Inexpensive, not cheap.
If you do any work involving models of any type, you need decent tools made just for hobbies. Many bespoke hobby tools can be pricey. Thankfully you can find many useful bargain hobby tools at Harbor Freight Tools.
Many of you in the United States are probably familiar with Harbor Freight. They offer a soup-to-nuts array of bargain tools useful for most applications for home, vehicle or hobby. Stores are located all over the place and they sell the same tools on their website.
Herewith some of the very good deals:
Swingarm magnifier with light
No matter the hobby application, seeing what you are doing helps a whole bunch. A good light is a good start. So is a magnifier, especially if you are working on small items.
I have had good eyes most of my life, able to see quite small objects clearly. Nonetheless, I have been surprised by how much better my results have been while using a magnifier when working on 1/43 scale race car models.
Helping hands with magnifier
So you say your fingers are just a bit bigger than a child’s and holding microscopic parts while painting is a bit difficult. You need a pair of helping hands. One with help for your aged eyesight would be great too.
Harbor Freight has that for you too. This setup rests right on your work surface and has moveable arms to position your work just right. Strong alligator clips hold your work. The regular size tool is just $5.99 and the larger version is just a few dollars more and adds a light to the mix.
Holding very small parts can be a big problem while working on models. A good set of tweezers are essential for your hobby toolbox.
Harbor Freight offers this 6 piece set with just about every variation on tweezers you might want. Locking tweezers, angled and straight, flat and pointy.
They’re stainless steel and a veritable steal at just $6.99
Files and picks
A good set of files is necessary for all of those smoothing and shaping processes you’ll do as you refine your model into perfection. Harbor Freight offers a 12 piece set of jeweler’s size files in every conceivable shape and various grades of cutting ability from rough to smooth.
I’ve used these for some time now and am very happy with their precision and longevity. Though at the price offered for this set, you can easily afford to replace them after you’ve worn the daylights out of them. Rubber handles make holding them painless.
You may not be familiar with the usefulness of a set of steel picks. They are great for deepening character lines or hacking out excess resin or metal where it doesn’t belong. A six piece set will do you right for just $4.99.
So there you go
A wealth of useful bargain hobby tools from Harbor Freight. If you purchased literally every tool on this page, you’d have spent just under $100.
For more great modeling tips, click here.
More brilliant commentary of the world of cars, car racing and more, click here.