Handy people usually aren’t surrounded by handy loved ones who know what tools, gadgets and gizmos make good Christmas gifts. You can live with a handy person for years and still not be able to pick a good screwdriver with confidence if you’re not a screwdriver person yourself.
This is where a little gift-giving advice can make you look a lot smarter than you are. Check out these four gift-worthy items that I’ve tested and approved. All are easy to buy and easier to like.
Craftsman 20V CMCD700C1 cordless drill driver kit
Not all $100 drill kits are worth buying, but this one is. If I could only have one power tool, it would be a good cordless drill, and this Craftsman delivers great performance for non-professional users at an economical price.
Like most drills these days, this one has different clutch settings that allow consistent depth for driving screws, and a full lock-up setting for drilling holes. An LED headlight comes on and stays on for a while after you press the trigger. This is an entry level tool, so it comes with just one small battery, but you can buy more for
$129 per pair. There is a three-year warranty on the tool, two years on batteries. Comes with a charger.
DeWALT TSTAK bluetooth radio and charger:
Sound systems for workshops have been around a long time, but this one has the best acoustics I’ve ever heard. It delivers exceptionally clear sound and wide ranging response. Besides connecting to your phone as a source of music, this thing also has radio capabilities and functions as a charger for DeWALT batteries — 12, 20 or 60 volt. Plug the unit into the wall for battery charging, or unplug it and have it play music off the power tool battery. If you have to swap batteries in mid song, the music picks up where you left off when you put in a fresh battery and hit the play button.
You can control song choice from the unit or your phone. The TSTAK gets it’s name from the system of stacking DeWALT storage cases that this radio and charger clips to. The only small complaint I have is that the battery door doesn’t latch shut quite as easily as it could. Still a great gift. $250.
Bosch Colt 1-horsepower variable-speed palm router:
I’ve been using this router for a couple of years and it continues to impress me. It’s small, surprisingly powerful and comes at a great price. Routers like this are used to shape the edges of pieces of wood, and they do this by spinning router bits that do the cutting. There are many routers on the market but this one delivers exceptional value in a small package. Bosch is a leading European power tool brand, and this particular model is perfect for one-handed use. If your loved one is into woodworking, ask if they have a palm router. If not, you’ll score big points for the $130 price on this tool.
Titebond III wood glue:
This great stocking stuffer is the best glue I’ve ever used for porous materials. It looks and acts just like ordinary wood glue when it comes out of the bottle, but it’s completely waterproof when it dries. A few other glues work this way, but none as well as Titebond III. Widely available at hardware stores and online, for indoor and outdoor applications. Keeps for a long time in the bottle, too.
Steve Maxwell always looks forward to gifts. Become a handier person with Steve’s vast library of how-to articles and videos at BaileyLineRoad.com.
Steve Maxwell is a syndicated home improvement and woodworking columnist who has shared his DIY tips, how-to videos and product reviews since 1988.