The Ultimate Guide to Watch Repair Tools: What You Need to Know

tools for watch repair

Are you tired of searching for the perfect tools for watch repair but overwhelmed by the countless options available? Look no further! This comprehensive guide is designed for aspiring watchmakers and seasoned professionals, offering in-depth information on the essential and advanced tools needed for watch repair. We’ll explore the basics like screwdrivers, tweezers, case openers, spring bar tools, and loupes while delving into advanced tools such as movement holders, case cushions, demagnetizers, and ultrasonic cleaners.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss the different types, sizes, and uses of each tool, as well as tips on choosing the right one for your needs. We’ll also emphasize the importance of investing in quality tools for watch repair, regardless of your experience level. By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any watch repair challenge, whether you’re just starting or a seasoned pro. So, why wait? Dive in and discover the essential tools to take your watch repair skills to the next level!

Essential Tools for Watch Repair

Screwdrivers are essential for removing the case from your watch. You’ll need at least two sizes: one for small screws and another for larger ones. You can find them at any hardware store or home goods store like Target or Walmart, but remember to buy an extra pair of tweezers! They’re great for holding tiny parts during repairs, like springs and stems removed from their seats in the movement.

Tweezers are also crucial because they’ll help you keep track of tiny parts- mainly if you use them with a loupe or magnifier (see below).

Case openers come in many shapes and sizes depending on what kind of case back you’re opening up (screw-down vs. screw-in). If yours is screw-down, look into getting something like this- it makes opening challenging issues easy work!


There are many different types of screwdrivers, but they all fall into one of two categories: slotted or Phillips. The difference between the two lies in the shape of their blade tips. A slotted screwdriver has flat information, while a Phillips has four triangular points that fit into its counterpart’s recesses when you apply torque to tighten or loosen them.

In general, you’ll want at least two sizes of each type: small (1/16″-1/8″), medium (1/4″-5/16″), and large (5/16″-3/8″). Some people prefer an even larger size for each if they’re going to be working on big projects like furniture repair or vehicle maintenance. You might also find some specialty tools with unique designs, such as cross-patterned blades or offset heads; these are best suited for specific purposes like removing eyelets from shoes without damaging them further than necessary!


Tweezers are one of the most essential tools in watch repair. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but for watch repair purposes, you should have at least three different types:

  • Flat-nosed tweezers: These are used to remove or hold parts from cases while working on them. They’re also good for getting into small spaces where fingers can’t reach easily.
  • Round-nosed tweezers: Round-nosed tweezers are great for grabbing small parts that might slip out of flat-nosed ones (like spring bars). You should have at least one pair with fine tips so they fit in tight places- you want to keep everything!
  • Tweezer set: This is just what it sounds like- a collection of tweezers with varying degrees of curvature at each end (usually four). A good set will include fine tips and larger ones that can hold onto more oversized objects without slipping out when pressure is applied (such as when removing handsets).

Case Openers

There are three main types of case openers:

  • Screw-down case opener. This is the most common type, and it works by inserting a blade into your watch’s back to release pressure on the spring bar. You can then use tweezers or another tool to remove the spring bars from their holes to remove your watch band.
  • Spring bar tool set (sometimes called “pin pushers”). These tools fit over each end of a spring bar, allowing you to push out its pin without damaging it or your watch band. They’re ideal for removing links from bracelets without damaging them during removal or reassembly later on down the line, but they can be expensive compared with other options!
  • Rotor remover/installer sets offer both functions in one toolset: They allow you to access inside cases and make installing new rotors easy by tightening them down securely once they’re in place (but not too tight!).

Spring Bar Tools

Spring bar tools are used to remove watch straps and bracelets. The purpose of a spring bar tool is to pry open the metal tabs on either side of a spring bar so that you can slide it out from between the lugs (the small prongs that attach your strap or bracelet).

