18 Best Gifts & Tools for the DIYer

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Many of us know at least one person in our lives who is good to have around when our knowledge or skill sets aren’t enough. These everyday “handymen” and DIY heroes are just what you need when you find yourself in a pinch to solve a problem and just get the job done.

They could be a neighbor, co-worker, husband, or even just a lifelong friend. No matter who they are to you, they deserve our thanks for everything they do. Christmas and the holidays are just around the corner, and you want to find the perfect gift for your DIYer.

Maybe you’ve noticed that their tool kit could use some solid new additions, or you’ve heard them complain that their current tool just doesn’t work like it used to. Maybe they’ve mentioned expanding their toolbox or have been itching to get into more woodworking based projects.

And while there are a ton of good lists out there to get the average DIY person started, most of these DIY gift guides only cover the bare essential tools that nearly everyone should own. But if you’re looking for gift ideas that are a little more unique and show you really care, here’s a list of the 18 Best Gifts and Tools for the DIY handyman of all skill levels.

Please Note: All prices reflected in this article are current as of December 15, 2015, and subject to change.


1.  Porter-Cable 3.5 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

Price: $119.99

As the DIY handyman begins to take on more advanced projects, his toolbox has to grow and adapt accordingly. From painting projects, to operating pneumatic hand nailers and staplers, an air compressor is an indispensable tool every DIYer will need at some point.

The points to consider when choosing a compressor are its capacity, maximum deliverable PSI, ease of portability, and what maintenance is required to keep it in top condition. If you’re unsure where to start, this model from Porter-Cable is a good middle-of-the-road portable air compressor that offers a good amount of power and low maintenance without breaking the bank.


2.  Grex 18GA Brad Nailer

Price: $199.99

For the DIY person who already has a compressor he is happy with, an 18-gauge brad nailer is definitely one pneumatic hand tool he needs in his collection. 18-gauge brad nails are ideal for trim and moldings, working on cabinets and tons of other applications. You can also look into 16-gauge finish nailers or 23-gauge pinners that can do similar jobs. Keep in mind that the higher the gauge number, the smaller the fastener. Because of these variations, the 18-gauge brad nailer covers a lot of bases.

No air compressor? No problem! Although not as powerful as their pneumatic counterparts, there are several cordless electric brad nailers that can also get the job done.


3.  STARRETT 6″ Combination Square

Price: $94.99

At minimum, every DIYer absolutely needs either a 6″ or 12″ combination square. Not only are these critical to mark off perfect 45° or 90° angles, the right combination squares can also be used to accurately set heights for blades and bits, or even be used as a saw guide.

Combination squares can vary widely in price, ranging from ten to hundreds of dollars. Ultimately, this is one of those tools that it’s best not to sacrifice quality for price. As an investment, this particular combination square is made by Starrett, the manufacturer that invented and patented thefirst combination square in 1878. Over a century later, Starrett continues to produce some of the best combination squares money can buy. So while its price may seem a bit high, it’s also equipped with a spirit level and scriber to make it a must-have for any DIYer.



Price: $29.99

For the slightly advanced DIY person, you might find any combination of table saws, router tables, or jointers in their garage or workshop. For these folks, safety is an extremely high priority as working with these power tools can be quite dangerous.

So when feeding wood and other materials through high-speed cutting tools, the GRR-RIP block from MICROJIG is great for keeping hands and fingers away from fast moving blades while keeping a firm hold on the workpiece.


5.  Coast HL7 Focusing LED Headlamp

Price: $48.99

You can never own enough flashlights – excluding, of course, the bargain bin variety that stopped working a week after it was purchased. No doubt that your DIY handyman has a collection of reliable flashlights, so consider the gift of a good headlamp.

Some projects may restrict the amount of available light and require the use of both hands. For these moments of limited visibility, a headlamp can help prevent frustration. This Coast LED Headlamp allows the user to focus the beam of light on a single spot, while still producing an outer ring of floodlight for a broader area of vision. Even when wearing gloves, the large power switch makes it easy to turn the headlamp on or off. Backed by Coast’s lifetime guarantee, this headlamp will continue to be useful even outside the workshop.


6.  Woodworker’s Pencil

Price: $16.79

While this pencil may seem specifically geared to woodworking projects, the Woodworker’s Pencil is a tool that can be applied to any project that requires marking off measurements.

With an extra thick, hard round lead that’s less likely to lose its point during use, DIYers can mark off what they need in confidence. This pencil is retractable and features an internal sharpener to renew its point. And for the DIY handyman who does want to get more involved in woodworking, the Woodworker’s Pencil will undoubtedly become indispensable.


7.  Spring Tools Nail Set

Price: $14.50

One tool that needs to be a part of any DIY or woodworker’s toolbox is a nail set. This set is designed to countersink nails without damaging the surrounding material. Typically, nail sets will come in a variety of sizes and need to be used with a hammer to drive the fastener.

This nail set combination of 1/32″ and 2/32″ sizes is particularly suited to driving 18-gauge brad and 16-gauge finish nails. The added bonus here is that this tool is fitted with a spring so that you can drive fasteners without a hammer.

