2012 Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Gift Guide Top LINK

Note: Since this was time-sensitive information, some or all of the links may be broken.

Tools & Gadgets & Accessories, oh my!

The holidays are an interesting time around the Tool Skool shop. Beth loves Christmas, gets very excited about Black Friday specials and shopping, and hums Christmas Carols from October to January. Many find it annoying, but don’t tell her.

Brad, on the other hand, is a self-admitted Scrooge of most things Christmas. Not the holiday itself, but the overly-commercial atmosphere, the crowds, people pretending to be happy – that sort of thing.  The sound most frequently heard over the buzz of the table saw? “Bah…humbug.” We’re all pretty sure he could use some therapy for Christmas.

But, one thing both agree on when it comes to the holidays – there are lots of great deals on tools. And it’s the perfect opportunity to be the Holiday Hero by getting the tool lover in your life exactly what he or she wants.

Just to show we care, we’ve made a list, checked it twice, (Brad already has a handle on who’s naughty, so be careful) and present to you the 2012 Holiday Tool Gift Guide.  It’s full of tools for the shop, for the house, even some photography stuff thrown in for good measure. They’re all divided according to price. Yup, we’re givers :)

For People You Kinda Like (Under $25)

 

Stanley LED Flashlight (95-112) and the Updated Version (95-112B)

Stanley 95-112B (left) / Stanley 95-112 (right)

Flashlights are always a great gift. Who doesn’t use one, after all?  But flashlights are not created equal.  Years ago, Stanley came out with an LED Tripod Flashlight (Stanley 95-112).  Just about everyone on my list got one that year; they all loved and used them, unlike the collection of golf items and ties that my dad has (in a closet since he opened them.)  They still make that flashlight and it’s still a favorite. But this year Stanley updated that flashlight, making some improvements that users had asked for.  Either version is available for less than $20 and I’ve seen them on sale as low as $10.

For more information on these flashlights, check out Tool Skool’s Reviews: Stanley LED Tripod Light (95-112) and Stanley LED Tripod Light (95-112B)

And you can order them on Amazon.com: Stanley LED Tripod Light (95-112) and Stanley LED Tripod Light (95-112B)

 

Milwaukee Voltage Detector 2202-20

For the electrician in your life, this handy pocket-sized voltage detector is a thoughtful gift that says, “I don’t want you to touch live wires and die.” Seriously, it’s a useful device that detects electrical current in wires, outlets, etc. Great for maintenance guys, handymen, even the weekend warrior faced with installing lights and ceiling fans

For around $21, you can’t go wrong with this in the stocking. Amazon Direct Link

 

Rockler Toy Hobby Kits

For the kids you want to turn into tool-lovers (read article here).

Rockler recently added a line of Toy Hobby Kits, and we think any of them would make a GREAT gift for a child that needs to put down the electronic device and learn to build something.  Rockler’s goal with these kits was to build woodworking skills in young people and give adults a chance to spend quality time with them.  The kits are designed for children 4 and up and they contain the materials and instructions needed to finish the projects.  There are currently four different kits available.  We have the Candy Maze and the Bird Feeder and I plan to borrow a child to help me  put them together this weekend.

Bird Feeder Kit: $15.99 at Rockler.com

Candy Maze Kit: $12.99 at Rockler.com

Head Multi-Sport Gloves with SensaTEC

Wandering through Costco I came across these gloves (about $15) that are designed to be used with your iPhone (or other smart phone with touch screen) .  You’ve seen these types of gloves before with the pads on the fingertips, but these really worked! And since they come in sizes XS – XL, you can find a pair to fit perfectly.  That really is the key to these gloves!  If they don’t fit perfectly, they don’t work well.

For the full review:  CLICK HERE

You can find them in a variety of places online for around $17 – $25

Start searching with this link: Amazon

Snap-on Hybrid LED Light

There’s just something sexy about this tool. It’s sleek, anodized aluminum, and it sports not only a light beam, but a 16 LED flood light as well. We haven’t tested it for durability, battery life, or anything else. But for around $10, who cares? It’s pretty darned close to disposable when you consider the wild range of hand-held light prices these days. Powered by 3 AAA batteries, this is a sure-fire hit with the auto mechanic in your family, not only because of the Snap-on branding, but because it also has a magnet in the base to allow for easy use under the hood of a car. Need we say more?

This Hybrid Flashlight is available by calling 800.255.7011

DeWalt Headlamp

Here’s a great gift idea for the person who needs both hands free. The DeWalt Headlamp has a powerful 104 lumen output to light up the darkest night. The light swivels and can be set to High or Low, making it extremely adaptable to any situation. I’ve used this quite a bit lately and have been very happy with its performance. The price is right, too!

