Tired of searching for very specifically sized wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, files and more just to put together your skateboard? You may want to buy a skate tool.
A skate tool combines all these necessary parts into a multi-tool designed specifically to give you everything you need for your skateboard in one handy and convenient place. They are a few aspects and functions that you should look for when comparing the different tools on the market today.
Skate Tool Features
Phillips Head- Most commonly used in skateboard hardware, the most common screw head in all products.
Hex (Allen) Key Head- A few brands use Allen head screws for their hardware to differentiate themselves from the market and give skaters the option of a unique look.
Most skate tools on the market today will have each type of head on different sides of a mini screwdriver to allow assembly of both types of hardware.
When you put together a skateboard, there are a few standard socket sizes that you will need.
3/8″ Socket- For hardware nuts that attach the truck to the deck.
1/2″ Socket- For the truck wheel axle, to keep the wheels on the trucks.
9/16″ Socket- For truck Kingpins; tighten or loosen for easier turns or more stable riding.
Ratchet Component- Some more premium tools have a ratchet capability which makes tightening bolts much easier, especially if you are putting together new decks often.
When bearings stay packed inside the same wheels for a long period of time they tend to get stuck…. very stuck.
Typically skater’s use the axle of their truck to pry the bearings out of the wheel, but this method isn’t recommended as it can lead to bent or damaged trucks. Instead, a bearing remover is simply inserted into the wheel and turned slightly to pop the bearings loose.
It’s truly much easier and can save you a lot of money in the long term from broken and bent trucks.
Truck Axle Rethreader
After repeatedly grinding against the pavement due to missed tricks and falls, the axles of your trucks will begin to wear down over time.
If they wear down too much, you will have trouble removing and adding new wheels and in the worst case scenario, the axle nut and wheel may even come off while you are skating! As you can imagine this could be potentially very dangerous and can all be avoided if you regroove or rethread your truck axles regularly.
Many higher end skate tools on the market today will have a rethreading head on the tool to make this process easier and more convenient.
When applying grip tape to a new deck you trace the edge of your gripped deck with a hard flat piece of metal to allow for neater and easier cutting.
Many people will just use the edge of the knife they are using to cut the grip tape, however, this can be dangerous due to the close proximity of the blade.
A few skate tools include a grip tape file in their arsenal and some companies are also making tools solely devoted to filing and applying grip tape.
Must-Have Skateboard Items!
Pocket Sized- Small enough to fit in your pocket, great to take with you to street skate spots or a day at the park just in case. There’s nothing worse than a skate session being cut short due to losing a nut or bolt.
Full Size- These are the heavy-duty tools that usually have more advanced features like bearing removers or grip tape file. Great tools to keep in your garage or room, usually too big to carry around unless you have a backpack.
Best Skateboard Tool Reviews
1. RADECKAL All in One Skate Tool
Unlike the majority of plastic skate tools on the market, this Radeckal tool will not snap or break in any way under normal (“human”) usage. In addition to it’s insane “toughness”, it’s useful for pretty much all skate hardware from wheels to trucks, longboards and skateboards and cruisers to mini skateboards!
While we know this is a tough tool, I’ll go out on a limb and say (the obvious) that unless you lose this tool, it’ll be the last skate tool you’ll buy for the rest of your life!!!
Radeckal offers a hassle-free return/refund policy and they promise not to pummel you with questions! Please remember that this Y-tool fits nicely into your pocket and gives you sockets for 3 different sizes – 3/8″, 1/2″ and 9/16″.
Very similar to the “T” style skate tool with the addition of a ratchet on the 3/8″ socket. This allows you to assemble hardware much faster and easier due to removing the need to constantly readjust the socket.
This tool is perfect for someone who goes through decks quickly and continually needs to be moving trucks from one deck to another. It has an impressive rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars and comes in some fantastic colors like Gold Metallic, “Blackest”, Neon Orange, Neon Yellow and Spectrum Blue.
Of course it has the standard 3 sizes of socket ( 3/8”, 1/2” and 9/16” ) but it also has an Allen wrench head and a Phillips head screwdriver which are also helpful for lots of skate apparatus. Like it’s cousin at #1 on our list, this little tool is all steel and should be the only tool you’ll need for life!
There’s a magnet that holds the Allen key, but if you’re on a long ride, you may want to add a rubber band or some other fastening option just in case!
You can use this on any type of board (longboard, cruiser, etc.) and you’ll get a hassle-free money-back guarantee too. Users on Amazon are super complimentary of this tool, so that says something … or a it says A LOT! You decide!
In the Merkapa All-in-one, we find a very reasonably priced tool that Merkapa implies is the “most powerful skateboard tool on the market”. It includes a 3/8″ socket with ratcheting capabilities and a 1/2″ socket for adding, removing or tightening your wheels.
It conveniently includes a 9/16″ socket which you’ll need to adjust the trucks and a 1/8″ Allen wrench (and Philips/Allen attachment tool) along with a 5/16″ axle re-threader and bearing remover. Not bad for a sub-$20 tool with a good name and a great Amazon rating!
7. Zeato All-in-One Skate Tool
With seven different colors and two different designs, this is one popular tool and it ranks on Amazon as a best seller! It’s really inexpensive so our expectations are not sky-high, but it does the job!
The package includes 3 different sizes of sockets(3/8″, 1/2″, 9/16″) and a slide-out Phillips head wrench screwdriver that fits into the top of the handle when not in use. It also features a carry pouch.
Reflex Utili Tool is truly a tool that should be the last one you ever buy (fingers crossed!). It features a combination of eight super important tools in one package. It has an axle re-threader, 3/8”, 1/2”, & 9/16” sockets and a bearing press/remover.
A detachable “T” piece is used to unscrew/screw bolts with a 1/8″ allen, 7/32 allen, and a Phillips screwdriver.
A tough ABS plastic jacket forms the main body of this tool. While it is more expensive than other tools on our list, this is arguably the best in terms of build quality and customer satisfaction.
9. Skateboard Collective Universal Skate Tool
Here’s a tool that breaks the standard mold of “looks” for a skate tool. It’s a keychain tune-up kit that allows you to do all the basic board maintenance of other tools and lets you open a bottle of “something special” when you’re working!
It’s as tiny and thin as possible so it fits easily in your pocket, though I’d suggest a backpack with some water and a protein bar as well.
This low-profile keychain skate tool (and bottle opener) is the only one of its kind we found and it includes a Kingpin wrench, Axle Nut wrench and Hardware wrench. It also includes a grip tape blade, Phillips screwdriver, can tool and bottle opener in addition to the keyring itself.
Mob Skateboard Griptape Tools
The Mob Griptape Tool Set is one of the few tools made for applying and filing grip tape on the market today. I don’t see this as absolutely necessary unless you are gripping many decks a day and own a skate shop. That being said, it’s a pretty low-cost toolset that looks very clean and professional that you may want to buy to make your next grip tape cutting job go more smoothly. We really like the file and sometimes Amazon only sells the file and roller separately.
Bones Reds Skateboard Bearings 8-Pack
Here’s one of the best deals (if you need both a tool and some new bearings that is!). This Bones value-pack includes Bones bearings (size 608 – measuring 22mm x 7mm x 8mm) along with very precise spacers which are precision cut for tight tolerances.
Included is a Stoked tool which likely goes for around $15 so you can see the value in this combo! The tool has a 9/16″ (kingpin), 1/2″ (axle), and 3/8″ (hardware) Sockets, 1/8″ Allen and #2 Phillips Driver and made from hardened steel with a chrome finish.