2018 Holiday Gift Guide

By Phil Benevides on Weekend warrior

Concord Carpenter 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

The Holidays are upon us and nothing makes us happier than helping our readers give gifts your loved ones won’t forget. We think this year is a good mix of practical gifts, tools, toys, and some new digs. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, hopefully we’ve inspired you!

Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Cordless Electric Snowblower

Available at Home Depot!

Folks in the trades tend to be above average landscapers. Getting physical, using tools, and working with your hands is part of job. Still no one WANTS to do yard work, so any product to make yard work faster, easier, and more pleasant is a perfect gift for your favorite trades-person.

The Ryobi 40-Volt 20-inch Brushless Cordless Electric Snowblower is guaranteed to surprise and delight. Replacing a snow shovel is the gift that keeps on giving. Cordless power tools start instantly, don’t require fuel or oil, and are much easier to maintain. Plus Ryobi has a growing outdoor power equipment line that your recipient can add on to when the snow melts and best of all they are readily available at any Home Depot. This cordless snowblower retails for about $300.

Ridgid 5-Vial Torpedo Level

I don’t pretend to know what gets plumbers excited, but I suspect you’ll get a smile out of your favorite plumber with this Ridgid 5-Vial Torpedo Level. A small hand tool doesn’t cost a whole lot, but selecting a thoughtful trade specific tool like this level designed for plumbers is priceless.

This level features 5 separate vials 3-dimensionally aligned to be dead on in all planes. Grooved on both side in a U-Shape and a V-Shape ensures the rare earth magnets can grip best to rounded or flat metal. And this little guy even features a laser line. This level will impress the plumber in your life and they’ll have a reminder of you every day on the job! This level retails for about $50.

Coast Dual Color LED Headlamp with Twist Focus

If you know someone who works with their hands, regardless of the trade, more likely than not they’ll be working in dark or low light conditions. Nothing is more convenient than a good headlamp! No need to adjust where the light is, plus you’re not stealing a battery from your cordless tools. I’ve been using a Coast Dual Color LED Headlamp with Twist Focus on night work on infrastructure projects and it is a life saver.

This is a great stocking stuffer or Hanukkah gift and not just for the trades-person in your life. Considering what daylight savings time has done to afternoon light, this can be a great gift for runners as well. How about the hunter in your family? This headlamp has three settings and the beam can be focused or used to flood your line of sight. Furthermore there is a red light option to preserve night vision. Finally, if your loved one is using this with a hard hat, like me, it comes with hard hat clips. This headlamp retails for $30.

Metabo STA 18 LTX 100 Cordless Jig-Saw

A good jig saw doesn’t make a good carpenter, but a good carpenter most certainly has a good jig saw. My point here is, most likely a carpenter won’t replace their functioning jigsaw for an upgraded version until the old one croaks. But having a second jig saw won’t hurt either. With a two jig saw setup you can get a coping shoe on one or keep one in pristine shape for those precision finish cuts and use the old tool for more rough and tumble applications.

Regardless this is a great gift for a carpenter. The Metabo name is sure to impress and as far as cordless tools go, even if your loved one is a DEWALT guy or Makita Chickita, mixing up the battery and brand isn’t going to be a deal breaker. Especially since this Metabo STA 18 LTX 100 Cordless Jig Saw has a lot of really nice features for the finish carpenter. Tool less bevel adjustments and selectable shaving blower to ensure dialed in blade tracking. This jig saw retails for about $200.

 Werner L6200 Series Type IA Fiberglass LEANSAFE Ladder

If you are looking for a gift for the electrician in your life, then search no more. This ladder is guaranteed to put a smile on your loved ones face. Not only will they get to open a really big present, but they’ll appreciate the thought and consideration of this gift. First off, most likely they already have a ladder so buying this for themselves is probably out of the question. Second, with the features and benefits of this ladder, you’ll be sure to impress the recipient of this slick Werner innovation.

The Werner LEANSAFE Ladder features a contoured top to lean snuggly into studs and corners. The ladder is clearly marked to advertise compliance when used in leaning mode and features a latch that secures the rear rail to the front rail. This features allows it to be used in leaning mode and as a standard step ladder. And so the foot pad is contoured to maximize contact with the ground in both modes. The 6’ ladder retails for about $130.

DeWALT 27 Quart ToughSystem Cooler

This is one of my favorite gifts on the guide this year, perfect for the trades-person, great for on the job, and better for off the job. This cooler is built like much more expensive high performance coolers on the market but for half the price. Bonus: it includes a bottle opener! And if your loved one is a DeWALT guy you’re in luck, you’ll melt their heart (but not their ice) with this great DeWALT 27 Quart ToughSystem Cooler for work and play.

