Gift ideas for do-it-yourselfers

  • Article by: DWIGHT BARNETT , Scripps Howard News Service
  • Updated: December 21, 2013 - 2:00 PM

Stumped for a gift for the DIYer on your list? A handyman shares these suggestions.

istock photo of a handyman

I’m a tool guy and a handyman, so I have a pretty good insight into what handy guys and girls need. Here are some ideas that can be purchased online or at a local home or hardware store.

A standard nickel cadmium battery drill driver has an average weight of 6 pounds. The lighter (5.4 pounds) Craftsman Bolt-On 20 Volt MAX uses a much smaller, compact and longer-lasting lithium ion battery pack. That six-tenths of a pound difference doesn’t sound like a lot, but after a full day’s work it can make a difference. The Craftsman Bolt-On system can use 10 interchangeable attachments, eliminating the need to purchase a whole new tool each time a job requires one. Attachments range from a circular saw to a jigsaw to an oscillating cutter. The drill/driver starter kit comes with a lithium ion battery and QuickBoost Charger. The charger has a built-in slot for winding the electric cord for easy storage. The Bolt-On driver and battery pack retails for $79.99. Attachments sold separately range from $24.99 to $34.99 and are available at Sears and Kmart stores and online at Amazon.com.

Home repairs often require maintenance for mechanical items such as lawn mowers, bicycles, automobiles, etc. A good starter mechanic’s tool set is the Craftsman 108-piece Mechanic’s Tool Set, which includes 66 stamped sockets both SAE standard and metric in ¼-inch and ⅜-inch drive sizes, two open-end wrenches, two quick-release ratchets, an extension bar, 23 specialty tools and 14 hex keys. For those just learning the do-it-yourself ropes and still building up their tool collection, you can’t go wrong with a quality tool set. Why Craftsman tools? They have a lifetime warranty. Mechanic’s Tool Set 38108 has a suggested retail price of $62.99; however, I found the set at Sears.com for $49.99 and Amazon.com for $88.99.

Stocking stuffer ideas:

Kobalt’s Triple Cut is a utility knife, as well as a cutting/crimping tool and a saw. The tool features a foldable lower jaw that can be stationed back into the handle to allow the unit to function as a utility cutter or saw. There is onboard storage for additional blades plus a tape measure in the lower handle of the 2-inch blade cutter. A scale etched into the jaws allows you to measure the object you are cutting. The large cutter uses 4-inch blades while the small cutter uses 2-inch blades. Suggested retail price is $24.99, but the tool is on sale through Dec. 31 at Lowes.com for $14.98.

If something’s broken, chipped or damaged, you’ll need a quick-setting super glue. After years of mixing two-part epoxy glues or getting my fingers glued together using applicator-applied super glues, I finally found a gel-controlled super glue by Loctite. It is so simple to squeeze the side of the applicator to apply just the right amount of the specially formulated rubber-toughened instant adhesive without messy drips or stringy glues getting on everything but the work piece. Suggested retail price is $7.99, and it is available at home and hardware stores or online by searching “Loctite Super Glue.”

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