With the year winding down and Halloween almost upon us, it’ll soon be time to think about the holiday season in general and Christmas gifts in particular. Anyone who gifts a DIY enthusiast, home repair aficionado, woodworker, or a honeydo list completer, will have zero problems coming up with something suitable.
The beauty of the holiday tool presents outlined in this article is that they are all functional, not something likely to be re-gifted or ending up at a white elephant party. And they’re not only directed at the male readers out there; more and more women are rolling up their sleeves. So here’s a list of some items that I consider top picks.
- Workbench/project vise. These are very handy, multi-purpose, have a great usability-to-storage-space ratio, and there’s a very good chance your giftee doesn’t have one yet. There are several good ones on the market, but the one I like is the Rockwell Jawhorse Workbench model sold by Rockler. The main investment will set you back about $177, but the accessories, if you want them, are much less expensive.
- Mini-lathe. Always a favorite among woodworkers with shops too small for bigger models. What can you use it for? Turning wood, obviously, but you can make pens, jewelry, bowls, spindles for table or chair legs; the list goes on. The price may be a little high, but a quality one will outlast the woodworker. A low end Delta lathe can be had for about $500, and the cash outlay can go as high as a $4800 for a Powermatic. Also, used ones are always available.
- A Sawzall. This concept was pioneered by the Milwaukee tool company who coined the phrase. Like the name Coke is used freely when talking about any soft drink, Sawzall is the general term for the “reciprocating saws” made by other manufacturers. It’s made to rough cut through almost anything. One of my favorite uses is to trim tree limbs. You’re looking in the range of $60 to $100, depending on manufacturer. The giftee already has one? There are many more saw choices.
- Air compressor. Although usually associated with being the power behind a myriad of pneumatic tools like spray paint rigs, framing and finish nailers, and air wrenches, it’s useful for so much more, like airing up tires and speed-sweeping the shop floor. Prices are all over the map depending on what you’ll be using it for, so I’ll leave you to do your research.
There you have the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more. For a few more ideas, have a look at three uncommon tools.