This cooler can hold 27 quarts, a solid two four pack if you know what I mean, and can keep ice for up to five days! Built to integrate with the DeWalt ToughSystem, which is the only downside. Unless you have the ToughSystem Cart, you’ll need a buddy because this cooler has a load capacity of 88lbs and with no wheels you’ll get a workout hauling this thing solo. This cooler retails for about $150.

Keen Men’s San Jose 6″ Boot

If you’re buying gifts for someone who wears boots every day, consider buying them some more boots. Boots wear out, so they won’t go to waste. I especially like the idea of these Keen Men’s San Jose boots because they are practical medium duty footwear that can pass as a casual shoe for everyday wear. These are also a great choice for those who maybe aren’t wearing a belt anymore but are on active job-sites and should have a boot that works on the job and in an office setting.

This handsome boot features material specifically selected to make it light and comfortable from the first time you slip them on! The super comfortable asymmetrical safety toe is made of lightweight aluminum. The KEEN LUFTCELL dual-density PU mid-sole, infused with air to further reduce weight. And the unlined waterproof leather upper is not only super comfy out of the box, but also super light! These boots retail for about $150.

Keen Men’s Howser II

I love Keen’s lineup of utility boots and we’ve been wearing all sorts of their footwear over the years. Still for this gift guide, I wanted to look past work boots, although my feet are falling in love with the San Jose boots highlighted above. When it comes to gifts I like to be practical but also surprise the recipient with something they may not realize they wanted or needed. These Keen Men’s Howser II slippers wholly satisfy those requirements for a great gift.

The plush micro-fleece interior of the slipper is comfy, thin, and surprisingly warm. Your foot sits on a memory foam foot-bed for comfortable cushioning. The monolithic rubber outsole features the classic Keen toe for a comfortable “round the house” slipper that won’t have you tip toeing around the yard when you have to pick up a package or take out the trash. These slippers retail for about $60.

Zircon Breaker ID Circuit Finder

Listen, I’m no electrician and honestly I’ll scale a 40’ ladder and hang off the side of 12 pitch roof before I mess with electricity. With that said I’m not going to intentionally trip a breaker to then safely work on that line, I’m going to aimlessly flip breaker switches and test the lines where I plan to work. If you’ve struggled with this process, A. You’re probably not an electrician and B. you know how long it can take.

This Zircon Breaker ID Circuit Finder is great for the new homeowner, carpenter, or handyman who needs to works safely around electricity sources. This Breaker finder has a transmitter that plugs into an outlet and sends a signal for the receiver wand to identify. Two passes of your breaker box and this little gem will identify the right circuit breaker every time. With this tool you’re giving the gift of time and preventing frustration that could lead to unsafe working conditions. This tool retails for about $45.

Stanley 25’ FatMax

Listen, if you’re gonna buy someone a tape measure, do yourself a favor and get them a Stanley 25′ FatMax. I guarantee you’ll get one of two responses; “I use this tape, how did you know?! I’m so glad a have a new one, mine still works great but is a little beat up.” Or conversely they don’t currently use a FatMax and after they get to use it they say; “Wow that FatMax is great! Way better standout than what I was using, and this thing is indestructible!”

Okay, I can’t guarantee that, but this tape is tried and true. Plus if you get lucky you’ll find a two-pack of the FatMax in a 25’ Tape and a 16’ Tape. This combo is the ultimate stocking stuffer, so if you see this on the shelf at Home Depot drop it in your cart and pat yourself on the back in advance for bringing joy into the life of an unsuspecting recipient. These tapes retail for about $20.

Makita 18-Volt LXT Mossy Oak Heated Jacket

If you are looking for a gift for someone who works outside in the cold climates and they don’t have heated gear, this is a no-brainer. The camo option from Makita is a bonus for two reasons. One, I typically wear a Carhart over the heated jacket to further insulate the heat being generated and therefore the pattern won’t look odd on a job-site. Two, Makita has zip off arms to allow the jacket to be used as a vest, giving it a little more versatility than other brands.

Heated gear, like the Makita 18-Volt LXT Mossy Oak Heated Jacket, makes life a lot easier for workers in the field because often times we are not moving around generating heat, so this option helps keep us warm during static work outdoors. And if your trades person also enjoys hunting, the same applies sitting in a tree stand or in a blind, making the camo option another no-brainer. The 18-Volt battery has the fastest charging batteries on the market and can be used on the world’s largest 18-Volt cordless tool platform. This jacket retails for about $200.

