Using the right tool and scraping edge is critical to avoid damage to the gasket mating surface. That’s why many scraping tools have interchangeable metal/plastic blades. (Image/Summit Racing)

Whether it’s for a holiday or birthday, this Tools Under 30 Dollars Gift Guide Series shows you important, yet somewhat uncommon, tools that any gearhead would want.

Today, let’s talk about Gasket Scrapers.

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While folks may be tempted to improvise tools when removing stubborn gaskets, there’s a reason specialized gasket scraping tools exist.

For starters, you’ll mitigate some risk of marring or nicking the mating surface, like you could with (shudder) a screwdriver or chisel.

Secondly, thanks to strategically-angled handles, you get a nice grip and some leverage—which goes a long way towards fighting hand fatigue. (Ever remove a gasket with an old credit card? You know what we’re talking about here…)

Many of these tools are sold in sets or feature interchangeable scraping heads, so you can use a scraping edge that complements the hardness of the surface you’re scraping on. That’s especially important if you’re removing a gasket from iron or aluminum (AKA the stuff engines are made of), because it’s easy to damage the relatively soft mating surfaces.

And gasket scrapers, particularly ones with a plastic edge, are handy for plenty of other jobs too.

Need to get caulk off tile? Check.
Clean gunk from a stovetop? Check.
Remove that Spongebob sticker your kid slapped on the front window? Double-check.

A lot of folks don’t know that specialty gasket scraping tools exist, so they’re often a smart gift to give and receive. Better still, there’s a good chance you can find a nice set for under 30 bucks.

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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or watching a 1972 Corvette overheat. An avid motorcyclist, he spends the rest of his time synchronizing carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.