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We have a special guest post from the owner of BB Home Maintenance and Remodeling, LLC, Blake Berry. Blake is here with the absolute best tool gift ideas for the holidays, Father’s Day, birthdays – or any time!
If you’ve been looking for the best gifts for tool lovers, you absolutely won’t want to miss this article below from a licensed and bonded Spokane handyman, contractor and remodeler. With over 12 years experience, Blake knows what he’s talking about when it comes to tools! Be sure to bookmark these great ideas for the holiday season, Christmas gifts, and overall great gift ideas in general!
If you’re looking for the best tool gifts for upcoming holidays or birthdays, you want to get expert advice from someone who’s tried them all – on their own dime! That’s where we come in. Here are our 25 tool gift ideas for the novice or DIY enthusiasts in your life.
This list includes the tools I use the most on a consistent basis, not necessarily specialty tools. In most cases, I’ll share tools at varying price points so you can get started with the right gift at the right time. If you’re ready to upgrade, I’ve also got you covered with all kinds of tools to truly get the best tool gifts.
A quick note about tool quality: We highly recommend you purchase tools from reputable sellers, including Lowe’s, Home Depot, legitimate Amazon sellers, and other specialty hardware stores. Purchasing tools from discount shops or resellers, for example, could lead to tools of inferior quality that don’t hold up over the long run. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
The Best Tool Gifts for Dads and DIY Enthusiasts
Let’s start off with the belt itself. It is essential to have a place to store tools nearby while working. Having a tool belt is a great way to save time and eliminate frustration so you do not have to search for every tool during a project. This Carhartt belt makes it easy to access tools while you are hanging pictures or mounting a TV.
Even if you get a simple one pocket tool belt, it’s better than searching twenty minutes looking for that pencil you need, which you forgot you placed on the couch while working. Everything is in one convenient spot for when you need it.
The pro in your life might already have a simple belt, let’s upgrade him to a shoulder strap belt. I personally use and recommend a shoulder strap tool belt as it will not sag over time. This one is a Dewalt, but if your guy has a favorite brand make sure to ask him first as there are so many.
Everyone needs a good sturdy tape measure laying around the house. This Dewalt tape measure is a great place to start as it is a good distance and looks relatively sturdy. I can’t tell you how many times I have dropped a tape measure, so it is important that they be built tough.
Dewalt makes some other great tape measures, but the tape measure I use almost daily is the Stanley Fatmax. This tape measure is extremely durable and the tape extension is wider to provide a more accurate measurement over long distances. Highly recommended.
Let’s keep filling out the tool belt with essential tools. Speed Squares are a unique kind of tool and are definitely essential when you want fast, accurate straight lines and 45 degree cuts in lumber. They also have many other uses and tricks built into them.
The brand for speed squares does not matter, just get a sturdy metal/aluminum speed square so it keeps its form over time. This Milwaukee 7-inch speed square is a great tool and is red which makes it extremely easy to find.
Electric “Pens” as I like to refer to them are a great tool to have to save yourself from a shock. Everyone should have one of these useful tools while replacing an outlet or installing a new vanity light. They beep if electrical current is live and do nothing when no current is found.
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Its compact size makes it great to fit into a tool belt or your pocket and they are incredibly easy to use. Most even come with a flashlight on the back. This one from Klein Tools can be selected on check out to pair with a plug in tester so you can make sure an outlet is off or test it to make sure it is wired correctly. It’s definitely a great present for anyone as a “just in case” tool.
Retractable Pencil Holders
I always hated looking for my pencil while doing projects or having them in my pocket and stabbing me when I bent or leaned over. Then I got a retractable pencil holder and never had the “where’s my pencil” moment again. This one by Pencil Pull comes with a clip so that it does not pop off the tool belt while using.
What makes this one of the best tools? It’s versatility! You can use it for pencils, pens, or even badges for work.
Recently there have been some new utility knives to come to the market. Some have buttons that allow you to pull out the old blade and replace it quickly with a new one in a single motion. These seem great and I bought one.
It worked well until I used it to cut drywall. The knife quickly became gunked up and the fancy function did not work. I immediately went back to my old trusty utility knife, the kind you have to unscrew to change the blade because it just worked better.
Whichever you choose, a utility knife is a must have great little tool you’ll want to have in your tool bag. I use utility knives for cutting up cardboard to fit more boxes into the recycle and cutting open hard plastic packaging. They come in different shapes and sizes and it’s not bad to have multiple utility knives. I’m sure I have about four laying around the house somewhere.
There are so many stud finders at home improvement stores. Which one is the best one? Unfortunately, they all seem to have their downsidess, sometimes finding the best tool gifts for this particular gift is challenging.
When finding studs, I tend to use several methods to make sure it’s actual wood and I’m not trying to drill into a drain pipe or something. When it comes to electronic stud finders, these Franklin sensors are superior. I like the easy to read, wide layout they provide and it can even tell you if electrical power is nearby so you can proceed with caution.
I also tap the walls with my knuckles to make sure there is a stud there. Start next to where you think a stud is and tap, you are looking for a hollow sound. As you tap closer to your potential stud location, that sound will get less hollow and more short. If you want to be extra sure, run a magnet up and down the potential stud location to locate drywall screws. This StudBuddy would be a great value magnet solution to help you locate studs.
