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A MOMENT WITH MIKE: What's In A Pro Driver's Toolbox?

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By Mike Garrison

A Moment with Mike is a weekly opinion column where LiveRC’s Mike Garrison gives his take on hot-button issues, general topics, and conversations within the RC industry. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC.

In the world of R/C car racing, majority of the racers (beginner to pro) are also their own mechanic - with a few exceptions here and there. Have you ever wondered what a paid professional R/C racer carries in his toolbox to be fully prepared for any wrenching task at all times? I decided to find out.

After glancing through several of the top pros toolboxes, I decided to pick the driver with perhaps the heaviest and most overloaded toolbox of anyone in the pro paddock - Joe Bornhorst.

Like most pro drivers, Joe chooses the Plano Lockjaw Double Cover Utility Box (CLICK HERE to view on Amazon).

So what exactly does the two-time National Champion carry in his toolbox? Lets take a look...

PLEASE NOTE: Joe's toolbox has him prepared for everything just short of a zombie apocalypse, and not ALL of what is found in here is necessary to successfully build and maintain your R/C car. 


  • Maxima blue grease in syringe 
  • Protek RC O-ring grease in syringe 
  • Glow plugs 
  • Sharpies 
  • Pen
  • Different size brushes 
  • Hobby knives 
  • Extra hobby knife blades
  • Multiple drill bits 
  • MKS servo gear grease 
  • Nitro engine pipe springs
  • Small zip ties 
  • Protek RC tire bands (Joe uses these to wrap around his toolbox during travel so it doesn't come open)
  • Nitro engine carb restrictors in different sizes
  • Throttle return rubber bands 
  • 1/8-scale pinions
  • Miscellaneous stuff that even Joe can't explain what it is or where it came from...


Nut Drivers 

  • 5.0mm
  • 5.5mm 
  • 7.0mm  
  • 8.0mm 

Hex Drivers

  • 1.5mm 
  • 2.0mm
  • 2.0mm Ball End
  • 2.5mm
  • 2.5mm Ball End 
  • .050"
  • 1/16"

Speed Tips for Battery Powered Driver 

  • 1.5mm
  • 2.0mm
  • 2.5mm
  • 2.5mm Ball End
  • 1/16"
  • 5/64"
  • 3/32"
  • 5.5mm Nut Driver

Other Handled Tools:

  • Protek RC Body Reamer 
  • Protek RC Spring Puller 
  • Tekno RC Tuning Screwdriver 
  • Two sizes of Phillips head Screwdrivers 

Misc. Other Tools:

  • GHEA Ride Height Gauges 
  • 1/4" Drive Drill Chuck 
  • 1/4" Drive Metric Step Drill Bit 
  • Tekno RC Camberlink Wrenches 
  • Avid RC Shock Tool
  • Avid RC Shock Piston Drill Bit Kit 
  • Tekno RC Wheel Wrench
  • JTPRC Wrench Handle Tool
  • Two sizes of needle nose pliers 
  • Lexan scissors 
  • Side cutters (snips)
  • TeknoRC shock tool 
  • Glow plug wrench 
  • Flywheel pliers 
  • Bottle of Threadlock
  • Tekin Bluetooth Hotwire 3.0
  • Glow Ignitors (2)
  • Makita Power Driver with Extra Battery

Bornhorst Bonus Add-On Necessities:

  • Bottle of Ibuprofen
  • Broken in half shock tower (His Lucky Charm)
  • Sticker of Tyler Hooks face


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