market, including one of the best and brightest keychain flashlights. Its NU25 Headlamp can generate up to 400 lumens, has a maximum beam distance of 64 meters, and runs on a built-in 650 mAh Li-ion battery that can last 45 hours before needing to be recharged via USB-C. It has both spotlight and floodlight capabilities, as well as a dimmer red light that’s ideal for reading maps and other applications in your darkened car interior. Plus, its reflective headband strap is soft and comfortable and prevents sweat irritation to your eyes.

After extensive testing of the product, the lighting experts at 1Lumen gave it a great review, though noted that its two-button user interface can be confusing to operate when you can’t see the buttons on your forehead. If that’s not an issue, you can find the Nitecore NU25 Headlamp at Home Depot for $40.96.

How these tools were selected for this list

aisle in home depot with worker

All the products included in this list of Home Depot tools that you might want to keep in your car have been tested and reviewed by experts working for reputable publications, including Pro Tool Reviews and The New York Times Wirecutter, as well as 1Lumen, which is known for its very detailed and extensive testing of flashlights and other lighting equipment. Factoring these expert reviews into deciding which tools are best for you is a great way to ensure the products are reliable and work as advertised.

An effort was made to include a wide range of tools you may need in your car, especially when stranded on the side of the road. While there are others you may also want to consider, such as a better jack than the one that may have come with your car or a bottle of Fix-a-Flat, these were left off this list so that all the tools mentioned didn’t just focus on flat tires. Items you should keep in an emergency kit were also left off this list since they have their own special considerations. There are many things you might want to keep in your car to be prepared for all kinds of situations, but consider the above list a good start.

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