Do you have a skateboarding tool? Do you want one or are unsure if you need one?
Well, it’s easy to answer these questions!
Simply put, a skateboarding tool is an all-in-one tool for putting together or adjusting your skateboard. They are also known as “T-tools” and are extremely cheap and useful. There isn’t much difference in brands as this is a tool that really won’t get much wear and tear in its lifetime. You will likely buy one and never replace it.
That is the summary of everything that I’ll discuss. If you want to read more or get some buying recommendations then read on!
What is a Skateboard Tool?
Otherwise known as a “T-tool”, a skateboard tool is all you need to put together or adjust a skateboard.
A skateboard tool is a “T” shaped tool that has three built-in socket wrenches that will adjust every part of the skateboard. This includes the bushings and screws that secure the skateboard’s wheels. A skateboard tool also includes a modified Allen wrench that has a Phillips head screwdriver on one end. This screwdriver will fit the screws that attach your trucks to your deck.
These tools are incredibly handy and useful to have. The tool is lightweight and easily carried. Especially when riding a new skateboard for the first time, make sure to bring a skate tool. You will likely need to adjust the tightness of your board.
What is a Skateboard Tool Called?
At the skatepark, you might hear people ask for a T-tool or a skate tool, but when you search T-tool on Google a bunch of strange toolsets come up on the search page. The reality is that a common use name for a skate tool has never caught on for marketing and so they are marketed simply as skateboard tools or skate tools. Keep it simple, right?
A skateboard tool is simply known as a skateboard tool, skate tool, or “T-tool”. On the internet and for marketing purposes, “skateboard tool” is often used and will show many results and resources when searched. When at a skatepark, saying “T-tool” definitely sounds more natural than saying “skateboard tool” though everyone will understand what you mean regardless.
So don’t worry so much about it. There are plenty of skaters who sometimes can’t remember the name of this tool.
How is a Skateboard Tool Used?
Using a skate tool is as easy as finding the right socket size (they’re only three options) and turning righty-tighty or lefty-loosy. There are really just three types of adjustments you can make to your board with a skate tool.
Tighten or Loosen Your Trucks
Take one of the larger socket wrenches in your skate tool and press it onto the center bolt of your truck to find which size fits. Once you find the correct socket size, turn the skate tool clockwise to tighten your trucks and counterclockwise to loosen your trucks.
The tighter this bolt is the stiffer your board becomes. Your board will be very stable, but it might become difficult to turn. The looser this bolt is the more easily your board will turn. Though it might become harder to land on or control. Most skaters find a happy medium they’re comfortable with.
When you get a new board, definitely bring your skate tool so you can make some small adjustments to the tightness of the trucks. You likely will need to.
Remove or Attach Wheels
You don’t really want to adjust the tightness or looseness of your wheels much if at all. You will need to remove and attach new wheels or replace your bearings from time to time though.
Try each socket on your skate tool, until you find the socket size that can fit snuggly over the bolt on the outside of your wheel. It will usually be the smallest socket size. Turn the skate tool counterclockwise to remove your wheel and bearing. Turn the skate tool clockwise to tighten and attach the wheel and bearing.
When attaching your wheel and bearing, make sure you tighten the bolt until it is snug and doesn’t turn without effort. You don’t want your wheels coming loose while you’re skating especially if you have some speed.
Remove or Attach Your Trucks
Sometimes you will need to replace your trucks, but more likely you will need to attach your trucks. This is likely to happen when you are building a custom board or transferring old hardware to a new deck
To attach your trucks to your deck you need to tighten four screws for each truck. The screw heads are on the top of the deck, or the side with griptape on it. Take the Phillips head screwdriver from your skate tool and turn each screw clockwise until each screw is snug and tight.
To remove your trucks from your deck you need to loosen and remove four screws for each truck. The screw heads are on the top of the deck, or the side with griptape on it. Take the Phillips head screwdriver from your skate tool and turn each screw counterclockwise until each screw is loose enough to remove with your fingers.
Test Ride Your Board After Any Adjustments
After you adjust anything on your board, you need to give it a test ride. This means you need to bring your skate tool with you when you have a new build or complete skateboard. There is nothing more frustrating than going to the skate park with a new board and the trucks being so loose you get wheel bite. Usually, there’ll be someone at the park with a skate tool to borrow, but not always.
