50 Awesome Gifts for DIYers Under $50
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This little 90-piece kit from Ryobi will let you get a lot of projects done whether it be wood, metal, plastic or masonry in nature. Priced as low as $29.97 on Amazon, it’s a reasonably priced addition to your toolbox.
For gardeners, autumn is truly the best of times and the worst of times. It’s the point in the year when you can enjoy the fruits of your hard work, start planning for next year, and enjoy the changing leaves. Unfortunately, before long all those pretty leaves start falling from the trees, and suddenly you’ve got a full-time job keeping up with leaf collection. When it comes to useful tools for dealing with leaves, this Portland blower/mulcher is almost indispensable. Use it as a blower to clear away leaves or grass clippings, then—with the flip of a switch—vacuum up hard-to-reach lawn waste, shred it and drop the mulch into a bag for easy disposal. It almost makes leaf collection fun!
These may look like Klingon weapons from an episode of Star Trek, but they’re actually versatile garden tools designed for trimming shoots and stems, cutting vines, severing roots and sawing branches. If you’ve got an overgrown garden—or one filled with coarse ornamental grasses needing to be cut back—try a 13- or 18-in. billhook saw, which has a rust-resistant, curved blade for quick pull cuts and a coarse saw edge for removing tough branches and grasses. Use these tips to keep your garden tools sharp.
A powered screwdriver can alleviate any troubles you run into with using a regular screwdriver. This Black+Decker Roto-BIT Storage Screwdriver gets the job done and makes life easier. The screwdriver includes eight bits, a magnet to hold additional screws and an LED light to help you see your work.
Find out what to look for with cordless tools.
Here’s another product we received that initially elicited a shoulder shrug, this time from our senior editor, Travis Larson. His reaction changed once he started playing with it: ‘Hey, it can work as a flashlight or a lantern. Cool, it’s rechargeable and the cord stays attached so it doesn’t get lost. Wow, you can charge your phone with this thing. Neat, it has a magnet on the bottom as well as a hook.’ Needless to say, he was impressed.
You can buy the Cat brand CT6515 Rechargeable Utility Light/Lantern for about $25 at some home centers, hardware stores and online retailers. You can also find them at truck stops (truckers love them). Turn on that light bulb thought bubble of yours with other work light solutions.
Sure, a funnel works great at keeping fluids from spilling all over, but when you’re done pouring and pull it out of the hole, the fluid leftover in the funnel drips all over the place. I use this Hopkins FloTool On-Off Refill Spout (No. 10101) to keep that from happening. I have one on my windshield washer fluid and antifreeze containers and one on my gallon jug of chain saw bar oil. There’s no mess and no cap to fumble around with—just twist and pour. — Editor Mark Petersen
Hopkins FloTool also makes a Spill Saver Oil Spout (No. 10107) that fits quarts of oil. I’m not sure I know where my funnels are anymore.
You probably don’t have a complete set of sockets and wrenches in your tool bag or the emergency vehicle kit under your truck seat. And you don’t have to if it contains the new Crescent Pass-Thru Adjustable Wrench Set. This compact tool kit features 10 spline-style sockets that work with hex, square and external Torx fasteners, from 10mm to 19mm and 3/8 to 23/32 in.
The pass-through sockets fit over protruding bolt threads and nuts mounted on studs, eliminating the need to carry deep sockets. For more grabbing power, simply replace the smooth jaw with the serrated side, and you’ve got yourself a pipe wrench, perfect for stripped bolt heads and pipes up to 1 in.
Learn some tricks to loosen nuts, bolts and screws that are tricky.
These solar lights are a great addition to any home and can be helpful for new homeowner eager to show off their backyard patio into the evening. These lights are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and can light up to six to nine hours once fully charged. Keep your solar lights standing with this trick.
In the event of a blackout, the American Red Cross has a device that will ease your worries. The Blackout Buddy is an emergency LED flashlight, blackout alert and nightlight all rolled into one. It can be used as a flashlight at any time and its battery will run for up to four hours. It lights up automatically in the event of a power outage. You can pick up two for around $20 at Amazon.
Check out tips to survive a blackout as well.
The Stanley 32050 FatMax Power Claw is a clever power strip built into a clamp. It can grab on to a stud, rafter, sawhorse or ladder. Hang it wherever you need power. This strip works great at keeping extension cord connections off the ground. That’s convenient, but it makes even more sense if you’re working outside on a wet surface. The Power Claw has three grounded outlets and a 15-amp breaker. Next, check out these 19 surprisingly easy woodworking projects for beginners.
