If you know a DIY’er who has everything or are just looking for some relatively inexpensive gifts to give your home improvement loved one this winter, the following five tools are among the most practical yet unique items on the market. From the manliest named flashlight (and one of the most useful) to a simple materials calculator, these gifts will undoubtedly help anyone mark a few items off their to-do list.
1. Joby Gorillatorch Blade Tactical Flashlight
With one of the manliest names to ever grace a flashlight, the Joby Gorillatorch Blade Tactical Flashlight offers extreme versatility at an affordable price. No longer will the DIY’er be forced to bite a tiny flashlight to see his project or maneuver a hanging light into just the right spot. The Joby Gorillatorch Blade Tactical Flashlight has a bendable tripod (with 360 degree pan and 180 degree tilt) with powerful magnets at the end of each leg, so you can attach it to any metal surface at nearly any angle you need. It easily squeezes into tight spots.
You can adjust the light from mellow to bright, narrow it to a small spot or have it span over a wide range. And it offers 6.5 hours of battery at 30 Lumens, or 2.5 hours at 130 Lumens with the “Boost Augmenter” activated. When you’re done, choose how you want to recharge it: the usual power outlet or even a USB plug-in.
It could be the best thing to happen to flashlights since the invention of the LED light.
2. Rockwell JawStand
The JawStand is more than a sawhorse for the modern age: it’s a versatile, solidly built multi-tool that also serves as a third pair of hands for nearly any project. The JawStand can hold, clamp, support, and feed materials. It tilts 90 degrees (and includes a bubble leveler), can support 220 pounds of weight, includes a built-in clamp, and can be easily adjusted to change the height. Calling the JawStand a sawhorse is an insult to this versatile tool.
3. Grip-On Handsfree Plier Kit
The Grip-On Handsfree Plier Kit doubles as a beefy set of pliers that easily convert into a portable vise without millions of new ways to pinch your fingers like many other hands-free systems. The Grip-On Handsfree Plier Kit comes with two pairs of 10-inch locking pliers and Omnium grips that slide into adjustable grip holders to form a vise. It’s especially handy for the DIY’er working on projects away from his usual work area.
4. Tool Band-it Adjustable Magnetic Arm Band
Anything with the label “As Seen on TV” or promoted by the late pitchman Billy Mays is worth questioning, but the Tool Band-it Adjustable Magnetic Arm Band is one device that answers those questions with convenience, stability, and usefulness. This magnetized armband allows you to attach nails, screws, screwdrivers, and anything magnetic and is ideal for ladder work (no more biting nails or dropping screws into no man’s land). The manufacturer claims it can support up to 25 pounds, but recommends that it not be used for carrying more than a pound.
5. ProjectCalc DIY Project Calculator For Dummies
This little yellow calculator is a handy tool for the true DIY’er who would rather continue with a project than take a break to calculate how much material they’ll need for a project and how much it will cost.
The calculator includes material and cost calculations for carpet, concrete, tile, paint and wallpaper. Start by entering your measurements and you can convert it between all standard dimensional math formats. Hit the cost button to find out the predicted cost for materials in the space you need.
Jim Davenport is a home improvement veteran with a passion for big boy toys and HVAC systems. If you’re looking for a bigger investment this Christmas in a new heating system, he suggests you check out these overviews for natural gas furnace prices and Furnace prices before you buy.