Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Gift Ideas for Home and the Professional

The holidays are always a challenge to buy a gift for the impossible recipient. They may have it all, not be specific, or have enough socks and underwear. I really appreciate gifts that make my work more enjoyable with cool tools, or provide me security that I have the proper gadgets to be a “professional”. My number one tool is my folding lockback utility blade knife. I traveled last week and had to leave it home and it was like I left the house without clothes on.

So here are some under $50 holiday gift ideas. You can also get gift certificates from a quality online woodworking and garden tool source like Garrett Wade or Lee Valley.

Chisel Set– A set of six typically has 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, and 1″ sizes. Get them with a box, tool roll, or edge guards. Maybe even get a book on sharpening, and some sharpening stones. Sharpening is another craft, so unless they are inclined to learn or terribly patient, don’t try to make them expert sharpeners. Your local hardware store can sharpen them for you.

LED flashlight– Spotty, too bright, too weak are all criticisms of the past. LED lights have made tremendous strides over the years with greater brightness per watt of energy, predictable color, as well as a lot of research on glass/plastic lensing to direct the light. Expect to spend at least $30 if not $80- $180 for the better flashlights. They are well worth it.

Fishing Tackle Boxes– These boxes are a best buy for a shop’s greatest obstacle, organization. You can sort fasteners or move around the house to complete tasks. There is no need to spend a lot on fancy toolboxes or nail sorters since the fishing industry has done it for you.

Folding Japanese Cut Off Saw– There are Japanese saws of all types, but this cut-off saw completely folds up for total protection.

Restorers Pry Bar– Another favorite tool. These bars have a wide, wafer-thin tip for precisely and delicately easing things apart. They also have a cats paw for nail removal.

Folding lockback utility blade knife- I am too lazy to sharpen and too abusive of blades. I love the replaceable blade-folding knife. I don’t like the ones that have a button on the side to remove the blade, because the blade constantly falls out when it is on my hip.

Laser Level– A 2 beam self-leveling can project a vertical, horizontal, or both on one or more adjacent surfaces. They are easy set-up and can fit on an old camera tripod.

Yankee Screw Driver and Yankee Drill– OK, we do have cordless drills of all sizes, which are fine. Yet these drivers are best for precision, convenience, and flat head screws. It’s not hard to find these tools are garage sales or flea markets, but don’t buy a cheap one.

Drill and Driver Set– About 60 years ago there was only a few types of screw heads. Now there are hundreds, so getting a nice organized variety is a good thing.

Folding pruning saw– A great yard work saw. These are great rough, quick cutting tools that makes short order of even the hardest 3-inch limb.

Adjustable locking pliers– This is another tool that has advanced over the years. When you can’t find the right sized wrench, instead of going for the channel locks and stripping the bolt or nut, these are a fine alternative.

Wireless Combination Humidity and Temperature Station– There are solar version or battery versions. You can get crazy sophisticated or just keep it simple with relative humidity, and indoor and outdoor temperature.

Buying for the impossible person may no longer be a challenge. You can do it right from the breakfast table, and maybe even get a small grunt of satisfaction when they open up their new cool tool.

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