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Old 06-18-2017, 03:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best All-In-One Trail Tool kit?

I have an extensive trail tool kit spread over several Pelican cases. It is pretty inclusive and heavy.

I need recommendations for a moderately complete inexpensive all in one tool kit for a buggy.

Crescent, Stanley, and Craftsman have several with cases. But they would need some supplementation.

I'm not particularly snootie about trail tools. They just need to work.

What say you PBB?
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There is no all in one solution. What you bring should be based on what it takes to wrench on your rig.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by arse_sidewards View Post
There is no all in one solution. What you bring should be based on what it takes to wrench on your rig.
I nut/bolt my rig before I go. Leave those tools out and put em in the bag. Make sure to take anything rig specific. Hammer, tape, wire, zip ties.


"hey, you got a ___________" works for everything else.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There is no all in one solution. What you bring should be based on what it takes to wrench on your rig.
This. Mine started as a generic Allied 1/4" and 3/8" drive socket set, and has had all sorts of random stuff thrown in that I've used over the years for field repairs. Couple different types of pliers, vise grips, dykes, 1/2 breaker bar and specific larger sockets, HF screwdrivers, cheap multimeter, fuses, light bulbs, wire nuts, spare wire. There is a lot of other stuff but I can't possibly recall everything. All fits into one ancient Craftsman tool box.

I have no less than 3 10mm and 8mm sockets in the top though. You can never seem to have enough of those.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My setup is a bit overkill as well, but it's worth mentioning for the sake of discussion.

I have a 3 drawer Craftsman toolbox that is filled with my rig-specific tools. That toolbox is used to wrench on the truck both in the garage and on the trail. If I'm in the garage wrenching and need something specific, it gets purchased and lives in the toolbox. When I leave for a trip, I toss the 3 drawer into my truck box and off I go.

It weighs upwards of 50lbs, but I'm confident I can rebuild my entire truck on the side of the road with what's in my toolbox, because I've done it before in the garage.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So to clarify a bit....

As stated in the original post, I have a VERY complete trail tool kit that is housed in several big pelican cases. It is overkill, but I can easily carry it in my big JK unlimited.

However, I am looking for a smaller, lighter, cheaper solution to the trail toolbox issue for a dedicated trail buggy. It would stay in the buggy 100% of the time. It should have enough tools to fix most issues on the trail. At the very least I would also carry a large crescent wrench, medium pry bar, big channel locks and some larger sized open end wrenches and some big sockets.

Something like this:
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here is my current overkill kit (plus some recovery gear)
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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50cal ammo can filled as many hf wrenchs and sockets as possible, hilift jack, mat-axe.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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50cal ammo can filled as many hf wrenchs and sockets as possible, hilift jack, mat-axe.
The $5 Walmart socket holder rails go great with HF sockets
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FrankenRover View Post
So to clarify a bit....

As stated in the original post, I have a VERY complete trail tool kit that is housed in several big pelican cases. It is overkill, but I can easily carry it in my big JK unlimited.

However, I am looking for a smaller, lighter, cheaper solution to the trail toolbox issue for a dedicated trail buggy. It would stay in the buggy 100% of the time. It should have enough tools to fix most issues on the trail. At the very least I would also carry a large crescent wrench, medium pry bar, big channel locks and some larger sized open end wrenches and some big sockets.

Something like this:
Most blow molded combo kits are not space efficient. They are laid out to look like a bunch of tools but are not really "full". Those sockets are laying flat with too much dead room around then and all those handled screwdrivers are a waste of space. Could be replaced with a 1/4" socket headed driver and which ever tips are needed for your vehicle.

I have an old Sears kit where the design of the case is very tool dense. Sockets upright and right next to each other. Unfortunately that kit is not an option anymore.

If I was to start now I'd create a kit with the basics. All sockets on the rail organizers. In something soft with handles and a lot of pockets.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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There becomes a point where the minimum size of your toolkit is defined by what it has to do. For a dedicated expedition rig I'd go out of my way to standardize bolt sizes and use heavy nuts/bolts to minimize the number of tools needed where possible.

