26 Gift Ideas Every Shop Rat Will Love
Need to find a gift for a guy or gal who loves tinkering in their home workshop? You can’t go wrong with any of these seriously cool tools and gear.
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.
This Small Garage Heater Packs a Punch
Check out these great other ideas for upgrading your garage workshop.
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.
Coveralls for Dirty Jobs
Maybe you have your eyes on even dirtier projects, and would rather not risk any of your nicer outdoor clothing. And in that case, think about a full-body coverall. Also you can slip on so you don’t have to worry as much about mud, oil, paint and other messes. Buy these coveralls on Amazon now.
Figure out where to store those clothing items with these 11 clothes storage ideas that will transform your closet.
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.
Save Your Back and Knees With a Rolling Seat
Find creeper seats at any auto parts store, home center or online tool site. The model shown here is the Sunex 8507 Creeper Seat. A unit with a pneumatic lift and a contoured seat (for you Ferrari owners) could set you back a little more. Get it now.
Swiss Army Knife of Screwdrivers
For decades, we carried 4-in-1 screwdrivers on our tool belt and used them all around the house for DIY projects. They’re great tools. But lately, we’ve been using more star-drive and squaredrive screws, and our old 4-in-1 can’t drive them. So we’ve been trying a couple different screwdrivers that handle multiple bits.
One of our favorites is the Ideal 11-in-1 Screwdriver/Nutdriver. It has the usual small and large slotted and Phillips bits, plus two sizes of square drives, two sizes of Torx tips and two sizes of outdrive. The 11th bit is pretty handy, too: a wrench for wire connectors, to save dad some thumb-ache. The screwdriver is designed for electricians, but we say it’s a darn handy screwdriver for everyday use too. Get this do-it-all screwdriver now. Plus: Check out our other favorite pocket tools you need ASAP.
Kreg Mobile Project Center
Milwaukee recently introduced the M18 Jobsite Radio/Charger, which allows you to play tunes on the radio from the smartphone in your pocket. No more missed phone calls when you can’t hear your phone ring because it’s plugged into the radio in the other room.
Like other job site radios, the M18 charges your tool batteries when it’s plugged in and runs off them when it’s not. It’s ruggedly built and has USB charging ports to charge your devices. But unlike other radios, the M18 allows you to stream your music from up to 100 ft. away. Order this today. Also check out this indestructible coffee maker.
Space-Saving Miter Saw
Stepladder That Gives You 360-degree Movement
The new Werner Podium Stepladder will make Dad slap his forehead and say, “Why didn’t somebody think of this 40 years ago?” It’s a stepladder with a standing platform. So instead of teetering on rungs and leaning painfully on your shins, you stand on a square platform with plenty of room to turn around a full 360 degrees. If you need to lean out, there’s a curved railing to steady yourself. And the railing is designed to hold tools. Get this ladder today.
A Better Work Light
The Husky Portable LED Work Light is cool to the touch, can take abuse, won’t heat up a tight work space and costs about $40. I’ve been using it for various small projects, and I love it. Especially the fact that I can knock it around a bit. And since it’s got an LED, its power use is minimal.
All that is great. But one thing you need to know: It can’t match the brightness of your typical halogen work light. A traditional halogen work light might produce 8,000 lumens, 10 times the output of this light. But for small jobs or tight spaces, it’s just the ticket. — Ken Collier. Buy a work light on Amazon now.
His Favorite Work Shirt
The work shirt we always come back to is the lightweight Carhartt chambray shirt. Here’s why: It’s all cotton, in a medium weight that is comfortable indoors and out. It’s got two button-down chest pockets and long tails that stay tucked in. It comes out of the dryer looking good. All basic stuff. But Carhartt also didn’t muck it up: no funny-looking buttons, no obtrusive branding, no double-wide or beanpole cut. You could wear this shirt to change your oil or go to church (well, at least while it’s fairly new). Buy it now on Amazon. Do you know why you should never sit on your bed with your outside clothes on?
Ryobi Cordless Glue Gun
Unlike most glue guns, which lie on their sides, this model stands up straight, keeping the business end out of harm’s way. The rubberized tip doesn’t get hot (only warm), so you can use two hands for precision and you don’t have to worry about inadvertently burning a project. And as the name says, it’s cordless! It runs off the ubiquitous Ryobi 18-volt lithium battery and has a run-time of up to three and a half hours.
If you thought hot glue was only for crafts, you’ll be surprised just how useful hot glue is in the workshop and around the house. When you only need a temporary hold, hot glue works wonders. Buy this universal tool now.
Looking for more glue tips? Check out the definitive list on how to glue wood.
Lit-up Baseball Cap
This might be the most useful gift he’ll ever receive. It’s a baseball cap with three LED lights in the brim. It’s comfortable, puts out plenty of light, and the light is always aimed at what you’re looking at. Buy this cap on Amazon.
Drill in Just About Everything Bits
We tried it, and it’s true. The Multi-Material drill bits from Irwin actually do drill almost everything. For us that included marble, steel, aluminum, wood, concrete and brick. We used an ordinary cordless drill, but the bits are rated for rotary or hammer drills, which would really speed up drilling masonry or stone. Buy this set now. Plus: Learn everything you need to know about boring holes here.
Protect Your Projects
Wixey Digital Angle Gauge
Once it’s calibrated, you can adjust the blade to the desired angle, all the while getting an accurate digital readout. When you get the desired angle, whether it’s 22-1/2 or 45 degrees, you know it’s right on, and you can proceed with your project instead of spinning your wheels micro-adjusting. Get this angle gauge right now.
Mechanix Wear M – Pact Gloves
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, includes a dual layer for the index finger and thumb and can be used on a touchscreen phone. Pick up a pair on Amazon.
Discover other work gloves that work well in various scenarios.
Diagonal Cutters Redux
Diagonal cutters have been around for decades. Now Irwin Tools has introduced a new version called the PowerSlot (aka the VISE-GRIP Max-Leverage Pliers with PowerSlot, Diagonal Cutting, 8-inch #1902413).
Irwin engineered the mechanics so that the cutters exert twice the cutting power of conventional diagonal cutters with the same amount of hand squeeze. Couple that with super-duper hardened steel to handle all that cutting power and you have a set of diagonals worth the price. (And yes, we really did cut that chain link with them. You’d never be able to do that with everyday cutters.) Buy it now.
This little sight level is great for getting a close approximation of elevation or aligning XYZ over a long distance (it’s way better than a clip-on line level). For example, you can use it to check the pitch of drain tile, estimate the slope of a backyard or fence, check the slope of driveway forms and determine the height for the post of an elevated deck. You just look through the lens the way you do with a telescope and level the tool with the visible bubble inside. The CST/Berger 17-5502-1 Sight Mark level shown has a 2-1/2-power magnification to help with distant objects. Buy it on Amazon now.
Protect Your Trusty Trailer
Cordzilla ropes come in different lengths and have rubber pads to protect corners on delicate items. I’ve been using mine for about six years for everything from lightweight furniture to heavy buckets full of tools. Find them for $10 to $20 online. — Jason White. Buy it on Amazon now.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Family Handyman editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Contact us, here.