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.
Top 10 Skateboard Tools Chart
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
Everland All-In-One Skate Tools (and other similar ” T ” Tools)
Very sleek and simple design that includes the most important and basic functions like 9/16″,1/2″, and 3/8″ sockets and a Phillips head and Allen key handheld screwdriver. The original “T” shaped skate tool has become a staple for skateboarders around the world in the past few years. As a result of this trend, many Chinese factories have begun mass production and they have made their way on to Amazon through American importers and resellers. There are many listings on Amazon of different “brands” T-tools, however more than likely they are all the same quality. I recommend just going with the lowest cost if all you need is a basic tool as they will all perform equally and only cost a couple bucks if you lose it or want to buy another.
Silver Ratchet Skateboard Tool (Also Available in Yellow, Pink, Black, Red, Green, etc.)
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.
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 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.
Last, but certainly not least on this list is the Leatherman Jam skate tool. Leatherman is a well known outdoor gear brand and they applied the same level of quality they are known for to this skateboard tool and backed it up with a 25-year warranty. This tool has anything and everything you want from a skate tool including wrenches, a grip tape trimer, and even an earbud holder all built into a clip. One feature this clip doesn’t have is a screwdriver, however, Leatherman makes many other pocketknives and tools that do include a screwdriver that could be used in perfect combination with this tool. Here’s a set that includes both the skate tool and an excellent quality pocket knife multi-tool;
bargain bonus! Leatherman Jam & Style PS Skate Tool
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 tool set that looks very clean and professional that you may want to buy to make your next grip tape cutting job go more smoothly.
bargain bonus! Reflex Utilitool Skateboard Tool
Similar to the Independent tool, this Utili-Tool is another full-size option with both basic and advanced features. You’re not going to be carrying this thing around in your pocket all day while you skate, however, it’s a great tool to have. The cost is pretty comparable to Independent and I would say the quality is similar.
bargain bonus! Skateboard Y-Tool Skate Tool
A generic version of the PIG Y-Tool discussed previously. Similarly to the generic “T” tool, there have been a ton of Y-tools entering the market and there doesn’t appear to be much difference between them in quality. So, again I recommend just trying the lowest cost listing you can find on Amazon.
bargain bonus! Sk8ology Carabiner Skate Tool 2.0
This skate tool built into a carabiner clip is the perfect tool to take with you while you skate. Clip itto a belt loop or backpack and also have it with you. I’m a big fan of the way this design looks as well as how sturdy and stable the clip is. Once this tool is clipped you’ll never have to worry about losing it, and the tool will also be attached to you in case you ever need it.