There's a few sizes on the rig that are fixed. Spark plugs and pinions come to mind. If you oversize suspension stuff you might be able to only carry one socket for your pinions/output flanges that also fits all the big bolts on your suspension. With a little work you can probably make almost everything on the engine use the same size wrench as the spark plug.


Most OEM hose worm gear hose clamps use 8mm (yes, 5/16 fits but it's loose) for the hex head. If few other things on the rig are metric then you might consider converting everything to the spring clamps.

Carry a spare steel line for the biggest size and enough adapters to convert everything else to that size.

Starting from the ground up I could probably make my entire truck use five different wrench sizes if time and money were unlimited. You have to strike the right balance.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Johann View Post
Most blow molded combo kits are not space efficient. They are laid out to look like a bunch of tools but are not really "full". Those sockets are laying flat with too much dead room around then and all those handled screwdrivers are a waste of space. Could be replaced with a 1/4" socket headed driver and which ever tips are needed for your vehicle.

I have an old Sears kit where the design of the case is very tool dense. Sockets upright and right next to each other. Unfortunately that kit is not an option anymore.

If I was to start now I'd create a kit with the basics. All sockets on the rail organizers. In something soft with handles and a lot of pockets.
Gotta make it look bigger than life for sales purposes I guess. Best thing I ever did was ditch the plastic box and just throw them all in the top of my 3 drawer Craftsman box. Yeah, it can be a pain to find stuff but so much more fits in that thing than those blow molded POS boxes.

One of the cooler things I saw recently was Allgonoshow's .50 cal ammo can stack tray project. All of his sockets fit in one ammo can stacked vertically but can be brought out and laid on the bed in seconds for easy access. I wouldn't be able to store any wrenches or my breaker bar in one though, so I'll be keeping one bigger box.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Or you can make your buddy behind you haul it all, this way you have room for a bigger beer cooler!
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The $5 Walmart socket holder rails go great with HF sockets
Harbor freight has 3 for 5 dollars or something really cheap. They are actually really good too.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just packed my Bronco for a trip, I gotta work on cutting down the shit I carry.
For socket holders I found some polyurethane ones a few years ago that work really good red & back for inch & metric.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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http://m.sears.com/craftsman-4-drawe...FYh9fgodFeYC8A

One of these might work for ya, I've seen Toyota guys with them up here. But you know how 'yota guys are,,

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Old 06-20-2017, 11:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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http://m.sears.com/craftsman-4-drawe...FYh9fgodFeYC8A

One of these might work for ya, I've seen Toyota guys with them up here. But you know how 'yota guys are,,

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I have one. Its ok at best. Jack shit for 1/2" drive and the drawers don't really latch in well.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Don't buy anything you're not willing to get rusty, stolen, or lost.
I used to be all about carrying as many tools as possible, including big and small impacts and a cordless grinder. All in a flattie. It was a poly performance buggy sack stuffed, and, a milwaukee bag with the cordless stuff.
I started paring it down. I have jack shit on my rig that's metric. But I carried some metric stuff if anyone needed it. I really don't need it. It can stay in the tow rig that is metric.
I basically started with a mechanics tool set from Sears that I got on sale and then added/ subtracted from there.
Basic sockets, pliers, dykes, some electrical stuff, tape, zip ties, fuses, wiring connectors, lengths of wire and hoses to fit, brake AN caps for most of my system, vise grips, a basic set of wrenches, a pry bar, a hammer, and simple sockets is what I carry. If there's anything special about your rig, such as a wheel hub socket in an odd size, I would grab one of those for it. The only ultimate tool kit is the one you feel is good for your vehicle.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I carry a home Depot kit that is very dense and has 1/4 3/8, 1/2, hex keys, deep and standard sockets, wrenches, a screwdriver with removable bits, and then I tossed in a set of adapters so I can use every socket and extension on every ratchet. I supplement it with a bag with a hammer, two adjustable wrenches, two vice grips, lineman pliers, needle nose pliers, a small measuring tape, angle cutters, two small pry bars, and a box cutter.

This kit has done serious work in a pinch.

Prefer it supplemented with a set of bigger deep sockets, a breaker bar, and a breaker handle vice grip when space allows.
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