Purchase link: $22.99 on Amazon.com

Bench Cookie Plus

Rockler introduced us to the original Bench Cookie a while back. We loved it. Now, they’ve made it even better with the Bench Cookie Plus system. Now, you can also purchase small clips that attach to the Cookie and snap securely over any piece of 2x lumber. They’re made for use on saw horses, but I’m sure the woodworker in your life will find many more uses and applications. They’re priced just right for a great stocking stuffer!

See our review HERE

Check price/availability of 4 pack at Amazon.com

Johnson Level 7″ Johnny Square

This may seem like a ho-hum gift, until you see exactly what this little jewel has to offer. Let’s just say that it has a couple of surprises up its sleeve :) And for less than $10, it’s the perfect gift for the carpenter/woodworker/framer on your list. Trust us, they’ll love it if they ever use a speed square. This is a brand new product, so it may be hard to find online. Make sure it looks just like this picture before you buy. After you read our review, you’ll understand why.

See our review HERE

For more information and purchase links: Johnson Level Website

Stanley STHT63025 Pistol-Grip Ratcheting Screwdriver Set

This kit has just about every type of bit and socket most people will ever need around the house, including square drive, hex, Torx and all 3 sizes of Phillips.  If you can’t fix whatever’s broken with this 25 piece set of tools, it don’t need fixin!

Purchase link ($18.46 at post): Amazon.com

Stanley STHT70695 14 in 1 Multi-Tool

Everything you could ever want in a multi-tool for around the house. This little jewel has a knife, a small saw, a file, and a driver that accepts driver bits (included) and even metric sockets (also included). It’s like having a workshop in your pants. OK, that came out wrong, but you get the idea. For the person on your list who’s always fixing little things around your house or theirs, this is a great way to say, “Get to work!”

Amazon purchase link ($19.19 and less): CLICK HERE

For People You Want to Like You ($25 – $100)

driCAT by EK Ekcessories

If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S (and rumor has it they will be releasing one for the iPhone 5 by year’s end), or you are buying for someone that does, you need to check out the driCAT from EK Ekcessories.  This little jewel is a waterproof case that is available either with the lanyard (Neck It) or with the Reel It attachment.  It works exceptionally well and allows you to use the phone as you normally would while being protected from the elements.  For around $60 this is a great gift for a gadget guy or gal!

Read our review HERE

Purchase direct from EK: HERE

Or on Amazon.com: HERE

Milwaukee M12 Job Site Radio

Milwaukee’s Job Site Radio is part of their M12 RED Lithium line.  This tool really does live up to the “portable productivity” tag phrase used to describe this segment of tools.  At 10.5 inches and 3.5 lbs, this radio weighs in considerably smaller than many other job site radios, but what it lacks in size, it makes up in features such as the digital AM/FM Tuner, waterproof speakers, and weather sealed MP3 compartment.

Read our review HERE

Amazon has great deals on these radios (as low as &79): Amazon link

 

Ryobi Tek4 Tool Line

Tool Skool has reviewed several tools out of the Ryobi Tek4 line this year.   We think these tools make perfect gifts because you can literally give them over and over.  Start off by giving the Rapid Charger and any other Tek4 tool of your choice, and then each birthday or holiday, you can just add to your Tool Lover’s Tek4 collection.

Click on each link to read review:

Beth’s favorites -

Brad’s Favorites -

All Available at The Home Depot

Craftsman Lighted Pliers

LEDs are everywhere these days! I just never thought I’d see them at the end of a pliers. Well, those wacky mad scientists at Craftsman have been working overtime to stuff all that technology into these tools. Looks like they’ve done a good job. They’re just out, so we haven’t had a chance to beat them up yet, but you can get your own and do that for us! They look like a great stocking stuffer to us.

Available for under $30 at Craftsman.com

Orbit Micro Camera Dolly

We take a lot of pictures and shoot a lot of video here at the Tool Skool shop. That means we get to see a lot of the latest production gear and gadgets. We saw this at Digital Juice and ordered it. Love it, is all I can say. It’s the perfect gift for the photog or videographer on your list. Even kids who aspire to be Steven Spielberg will put this to good use. You can mount most standard cameras using a hot shoe mount or small tripod head. It’s simple, easy and fun.

Available for about $50 at DigitalJuice.com

iPhone Mirror Case

This is a great gadget for your iPhone that allows you to take pictures & videos with the phone in the horizontal position as shown above. A lot of people say it’s a more natural way to hold the camera phone to get better shots. It’s perfect for hands-free videotaping at conferences and lectures – just lay it down on the table and hit record. I like it because the added width at the top makes it easier to rest the phone on my shoulder and talk hands-free. It’s currently available for the 4 & 4s.

About $50 at MirrorCase.com

 

Thingamejig Scribing Tool

Great gift for the tool-lover in your life. This scribing tool is a design masterpiece – it’s almost a shame to get it scratched up in use. But it’s not afraid of hard work – it makes scribing everything from drywall to baseboard a breeze! You can see just how it works in our review HERE.

