The Gifts Every Shop Rat Will Love
Find a gift for the woodworker in your life from this lengthy list, from tools to aprons to storage.
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Struggling to find a gift for a loved one often covered with sawdust? Here are 20 great woodworking gifts sure to please any shop rat.
Six-Gallon Stainless Steel Tank Wet/Dry Vacuum
Every shop needs a vacuum, but there’s no reason your favorite shop rat should have to put up with a mediocre, run-of-the-mill machine.
This wet/dry vac from Hart comes with a five-horsepower motor, sturdy casters, accessory storage, a six-foot hose and six-gallon container, all housed in an attractive stainless steel body. We love the dust-sealed design that effectively eliminates the frustration of cleaning sawdust out of the power switch.
Six-Piece Wood Chisel Set
The six-inch blades include a roughing gouge, two spindle gouges, an oval skew, a round-nose scraper and a parting tool.
A New Sawhorse for their Stable
Most DIYers and woodworkers own a sawhorse or two, but some are likely on their last legs. Replace that faltering support with a different take on this perennial favorite: the Wen Steel Saw Horse. This combination sawhorse and high-quality clamp can bring 2,200 lbs. of pressure in its whopping 40-inch clamp mouth!
If your shop rat doesn’t need a sawhorse with a clamp, try getting them the latest generation of sawhorses. The ToughBuilt C700 Sawhorse has an array of clever features that make any project easier.
Its support arms adjust to hold 2x4s or 4x4s, while the telescoping legs stand tall on any terrain. It also has material support pegs that fold out of the legs to allow for easier, safer cuts when working with plywood or other 4×8 material.
Powder-coated steel and zinc-plated surfaces mean it can withstand harsh conditions without flinching. The staggering 1,300 lb. holding capacity is more than enough to support even the heaviest of projects.
With a 3/4-in. solid wood top and welded steel construction, this heavy-duty option holds 1,500 lb. of tools and projects-in-progress. The five-inch easy-lock casters make moving it around a snap, and the integrated power strip (including a USB charger!) keeps the power flowing.
Bluetooth Hearing Protection
We all know hearing protection is important, but any DIYer who loves to listen to music or podcasts can attest it’s a hassle to swap back and forth between protection and earbuds. Now there’s no reason to compromise! The ISOtunes Link earmuffs provide OSHA-compliant hearing protection while maintaining a Bluetooth connection to any compatible audio source.
The 14-hour lithium battery (swappable with three AAA batteries) lets the music keep playing while the vented headband and memory foam ear cushions keep things comfortable. Best of all, the hearing protection means your DIYer can enjoy that music long into the future.
Propane Shop Heater
Able to run on propane or natural gas, this vent-free heater is safe to use indoors. It can warm 1,000 sq. ft. and be bundled with an optional free-standing floor mount or blower. The one downside: It’s not portable. But in the right shop, this could be a seasonal game changer.
With a collection of corded power tools, lights, radios and more, the average DIYer is always hunting for more outlets. Help bring them the power they need with the Stanley FatMax Power Claw. It’s a standard power strip built into the body of a clamp, letting your shop rat set up an impromptu power station wherever it’s needed.
With three grounded outlets and a 15-amp breaker, it works great on a ladder, exposed stud, car hood or workbench.
One thing every shop needs is more room to work! Give the gift of space with the Sparrow Peak folding bench. Easily installed on almost any wall, it’s an instant 48-in. x 20-in. work surface that folds flat when not in use. The controls are simple, and a fingertip release located on its powder-coated steel brackets makes closing it a snap.
The attractive butcher block wood surface is more than an inch thick. The brackets support 500 lb., meaning it can stand up to heavy projects. Mounting easily at any height, it’s perfect as a primary work area or an expansion surface.
GRR-Ripper Table Saw Pushblock
We love gifts that blend usefulness and safety, and the reason’s simple: a safety device that makes the DIY life easier is more likely to be used. And that’s what makes the Microjig’s GRR-Ripper pushblock a great tool for the woodworker in your life.
