5 Best Skate Tools for Longboards [2020]

Whether you’ve been skating for years or just getting started, a skate tool is something worth having. Even a brand-spankin’-new longboard straight out of the box often needs a spot of tweaking here and there. The beauty of a skate tool is that it combines everything you need to maintain your longboard into one incredibly convenient multitool.

Generally speaking, a skate tool is universal in regards to skate wheels. Roller skates, skateboards, and longboards are all able to benefit from adjustments to kingpin nuts, wheel nuts, and sometimes even hanger hardware or deck screws. 

To qualify as a proper skate tool it will need to have, at a minimum:

  • ⅜ Socket 
  • ½” Socket
  • 9/16” Socket 
  • Allen/Phillips Head Drivers

This will ensure proper adjustments to drop-deck hardware, wheel nuts, kingpin nuts, and mounting screws or bolts, even while out riding. 

Best Longboarding Skate Tools

MakeShopWhat we like
[1] ParisCheck PriceCollapsible & hollow
[2] ZeatoCheck PriceRatcheting feature
[3] Heady ShakeCheck PriceCommercial quality & sleek
[4] RadeckalCheck PriceLike Paris but cheaper
[5] Sk8ology CarabinerCheck PriceEasiest to carry

There are a ton of different brands and  models out there, some of which are offering more than twice the number of necessary tools. Too often, these kinds of tools are poorly manufactured and will break the first time you try to use them. 

There are so many of these bootleg tools for sale that we decided it was time to find a few winners amongst the assortment, before too many people got duped by razzle-dazzle product descriptions.

We’ve put together a review of the five best skate tool products that stand out as the best. Keep reading below to find a selection of the highest quality T-Handle, Y-Handle, and even Carabiner skate tools; each having features that make them top of their class. 

[1] Paris Truck Co. Multi-Tool – Best Overall

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ProsCons
• Simple & Durable Design• None
• One of the most respected manufacturers
• Tool is designed “by skaters, for skaters”.
• Collapsible for convenient carrying
• Features deep-sockets that accommodate all kingpin lengths

The Paris Truck Co. Multi-tool is a solid-built performer that finds superiority in simplicity. This particular tool has been a longtime favorite within the skating community in its entirety. Skateboarders, longboarders, and roller skaters have all fallen in love with Paris Co.’s deceptively ordinary-looking skate tool.

Includes: 

  • ⅜ Socket (misc. hardware)
  • ½” Socket (wheel nuts)
  • 9/16” Socket (Kingpin nut)
  • Allen head/Phillips head Drivers

The most popular feature is probably the collapsible design that packs everything you need to maintain your longboard into a compact tool that carries comfortably in a pocket. There are a few things about this multitool that can subtly slip by; therefore they deserve pointing out.

First, let’s talk about the sturdiness of the tool. There are plenty of skate tools out there that have the same sized pieces and do the same jobs. But for tools, looking cool doesn’t mean much. A tool is meant to be used – no matter how or on what, nobody wants a flimsy tool that feels more like a toy. 

Poorly-made tools are also dangerous. Horror stories (with photos) abound from people that dared to use these tools for the job they were made for and were left with a broken tool and a longboard halfway-taken apart. When tools break, people can be seriously injured.

And that is exactly why this tool has become as popular as it is. It not only looks like a genuine tool, it feels (and works) like one too. 

Experienced riders know that things happen that can make maintenance and disassembly not always go as smoothly as it does in the videos. Nuts can seize up or become filled with accumulated dust and grit, requiring extra torque to remove. Threads can be damaged, making it even more difficult to perform the most simple of tasks in some cases. 

This tool is not going to break if you have to wrench down on it like some of its plastic parodies have been known to do.

Another important feature of this tool that rarely gets pointed out when talking about this specific skate tool is its inclusion of friction-ball retention to keep its components in place. This is the same technology you’ve seen on professional mechanic’s ratchets – the little ball that moves aside when you’re changing sockets but keeps them on firmly when you’re not.

Other products use magnets or design their tool with a plastic retention clip, but these will prove inferior when tested by time. There is a good reason that the best tools on the market use friction-ball retention – it works!

There are plenty of reasons why the Paris Truck Co. Multi-tool is a great (if not necessary) addition to every longboarder’s collection. Honestly, we could probably write the whole article about their tool, specifically. But that’s not what we do here; we give everyone a chance to show us what they’ve got. 

With that said, if you’re looking for a reliable skate tool that is popular with skaters for being a performer that you’ll actually carry, then you’ve already found it with this one.

