Holiday Tool Buying Guide Part 1
Since starting AConcordCarpenter I am constantly asked for my recommendations for tool gifts. The simple answer is not always that simple.
People are funny when it comes to tools. When you consider that many people follow brand loyally, only look at price points, purchase what their used to; based on many factors, including comfort, durability, power and a proven track record and you end up asking the same question again…. Which tool should I get?
Based on the suggestion of a friend, I’ve compiled a list of great gift ideas of the tools and products that I have tested and reviewed. All are great tools and many of them have found permanent homes in my toolbox!!
While most of these recommendations are tools, some of them are really cool products, clothing and gear.
Each category has a short description and an Amazon link to buy the tool or product online. I do most of my shopping at Amazon and recommend their site. I also get a very small commission from any tool purchase off the included links.
The tools below are in no special order, clicking on the title link will bring you to Amazon.com for additional information and purchasing.
You can learn more about any of these items by searching for them in my search box.
Bosch SDS Cordless Rotary Hammer
The Bosch SDS cordless rotary hammer is a compact, light-weight powerhouse! I recently had the opportunity to bring this drill out to some job-sites and put it to work.
When I first saw it I thought… cordless, No way! Boy was I wrong.
The Bosch RHH180-01 has 360 in./lbs. of torque in a 5-2/3-pound body, making a no brain-er tool for tight spot or overhead drilling.
My plumber and electrician loved using this drill to install pipe straps and conduit on concrete.
This tool is built rugged and definitely powerful and durable enough for professional tradesmen to use on a regular basis. Of course the do-it -yourself-er will love it too!
Cost $ 476.19 online here: Bosch 18 Volt SDS Cordless Hammer Drill
Bosch 12V Inspection Scope
Bosch PS91-1A 12V Lithium-Ion Max Inspection Camera Industrial Kit allows you to get “eyeballs into super tight and enclosed spots.
I’ve used it the inspection scope a dozen times in the first month I received it. So far I have used it to look into wall cavities, foundation drain pipes, locating pluming leaks, evaluate insulation, and locate a diamond ring in a heating duct. This tool is invaluable for many reasons. It sells for $292.00 online here:
Milwaukee 2401-22 Sub-Compact Impact Driver
The Milwaukee 12-volt sub-compact impact driver kit features a convenient quick-bit-loading 1/4-inch hex chuck for bit insertion and release with one hand.
This driver and it’s sister drill have a permanent home in my workshop, I like it because of it’s power and the lithium batteries last a long, long time.
The Milwaukee 2401-22 produces 100 in.lbs of torque and runs from 0-500 rpm. This driver will drive 130 3-inch screws on a single charge.
Weighing less than 2 pounds, this driver also have a really nice balance to it and a real d comfortable drip. Its rugged and powerful enough to be used by contractors yet small and compact enough for a DIYer tool. Either way this driver will provide you with many, many years of reliable service. Sells for $98.00 online here:
DEWALT 20 Volt Impact Driver
DEWALT’s DCF885C2 20-volt max lithium-ion 1/4-inch impact driver is the prefect tool for professionals who frequently perform drilling and fastening applications, overhead or in tight spaces. The DCF885C2 is smaller and more powerful than it’s 18 volt cousin.
This impact driver has quickly become my “Go To” driving tool. I even bought special drill bits with special ends that index into the 1/4″ chuck so I can bore hoses without pulling out my drill.
The DEWALT 20 v Impact driver is one of my favorites and an amazing deal at $219.00 online here:
DEWALT 12 Volt Screwdriver
The DCF610S2 screwdriver is compact but powerful enough to handle a variety of professional contractor jobs. I see this as an ideal tool for re-modelers, electricians, cabinet installers, HVAC, woodworkers, Maintenance personnel and many other professionals whose jobs rely on fastening and drilling applications but do not require the torque or the weight of an 18 volt tool. The compact size will amaze you!
I also see this a the perfect cordless screwdriver for the DIYer. I liked it enough to keep in my tool trailer. It’s weight, and power to size ratio is amazing. This is a great gift for anyone from a homeowner to an installer. It sells for $ 110.00 online here: Dewalt 12V Screw Driver
Ridgid 12 Volt Drill Driver And LED Combo Kit
The Ridgid 2-piece 12-volt cordless lithium-ion combo kit is both compact and powerful. The 2-speed transmission ensures you have the right power to complete the job. The LED Light features a twist on and off mechanism and lasts up to 10,000 work hours and a continuous run time of 11 hours per charge. This driver is well built and can stand up to the rifggours of the PRO of the serious DIYer. It sells for $ 93.00 online here:
Skill Cordless Screw Driver
I’ve used the Skil cordless screwdriver for everything from hanging window shades, installing door locks, and removing and replacing the electrical outlets and switch plates.
It’s small and easy to use but is still powerful and has a built in flashlight. The battery has held it’s charge for several weeks and is still going strong. It’s perfect for light duty repairs and driving applications.
The Skil Screwdriver and LED Flashlight is the perfect tool to keep in the kitchen junk drawer for on the spot repairs, tweaking or repairs. Everyone could benefit from having this tool handy. Sells online for $34.00 online here: Skil-2350-01-4-Volt-Li-Ion-Screwdriver
Paslode CF – 325 Framing Nailer
I was super impressed with the CF-325. The improved speed and handling really make this a worthwhile cordless upgrade as well as a compliment to your corded framing nailer. The time saved from not having to lug a compressor and hose up three floors was worth it alone. Not to mention saving my back from having to carry the compressor!