The GRR-Ripper is a safety tool that makes precise control easier when working with a table saw, router or jointer. It’s particularly popular with table saw users, since the clever design allows the user to control the work piece and cut-off. That reduces the risk of kick-back or blade burn.
Modern shop rats love learning new tricks online, browsing sites such as YouTube and FamilyHandyman.com. But it can be hard to watch reference videos while working in the shop.
The Lenovo M7 is a no-frills tablet that can more than handle browsing videos while carrying a shop-friendly sticker price. Its seven-inch screen provides more clarity than a phone. And the price means if the tablet is damaged by dust or grease, it’s not irreplaceable.
It’s amazing what a difference a quality stool, like this one from WEN, can make in a shop. Projects can drag on for hours, and having a comfortable seat that rotates and rolls can make the process much more enjoyable. The segmented tray on the wheel base is a particularly nice detail, great for keeping parts and tools close at hand.
Custom Branding Iron
Whether your shop rat works with wood, leather, or metal, they spend countless hours putting their unique imprint on every project. Now you can help them stamp a literal brand onto their finished work, with a custom branding iron from Branding Irons Unlimited.
Upload your own artwork or use a pre-made design. You’ll give a gift that might appear on countless items, from wood furniture or a leather journal to a perfectly seared steak.
Digital Angle Gauge
Nothing is more frustrating than assembling a work piece and realizing a cut is just off-angle enough to ruin the fit. Help your favorite woodworker get their cuts right the first time with the GemRed Digital Angle Gauge.
It’s fast and simple. First, set the gauge on the cutting platform to get a baseline. Then stick the magnetic gauge to the blade and adjust to find a true 90-degree, 45-degree or any other angle.
Pocket Hole Jig
Pocket holes are a popular way to join inside corners, allowing for semi-hidden connections and recessed screw heads. They’re quick and easy to make as long as you’ve got a good pocket hole jig.
The Kreg brand is almost synonymous with pocket hole kits, and the K4 Pocket Hole System is a great way to help a shop rat explore this type of joinery.
Almost every DIYer needs a ladder. But extension and step ladders are expensive and take up significant storage space. A telescoping ladder from Xtend & Climb solves both issues at once.
Like a toy robot that can change shape to meet your needs, this can be a 14-foot extension ladder, a seven-foot step ladder or a shorter version of either. Its two-and-a-half-foot storage height means it won’t take up much space in the shop!
A quality pull saw is a thing of beauty. Not only does is allow precision control while requiring less effort, the thin blade allows for amazingly flush cuts. These blades originated in traditional Japanese woodworking, and have become increasingly popular in the U.S. over the last decade.
While there are plenty of perfectly acceptable mainstream pull saws on the market, treat your shop rat to a classically-designed pull saw made in Japan to bring some authentic elegance to their workshop.
Many DIYers have workshops that are under- or over-lit. Solve both issues affordably with task lighting, like this folding light from Husky.
Under-lit workshops are dim and dreary, leaving DIYers squinting at measuring tapes and swearing under their breath. Over-lit shops can be just as bad, with bright lights bouncing off every surface and making important details indistinct. A simple task light positioned so that the light illuminates without reflecting into the user’s eyes can be a game-changer.
No matter what type of projects a DIYer likes to tackle, there are also a few consumable goods that they’ll go through regularly. It might be masks, gloves, or shop vacuum filters. Whatever it is, they can never have enough on hand. If you’re not sure what products they use often, just take a peek in their trash. Or for a safe bet, stock up on shop towels and hand cleaner.
Personalized Work Apron
If you want to show your DIYer how much you appreciate them, consider picking up a personalized shop apron. With options for everything from custom logos to strategic beverage holders, a high-quality leather or waxed canvas apron provides protection with a ton of personality.
And as great as it looks, it will also protect them (and their clothes!) from a messy shop environment.
Note: Alcoholic beverages should never be consumed while operating sharp hand tools or power tools.