[2] Zeato All-In-One Skate Multi-tool

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ProsCons
• Versatile toolset• Plastic body 
• Strong Customer Review• Limited reports of tool breaking under heavy strain
• Compact Size
• Ratcheting

There are times when you are out riding and suddenly you realize: “I need to tighten things up. This thing has gotten WAY too loose.” You don’t want to call it a day and head home, but you know your riding session is going to be a bust if it keeps feeling like it does.

 Includes: 

  • ⅜ Socket (misc. hardware)
  • ½” Socket (wheel nuts)
  • 9/16” Socket (Kingpin nut)
  • 5/16 Threading die (axle thread repair)
  • Allen head/Phillips head Drivers
  • Storage Pouch

And that’s where a skate tool comes in. Being able to zip open a backpack and put your hand on a tool that includes what you need to service your longboard is what determines how that session turns out – slightly interrupted, or a total bust.

The Zeato comes in two designs – the “T”-handle and the “Y”-handle.

Of these two, the Y-handle seems to be the better choice. While there are a few limited reports of the T-handle breaking under heavy torque, these incidents are so infrequent that they are likely the result of improper use or unusually strenuous conditions. 

The reason we prefer the Y-handle has more to do with the inclusion of the rethreading die than any negative characteristics. We see this as the counterpart to the previous collapsible tool. While that one is better for carrying with you, this one is very good to have at home when you get into some of the bigger disassembly jobs.

Because this tool is not collapsible, like the Paris Truck Co. or Radeckal tools, you’re not likely to carry it in a pocket (at least not while riding). It fits just fine in a backpack, however, and is bound to have whatever you need within its assortment. So while you can carry it with you, doing so is just impractical enough for us to make room for this in our toolbox for those more involved maintenance tasks.

[3] Heady Shake Premium Ratcheting Skate Tool 

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ProsCons
• Commercial-quality tool steel• A bit too large for pocket carry
• Sleek aesthetics•Plastic body
• Ratcheting feature for quicker adjustments 

The first thing you think when you see the Heady Shake skate tool is that it is a professional-caliber piece of equipment. 

Currently available in three color schemes (Darkside, Jackpot, and Rockstar), Heady Shake has one of the best-looking tools on the market. The Darkside is all black with imprinted gold lettering in the body; even the tool steel has been powder-coated in gloss black. Jackpot is a white body with chrome tool steel and imprinted gold lettering in the body. The Rockstar styling features a gold powder-coated body with chrome tool steel and white lettering imprinted in the body.

The skate tool itself is a T-Handle design that features sockets fitting the three standard nut sizes and includes a detachable Phillips/Allen driver. The body is plastic, and while it is designed to be heavy-duty, the choice does make us raise an eyebrow at the professional presentation of the tool.

The tool also features a bi-directional ratchet that, when considered along with its size, makes it better suited for the home toolkit as opposed to being a carry piece. As long as you stay on top of maintenance and don’t let your hardware seize up, this will likely become one of your favorite tools for your more thorough maintenance tasks. If you do encounter a stubborn piece of hardware, you may want to switch this one out for something with a little less plastic holding it together.

The Phillips/Allen driver is an “L” shaped one, which is common with skate tools, and attaches by the shorter Phillips end going through a hole that has been included in the fabrication. Once in place, it is held in place by magnet-retention. As long as you properly store and care for the tool it should give you no problems.

In the end, this skate tool is the perfect complement to any longboarder’s tool kit. 

Heady Shake is a company of lifelong skaters that have had deep roots in the community for over 20 years and have a good number of people especially loyal to their bearings <embed link> and lubricants. While we would feel better with a metal housing instead of a plastic one, commercial strength plastics are available, so we won’t count this one out on that point alone.

Particularly if you’re looking for a ratcheting skate tool, give the Heady Shake Premium Skate Tool a good, long look. We did, and we like what we see.

[4] Radeckal Pocket Skate Tool

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ProsCons
• Simple & Durable Design• Uses a magnet instead of friction-ball to retain attachment
• Similar to Paris Co.’s tool
• Slightly cheaper
• Collapsible for convenient carrying

The Radeckal Pocket Skate Tool is very similar in design to the Paris Truck Co. tool, but there is one notable exception. With the Radeckal tool, the Phillips/Allen driver tool is held in place by a magnet.

Structurally, they are both manufactured entirely from metal. There are no plastic parts to become brittle and break under heavy torque and it collapses in a manner almost identical to its competitor, making it a pocket-carry tool.

Aesthetically, the Radeckal tool comes out on top – it has what appears to be a gold-flake powder coating protecting the metal and offering a better visual appeal. By comparison, the Paris multitool opts for a clear-coat over the raw galvanized metal. 

