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How do you mark your tools?

Tool theft is a lucrative business for opportunistic thieves, ruining the lives of hardworking tradespeople right across the country. The police are always recovering great hauls of tools and try to reunite them with their rightful owners, but if they are not marked in any way, how could you ever get them back? People who do mark their tools have a much greater chance of a happy reunion with their livelihood, particularly if those markings are effective ones.

Even if you’re not a victim of crime, tools have a habit of going walkabouts when on site, so marking your tools will at least make yours distinguishable from the rest. Should your vehicle be stolen with your tools inside, having a tracker installed will increase your chances of the police locating it and returning it to you. For more information on Vehicle Tracking, visit https://www.vehicle-accessories.net/vehicle-tracking/

Here are some of the best ways to mark your tools:

Permanent Marker Pen

This is a pretty permanent way to mark tools but not especially unique. If everyone on site has written their name or initials on their tools with a sharpie, you won’t immediately be able distinguish your own from someone else’s.

Spray Paint

Spray paint can give your tools a colourful makeover, immediately making them stick out from all the rest. This marking method is best done when tools are new, so you don’t have to clean off any grime to get the paint to stick. Be sure to use the right kind of spray paint for the surface of your tool and try to avoid painting over serial numbers, working parts, moving parts or measurements indicators.

Nail Polish

Marking your tools in some of your partner’s or daughter’s nail polish is a great way of deterring any light-fingeredworkmates for starters. Not many will want tools that have been marked with glittery bright nail polish! Be sure to mark the tools in an obvious spot, as well as less obvious ones like underneath a battery cover.


Many tradespeople use this method to put a permanent mark on their tools. It requires close inspection however so might not be the best method for telling tools apart but does work well for making tools harder to sell by thieves.

Image credit


The use of engraving is another permanent marking method and involves engraving a unique number onto the tool. It could be something like your initials and postcode, for example. Whatever you choose, make it easily related to you, so police have no doubt that they belong to you.

Double up

A good piece of advice is to use more than one method of marking on your tools. By using more than one, your tools can be easily identified on site and traced back to you in the event they are stolen. Remember to mark somewhere obvious and clearly visible, as well as somewhere more hidden. This is so a mark remains even if a thief files off the obvious marker.










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