Capri Originals – Tony the Technician

Tony the Technician

It's All About the Tools

tony the technician

This month, we talked to Tony the Technician, the mechanic that started his channel by sharing the process of restoring/upgrading his 1985 Camaro. The venture has since morphed into a platform on which Tony offers tool enthusiasts tips and advice.

Capri Tools is dedicated to people, passion, and quality. The automotive industry often attracts people who appreciate cars. The creativity that goes into innovating and engineering cars draws in those who love tinkering with engines: mechanics. Many mechanics get started by restoring older cars, taking them from the junkyard to the garage and, finally, to the road.

At Capri Tools, we regularly partner with trusted YouTube personalities who use our tools to follow their passion, including mechanics. This month, we talked to Tony the Technician, a mechanic with 28,000 subscribers. He started his channel by creating videos to share the process of restoring and upgrading his 1985 Camaro. The venture has since morphed into a platform on which Tony offers tips and advice. He also makes videos reviewing a variety of tools, including Capri Tools.

Each video opens on the young mechanic sitting next to his toolbox ready to speak to the audience. A natural orator, Tony addresses the audience with ease, walking the viewer through his projects and reviews.

 

Although his audience primarily consists of people who are familiar with tools, he is good at distilling information down so anyone can follow regardless of their skill level.

Tony’s videos are peppered with his experience, feedback, suggestions, comparisons, and how-to. He combines detailed views of each tool with visual aids integrated into each video. One video might find Tony sifting through a complex user manual to explain the various functions of a probe, while another features him sitting in front of a computer while sharing the screen and walking viewers through an online shop.

Tony has over seven years of professional experience as a mechanic, but he has been fixing cars a lot longer. We appreciate his honest, conversational, and easy-to-understand reviews — his style works for amateur and professional mechanics alike.

An Early Passion for Mechanics

Tony loves to fix and restore old cars, a passion that was passed down to him from his father: “My father used to fix cars, and he taught me a lot when we rebuilt my first ‘87 Camaro together.”

In high school, Tony aspired to become a professional mechanic specializing in auto body and repair. Instead, he ended up joining the United States Army, where he served for 8 years, stationed all over the United States as well as South Korea and Afghanistan.

After serving in the military, Tony transitioned into work as a full-time auto mechanic. “Outside of the U.S. Army, the only thing I could see myself doing was something in automotive, whether that be mechanic, body work, electrical, or whatever else I could learn. I served as an MP when I realized I really wanted to work on cars again. It's what I truly had a passion for, so I can’t say I have really thought about doing anything else.”

While Tony works on all makes and models, he loves classic muscle cars, specifically those made in the 1960s – 1980s. His favorite aspect of fixing cars is the peace of mind it provides. Spending time in the garage tinkering with an engine and modifying and replacing parts gives him time and space to clear his head and focus on each individual task. His least favorite aspect of working on a car is the overall layout of some engines. Tony finds it frustrating when he’s trying to fix a simple part, but the engine is configured in a way that makes it impossible to access without taking other pieces out. He is not fond of having to disassemble 10 different parts to make what should be a simple fix.

He also finds the constant innovation in car technology and engine manufacturing to be a challenge associated with the job. “In this industry, you’re constantly learning and adapting. Even with a lot of passion and dedication sometimes it can be a challenge to keep up with the ever-changing automotive industry. You must constantly stay up to date. I’m not saying you need to know everything, because you never will. But to have a good understanding of as much as possible will help you a lot in the long run.”

In his spare time, Tony prefers working on older cars. His favorite models to work on include his ’85 Camaro, which started his path to YouTube notoriety. The effort he's put into the vehicle has enhanced his love for it over time. He also likes working on older Chevy Trucks, Novas, Camaros, Chevelles, El Caminos, Impalas, and of course the whole range of classic muscle cars.

It's All About the Tools

Growing-up with a mechanically inclined father and then spending time as a professional mechanic, Tony knows his way around a variety of tools. He understands how this integral part of the car repair and restoration process contributes to job quality. “I never understood why my father would get so upset when I would lose one of his tools while I was working on a friend’s vehicle. As I grew older, I started to realize very quickly the importance of tools, not just because you have spent hard-earned money on them but also how important it is to have the right tool for the job and a good quality tool for the job. It can make or break you when doing a repair.”

Becoming a well-respected online tool expert was not necessarily what Tony envisioned when he began his career. He started his YouTube channel to share his experiences with his Camaro and received a lot of feedback from viewers who wanted details on his tools. He noticed that the majority of comments on each video featured questions about which tools he was using and why.

To share his knowledge and help other people navigate the world of mechanical tools, Tony started his Tony the Technician channel. On it, he reviews tools and walks viewers through their intricacies.

“When I started at the College for Automotive Technology, I realized just how much of a difference I saw in these tools. I started looking into all these different brands and different places where tools were made. I realized it was something that I was really interested in. I wanted to share with others my thoughts on certain tools and brands and discuss pros and cons to them and hopefully help others looking at buying tools or getting into the automotive field.”

When asked “What are your favorite Capri tools?” Tony answered, “That’s a tough one, I have a good amount of Capri Tools, and they have all performed very well. But I would say my most used tools are either the Ratcheting Wrenches or the 3/8 Master Impact Socket Set. I love the mid length sockets and how Capri offers the option to get the Westling Socket organizers.”