Check out this great gift for basement remodelers (and anyone else who drives lots of concrete screws): the Irwin 1881131 Impact Performance Series Concrete Screw Drill-Drive Installation Set. This nine-piece set contains everything dad needs to drive the most common concrete screw sizes: four drill bits, a drive sleeve, two hex drive bits and two Phillips drive bits. The drive sleeve makes it simple to shift from drilling to driving in seconds.
The Irwin 3-in. Clamp-On Vise attaches to any makeshift workbench and is small and light in weight—but not lightweight when it comes to clamping. It’s a great tool for holding spade bits for sharpening, steel conduit or chain for cutting, and strike plates for filing. It also grips hard-to-hold bolts for cutting, steel angle for bending…the list goes on. The jaw measures about 3 in. and it opens to about 3 in.
Next, check out these other amazing workbench upgrades you can DIY.
Your handyman will love this electric coffee cup warmer! Use it to keep coffee warm while working in the shop (or just at a desk during the week). It’s perfect for tea and hot chocolate too. Here’s how to clean your coffee maker so that coffee tastes great.
If you don’t feel like buying a ton of sockets, get this universal socket that can adjust to any size or shape. It will grip from 7 to 19 mm. The socket will grab hex nuts, screw eyes, hooks, a tension screw and a bolt head. It’ll even work with a power drill with an adapter, which isn’t included.
In need of more sockets? Discover the best socket set out there to help with automative and small engine work.
Get everything you need out of a screwdriver with this Husky 30-piece ratcheting screwdriver. It features five slotted bits, four Philips bits, three TORX bits, seven tamper resistant TORX bits, three hex bits and four square bits. It comes with a lifetime warranty and is priced at $16.97 at Home Depot.
The nice thing about the OxyLED motion sensor light is that it only turns on when you need it and will only stay on for as long as you need it. It can be mounted just about anywhere and give light where you need it. It’s battery operated, which means it’s one less thing to have to worry about being an energy vampire.
Pry bars are great for lifting windows, appliances or cabinets to level them. But they’re also great at leaving scratches—and sometimes you need three hands to lift, align, level and shim all at the same time. The AirShim Inflatable Pry Bar & Leveling Tool solves all that. This 6 x 6-in. bladder inflates with the squeeze of a bulb, up to about 2-1/2 in. thick. A push of a button deflates it. The manufacturer says each one can support 300 lbs. There’s also a Pro XL model that can handle 500 lbs. They’re handy for lifting appliances to adjust the leveling feet or lifting one end of a cabinet to slide permanent shims into place. You can also use them in pairs to level windows and doors during installation.
Check out these Premium Tool Gift Ideas that any DIYer will Love.
If you want to put a little pop of color into your camping experience these mint green roasting sticks are a fun choice among camping gadgets. The sticks are made of stainless steel so they’re sturdy and they come with a lifetime warranty. The sticks are also highly rated with 86 percent of buyers rating them at five stars. A set of five sticks is $23.79 for Amazon Prime members.
During camping trips you have to find creative ways to stay entertained. This portable cornhole game is the perfect way to do so. It comes with two boards and eight bean bags.
When you’re trailering heavy equipment such as a Bobcat skid steer, you need to secure it with long, heavy-duty straps. Often you you have to pull 20 ft. worth of strap out of the ratchet, thread it through the tie-down loop and then pull most of the strap back through the ratchet. It’s irritating.
Instead of pulling the entire length of strap in and out of the ratchet, the side of the ratchet housing swings away so you can load the strap into the ratchet at any point along the length of the strap. Pick up these ratcheting straps at home centers and online in various lengths and load capabilities.
Klein has an easy-to-use low-cost voltage tester that comes with a flashlight. This voltage tester powers itself off and is dustproof as well as waterproof. Klein’s voltage tester also beeps to let you know there’s higher voltage.
Learn how to use a voltage tester properly.
