Aircraft Maintenance Tools: The Essentials

Keeping aircraft in good shape is a critical aspect of ensuring safe flight. As such, aircraft technicians and maintenance crews play a vital role. Their services, which include things like aircraft conservation and repair, require them to have a wealth of knowledge and experience in their work, including the tools used throughout the aircraft repair process. The maintenance process not only requires attention to detail and accuracy, but also the most advanced maintenance tools. In an industry as cutting-edge as aviation, aircraft mechanics have access to some of the highest quality equipment to perform maintenance work with. This blog will cover the seven most essential tools used in aircraft maintenance.

Speed Handle

More often than not, flight line maintenance workers have limited time to identify and address problems. The lack of time is made even more complicated by the complexity of aircraft parts and the presence of many screws and bolts. This is where the speed handle comes into play. The speed handle is arguably the most essential tool used in aircraft maintenance. Essentially a long screwdriver with an offset shaft in its center, the speed handle is utilized as a handle that maintenance technicians spin rapidly with one hand while keeping the other hand free to use as leverage or handle other repairs. This tool is extremely versatile and effective in many applications, but is most prevalent when repairing high-end aircraft engines that have thousands of screws. Speed handles can also be equipped with a socket to tighten and loosen nuts or bolts.

Torque Wrench

Because the majority of fasteners and screws on an aircraft must be installed to a very specific torque or tightness, the torque wrench is another important tool in aircraft maintenance. Many traditional wrenches are not capable of doing this to the required standards, so the torque wrench is the best way of effectively fixing a screw, nut, bolt, or other fastener to the necessary torque. Many of the torque wrenches used in aircraft maintenance are designed to be easily set throughout a broad range of torque amounts, making them highly reliable tools in aircraft repair and maintenance. Once the torque wrench has been set at the required torque, it will click to let you know that the desired torque has been reached.

Safety Wire Pliers

Despite a great deal of attention being paid to make sure that aircraft fasteners are tightened properly and torqued to desired specifications, good mechanics will also ensure that the nuts and bolts don’t become loose during any time of maintenance. This is done through the use of safety wire pliers. These are used to spin aluminum wire strands into a strong strand and tie nuts and bolts together. Once this is done, loosening of any fastener would increase the braid’s toughness and prevent any further undoing.

Vibration Meter

To ensure an aircraft is secure while in flight, vibration analysis is an important task. To do this, mechanics use a vibration meter. This is a portable device with a memory for storing vibration measurements. Most meters feature a built-in data logger to collect and record measurement data over time, allowing it to provide very precise information. The vibration meter helps measure the vibration levels on an aircraft, providing results in kilograms and indicating the maximum vibration that an aircraft can withstand. The vibration meter also helps pilots realize the magnitude of vibrations the aircraft is experiencing allowing them to respond accordingly and maintain the aircraft's safety and integrity. If an aircraft does not have a vibration meter, it is more likely to undergo rotor blade issues or other issues related to the structural integrity of the aircraft.

Metalworking Tools

The primary job of airframe mechanics is to repair and maintain the metal structures of an aircraft. Because of this, mechanical repair engineers must have access to high-quality metalworking tools at any given time. In general, such equipment is used to fasten, cut, and bend metal components. The two most common metalworking tools are drills and rivet guns, both of which are used to install rivets that are critical to holding the basic airframe structures together. Another common tool, the die grinder, is also commonly used to cut or grind aluminum, steel, and titanium. For large tasks, mechanics sometimes employ bigger, less mobile tools like electric band saws and sheet metal rollers to carry out significant repairs.

Magnets & Mirrors

Finally, many mechanics keep magnets and mirrors on hand should they be needed. Small metallic parts and stray tools can be easily lost and cause major problems if they make their way into the engine or other critical parts of the aircraft. A long, extendable magnet can prove to be a great help in retrieving such items from areas with limited access. Mirrors help in situations where mechanics don’t have a direct line of sight to the parts they are inspecting or repairing. The addition of a mirror allows the mechanic to get a look at the components they are repairing rather than having to install or remove parts solely by touch.

While the above mentioned tools are a crucial aspect of any aircraft mechanic’s arsenal, they represent only the most essential tools used in maintenance. In a job as demanding and important as aircraft repair, an array of different tools are needed. If you are in need of aircraft maintenance tools, make sure you are getting them from a reputed source.

For a wide range of aircraft maintenance tools and much more, look no further than Paragon Purchasing, a trusted supplier of parts for a wide range of industries. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are an online distributor of aviation parts as well as parts pertaining to the aerospace, defense, electronics, and IT hardware markets. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at +1-714-705-4780 or email us at Our dedicated account managers are standing by and will respond to your inquiries in 15 minutes or less.


November 20, 2023

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