Whether you are hanging a small picture or framing a house, everyone needs hand tools like a level to make sure things are straight. Again, there are a ton to choose from, but it’s a great idea to have different sizes and make sure they are made out of aluminum or metal so they do not warp over time. Stay away from the cheaper plastic levels – those are the opposite of the best tool gifts!
The sizes I use most around the house are nine, twenty four, and forty eight inches. I don’t personally have this brand, but this Goldblatt set from Amazon is made from sturdy aluminum and are the same three sizes I use the most for projects around the house. If you have a handy Dad or other handy person in your life, make sure they have a variety of sizes of levels.
Cordless Drill and Impact Drivers
This can be a hot topic for tool lovers. Discussions about which power tool brands are best can get very heated among tool enthusiasts and people tend to fall into brand loyalists. I have several brands and several different battery options and honestly this should be your approach so you can snag deals whenever they pop up at your favorite home improvement store instead of being a brand loyalist.
This guide is not going to get into detail about ranking power tools, however, there seem to be two brands that stand above the rest when it comes to durability, craftsmanship, and power. The top tier power tool brands are Dewalt and Milwaukee, but there are so many other brands that have tools which absolutely can go toe to toe with either of these. One problem with the other brands, however, is consistency. Dewalt and Milwaukee power tools across the board are consistently better in performance, which makes them top tier in my opinion.
I want to note: power tools are extremely expensive and there are scams online. If the deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. These tools (including cordless screwdriver and cordless power drills) are not cheap and usually do not come with a battery, which you will have to buy separately. When it comes to power tools, I usually buy them in person at the local hardware store or big box store.
Other notable mid-level and budget-friendly impact and drill sets would be Ryobi, Ridgid, Bosch, Makita and not necessarily in this order. Lower end drill and impact brands that just don’t usually have enough power for non stop work, but are good for around the house projects and a “my first drill” set would be Craftsman, Kobalt, and Porter Cable. They’re excellent starters for the best tool gifts.
Drill Bits and Sets
Along the lines of getting new drills, you can never have enough drills and bits. These usually always go on sale around the holidays and you can snag some really good deals. Again, almost any brand makes drill bits and sets, so just go with a familiar brand you know.
These Dewalt drill bits will get you started and able to make any hole in lumber, plastic, or metal quick and easy. When it comes to driver bits, I highly recommend getting a magnetic bit holder to help you while driving in screws. The magnetic bit holder is a game changer if you have ever tried to drive in screws and they have fallen to the ground.
Again, you can usually find these from different manufacturers so take a look around at pricing and reviews.
If you know someone that wants to get into woodworking or you work alone on projects, clamps are invaluable. Truly one of the best tool gifts! They make different types and sizes, but if you want to give some clamps to someone just starting out, I would recommend getting them a set of clamps, like these Irwin quick grip bars.
Another style of clamps that work well are C Clamps. These clamps by Monster and Master look promising. Simply squeeze the handle and they grip and lock onto whatever can fit inside the clamp.
If you are cutting lumber or anything long, you definitely will need something to cut it on. Saw horses have been around forever and original ones are made out of wood, but new ones can be conveniently folded to save on space and hauling. These saw horses by ToughBuilt look sturdy and rugged.
Once again, I am recommending going cordless when it comes to a new tool gift like a circular saw. They are just so handy to have and the power output these days can be just as good on some as a corded saw. Take note, I will state the same disclaimer as the drills, I would buy these in person if you are making a large purchase. Beware of holiday scams online and deals that seem too good to be true.
A circular saw is something everyone needs that does light work on their home to make cuts on lumber, trim, plywood, or anything really. I just used one the other day to cut a closet metal rod for a custom fit. I used it with a blade rated for metal, and they also make blades for masonry, which is handy when doing pavers or other backyard projects.
You can go as cheap as $50 dollars for a corded Skil or as expensive as $400 for all the power that a cordless Milwaukee provides. It really depends on how much use or what your gift recipient will use the tool for. Whatever you decide, this is definitely a tool that was a perfect addition to my tool list, and I was glad once I switched over to battery powered.
If you have ever needed to patch some drywall that was bigger than a pin hole, invest in some decent drywall knives and a mud pan – it’s one of the best tool gifts you can be. I found this nice Dewalt set that included a mud pan so you can hold and or mix a tiny bit of mud in. The next time your kiddo accidentally damages the drywall playing inside, this set will pay for itself in the first patch instead of hiring out the work.
Stackable rolling tool boxes are the way to go when it comes to convenient storage. Lots of systems come with a handle and the base box has wheels attached, so you can roll all boxes out together when you need them. There are so many on the market, find one that fits your price range and give it a shot.
If the tool lover in your life is like me, they might have already ran out of workbench storage and other shelving space, so a rolling system might just be the thing they need to store everything. A few ideas and price ranges could be this Dewalt stackable system or this Black and Decker.
On the higher end of the budget, there is also the Milwaukee Packout system. Whichever system you choose, it is extremely handy to have all your large and medium size tools you use a lot at a convenient location ready to go.
If you’re looking for unique gifts for the tool lover in your life, whoever they may be, this list is an excellent start and offers plenty of choices for upgrades. The good news is, during this time of year, there are plenty of legitimate deals at big box stores and local hardware retailers alike. Make sure to bookmark this page for the next time you’re looking for gift ideas for the DIY enthusiast or handyperson in your life!
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out the best gifts from Washington state!