Ever held a flashlight in your teeth to make a plumbing or auto repair? Well, these flashlight holders can save your teeth and your neck. Both holders have a 9-in. flexible neck that bends 90 degrees and rotates 360 degrees. The tapered spring clip firmly grips flashlights ranging from 3/4 in. to 2 in. in diameter. The spring clamp version can be secured to any object up to 2 in. thick. The magnetic version has a powerful disc magnet that can cling to appliances, vehicles and many flat metal surfaces. You can even stick this version to a drill press table so a flashlight can illuminate your work. (Learn these 14 tips to get the most out of your drill press.)
Plus, check out The Coolest Yard Tools You’ve Ever Seen.
A good pair of gloves can be pretty important for working on the car and Mechanix Wear has some of the best. These M-Pact gloves are machine washable and includes a dual layer for the index finger and thumb. Pick up a pair for $21.65 on Amazon.
Discover other work gloves that work well in various scenarios.
Though the Black and Decker Snake Wand may look a little gimmicky, it’s actually a really useful product. The first thing you notice is the flexible head. Made up of interlocking plastic, we thought this might be a weak point. But boy were we wrong. Even under full water pressure, the head maintains whatever shape you put it in with no leaking.
This hose attachment features nine different spray settings and enough handle length to comfortable water hanging plants and other hard to reach vegetation. And if you’re a truck or SUV driver, the extra reach will help you spray down the top of your vehicle easily, as well as underneath without too much bending. We also found this attachment useful for filling buckets quickly – you’re far enough away to avoid any splash back.
Lastly, knowing how cool metal handles can get with water running through them, there’s a foam pad that keeps your hands from getting too cold.
Looking for a hose that avoids kinking and unnecessary wear? Check out our tips for hose shopping here. And don’t let a leaky hose spigot rack up a huge water bill. Learn the proper way to install an outdoor faucet here.
Check out our Stuff We Love video on this product.
These Smart Pot fabric containers have a lot going for them: Plants don’t get root-bound, and the roots prune themselves when they get near the air outside the pot (called “air pruning”—who knew?). Fabric pots allow soil to drain so it never becomes oversaturated.
You can grow anything you want in fabric pots—flowers, herbs and veggies—and the permeable weave makes them a perfect compost container. They won’t crack in the winter, they last for years and they’re made in the U.S.A. I bought a 5-gallon five-pack for $28 online. Buy pots with handles if you plan to move them around. Learn more at smartpots.com.
—Marcia Roepke, Senior Designer
Nothing says summer like cooking out on your deck, enjoying the sunny days. The last thing you want, though, is for your deck to be damaged and scarred by spills or sparks from your grill. The Original Grill Pad works to protect your deck surface, preserving the quality of your deck by preventing stains and other damage. Made from lightweight fiber cement, the Grill Pad is durable, flexible and easily cleaned with soap and water and comes in four colors to fully complement the look of your deck. The Original Grill Pad is naturally heat and weather resistant and is available in three shapes and sizes to best fit your grill. Protect your deck this summer with the Original Grill Pad, sold in select stores and online retailers starting at $47.27.
Aside from just looking cool, this magnetic wristband is especially handy. No more loading up your mouth with screws as you complete something. It comes cheaply priced at $11.50 on Amazon and if you don’t want to wear it, you can strap it on to something.
If your DIYer is working outside then you’re going to want to outfit them with these traction cleats from Yaktrax. The cleats are made with a zinc coating to prevent rust and are tested safe to temperatures as low as minus-41 degrees F. Yaktrax will help prevent falls in snowy and icy conditions. They come with a price tag of $14.92 on Amazon.
Is your sweetheart a furniture makeover master? If so, they would love the T50R.E.D Professional Staple Gun and Nailer from Arrow Fastener. This handheld tool drives both staples and nails into hard and soft surfaces with ease. It’s especially handy for upholstery projects.
A hole saw is all you need to integrate the Jyssen wireless charger from IKEA into any work surface or piece of furniture that you want! Of course, your smartphone or other device must be compatible with wireless charging. The kit also includes a USB port, so you can charge two devices at the same time. Check out 5 brilliant IKEA hacks you’ll love.
Having a great throw blanket around the house is great and if you’ve got a big household it can seem like you’re always short one blanket. This BEDSURE blanket is soft on one side and fluffy on the other.
Check out this blanket ladder idea that will look good anywhere.
A humidifier is one of those things that can get lost in the shuffle of items new homeowners should pickup or just an item people hadn’t considered adding to their home. It can make a big difference during the winter when dry air abounds. This humidifier is available at Amazon for $39.99.