Purchase link: $74.95 on Amazon.com

 

Schumacher Battery Extender/Maintainer

If there’s a car-tinkerer on your list who’s always charging a battery for one of their toys (motorcycle, ATV, etc), this is the perfect gift for them. Schumacher makes a new line of battery extenders and maintainers designed to make the newest generation of batteries last longer and perform more effectively. Bottom line, batteries aren’t cheap and they require the newest tech to keep them in tip-top shape. That’s what these do.

Check out our post HERE

Purchase links are at the bottom of the post.

 

For People You Love or Want to Kiss up To ($100 – up)

 

Milwaukee M12 Cordless Jig Saw

We first had the opportunity to try out the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Jig Saw at a press event in Milwaukee. It’s an impressive tool.  While designed with professional carpenters, remodelers, cabinet and countertop installers, and other tradesmen, this tool is a great addition to a woodworker’s shop as well. The lithium ion power combined with the portability and lightweight design deliver a powerful package.  The handle is a hybrid design combining the best of both worlds as far as top handle and barrel grips go.  Included in the kit are the Jig Saw, 1 M12 Red Lithium battery, 30-minute charger, 1 – 10 TPI wood cutting blade, a non-marring shoe, and an anti-splintering insert, all packed neatly in a Milwaukee red contractor bag.

Check price/availability: Amazon

DeWalt DCS310S1 Pivoting Reciprocating Saw

This saw has become my new best friend – LOVE this tool! It’s the perfect saw for small, quick jobs around the house, shop or job site. It’s light, easy to use, and runs off the 12 volt Max system from DeWalt. If anyone on your list is already has tools in this line, your search is over :)

See my full review HERE

Available for $139 at Amazon

DeWalt DWX725 Work Stand

Another DeWalt stand-out this year, and perfect for the DIYer or Pro on your list. These work stands are rock-solid and have a ton of useful features. OK, maybe not a ton, but a bunch. You can see all of them in my review below. I highly recommend these!

See our review HERE

Check price/availability on Amazon

Work Stand with Miter Saw Brackets – $99 – Amazon

 

RoboReel Extension Cord Powered Reel

Here’s the deal. If the sky’s the limit and you know someone who just loves gadgets, this is the top pick for them. But let me just say that this is a genuinely useful tool. I just received one for the shop and it rocks. Honestly, I thought I could roll up an extension cord faster than any little reel. I was wrong. Our review will be up shortly. Take a look at their website below for more info on this tool and the rest of their line.

RoboReel.com

Purchase for $279 at Amazon.com

 

Bosch JS572E Jig Saw

I wouldn’t trade my Bosch jig saw for all the money in the world (that’s a lie, I’d live on as island and you’d never hear from me again). But short of all that money, you be hard-pressed to pry it out of my grip. Bosch has been the leader in jig saw precision for years and their latest model continues that trend. For the serious woodworker or carpenter, this is the gift of love.

Take a look at our video review HERE

Purchase for $289, complete with their new L-Boxx System case at Amazon.com

 

DeWalt DCF885c2 Impact Driver Kit

If anyone on your list lives, breathes, and eats at the altar of DeWalt yellow, this tool will make them smile (for years to come). This impact driver can take on everything from screws to lag bolts and do it without breaking a sweat. Amazon has a it on sale for less than $200, which is a steal for the kit – complete with 2 batteries and a charger.

To read more and see our video review: CLICK HERE

Amazon purchase link ($199): CLICK HERE

 

Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit

OK, this one is just pure fun. You may have seen it on The Walking Dead or floating around the internet. It’s a genuine Gerber product and packed with useful tools. If you have the money to spend and there’s a Zombie fan on your shopping list, this is a great idea.

See our post HERE

They offer similar kits on AMAZON

 

 

 

Stuff We Love But Can’t Buy

This section is for tools that we know exist – we’ve seen, touched and played with them. Problem is, we can’t find them at retail. Basically, we’re all getting teased, but sometimes that’s fun. Take a look and dream (like we do).

Sign up for our newsletter below and we’ll let you know when they finally appear on store shelves or online.

YAY! The Stanley Multi tool is finally available…look back…

 

 

Disclaimer: We don’t sell tools (or anything else on this list, for that matter). In some cases (Amazon mostly), we receive a very small percentage when someone purchases from one of our links. This little bit of money helps offset the costs we incur putting this guide and our other reviews together. We do it out of love for you, the reader :)  Please enjoy and share it with your friends. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah…

 

 

 

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Brad Staggs

Contributing Writer/Producer at Tool Skool
Brad has worked in and around the home improvement and tool industry most of his life. He was host of Talk2DIY Home Improvement, Co-produced DIY Tools & Techniques and is the author of Spend a Little, Save a Lot Home Improvement.

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