I absolutely love tools. Hardware stores are right after tack shops and book stores on my "favorites" list. Hand tools, power tools, woodworking tools - you name it, I love 'em all. And one of the wonderful things about doing saddle fitting and repair is the tools I get to use. Admittedly, they're somewhat old-fashioned; some of them have been pretty much the same for the last two or three hundred years ... but they're cool anyway.
These are flocking irons. They're used to put flock in the panels, and to adjust and move the flock once it's in:
The top iron is a very straight, inflexible tool, whereas the two in the middle can be bent into whatever angle is needed to reach some of the more awkward spots in the panels. The bottom iron is helpful for adjusting the flock in the area of the flocking holes (harder to do with a long iron). They all have teeth on the ends to catch and hold the wool.
This is a hook for removing flock:
Like the middle two irons above, this can be bent to whatever curve is needed. Removing flock is probably my least-favorite job (unless I'm doing a strip-flock and removing all the wool). It can be tough to get just the right amount of flock out, particularly if the wool's compacted, and it's very easy to leave divots.
This is a masher:
It's used to compress the flock or help it "break in". You basically grab it by the handle and use the large, flat end to pound the bejesus out of the panels. (Ok, it's not quite that simple - but to the untrained eye, that's how it looks). Great stress relief!
These are awls:
The one on the top is a diamond-point awl; it's used for making holes or widening existing holes, or for scratching out stitch lines and the like. The bottom awl is a curved or backing awl; it can also be used to widen existing holes, and is very handy for picking up stitches and pulling thread from lines of stitching.
These are some of the wools I use for flocking.:
The top two are long-fibered rovings, which are very easy to lay in the panels and break in quickly. The bottom two are shorter-fibered batting (the one on the left is Black Country's Jacobs wool), which is tougher to lay in, but can be a bit more resilient.
Finally, this is the synthetic flock I use:
This is Passier's synthetic flock, which is (in my opinion) about the best synthetic flock available. It's long-fibered enough to be easy to work with and is very resilient; it doesn't tend to pill and bunch the way some synthetics do.
I do use other tools - groovers, bone folders, stitching spacers, skiving knives, punches, etc. - but those are more for leather repair. These are the "if I was stranded on a desert island and had to do saddle fitting" tools.