There are several types of spring bar tools available, each with its shape and size:

  • Standard – This is the most common type of tool and has two sides, one with teeth and one without teeth. It’s used for removing standard-sized links on traditional watches (as well as some modern ones).
  • Mini – This type works like its larger counterpart but has sharper points on each end, so it can fit into narrow spaces more easily than other models do; however, if you’re trying to remove anything other than small links, then this may not be right for you because its small size makes it difficult to get leverage when using it against larger links to disengage them from their slots within other parts like cases or bracelets themselves.*

Loupes and Magnifiers

As a watchmaker, you’ll need to be able to see the small details of your work. This is where loupes and magnifiers come in handy. Loupes are small handheld lenses that allow you to see things up close without getting too close yourself. They’re great for examining things like watch movements, jewels, and case parts, such as crowns or pushers (the buttons). Magnifiers can also help you with these tasks, but they’re generally more extensive than loupes because they offer more magnification power- they can be held upright at eye level or mounted on an adjustable stand so that you don’t have to bend over while working on your projects!

Choosing the right tool depends on what kind of work needs doing; if it’s just examining tiny parts, then perhaps only one type would suffice, whereas if lots are going on, then two might be better suited depending on what needs seeing most often throughout a day – either way, these tools will help make sure nothing slips through unnoticed when repairing watches!

Advanced Tools for Watch Repair

In addition to the essential tools, you should consider adding a few more advanced tools to your watch repair kit. These include:

  • Movement holders – These devices hold the movement in place while you work on it and allow access from all sides. They can come in different shapes and sizes depending on what kind of watch you’re working with.
  • Case cushions – Cushioning materials between the case back and crown help protect against damage during removal or replacement operations, especially when removing stubborn screw-down pushers. They also provide a convenient way to prevent scratches during installation by reducing friction between parts as they’re being pressed together (e.g., setting hands).
  • Demagnetizers – Demagnetizers remove residual magnetism from magnetic metals like steel, which can affect performance over time if left unchecked; allure has been known to cause problems like inaccurate readings due to fluctuations caused by nearby magnets or electric currents running through nearby wires (e.g., those found inside computers).

Movement Holders

Movement holders are delicate tools that hold watch movements in place for repair. Many different types, sizes, and materials are used to make movement holders. The most common are plastic and metal, but there are also wooden and ceramic. Movement holders come in various shapes, too; some have arms that can be adjusted to fit the size of your watch movement, while others have spring-loaded jaws that clamp onto the edge of the action itself (or even its case).

When using a movement holder, make sure not to apply too much pressure when tightening or loosening screws on your watch’s face- this will cause damage over time! Instead, use gentle pressure when turning them clockwise until they become snugly secured again before moving on to another screw or nut you need access inside your timepiece’s bodywork.

Case Cushion

A case cushion is a tool used to protect the back of your watch while it is being worked on. It can also protect your hands from getting scratched while doing repairs, depending on how comfortable you are with handling parts and tools.

When selecting a case cushion, look for one with a smooth surface and no sharp edges or corners so that it won’t damage the case or yourself. There are many different brands available; some have velvet interiors, while others have Velcro closures on them (or both). If possible, try out several different types until you find one that feels comfortable in your hand and works well for what needs doing!


A demagnetizer is used to remove residual magnetism from watch parts. These tools come in different sizes and shapes, but they all have the same primary function: to remove appeal from watch cases, bracelets, and crowns.

A demagnetizer should be used on every part of your watch that has been exposed to magnetic fields (e.g. if you’ve worked on a computer). The only exception would be if you are trying to demagnetize an entire movement; this can be done by placing it inside an anti-magnetic casing for several hours or days at room temperature (without using any external power source).

Ultrasonic Cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners are the most popular option for cleaning watch parts. They use ultrasonic waves to remove dirt and debris from tiny crevices, which makes them perfect for removing grit or grime that would be impossible to reach otherwise. Ultrasonic cleaners send high-frequency sound waves into a tank of water, causing bubbles to form on the surface of objects placed within it. These microscopic bubbles then vibrate at such a rate that they can dislodge dirt particles from their feelings- a process known as cavitation.

The benefits of using an ultrasonic cleaner include:

  • The ability to clean small items quickly (as opposed to hand-cleaning)
  • Reduced risk of damage caused by harsh chemicals


The watch repair tools discussed above are all beneficial for the hobbyist and professional alike. However, if you’re just getting started with watch repair, we recommend starting with a basic set of tools before investing in more advanced ones.

For those looking to get into the hobby of repairing watches but don’t know where to start, our guide provides an overview of what kinds of tools are needed for successful repairs, as well as recommendations for which brands and models are best suited for different needs. We’ve also provided links throughout this article so that readers can purchase these items directly from Amazon (and support us!).

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