Milwaukee USB Rechargeable Heated Gloves

Hats, gloves, and socks are a classic winter time gift, but can be mundane so if you plan to wrap up one of these items, make sure you up the ante. Milwaukee is known for upping the ante and these heated gloves are the epitome of that concept. This gift is sure to wow your loved ones and definitely proves good things come in small packages.

Milwaukee USB Rechargeable Heated Gloves are powered by two red lithium batteries, which can provide you enough heat to snow blow or shovel the driveway, in comfy fleece lining. But that’s not all! These are some serious winter gloves. The gloves feature extended cuffs, with an oversized pull tabs to make donning the gloves a breeze. Leather palms make the gloves flexible, even out of the box, and the index finger is touch screen compatible. These gloves retail for about $180.

Milwaukee Rover LED Rechargeable Pivoting Flood Light

A flashlight is a great practical gift for anyone let alone your loved one in the trades. Light is like a hammer, wrench, or pliers for someone in the trades. Convenient and reliable light is getting better and better and Milwaukee is taking personal lighting to another level. This Milwaukee Rover LED Rechargeable Pivoting Flood Light is amazing.

Armed with a carabiner like clip, magnets, and pivoting stand this little guy can be deployed in all manner of ways to get light where you need it. The REDLITHIUM battery is rechargeable using a 2’ heavy duty USB cable. Bottom line, this light is compact, versatile, and bright pumping out 550 lumens of high definition light! This rechargeable light retails for about $70.

Worksharp Woodworking Tool Sharpener WS-3000

Going through an apprentice program, I learned how to sharpen chisels with a grinding wheel. The first time I saw someone sharpen chisels on a WorkSharp I knew I was never going to sharpen my chisels on a vertical grinding wheel again. The WorkSharp is fast, precise, and delivers a superior point. If the carpenter or woodworker in your life needs sharp chisels, this tool gives them the ultimate gift of time. Not only will you save them time sharpening, but their work with go faster and easier with razor sharp chisels.

The Worksharp Woodworking Tool Sharpener WS-3000 is a bench mounted tool sharpener that has a max wheel speed of 580 RPM. The wheel is safer and easier to control than vertical grinding wheels. The sharpening process is further enhanced by the WorkSharp as tools rest on a forced air heat sink that removes heat from the tool while sharpening. This prevents overheating the steel which could result in softer edges that dull faster. This sharpener retails for about $200.

Kershaw Outright

A nice everyday carry (EDC) knife is another surefire gift for anyone in the trades or who enjoys the outdoors. A convenient blade in your pocket is always welcomed whether on the job, in the field, or just breaking down some amazon boxes at home. The Kershaw Outright is beautiful knife with a deep blue PVD coating that is continuous from the blade to the handle.

Again an EDC can be any run of the mill knife, but as far as presents go this Kershaw Outright is worth gifting. Also a practical choice as the steel is 8Cr13Mov which is cost effective and still holds a good edge, bottom line this is quality blade. This is an eye catching design with an up-swept blade and continuous deep blue color. This knife retails for about $35.

Kershaw Faultline

Another Kershaw knife I wanted to add to this gift guide is a super affordable and practical hunting knife. The Kershaw Faultline came out of the box with a super sharp blade and is small, light, and has an extra wide blade. The back of the blade features plenty of ribbing for choking up on the blade for efficient field dressing. Oversized rubber gripping will ensure you don’t slip no matter how messy your job gets. This knife retails for about $25.

Metabo HPT Multi-Volt Reciprocating Saw

I have a handful of reciprocating saws in my shop, and I pack them on the truck depending on the job. I got a beater, a 15-amp corded beast for demo, and a cordless saw for light duty work that I usually keep with me at all times. This Metabo HPT Multi-Volt Reciprocating Saw would have saved me from diversifying my reciprocating saws, even as a remodeler.

If you’re looking to get someone a gift who’s starting out in the trades this is a great choice. A.) Almost anyone can use a recip saw B.) The flexibility of a corded/cordless saw is genius and finally C.) For a lot of trades a recip saw isn’t on the top of their list for tools they want to spend money on. With that said this is a unique and thoughtful gift for the trades person in your life. I’d consider getting an extra battery to make it as practical a gift as possible. This tool retails for about $300.

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About the author

Phil Benevides

Carpenter / Assistant Editor

Phil is a 28-year old Air Force Veteran who decided to transform his passion for construction and home improvement into a career. Inspired by his Grandfather who built his home from the ground up with his bare hands in Portugal, he received his formal training in Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, MA.Phil continues to grow his skills as a carpenter and leader, while exploring new products, methods, and tools!

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