In our opinion, the difference in price doesn’t make up for the replacement of the friction-ball retention for magnetic retention. Magnets lose their strength over time, which raises the likelihood that the driver attachment goes missing. Another possibility to consider is the potential risk of this magnetic tool sharing a pocket with, say, a cell phone. While it’s probably not a good idea to put any tool in a pocket with your phone, magnets can do far more than scratch it up.

In short, we put the Radeckal multitool in that grey area between #1 and #2. It is an almost exact copy of the longboarding community’s favorite, the Paris tool, which means it comes down to subtle differences. In the end, the novelty of the magnetic retention might feel great when it’s new, but our experience tells us that it will shorten the duration of the tool’s ability to keep up with its accessories.

It’s a good skate tool, and it will be worth saving a few bucks to some people that aren’t as concerned with the tool lasting them forever. Other longboarders prefer to buy something once and will hold out and pay a bit more – as long as they are sure of the performance superiority (or whichever characteristic they deem important.) 

If you prefer the look and don’t care about potential issues with the magnet, this tool can bring you quality on a level of our Best Overall pick and save a few dollars doing it.

[5] Sk8ology Carabiner Skate Tool

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ProsCons
• Conveniently clips to just about anything• Box-wrench cutouts don’t work as well as sockets
• Extremely lightweight and easy to carry•Best suited as a supplemental tool for quick tune-ups
• Makes the perfect gift for any longboarder or skater

The last selection in our Skate Tool Product Review is a carabiner-style multitool from Sk8ology. Sk8ology isn’t the kind of manufacturer we normally see here, as their initial product lineup centered around display hardware intended to showcase your longboard when not in use (or after retirement). 

Their entire business model focuses on celebrating the art of longboards and longboarding. 

The carabiner skate tool is a pretty unique product that Sk8ology designed to fill a void in what was available and it also helps them finance their other artistic endeavors. The end result is a product that feels familiar like you’ve seen it a hundred times before. Yet if you look into it a bit, you’ll find this product is actually quite novel; an innovation that is beginning to inspire generic copies to emerge.

The team at Sk8ology had a great idea here, mainly because the real purpose of a skate tool is being able to carry it while you skate. If you’re swapping parts at home in your garage, most jobs will be far easier and quicker with even the most basic mechanic’s toolset. It is not practical at all, however, to carry even the most basic toolset with you while you ride.

The Carabiner Skate Tool clips to just about anything, and with it not even in your pocket you might forget you have it with you at all! 

It includes the three principle sizes for adjusting kingpins, axle nuts, and the other misc.hardware you’ll find on your longboard. Amazingly, they’ve also squeezed in a Phillips/Allen driver attachment that snaps conveniently into the body of the tool. The retention is provided by four plastic tabs that are a solid part of the body mold. While these nubs could wear down over time, it isn’t likely to happen for years unless you were to use the tool on a daily basis (which is unrealistic, to say the least).

The reason we started off calling this particular tool a supplemental one, however, has to do with its inherent limitations.

The v1.0 model is ~4” (~10cm) in length, so about the size of a credit card – just a bit thicker. It weighs only 1.9 oz (54g), hence why you could actually forget you even have it with you. The tool we’re reviewing is fabricated from a solid piece of metal with a molded rubber overlay that helps protect the hand and provide additional grip. 

In committing to the slim-profile multitool design, they obviously have to find different ways to provide the same functionality.

Instead of using sockets, the slim design provides open-end wrenches in the three standard sizes (⅜”, ½”, 9/16”). This is fine, so long as you have stayed on top of your longboard maintenance. Applying a tiny dab of anti-seize to the threads before installing any nut will make it much easier to remove in the future, but this is the sort of thing you’d likely do at home when giving your longboard a full maintenance session.

Due to the differences between how a socket and open-end wrench apply torque, this tool is better suited for quick field adjustments than complete disassembly or reassembly of your board. However, if you are in the habit of regularly checking and adjusting the tightness of your hardware (meaning you know you won’t have to apply tool-breaking force to remove a nut), there may be no better tool on the market for stopping to make small, mid-session adjustments.


Bonus Item – Gift Idea – Wallet Keycard Skate Tool

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While we aren’t quite ready to call this one the best in class, it is a really neat little tool that might actually hang around and save the day, someday.

This skate tool is manufactured by Creature, and comes with a tidy grey canvas sheath for storing the tool safely. We say safely because in addition to using cutouts to emulate the appropriate wrench sizes the Creature Web skate tool rocks a bottle-opener and a sharp edge for scraping stubborn grip tape.

The wrench cutouts are obviously ill-suited to major maintenance tasks, but the ultra-compact design is quite well-suited to being carried while out riding. This makes it surprisingly beneficial to professional and other advanced longboard riders that want to make adjustments to their hardware throughout a session.