If you’re in the market for a cordless framing nailer then I highly recommend the Paslode CF-325 because of thegreat features and portability that it offers. Time saved is money earned! This nailer SAVES TIME!!
This nailer shoots paper tape strip nails from 2-Inch to 3-1/4-Inch long in shank diameters of .113, .120 and .131 in both smooth and ring shank.
The Paslode CF325 can be purchased for $396.00 online here:
Bostitch Cordless Framing Nailer
What appealed the most to me was that the Bostitch GF28WW nailer had ability to drive full, round head wire-weld framing nails as well as wire-weld, clipped head nails without any conversion required.
Most building codes these days are requiring full head framing nails. They hold better and offer better hold-down and shear strength in seismic and high wind conditions.
Another useful feature the Bostitch GF28WW touts is the ability to be able to use the competitor’s fuel canisters.
I used this nailer to frame out a basement remodel with the full head nails and found it well balanced and easy to use especially when nailing into Laminated veneer lumber(LVL).
When buying a cordless nailer you want to buy a tool that is easy to use, has minimal recoil, provides enough power, is easy to use, and well balanced. You also want to make sure that your nailer can be used on natural timber, and especially laminated engineered lumber and other materials without bogging down. That means being able to drive the nail flush or below flush if needed! The GF28WW can easily accomplish this.
I was impressed with this nailer and recommend it to anyone who want to save time from setting up a compressor and hose for small framing jobs or those hard to reach locations like a dog house dormer. Sell for $265.00 online here:
DuoFast Roofing Nailer
I really enjoyed reviewing the Duo-Fast DFCR175C and highly recommend it. This nailer is going to be a huge time saver for me. It is faster than hand nailing and is perfect for a wide range of roofing jobs, including, leaks and shingle repair, ridge and hip replacement, skylight installations, steep slope roof work, flashing and vent installation, drip edge and other roof repairs and punch list repairs.
I even use it to install fasteners in window flanges and it does not crack the flange!
Having the convenience or cordless and efficiency of fuel powered cordless ensures roofers and exterior contractors a powerful, lightweight and compact tool that helps increase productivity, reduce job site clutter and project downtime, and increase profits.
Having this nailer for small repairs or small jobs that require staging or ladder access will also make the project run smoother and safer. Not having to deal with the tangled web of a pneumatic hose precariously trailing across the ladder rungs or staging planks will make the folks at OSHA smile! Plus you will not have to set up a heavy compressor and dirty hose.
Being able to consistently drive 2 nails per second with no compressor or hose is a time savings. That could save up to 40 minutes per day. I’ve said this before; time saved is money earned. Sells for $ 459.00 on DuoFasts website. this nailer comes with a second battery and safety tether.
If that person you’re buying for has ever experienced the frustration of hammering something hundreds of times over, then you get bet that they have longed for a compressed air power nailer. For framing, remodeling or production PRO’s these tools can’t be beat
Paslode Power Framer
The PowerFramer PF350s is hailed to be powerful enough to drive three-inch nails into any type of engineered lumber. In my experience all of the other framing nailers that I’ve used can’t do this. I always have to back up, take out my hammer and hand nail the fasteners flush to the surface.
I am impressed with and really enjoyed using the PowerFramer PF350S. Paslode has always made great tools but this nailer is well built and top notch.
A carpenter friend who also used the nailer was also equally impressed with the weight, balance and power of the PowerFramer PF350S.
The was the most impressive feature of this nailer; its weight and balance ratio and the power it delivered. The ability to fully drive fasteners into engineered lumber is a huge plus and a time saver.
I highly recommend this nailer to anyone looking for a full service framing gun that will last a long time and provide years of uninterrupted service, especially if you in the framing or remodeling field. Sell for $ 399.00 online here:
Paslode T250A 16-Gauge Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer
Because of its compact size, the Paslode T250A is perfect for working above your head or in cramped spaces. It has a real nice weight and balance that plays well with finish work.
The 16 gauge nail approach come in useful when installing moldings on cabinets where splitting expensive or pre-finished stock when driving nails can be costly and is to be avoided at all costs.
It is a real nice nailer for the job site or the shop and does a nice job installing door trim, window trim, wainscoting, baseboard, casing, crown molding, and pre-finished components.
The Paslode T250A is light, powerful, and has very accurate nail placement.
It’s a nice nailer for a great price, online at $163.00
PorterCable Pin Nailer PIN138
The Porter Cable PIN 138 Pin Nailer uses 23-gauge headless and slight head pin nails from 5/8-Inch to 1-3/8-Inch length.
It automatically adjusts for different fastener lengths for easier loading and less problems with pins out of spec. It has a convenient side-load magazine that holds 130 micro pin nails, and a reversible belt clip to keep tool close to user.
The headless nails are great for holding things in place until the glue dries. Things like small moldings, dentil molding, bead molding, raised panels and miter returns that are prone to splitting are perfect.
This is the perfect tool for finish PROs or woodworkers. Sells for $ 99.00 online here: Porter-Cable-PIN138-23-Gauge-8-Inch-Nailer
Stay tuned for my Corded tools, Hand tools, Clothing and Garden ideas!