Stuff We Love
50 Under $50 Gifts for Homeowners of All Stripes
Now you know what to buy for everyone on your list!
Rolling Work Seat
Are you tired of hours crouched down over a flower bed? Take the strain off your knees with this rolling work seat. The desire to escape “gardener’s crouch” is part of the reason for the resurgence in raised bed gardening. But if you don’t have the ability to switch to raised beds, or just like the look of a natural garden, then consider a Harbor Freight rolling work seat. With four sturdy wheels and a tool tray, this seat will let you battle the weeds without the knee and back pain.
Photo: Courtesy of Harbor Freight
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!
Photo: Courtesy of Harbor Freight
Clearing Garden Tools
Wheelbarrow Snow Plow
It’s a Utility Light, Lantern, Flashlight and More …
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. — 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.
Gift Ideas for New Homeowners: The Only Tool Set You Need
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. You can purchase the kit at The Home Depot and other retailers.
Learn some tricks to loosen nuts, bolts and screws that are tricky.
URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight
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.
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon
The American Red Cross Blackout Buddy
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.
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon
Practical Shop Power Strip
For the DIYer Whose Basement is Never Finished
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. Buy it on Amazon now.
Portable Mini Vise
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. Get it today. Next, check out these other amazing workbench upgrades you can DIY.
Piping-Hot Cuppa Joe Anywhere
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. Get it today.
Echo Dot 3rd Generation
“Alexa, I’d like to buy two of your latest Echo Dots and get $10 off.” Right now, Amazon is offering this great deal on its 3rd-generation mini smart home speakers, which perform a range of functions — access your favorite music-streaming service, control lights and thermostats, hear the news, make hands-free calls, plus new features like tracking your fitness —and they come in a cool, textured finish in three colors: Black, Heather Gray and Sandstone.
To buy: $50 each (plus $10 off), amazon.com
OxyLED Motion Sensor Light
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 it being an energy vampire.
Photo: Via Amazon
A Mini Air Jack
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.
Multipurpose Laser Level
A multipurpose laser level is a great gift for DIYers because it is so versatile. It can be used to hang pictures, install shelving, lay floors, hang wallpaper and much more. Here’s how to use a laser level.
Photo: Courtesy of Qooltek
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 $21.57 for Amazon Prime members.
Photo: Courtesy of Jolly Green Products
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.
Photo: Courtesy of GoSports
Faster Ratcheting Tie-Downs
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 Gear Armour Ratcheting Straps at home centers and online in various lengths and load capabilities. Buy ratcheting straps on Amazon now.
Black & Decker Multi-Purpose Inflator
Air mattresses, inflatable beds, tires, balls, swimming pools—we spend a lot of time fiddling with hand pumps and air compressors. Black & Decker has made life easier with its Multi-Purpose Inflator. This football-size tool can be powered three ways: 120-volt AC, 12-volt DC (via cigarette lighter adapter) or 20-volt rechargeable battery (it’s part of the B&D 20V MAX system.) And it’s packed with lot of great features:
- Onboard storage for power cords and air hoses.
- A niche for holding a needle valve, tapered nozzle and Presta valve adapter.
- The ability to deflate air mattresses and other inflatables using the hose attached to the end of the inflator.
- A digital gauge for checking the existing air pressure and setting the target pressure (with automatic shutoff).
It won’t win the “Quietest Tool of the Year” award, but it sure is versatile. You can find it for about $50. Get more info at blackanddecker.com.
Before you set out on your next outdoor adventure, be sure to check out the following 10 cool camping gadgets that will help to keep you safe, add convenience to your everyday tasks and make your whole experience more fun.
Extra Hand, Anyone?
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.
Plus, check out The Coolest Yard Tools You’ve Ever Seen.
Black and Decker Snake Wand
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.
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon
Grow Healthier Plants in Handy Fabric Pots
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
The Original Grill Pad
MagnoGrip Magnetic Wristband
Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon
T50R.E.D Professional Staple Gun and Nailer from Arrow Fastener
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. Click here to buy it now.
DIY Wireless Charger from IKEA
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.
VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier
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 $32.99.
Image courtesy of SBARK
Dart Laser Cat Toy
Image courtesy of PetSafe
Luxury Cat Hammock
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.
We are all guilty of forgetting to brush our furry friends sometimes. With these grooming gloves, it’s as convenient to bush your dog or cat as it is to pet them. And the special material catches the hairs, so you can dispose of them rather than make a mess. The bristles also stimulate blood circulation and distribute your pet’s natural oils for a smoother, healthier coat. It’s safe for dogs, cats and even horses. Click here for some carpet cleaning tips for pet owners!
Cat Tree Scratching Post
Keep your cats from destroying your furniture by giving them a toy that they can scratch to their heart’s content. This activity tree scratching post is wrapped with durable hemp rope and features dangling carrots to bat around, too.
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.
Window-Mounted Cat Bed
Yet another classic cat move is jumping onto windowsills. Your cat will love lounging in this window-mounted cat bed. It’s really easy to assemble and has four very strong suction cups that can hold up to 50 pounds. The soft fabric bed comes in a variety of colors and it’s machine washable.
Make perfectly sized burgers for your next tailgate party with the ultimate burger press. The press can also be used to make stuffed burgers.
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon
Cuisineart Nonstick Reusable Grilling Sheets
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
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.
Sun Joe Electric Pole Chain Saw
This item can be picked up on Amazon for $49.59 and can be a nice addition to the garage. It has telescoping reach, which will take it from 8.7 feet to 15 feet of overhead reach. It’s got some power, too, and will cut through branches up to 7-1/2 inches thick.
Oster Rechargeable Cordless Wine Opener with Chiller
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.
Tile Key Finder
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.
Photo: Via Amazon
Fantom Magnetic Hold-Open Doorstop
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.
Photo: Courtesy of Fantom Stop
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