Let’s face it, fixer-uppers are a special breed. They require special holiday gifts. Don’t bother buying them a nice wool sweater – it’ll have caulk on it two days later. New watch? That’s nothing but a safety hazard when you’re running a tablesaw. A nice piece of literary fiction? A new video game? A DVD? They probably don’t have time to enjoy them!
So what do you get for the handyman in your life? Tools. And maybe tools. Oh, and did I mention tools? Not just any tools though… cool tools, ones they don’t already have multiples of. As a contractor’s wife and home repair junky, I can offer some suggestions.
I’m frugal. I hate spending money, but I’ve come to understand that good tools are worth the investment when you’ve got projects up the ying-yang and very little free time to work on them. So here are a few big-ticket items we’ve purchased over the years that I would buy again in a heartbeat:
- A Paslode framing nailer (or you could choose the finish nailer – or brad nailer – they’re all beautiful and useful, depending on your project needs!)
- A good sawzall, like this Milwaukee, which makes short work of any demo job
- A versatile mitre saw like this one. We started out with a smaller one and had to upgrade after realizing that old house trim is WIDE – often, too wide for the small saws
- A good multi-use ladder
If those are too pricey, try:
- An extra long level – 60″-72″ – really useful in old wonky houses!
- A mid-range heat gun and a set of scrapers (infinitely useful) – add a dental cleaning kit for the little crevices! (Going big? Check out the Silent Paint Remover!)
Big tools are fun, but there’s plenty of little stuff that’ll make life sweeter. Try:
- A really good hand cream, like this one Hemp Hand Protector from The Body Shop – it’s thick without being greasy, and there isn’t a single of floral fragrance.
- A magazine subscription. I recommend Fine Homebuilding for the perfectionist, This Old House for the dreamer, Make for the electronics lover, and Family Handyman for just about everyone – but especially for beginners.
- Reusable caulk tips (for saving tubes from drying up – handy of you have a caulk addict on your hand!)
- A pair of nice work gloves to keep his hands warm and safe(r)
- A magnetic wrist-band for keeping screws within reach (and out of his mouth!)
- How-to books. Anything from Taunton Press is usually good.
Ok, your turn – add your suggestions by commenting below! I’ve still got some shopping to do so I could use a few good ideas ;)