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Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Tips & Tools

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.

Big Investments

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!)

Stocking Stuffers

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 ;)

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Ted had this to say on 12.05.07:

As a bonafide beginner, I can vouch for the magazine Family Handyman – it’s great! This month’s issue has some great plans for a really nice bookcase. It just may be my next project!

becky had this to say on 12.07.07:

I got Tim the sawzall a couple of Christmas’s ago and the only problem is he never gets to use it because it seems someone is always borrowing it :)

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