Check out this video to see them in action:


8.  General Tools Digital 3-In-1 Stud Finder

Price: $34.99

Stud finders are certainly a staple among handymen and professionals alike. But why not up the ante a little bit? Instead of just being a stud finder, this tool can also function as a voltage and metal detector simultaneously. With a LCD readout and an audio signal, users can locate their targets with ease and accuracy.


9.  WoodRiver® Universal Vise

Price: $64.99

There’s a reason this is referred to as a “universal” vise. Regardless of whether they’re into woodworking or home improvement in general, even your average homeowners need a vise of some sort. Considering utility highly positive product reviews, this vise from WoodRiver is one of the best values for its price.


10.  Gyokucho Razorsaw Crosscut

Price: Normally $39.00, on sale for $29.99 through December 24

A Crosscut Saw is another must-have piece in both the DIYer and woodworker toolboxes. They are designed to cut across the grain and can vary in size, depending on how fine the user wants their cut to be.

There is a whole school of thought around Japanese woodworking and a slew of tools that go along with it. For the DIY handyman, this saw from Gyokucho is a good introduction to this school of thought as it is thin enough to provide truly fine cuts. Featuring a bit of added style, this could be quite a memorable gift for the hobbyist woodworker.


11.  Eclipse Coping Saw

Price: $8.99

For cutting and shaping wood, a well-constructed coping saw is great tool to consider for the DIY handyman. Particularly good for cutting materials to fit for molding and trim projects, this saw is adept at creating intricate cuts. With a durable steel frame and comfortable wooden grip, this Eclipse Coping Saw is a great DIY tool sure to provide years of service.


12.  WoodRiver® 29-Piece Brad-Point Drill Bit Set

Price: $39.99 – $41.99

Any serious handyman knows how often he turns to a drill for tons of applications, so it’s always a good idea to expand the number of drill bits at your DIYer’s disposal. Brad-point drill bits have a sharp point that allows for a more accurate cut into the wood. So if your DIY handyman doesn’t own any brad-point drill bits, this 29-piece set from WoodRiver is definitely a good set to consider.


13.  Snappy Hinge Bits, Set of 3

Price: $31.99

Another type of drill bit to consider as a gift is one designed for self-centering. To drill precise holes for cabinet or door hinges, these Snappy Hinge Bits can help guide a highly accurate cut. Cutting accurate holes for hardware can be frustrating if not done correctly, so these drill bits can prevent a lot of headaches.


14. PULY Cordless Screwdriver Kit

Price: Normally $39.99, on sale for $19.99 until December 24, 2015, or while supplies last

You’re probably thinking that if your DIY handyman already has an electric drill and more screwdrivers than he could possibly ever need, why would he want an electric screwdriver?

One of the drawbacks of electric drills is that controlling the level of torque can be difficult and often result in stripping the screws. Also, drills are typically heavier and cause fatigue when using them for hours on end. Because electric screwdrivers are often lighter with lower levels of torque, they solve the inherent problems of electric drills.

This particular model from PULY can be used in either a pistol grip or as an in-line screwdriver with precise speed control. Additionally, this screwdriver can be maneuvered into more tight fitting spots than the average drill.


15.  BucketBoss SuperBib Apron

Price: $24.99

For the DIY handyman with an increasing interest in becoming a woodworker hobbyist, what better way to get him started than an apron to help him look the part? The SuperBib apron from BucketBoss provides protection from flying debris, two web loop hammer holders and 16 pockets for other tools, making it a great gift for the woodworking novice.


16.  Lightweight Hammer

Price: $34.99

Outside of its Swiss Army knife-like utility, the average claw hammer is a little on the heavy side and slightly unwieldy to most novice users. As anyone who has hammered very small nails would know, a heavy hammer with a broad face may not be the best tool for the job.

This small, 4-ounce Shinwa Hammer is a good addition to the claw hammer in the DIYer’s toolbox. The smaller hammer offers a little more control and precision when hanging small photo frames, flush nailing or tapping chisels, and many other tasks.


17.  Fractional Digital Caliper

Price: $38.50

Dating as far back as the 6th century B.C., calipers have been instrumental to the studies of engineering and cartography for hundreds of years. To this day, engineers still rely on these tools for the highest level of accuracy when measuring on a small scale.

So when the trusty tape measure simply won’t cut it, this digital caliper by Products Engineering – which takes readings in millimeters, inches or fractions – is a perfect gift for the DIY handyman who needs an exact measurement.


18.  Sarge Hobo Pocket Knife

Price: $20.99

While a pocket knife might not be the tool that helped him take his skills to the next level, this is the ultimate gift for the DIYer.

At the end of the day, everyone has to eat. Whether on a job, in the wilderness, or stuck up on a hot roof after hours of backbreaking work, this pocket knife makes sure a reliable set of utensils and a  bottle opener are always available.


Ultimately, the best gift ideas will be those that reflect thought and consideration about the needs and desires of your special DIY handyman. However, this gift guide should provide a starting point for your shopping journey.

Looking for a little more guidance?

You’re in luck!

Just visit your local Woodcraft store, and one of our knowledgeable, friendly sales associates will give you the advice you need to pick out that perfect gift for your DIYer.

Season’s Greetings from all of us at Woodcraft!

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