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7 Ways to Give Your Spare Tools a New Life

Overflow wrench drawer

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional mechanic, chances are you’ve accumulated a few spare tools. After you’ve upgraded or purchased sets with a few duplicates, it’s easy to find yourself with more tools than you need. If they’re just burning a hole in your toolbox, why not do something with them? Read on to find a solution that works best for you.

1. Make a Difference

Thrift stores are often operated by organizations supporting charitable causes. Research local stores to see if any support initiatives you care about. The store will resell your tools, and the proceeds will go towards something meaningful to you. Depending on the organization, you might also receive store credit, but that’s not a guarantee. As a bonus, you can claim it on your taxes, so make sure to get a receipt and track the value donated.

2. Support Education

You can donate tools to vocational schools, who are always happy to receive them. When you give tools to a school, you help foster a passion for learning technical skills and ensure tomorrow’s technicians are as prepared as they can be. You’ll be supporting the school so they can support their students. This is also tax-deductible, so keep track of what you’ve donated.

3. Like a Good Neighbor … Spare Tools

You might not get a tax break for this one, but it’s hard to overstate how nice it is to be on good terms with your neighbors. Gifting to friends and family should be included here as well, and there are several ways to get the word out. Send a group text, put out an alert in your neighborhood group or set them out front with a “free tools” sign.

4. Make a Quick Buck

There are many places online to resell tools. The key here is to take good pictures, be a good communicator and be honest about any defects or flaws in what you’re selling. Swap meets are also a great place to sell unwanted tools.

5. Trade Up

Heard the one about the guy who traded an old iPod for an SUV? It wasn’t a scam; just a series of up-trading items until he got what he wanted. You’ll need time and patience for this one, along with a keen set of negotiation skills, but the eventual payoff could be awesome.

6. Create Something

Need a creative outlet? Tools don’t have to be tools; they can be repurposed for a functional need or simply for the joy of making art. Brainstorm and get inspiration from websites like Pinterest, or simply let your imagination run wild.

7. Kit Them Out

Your spare tools may live in your garage, but depending on how many duplicates you have, you could have enough to pull together an emergency kit to keep in your car or a few basics to keep in a drawer inside the house. This makes tools more accessible, and they can be a real lifesaver if you’re on the road and need to fix something.

Spare tools don’t have to weigh you down. It’s a quick weekend project to give them a new life somewhere they’ll be used and appreciated.

Check out all the storage products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on spare tools, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photos courtesy of Blair Lampe.

Blair Lampe View All

Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter.  In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.

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