Essential Aviation Tools for Aircraft Mechanics - Red Box Tools

Aviation tools play a vital role in the maintenance and repair of aircrafts of all shapes, and sizes. Whether cargo planes, commercial jets, or military helicopters, the right aviation tools are paramount to ensuring each aircraft makes it to its destination safely.

What is Aircraft Tooling?

Aircraft tooling is a blanket term for aerospace grade tools. These tools are unique in that they are specifically designed to assist in the machining, inspecting, and assembly of aircrafts. As such, they must be able to tolerate conditions such as extreme temperatures. In addition, aviation tools must be durable, resistant to corrosion, and able to offer the user extreme precision.

The Most Common Aviation Maintenance Tools

Aircrafts are among the most mechanically complex machines in existence. Comprising millions of component parts and materials, from fuselages to navigation systems, aircraft engineering requires faultless attention to detail and industry grade aircraft tooling. The most common aviation maintenance tools used by aerospace professionals include:

1. Sockets

Socket and rachet sets allow aircraft mechanics to easily tighten a nut or bolt, without having to reposition the tool on the fastener.

The best quality sets will remove the need for a T-fastener, saving you space in your toolkit too. For aerospace applications, you’ll need adapters in a range of sizes, including drive extensions, swivel socket sets, deep wall socket sets, and standard wall socket sets.

sockets & ratchets

2. Wrenches

Wrenches are another essential hand tool for aircraft mechanics. Like sockets and rachet sets, wrenches come in a range of styles and sizes, all of which will allow you to fasten or unfasten different fastener types.

As a minimum, aviation engineers should invest in an adjustable wrench, combination wrench, torque wrench, and socket wrench.

wrench set

3. Torque Wrenches

Torque wrenches enable you to turn screws to a precise and predetermined level of torque. They’re one of the most widely used aviation tools, allowing the operator to calibrate the wrench using a high-performance measuring gauge.

torque wrench

4. Cutting Tools

Cutting tools are a must-have for aviation applications, used for trimming electrical cables or making an incision in sheet metals and plastics. For aircraft mechanics we recommend adding aviation snips, a box cutter, and a hack saw to your tool kit.

aviation snips

5. Keys

It always pays to carry an anti-corrosive set of Allen keys in your aviation tool kits. For ultimate versatility, you may want to consider investing in a set of L-shaped or fold out keys too.


6. Hammers

No aviation mechanic worth their salt would be without a high-quality dead blow hammer.

Other hammer styles we recommend for aircraft maintenance and repairs include ball peen hammers and plastic tip hammers or mallets.

dead blow hammer

7. Measuring Tools

We can’t stress enough how important precision is to aircraft engineering.

In such an exacting discipline, measuring tools such as a tape measure, feeler gauges, callipers, sharpies, and scales, are in constant use.


8. Pliers

Pliers are another tool that aviation mechanics rely on day-to-day. They’re used mainly to twist cables safely as well as for cutting safety wires.

The most common plier types for aerospace applications include needle nose and wire twisting pliers but diagonal cutting pliers and duck-bill pliers are also recommended by many techs.

9. Files

The most common file types in aviation maintenance are arguably half-round bastard files and mill files.

Occasionally, it can be handy to have a riffler file and we also recommend investing in a file card so you can maintain your files.


10. Punches

An automatic centre punch should be enough to take care of all your aviation mechanic needs.


11. Screwdrivers

A decent aerospace grade screwdriver set is the backbone of any aviation engineer’s toolkit.

As screw heads can differ between manufacturer, we always advocate getting sets in the most common screw styles: slotted screwdrivers, stubby screwdrivers, and Phillips screwdrivers.

screwdriver set

12. Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are a must-have aviation tool for removing over-tightened or corroded fasteners on aircraft bodies.

impact driver

13. Inspection Tools

Inspection tools you’ll need as an aircraft mechanic include: an inspection mirror, explosion-proof torch, magnetic tools, and a magnifying glass.

inspection mirror

14. Tool Case or Cabinet

Keeping your tools well-organised and accountable is key to safety compliance in the aviation industry.

To help with tool tracking, and to protect your tools from damage, you should keep your tools safely stored in a trolley, case, or tool cabinet.

tool cabinet

How to Choose the Right Aviation Tools?

Choosing the right aviation tools boils down to your knowledge of aircraft tooling. When considering which aviation tools to purchase, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Tool Performance – How does the tool perform? Have others rated it well? Is it manufactured by an accredited aviation tool brand? Does it do the job to the highest professional standards?
  • Tool Accuracy – What degree of accuracy does the tool offer? Does it conform to the precision ratios required for aerospace maintenance and assembly?
  • Tool Durability – How durable is the tool? Can it cope with high-pressure environments? Does it offer anti-corrosion protection? Is its performance impacted by stress or extreme temperatures?
  • Tool Maintenance – How much maintenance does the tool require? What conditions does it need to be stored in? How is it cleaned? Will it need regular servicing?
  • Tool Cost – How expensive or inexpensive is the tool? Does its price reflect its value? Is it a cost-effective purchase? Does it come with a guarantee or warranty?
  • Tool Suitability – Is the tool designed for aerospace applications? Does it conform with all safety and compliance standards? Does it align with the specifications dictated by your employer?

Different Types of Aircraft Mechanics

Being an aircraft mechanic is a highly rewarding career that can take you in many different directions. Whether you enrol in the armed forces or you accept a job with a commercial airline, training as an aircraft mechanic opens up many different pathways. Here are just a few of the career possibilities open to you if you choose to train in aerospace engineering:

Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanics

Airframe and Powerplant mechanics are responsible for maintaining the body of an aircraft, as well as its engine. You’ll conduct safety inspections to ensure everything is in perfect working order, and set about making repairs to anything not functioning as it should be.

Avionics Technicians

Avionics Technicians oversee the maintenance and repair of an aircraft’s electrical instruments, navigation, and radar systems, the likes of which permit pilots to communicate with ground control teams and safely navigate the craft once in flight.

Inspection Authorization (IA) Mechanics

Inspection Authorization Mechanics are responsible for inspecting an aircraft after it has been repaired. It’s a career path open to experienced A&Ps who are looking to step-up.

The Importance of Tool Control in Aviation

When you’re maintaining and repairing aircraft, there can be no margin for error. That’s why tool control within the aviation industry is so important. Tool control involves the tracking of tools to reduce the risk of them being left behind in the aircraft, which (if undetected) could result in a serious system malfunction, mid-flight emergency, or complete engine failure.

Tool control plays an unparalleled role in aircraft safety, but it also provides a system by which tools can be managed, tracked, and organised effectively. This allows aircraft mechanics to work efficiently and optimally, while minimising any foreign object contamination and upholding the highest standards of aviation safety.

Popular Aviation Tool Kits at Red Box Tools

Searching for aviation tools from a trusted aviation tools supplier? At Red Box, our aerospace grade aircraft tooling is developed by the industry’s best aviation tool brands.

From the most popular aircraft tools UK to trusted aviation tools used by aircraft mechanics the world over, browse specific ranges of tools by clicking any of the links on this page or shop our complete aviation tool range, including tool storage solutions.

avionics tool kit



aircraft maintenance tool kit



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Find your perfect tool storage from our professional range

From tool bags and tool chests to tool boxes with wheels, tool belts, tool cases, and trade-specific tool storage, at Red Box Tools we offer high-quality solutions you can count on.

Or why not take your tool storage to the next level with our made-to-order tool box foam drawer inserts and custom shadow foaming?

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