Using the proper tools can make a huge difference in the quality of your work and that will shine through on your finished product. Perfection can only be achieved with the finest attention to every detail. Although many common tools may get the job done, every instance is a gamble and taking a chance of causing some imperfection.
To get absolutely flawless results absolutely every time you really must use the best tools for that job! Most tools to work on a vz.58 are not expensive, but they require that you care enough to buy them. I will attempt to list the most common tools needed and how and where they are used.
If you have spent countless hours refinishing a brand new rifle so that it is better than the factory produced, you really cannot take chances of messing something up. Having the right tools and a lot of patience... not being in a hurry is the way to go. When time is money and you need to disassemble and reassemble a vz.58 as quickly as possible, that speed will come with practice after several rifles, but to just do it a few times requires that you not be in a hurry if you want guaranteed perfect results.
First and most important of all tools is an actual gunsmithing screwdriver set. They have parallel sided bits that are also sized perfectly to the screw you use them on. There is a perfect fitting screwdriver bit for every screw, but you just need a large enough selection of bits to ensure you have the right one. A vz.58 does not require anything out of the ordinary so a smaller and more affordable gunsmithing screwdriver set will work fine.
The need for a gunsmithing screwdriver is this, standard screwdrivers have tapered, sloping sides and will slip and jump out of the screw slot. An undersized bit will over-torque the corners of the screw slot causing deformation. So in short, if you want to keep your screw heads perfect, you must use the proper size gunsmithing screwdriver. If you do not, it is virtually assured that eventually you will have a few if not several deformed and damaged screw heads.
Next you will need punches. Purchase a set of steel straight sided punches or reverse taper punches. I also recommend a set of brass punches. These are used for removing and installing pins. A brass punch is best to remove the rear sight with a rag covering it to avoid damaging the sight if the punch slips. I do not recommend the use of other styles of punches.
Next in an impact driver and long ratchet extensions with a gunsmithing screwdriver bit and a stout hammer. This is the best way to apply the torque needed to remove the butt-stock bolt if it is in there super tight. I use specially built jigs to hold the rifle tightly in place while I hit the precisely placed driver that extends all the way inside the stock. Any good solid way to hold the rifle will work, but use something like wood so that no part of the rifle gets marred by the force.
Another tool worth the cost is an E-clip installation tool. This is simply a small tool that holds your tiny E-clip and allows you to push it into position on the trigger and sear pin. This tool is cheap and can be found at hobby shops. Another handy tool is a curved dental pick for removing the E-clips.
I also recommend getting a dual headed small dead-blow hammer with replaceable heads. This is my most used hammer for almost all assembly and disassembly, most often using the hard plastic head and occasionally the rubber head.
These are by no means all the tools I use, but these are the primary ones I can think of because they are used so often and have saved me so much frustration. There are more tools that can make the job easier and give the best results, but these six I have just listed are the most important ones. I would say that you can probably do without the rest, but personally I recommend having these six in your kit.
gunsmithing screwdriver set
E-clip installation tool
curved dental pick
small dead-blow hammer with replaceable heads
Hopefully this information can be useful to you in your vz.58 projects. Some photos of a few of these tools can be seen in the gallery section of the Supanik website among the various photos there.
As always, if you have any doubts or would like advice or assistance, always feel free to email me.
Chris / Supanik