Tools for tiny things, clamps & vises

redlinederby Tuesday, 3/3/2020
Site manager

Hot Wheels are small. And once we take them apart, they get a little smaller...or at least we have smaller parts. So we need tools that are good at holding on to those tiny things.

You can find tools in the usual Modeling section of various stores and that is a reliable go-to, but there are lots of tools outside of modeling that can be used for our tiny car chop shops.

One you might see a lot of in photos around here is a small jewerly vise. It's small and great at holding on to things like watches...and Hot Wheels. I just got one after not having one for way too long and it's proven quite handy when drilling out rivets. And hey, it's cheap - only $10.

Of course, you have your various pliers and clamps...and tiny glasses screw drivers and such. You can find those just about anywhere, from Home Depot to the Dollar Store. 

And then I came across a video from one of my favorite makers, Adam Savage, you know, the Mythbusters guy. Well, since Mythbusters ended he's become a who's who in the area of making things. He's very entertaining to watch and he's all about sharing his methods. Whether you're modding Hot Wheels or making furniture, his Tested channel on YouTube is worth the price of admission. (His book is great too)

A recent video from Tested has Adam talking about some more tiny tools that he's found fascinating and useful. Some of them are affordable, some of them are not, nonetheless, it's a quick view that, if you're like me, get you searching around for some new tools.

Now if only I had $200 laying around to spend on a ridiculous vise ball...


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redlinederby 3/3/20
Site manager

What vises, clamps, and other tiny tools are always on your Hot Wheels workbench?

Share a photo and tell how it helps you build the next fastest car. spread...most used with JB Kwik and the Jig

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Mattman213 3/3/20

I have very very few tools.  I use a handled allen driver for my screws, a small broken hand file to file and clearance things and use as a small sanding block, a drill and a small rotary tool for polishing.  I recently added numerous Redline Derby jigs which are crucial to my method now and thats pretty much it.  Sandpaper, toothpicks (LOS is absolutely right, they are great to have around) que tips, jb weld, super glue and various polishes are necessary supplies for me as well.  No small vice for me but I might look into one down the road.


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Mayfield41 3/4/20

It looks chaotic I know, I jumped right in and started playing around with them. I'm learning real quick but still far from fast. I think I'm going to build my own jig. Keeping the axles straight may be the best thing you can do for a mod

  • Best $12 you will ever spend is the Redline Derby Jig. I build my own and was super careful to get it as perfect as possible and was happy with the results for the most part but now that I have the RD Jig, I wont go back! — Mattman213
  • Just placed the order. I'm hoping to improve my builds. Just got a new lot of doner cars to practice on — Mayfield41
  • Yeah I was having slight issues with alignment using my own jig and the Redline jig made them a thing of the past. Honestly I didnt realize it was the jig's fault till I got his. — Mattman213
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