For the rest of us, it is probably better as a supplemental piece of gear. Not being practical for heavy torque on stubborn nuts reduces its value at home to being a scraper with a bottle-opener, essentially. In the field, however, it shines – just as long as you’ve stayed on top of your longboard’s maintenance. It won’t like rusty or seized up nuts, but is otherwise perfect for making super quick adjustments to things like bushing compression or wheel tightness. 

The Creature Web skate tool also seems to have potential as a conversation starter. It can be a great way to make a new longboarding friend, or simply save the day of a stranger having a bad day. It also makes for a terrific gift to anyone in your life that ride a longboard (or skateboard). If you already have a “main” skate tool you like, consider this one as a backup – just in case.

Ultimately, the credit-card skate tool from Creature touts more benefit than drawback. It might not be the first pick for really wrenching down on things, but it is compact, convenient, and best of all, affordable. 


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FAQ

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What can I use instead of a skate tool?

A skate tool is used to conduct regular maintenance on a variety of skates (skateboards, longboards, roller skates, etc.) and often combines the following into one compact multi-tool for convenience.  

  • ⅜” Socket
  • 9/16” Socket
  • ½” Socket
  • ⅛” Allen Driver 
  • #2 Phillips Driver

The main benefit of a skate tool is that it has everything you need for tune-ups and is easily carried in a pack or pocket, allowing you to easily make adjustments while out riding. Ideally, you would have a different set of tools at home for bigger maintenance tasks and a skate tool that can ride comfortably with you while you’re out. 

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Do you need a skate tool?

As you become more serious about riding and spend more time with your longboard, yes, you will need to own a skate tool. Fortunately, they are inexpensive and there are a few different styles to choose from depending on your needs:

• A T-handle multi-tool can be collapsible, or not, and typically features sockets to fit the three standard nut sizes on your longboard.

• A Y-handle multi-tool usually features a complement similar to the T-handle, with the addition of a 5/16” rethreading die for repairing axle threads.

Carabiner multi-tools typically opt for open-end wrenches in the standard sizes, instead of sockets, for a slimmer carry profile. *Sk8ology is currently an innovator of the product and has one of the only branded carabiner skate tools available.

Ultimately, all skate tools should meet the minimum requirements for making adjustments while out riding. Some tools offer extra features or functionality, but they honestly might be options you’ll never use. Regular maintenance and proper application of anti-seize to your hardware will ensure that virtually any skate tool you select will be up to the task.

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Are skate tools universal?

While skate tools come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, they do all provide the same functionality and the hardware has remained consistent between skateboards, longboards, and roller skates for decades. So yes, it is fair to say they are universal.

To qualify, a skate tool should have at a minimum: 

• Sockets, wrenches, etc. sized at ⅜”, ½”, and 9/16” 

• Phillips driver 

• ⅛” Allen driver

Anything more is considered “extra”, but not necessary for adjusting the axle or kingpin nuts, or any other hardware that might need tightening or loosening.

In fact, because these tools are inherently universal, we emphasize the importance of making comfortability a priority when selecting a skate tool, for one simple reason. It only provides a benefit if you have it with you. If it is uncomfortable or inconvenient to carry it, it is likely to be left at home. Therefore, selecting a tool that you will actually take riding with you is far more important than getting a bulky tool with 6 extra features that you probably won’t use anyway.

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What size is a skate tool?

One of the most important characteristics of a skate tool is its size. The size of a skate tool will impact its portability as well as the level of comfort you can have if carrying it while riding. This might seem to imply that smaller is better, but you cannot forget that it is a tool, and compromises in size can also mean compromises in performance and functionality.

Currently, there are three principle skate tool designs available:

  1. T-Handle Skate Tools –  Collapsible models can fit in a pocket comfortably, even while riding.
  2. Y-Handle Skate Tools –  Will require a bag for carrying comfortably, in most cases.
  3. Carabiner Skate Tools – Most convenient carrying of all, clips to virtually anything

There is a complex balance of trade-offs between size, weight, comfortability, quality, and cost that is easier to see when you compare the models in our selection against the knock-offs. 

The longboarding community has been a longtime fan of Paris Truck Co.’s skate tool, largely due to its compact size.Their design is both simple and functional, and that is a combination that is hard to fake and hard to beat.

If you’re looking for skate tools that are small enough to carry in your pocket while you ride, be sure to check out our selection above – there are a few that make the cut.


And so we have reached the end of our look at the best skate tools of 2020. We had a full spread, with reviews on T-Handle, Y-Handle, Carabiner, and even Credit Card skate tools!

We hope you found exactly what you were looking for, and maybe even learned something new along the way. As always, it is our mission to help you make the most informed decision possible when it has anything to do with your longboard.

Thanks for reading, everyone, and stay safe (but stay longboarding). 

best skate tool for longboards