Don’t have a humidifier? This trick will humidify your room.
This toy was designed to keep dogs active and engaged, while giving them a little encouragement in the form of treats. The toy, which you fill with treats of various sizes before playtime, is powered on an analog timer. For up to 45 minutes the inner chamber rotates and the treats fall out as the holes align.
Suck out stripped out screws with a pair of Vampliers. These suckers have unique vertical and horizontal serrations on the inside jaws, which make it easier to grab a corroded or rusted out screw. These pliers are strong, too, made from carbon steel. Get yourself a pair for $29.54 on Amazon. Garlic sold separately.
Find out how to remove a lightbulb with pliers.
Hammocks for humans are certainly trendy right now, so why shouldn’t your kitty be able to enjoy one, too? Keep your cat feeling relaxed and very spoiled with this unique and easy-to-assemble luxury cat hammock. It features a wood base with anchors to reduce swaying, making it the perfect peaceful spot for your pet. Better yet, this product comes with a complementary toy.
Cleaning computer keyboards and other technology is sometimes difficult because of all the nooks and crannies. Cyber Clean can reach those tricky spots and pull dirt out. It’s great on cellphones, which accumulate dust and lint all the time. This putty-like cleaning agent can be used again and again by folding it over after each use. Plus, a color indicator lets you know if it’s time to get some new Cyber Clean.
Learn some other cleaning secrets to make the job easier.
The CLC Custom Leathercraft 5023 Deluxe Cordless Poly Drill Holster is designed to carry most cordless drills and give you some room to carry additional items. The holster comes with three medium pouches good for flashlights and six small loops for drill bits. It’s double stitched to provide longevity and prevent fraying.
There are sling carriers for babies, so why not something similar for small dogs? Oh wait, it exists! This doggy carrier comes in a variety of different colors and can hold up to 12 pounds, so you can carry your puppy to the park hands-free.
When you’ve tried attacking a problem from several angles but haven’t come across a solution, DeWalt’s got the right angle with its Right Angle Attachment tool. The tool will get into tighter areas to drive screws and drill holes.
A right angle attachment can help with doing round ductwork.
Still need to install some outdoor lighting? Add these magnetic barbecue lights to your grill to help you cook dinner in the dark. The lights work on most grills, except those made from stainless steel. They have a flexible neck so they can be adjusted to give off light right where you need it.
A lot of people like to use their cutting board to dump ingredients into the dish they’re preparing so having a flexible cutting board like this one is super convenient. The real wood look makes it look good in your kitchen, too.
When you think of grilling tools, grate-covering sheets may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but these Cuisinart Nonstick Reusable Grilling Sheets will give you a whole new way of cooking with your grill. Cook eggs, chopped veggies, pancakes and more while preserving the delicious flavor (and sear marks) of the grill. Wash these sheets on the top shelf of your dishwasher and reuse them again and again.
The GasWatch propane tank scale with Bluetooth technology allows you to monitor how much gas is in your tank, so you never run out during your backyard cookout. The device connects with the GasWatch app, keeping you informed of your propane levels through your smartphone.
Or you can always try this old school hack to tell how much propane you have left.
Here’s a quick way to make your home smarter. The Wemo Mini Smart Plug allows you to control your lights and appliances from your phone or even with your voice through Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. There’s no subscription to sign up for and you just need Wi-Fi so you can never come home to a dark house again.
Washing knives in the sink has its perils but this device from BladeBrush can put minds at ease.
No more passing around a bottle of wine to see who can actually open it with this wine opener. Also, you don’t have to worry about someone complaining about warm wine because the chiller will keep it cool. That way you don’t have to get up to go grab another glass of wine.
If you ever find yourself without a corkscrew, try any of these 10 ways to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.
Tile’s the latest to tackle the age-old question of where did I leave my keys? Tile’s device will find them within a 200-foot range. The Tile device attaches to your key ring and other objects. It will play a sound until you find it or you can track the location on your phone, plus the Tile device will add you to a lost-and-found community through its app. Prevent burglars from finding your valuables with these 20 super secret hiding spots.
This magnetic door eliminates trip hazards around the house. The striker plate has a hold open dimple in the middle and a turned down stop lip on one side only. The lip prevents the door from heading over the door sleeve and the dimple holds the door in place. No more worrying about swinging doors or having to jam a doorstop under a door. See how to install doorstops and fix a rattling door.