10 Last-Minute Tool Gifts for the DIYer

The following guest post is from Jakob Barry. Jakob writes for Networx.com where you can find more information about DIY home renovation projects.

Tools don’t make easy gifts, unless the do-it-yourself (DIY) friend specifically says “I lost my screwdriver” – or something to that effect.

If that’s not the case, two of the most important considerations that go hand in hand when choosing tool presents are usefulness and price. Will the recipient truly use the tool often enough to justify presenting it and is it affordable?

That’s not to say your loved ones aren’t worth every penny you spend on them, but let’s keep frugality and practicality in mind.

And sometimes the use factor outweighs the price factor because the DIYer ends up fixing things around the house that would have cost more had they hired an outside handyman.

So what will it be? What does the DIYer in your life need that he doesn’t have or what does he have that needs replacing? If you’re wondering which direction to go, here are a few thoughts. Some may seem standard, but are no less important, and most range in prices under $40:

A Hammer

The DIYer needs a good hammer. Low quality hammers can be hazardous to the person using it and others around him. It can also effect how well a job is being done. What to look out for when purchasing a hammer?

  • It needs good balance, which can have long term effects on the arm of the person swinging.
  • A properly crowned face that will give each nail the correct punch
  • A solid handle with a good grip

Diagonal pliers

There’s nothing worse than trying to cut copper, brass, iron or steel wire and instead the teeth of your pliers get dented. The DIYer needs diagonal pliers he can rely on and not waist time searching for something better when his hands are full fixing a pot rack in the galley kitchen .

Knee pads

Categorize them as accessories but I consider them a tool. Many jobs are close to the ground causing extra stress on the knees. These would even work great in crawl space and similar situations.

Handy Pocket Level

For things that need to be straight and things that should be at an angle this is a unique device for any number of jobs and costs very little.

A Good Flashlight

There are flashlights and then there are flashlights. The DIYer needs a reliable one, preferably with an adjustable beam to see in small nooks and crannies and larger spaces like the back wall in the attic when checking for leaks.

Tool Belt

On the job a tool box can be cumbersome. A belt, on the other hand, allows the DIYer to carry many tools at once with easy accessibility.

Tool Box

After all is said and done, the DIYer needs a place to put his tools. The place to keep them clean and out of the way is in a sturdy tool box. Metal can be a very nice choice but unlike plastic, it heats up quickly if left in the sun.

Ok, up until now all items should be under $40. These last three are a bit pricier but great investments.

A Leatherman

it’s the multi-purpose tool that has many versions and will require some research to decide which one is right for your DIYer. Coming with a snug case that fits on a belt he or she will love the fact any number of small jobs from how to fix a running toilet to adjusting hinges on kitchen cabinets can be worked on with just one device.

A Dremel

This hand held tool is a must. It comes with a wide assortment of accessories for drilling, sanding, refinishing, sharpening, engraving, polishing, grinding and more. The DIYer will love it and find numerous ways to improve their home.


How many times has your DIYer needed to reach something and stood on an unsteady chair or hopped on the counter? A sturdy ladder is essential to getting anything done beyond reach. When choosing one consider the need for interior and exterior work.


  1. Don’t forget screwdrivers. Only a few are needed if your recipient is not a DIY wunderkind. Small, medium, and large, both in Phillips and flathead.

    A quality handtruck. For certain moving jobs, having your own handtruck is great for moving boxes, even if you don’t spring for a larger one that can handle appliances.

    A wheelbarrow. We may get hit with a heavy snowstorm this weekend. I wish I had a wheelbarrow so when I shovel out the parking spaces in my neighborhood, I don’t just pile the snow into the next parking space, or create a pillar of snow between parking spaces, or have to walk the snow a few feet over to get it out of the way.

    • re: screwdrivers
      I would recommend one of the drivers where the driver heads are interchangeable. Even better, when those spare driver heads are stored in the handle. I use mine all the time.

    • Hey Mr Poet,
      I love the wheel barrel idea. I know how convenient it is to have one and inconvenient when i don’t. Thanks!

  2. My favorite tool is the saws all. It really does saw all. I use mine in the garden to cut roots or branches and in a variety of construction projects.

    An unexpected gift that we use all the time is a flashlight that uses the same rechargeable battery as your electric drill. We have a dewalt. Anyway, it always seems like my flashlight is always out of batteries when I need it. It’s only worth it if you already have a battery handy as the batteries are expensive, but I love it.

  3. My husband has his tool kit, my 20 year old son has his tool kit. I got tired of not being able to find a screwdriver when I needed it, so hubby bought me a small tool kit I can hide from 20 year old son who still borrows and doesn’t return!
    The dremel is also good for the crafters that you know! My daughter asked for one a got it. She is always upcycling old stuff and making really neat things!

    • That’s great your whole family is involved….you must all be very creative and crafty! Good luck keeping your tool box in a safe place….

  4. One of my best friends around the house is my cordless Drill/Driver. With the ability to interchange a screwdriver head, drill bit, or a number of other attachments and being portable it is simply the best!