Gift Guide: Useful Tools

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Most DIYers and tool obsessed hobbyists you know probably have the best basics, but I asked family members and did my own inventory to pinpoint the most useful tools you may not own (we all know that person who seems like they have every tool). Here’s what we came up with, from big ticket gifts for those really important people in your life to thoughtful little things to fill out a stocking.

1 – One-Handed Clamps

Steve loves these easy-clamp, easy-release ratchet clamps for any project where he needs something to stay put. He has a ton and grabs them all the time, especially when he’s doing any type of woodworking project. These would be a great add-on for an advanced carpentry or furniture repair book or an accompaniment for a hardware store gift card.

2 – 6 Food Scaffold

This is a splurge but it’s the next big tool on my list, for sure. Sturdier than a ladder and easier to work on for long periods of time, a scaffold is one of those “nice to have” extras that makes so many jobs easier.

3 – Oscillating Multi-Tool Saw

My dad, and my older brother, both of whom have every tool known to man, said this was their most useful tool. If you have a variety of blades you can cut metal, PVC, and wood, you can make large and precision cuts, you can even sand, with one lightweight tool.

4 – Hammerless Nail Set

My brother told me about these when I was applying the wainscoting to our kitchen island and I will never go back to a traditional nail and hammer system of setting finish nails. These little things are so much faster – and it’s a great stocking stuffer!

5 – Countersink Drill Bit

Another magical little trick from my brother was this countersink drill bit. You can use it to drill a pilot hole with a counterbore for your screw to sit flush with your wood, and then you can flip the bit without taking it out of the drill to drive your screw. I was using three different bits for this that I had to switch in and out of the drill before I knew this existed! An easy add-on to another gift or a stocking stuffer.

6 – Clay Sculpting Tools

These might seem like a wildcard on the list – why would you need clay sculpting tools if we aren’t talking about clay? I actually use these all the time while cleaning, sanding, and stripping furniture and woodwork, to get into the little nooks and crannies. They are also great for detail work on paper crafts. A great little extra to have in your toolbox!

7 – Bucket Tool Organizer

Steve SWEARS by these tool organizers that hang on the edge of a 5 gallon bucket to organize his tools by job – he has one for electrical work, one for carpentry, etc, and he keeps all the tools he would need for that type of job together in the little pockets and loops on the organizer. Then, when he has a job to do, he just grabs the right bucket and brings it to the site. There are fancier versions by other brands but this simple concept would make a great gift for someone who’s always on the go with their tools.

8 – Neck Light

My brother-in-law said this was the most unexpectedly useful tool he has discovered recently – so much easier than lugging plug-in lamps around when you’re working on the details of a project.

9 – Laser Level

Another one that’s on my list. I’ve done many projects that would have been much easier with a laser level – the kitchen floor, the living room stencil, our last home’s picture frame molding. It’s just one of those upgrades that lets you level up (pun intended).

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