Top 10 Tool Gift Ideas for 2009

By: Danny Lipford

We’ve combed the aisles from trade shows to home centers to bring you the latest and greatest in innovative tools and gadgets for the DIYer on your shopping list. These 10 tool gift ideas are available at home centers and online, ranging in price from under $5 to over $100. So what are you waiting for, the only problem you might have is deciding which one to choose!

Tools Under $20

Husky Bigg Lugg Tool Holder

You’ll be the fastest draw on your block when you clip this nifty cordless drill tool holder on your belt. The coated steel hook with protective plastic ball swivels out of the way when not in use and is reversible to fit both lefties and righties. It can even be attached to the wall of your shop to double as an easily removable storage hook.

The Husky Bigg Lugg Tool Holder is available at The Home Depot for under $5.

Slice Safety Cutter

If you’re tired of fighting to open plastic containers, then the Slice Safety Cutter is for you. The extra sharp ceramic blade lasts longer than steel and never rusts. The recessed blade slices through paper and plastic like butter but is safe to use. A built-in magnet allows you to keep it on the fridge where it’s always handy, or hang it on your key ring for easy access anywhere.

Visit the slicehome.com to find out where you can buy one for under $6.

Zip Sander

The Zip Sander from Gator Finishing Products combines a high density foam sander with color coded, hook-and-loop sanding sheets that allow you to change from rough to fine sandpaper in seconds. The ergonomically designed handle makes the Zip Sander easy to use, and the diamond shaped pad is perfect for sanding in tight spots. Zip Sanders work great for everything from refinishing furniture and fine woodworking projects to removing paint and smoothing drywall.

Available at The Home Depot for under $10.

Wood Magnet

No more trying to balance a level in one hand while nailing a stud with the other. Simply slip the Wood Magnet onto any piece of 2” thick lumber for instant plumb and level readings in three different directions all at the same time. The high impact composite body has a cushioned rubber grip. Wood Magnet is perfect for framing, leveling concrete, installing square or round posts, and a number of other uses.

Go to the Swanson Tool website at swansontoolco.com for a list of stores that carry the Wood Magnet for under $12.

MagnoGrip Magnetic Wristband

No more stuffing nails in your mouth or searching the floor for dropped screws. The powerful magnet in the MagnoGrip wristband keep fasteners right where you can find them at all times. In addition to magnetic wristbands, MagnoGrip carries a full line of other magnetic work gear including tool belts, nail pouches, belt clips, hammer holsters, and suspenders on their website.

MagnoGrip wristband and nail pouch combo are available online from The Home Depot for under $20.

Tools Under $50

WoodRiver Bench Chisel Set

This quality eight piece bench chisel set with attractive hardwood handles is perfect for the woodworker or do-it-yourselfer on your Christmas list. The high carbon steel blades are from 10″ – 11″ long, with 1/4”, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 1″, 1¼”, and 1½” wide blades. The set comes with a fitted wooden box and can be personalized with laser engraving of the name of the recipient for an additional charge.

WoodRiver chisels are available at Woodcraft Supply for under $50.

Heat Seeker Infrared Thermometer

This affordable digital infrared thermometer from General Tools is great for conducting an energy audit on your home or checking to see how well your air conditioner and heater are working. Simply train the laser pointer on an object to obtain an accurate temperature reading on the LCD screen. The Heat Seeker can display results in Fahrenheit or Centigrade at temperatures ranging from -4° to 605° F (0° to 318° C).

The Heat Seeker is available from The Home Depot for under $50.

Tools Over $50

Bosch Laser Distance Measurer

If you’re tired of dealing with retractable tape measures, the Bosch Laser Distance Measurer is just what you need. Simply hold the device in place, aim the laser, press a button, and you’re done! It can measure up to 130’ and is accurate up to 1/16”. Measurements can be displayed in inches, feet, or metric units and include calculations for area and volume.

The Bosch Laser Distance Measurer is available at The Home Depot for under $100.

Ryobi Tek4 Combo Kit

The Ryobi Tek4 line of cordless devices can all share the same compact, rechargeable 4-volt lithium-ion batteries. The combo kit includes a cordless screwdriver, snips, noise suppression headphones, LED flashlight, portable power source, 2 batteries, and charger. Additional items in the Tek4 line that are available separately include a digital camera, laser level, laser measurer, digital multimeter, infrared thermometer, digital lock box, and motion sensing alarm.

The combo kit is available at The Home Depot for under $100.

Rockwell SoniCrafter

This multipurpose oscillating tool vibrates 20,000 times a minute. A full range of attachments allow cutting through everything from grout and drywall to wood and steel as well as sanding, polishing, shaping, and scraping. The SoniCrafter works great in tight spots like trimming the bottom of door jambs for flooring. Its high-speed oscillating action causes less damage to the work than rotating tools while minimizing dust.

The 37-piece SoniCrafter Professional Kit is available at Woodcraft Supply for under $140.

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