So make sure to keep your skate tool near when you have a new board. You should ride the board, decide if you want it tighter or looser, and make adjustments until the trucks feel comfortable to you. Some skaters prefer looser trucks while some skate tighter trucks.
If you plan on bombing a hill, please tighten your trucks first and wear a helmet.
If you’re curious about what wheel bite is or want to cruise on a skateboard, check out our guide on how to get started cruising.
What Size Skateboarding Tool Do I Need?
You might be wondering what size skate tool you need. Well, stop wondering.
Generally speaking, you do not need to worry about buying a particular sized skateboarding tool, or T-tool. A skateboarding tool will come with sockets built in that will fit all of the most common skateboard sizes. These tools are universal. Each skate tool includes 3/8”, 1/2”, and 9/16” sized sockets. These are for tightening the trucks on your skateboard, removing or attaching wheels, and removing or attaching the trucks.
If you have a very unique skateboard size (you don’t if your board’s deck width is within 7.5”-8.25”), then you will need to find a custom T-tool or simply use a socket wrench set to adjust your skateboard. Having a socket wrench set is useful for other life things, so don’t shy away from getting a set.
What is the Best Skateboard Tool?
The best skateboard tool is a skateboard tool that is lightweight, gets the job done, and isn’t too expensive.
The reality is that this tool won’t see too much wear and tear over its lifetime, the materials to make it are cheap, and there is no legitimate reason to splurge on this tool. You simply likely won’t ever replace it.
So this question is honestly a bit missing the point, however, I do understand wanting to make sure you are making the best possible purchase. So with that in mind, I’ll recommend some brands that you can’t wrong with.
Lorje Skate Tool
This is the skate tool in the featured photo and is the skate tool that I currently use. It features a lightweight plastic body with aluminum sockets that will fit virtually all skateboards that fall within the common size range. I got mine as a bundle from a complete I bought some time ago and have used it since. The plastic maybe doesn’t feel as nice as a completely metal body, but it gets the job done.
You can buy this guy for a measly $6 from online retailers like Amazon and it will likely never need to be replaced. I don’t really recommend going fancy for a skate tool. It’s just unecessary.
Independent Skate Tool
Independent is a solid skating brand that also has a well-known line of skate trucks. The company doesn’t make decks, but you can absolutely find decks sporting the logo as it is so recognized. You better believe that if the company specializes in skateboard trucks that they’re going to have a killer T-tool.
The tool itself is a bit pricier (at $25), but still cheap. The entire tool is metal, unlike others that use plastic for the body of the T-tool. It’s a good choice if you want to be sure you’ll get what you pay for. You will buy one and never replace it.
Paris Truck Co Skate Tool
The Paris Truck Co skateboarding tool is a neat combination of style and durability. Again, the entire T-tool is a single-cast aluminum body that is lightweight but gets the job done. The tool is cheap at $16 and will last a lifetime as long as you don’t lose it. If you want an aesthetically pleasing and functional skate tool, then I would recommend them.
How Much Does a Skateboard Tool Cost?
Skateboarding tools are very cheap and will last a lifetime as long as you don’t lose or misplace them.
A skateboarding tool, or T-tool, costs between $6-$30 and can be purchased at your local skate shop or from online retailers such as Amazon. The tool won’t receive much wear and tear in its lifetime and you will likely never replace your skateboarding tool. The lower-end and cheaper skateboarding tools often have a plastic body, while the more expensive tools are $15+ and are completely made of aluminum or steel.
You really won’t break the bank from purchasing a skateboarding tool and there the convenience and ease of the tool make it worth the purchase.
If you’re curious about how much a quality skateboard should cost, check out our guide with current price data here.
That’s all there really is to skateboard or T-tools! It’s not so complicated and hopefully, everything was clear and easy to understand.
To summarize, a skateboarding tool is an all-in-one tool for putting together or adjusting your skateboard. They are also known as “T-tools” and are extremely cheap and useful. There isn’t much difference in brands as this is a tool that really won’t get much wear and tear in its lifetime. You will likely buy one and never replace it.
Thanks for reading and look out for more articles from Board and Wheels.