Pry bars come in an assortment of sizes, so you can pick the right one for the job at hand. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

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 Pry Bars.

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For as versatile as they are, it’s surprising how many folks get by without a good set of pry bars.

It’s easy to think that a big screwdriver or large hunk of bar stock are good substitutes, but the truth is, using the wrong tools can cause plenty of damage. We’ve seen bent tools, dimpled sheetmetal, and broken aluminum housings caused by using something other than a dedicated pry bar.

Need to line up your exhaust pieces for removal or installation? A good pry bar comes to the rescue. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

More importantly, a nice set or pry bars just makes your job easier, mitigating hand/back strain and giving you plenty of strength-multiplying leverage—thanks Archimedes!

We’re mainly talking about large steel pry bars here. But for delicate parts (like interior trim pieces) you should check out a set of gentle pry tools.

Quality pry bars come in handy on plenty of automotive jobs, like moving around exhaust parts or popping off a brake rotor that’s seized to the hub. But they’re equally useful with many household chores too, including opening stuck drawers, shifting heavy appliances, and removing old framing studs.

So it’s worth the investment to have a few pry bars nearby when the time comes.

If you’ve got an engine that uses V-belts, then you already know how big of a hassle it is to ensure there’s good tension on the belt. A pry bar can save the day here too. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

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Considering how many folks try to get by using substitute tools, a stout set of pry bars can be a great gift to give and receive. Better still, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a basic pry bar 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.