In some cases, Tony lends tools to some of his friends, but this is an honor that is not bestowed lightly. “It really depends on who is borrowing the tools and what tool they want to borrow. I follow the golden rule that if you have borrowed it twice, then you better get your own. I also expect it to be returned and not broken.”

Balancing Work with His Personal Life

One major driver behind Tony’s transition into the mechanical profession was his desire to start a family with his wife. “After about 7 Years in the Army I realized I really wanted to go back to school and get into the automotive field like I had originally planned. My wife and I wanted to start a family as well, so we both decided it was time for me to get out and go to college.”

Tony’s wife was stationed in Texas, so he attended Western Technical College, obtaining an associate's degree in automotive technology. He worked hard to keep up with his studies, since the top 2% of students in the program had the opportunity to intern with Don Schumacher Racing. His efforts and passion for cars got him a gig with the Napa Team. “I got my CDL and I did body and tires for 2 years, then moved to doing bottom end, which consisted of building all the sets of pistons and rods that had to be installed and uninstalled every pass down the track. It also included many other jobs but that’s the main portion.”

During the internship, Tony won 2 of his 3 races and received a job offer to join the Napa funny car team. He considers the opportunity to work with the NHRA his biggest achievement in the industry. But while working on a race team is Tony’s dream job, it is stressful. Tony said, “I’m not sure I would say complex but very fast paced and can definitely be stressful at times.”

To relieve this stress, Tony enjoys spending time with his wife and son, making YouTube videos, working on his ’85 Camaro, and grilling.

Becoming a YouTube Personality

When Tony started his channel, he wasn’t attempting to gain a large following. He simply wanted to make videos for other classic car enthusiasts working on their cars. “I just randomly started posting videos years ago, and they were not good quality. But I improved the quality and it started to grow and it became one of my favorite hobbies. I love being able to share any knowledge or information I have with others, and I love interacting with my viewers as well. You can learn a lot and meet some amazing people. So I am very happy I started posting videos and I hope to do it for a very long time.”

Tony has built his following by connecting with his audience. His videos offer an authoritative perspective on a wide variety of essential tools and techniques. Tony makes videos reviewing tools, cataloging his tool hauls, teaching viewers how to find good deals online while ensuring that they are buying quality merchandise, and more.

Viewers appreciate these tips because Tony is sincere in his reviews. Even though he often partners with tool companies creating sponsored videos, he is not afraid to dish out an unfavorable review if he thinks it’s warranted. His viewers respect his expert opinion and love the feedback. They trust him to steer them in the right direction. More than simply a gear hub, Tony’s channel serves as a small community for his followers. On many of his videos, the comments section is filled with viewers sharing their own experiences with the tools and sharing the camaraderie that comes with a common passion. He appreciates each viewer, often replying to people in the comments and enriching everyone's. Some of the viewers even provide suggestions for other tools he can review.

Tony wasn’t expecting his channel to grow as much as it has, but his earnest personality and likeability have led him into influencer territory in the mechanic community. He remains humble amid his successes.

Asked about how he feels about being asked to partner with various companies, he said, “I feel grateful. To be asked by one of the tool companies I have been using for years feels good. Every experience I have had with Capri Tools has been a great one, from the quality of tools I own from Capri to any interaction with Capri Tools employees, who have been nothing but helpful and understanding. We need more tool companies like this. That’s why I truly like sharing certain tool brands — companies that care about the customer, listen to the customer, and make a good quality tool for a good price.”

The Tony the Technician channel is time consuming; Tony posts about three videos a week. Most of his videos garner thousands of views, with his most popular content being monthly recaps of tool deals on Amazon.

While reviewing tools, Tony occasionally shoots demonstrations in which he shows himself using the tools on his Camaro. It often sits in the background with the engine exposed, ready for Tony to take his tools and tinker around in the engine or the interior. Even though he loves his classic cars, he knows that many drivers appreciate modern conveniences, and he incorporates them into the car. He’s upgraded the interior lights, the audio and entertainment system and other components within the car. Anyone who appreciates classic muscle can use these videos to outfit their classic ride with a Bluetooth enabled stereo that will let them navigate using GPS in an older model car. Other important upgrades to his car’s interior involve making it safer. When adding power to a classic car, safety features like seatbelts and others need to be adjusted.

Tony was drawn to the industry in his teens, and he is now firmly rooted in a field that ignites his passion. “Ever since 2020 happened it was like fate had caught up with me and I found myself in the line of work I wanted back in high school. I now work in paintless dent removal and automotive detailing. I can’t imagine doing anything else besides working on cars whether that be engine, suspension, body, or electrical. I have an interest in it all and it’s a passion of mine.”

Thank You, Tony the Technician

This personable and authoritative YouTube personality has a passion that shines through each video. His easy going demeanor makes it easy for viewers to connect, whether they spend all their time in the garage or simply want to dip a toe into the automotive pool. Anyone can learn more about their own tool collection by watching his videos, and the comment section offers a community full of people who can give helpful advice in most situations. Capri Tools is proud to have such an enthusiastic technician representing our company. We know that our tools offer customers the quality they need to make repairs quickly. Our tools are formulated to reach auto parts in even the tightest places. We are proud that professionals in the industry recognize our dedication to providing quality tools that make repairs easier.
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