Wood workers are special people and that’s why they deserve special gifts. Most of us wood workers are earthy types and hands on people who thrive on creating things of beauty and utility from nature’s raw materials.
It’s not hard to buy gifts for a wood worker but sometimes it’s hard to buy just the right one. If your wood worker isn’t giving any hints about what you might give them, I have some suggestions here that might make the endeavor a bit easier for you. I present to you my Holiday Gift Guide of Classic Gifts for Wood Workers.
Screwdrivers are a necessity for handy people of all persuasions. The one cardinal rule for buying these tools is; Never buy cheap screwdrivers. As with most all hand tools, you get what you pay for when buying screwdrivers. Try to stick with brand names you trust such as Stanley, Craftsman, SK Tools, and Snap-on. Screwdrivers can easily be purchased in sets and that’s what I recommend if you’re giving them as a gift. A good basic set of screwdrivers should have at least 3 slot tip and three phillips tip models. Most wood workers and mechanics agree that you can never have too many screwdrivers.
A Shop Apron
A shop apron is often an important tool item that many woodworkers bypass. It’s just not an item we think to buy for ourselves. The right apron provides protection for your clothes and body while you get in close to your work and a good apron can even boost your productivity. There are a couple types of aprons to consider. A full length shop apron covers the body from chest to knees. These full length aprons are generally made of leather and have deep functional pockets. You do not want the type of apron that has a support strap which goes behind the neck. You want the type with shoulder straps like this excellent example from Rockler Woodworking Tools. A nail apron differs from a shop apron in that it’s shorter, it fastens at your waist and it frees you hands by holding tools and hardware as you work with them. An example of a nail apron similar to my own can be found at Sears.com . Nail aprons and tool belts are often considered to be the unsung heros of the construction trade.
Tool Boxes and Chests
Tool boxes and chests are always popular gifts and the selection available is positively amazing. A stationary tool chest can help keep your garage in order, while a rolling tool chest can ease your work by keeping things mobile and accessible. You can still get a nice basic rolling tool chest for under $200, and that cost includes the few extras you can buy as options to make the chest more effective. Look for models with welded corners, heavy duty rollers and bearings in the drawer slides.
Kits, plans and projects make excellent gifts for your wood worker who already has all the tools they need. You could try finding a project plan at woodworkersworkshop.com, and then get a gift certificate for the project materials at a local home building center. You can purchase wood clock making kits at Klockit.com . You will find kits there suited to every wood working skill level and you can buy most of their kits either with precut parts or just the inner workings and the plans. You can find some excellent project kits suitable for young wood workers at Woodcraft.com to get them started in the noble art of woodworking for the birds.
The most coveted wood working tool of this year is the table top CNC router. There are several excellent models out there which can be had for under $3,000 but the thing about CNC routers is that if you’re not going to be producing multiple dozens of the same pieces, you’re spending a lot of money on technology you’ll probably never use.
The “can’t miss” wood worker’s gift is still the cordless drill. A good 16 volt drill with an extra battery, case and charger can easily be purchased for under $100. You can look at models from Black & Decker, Dewalt, Makita, Skil, Craftsman, Milwaukee, and several other manufacturers. Each of them have good options to offer to you. The trick to finding the right cordless tool for your wood worker is to consider what they’ll use it for and how often they’ll use it. My pick of the litter for this buying season is this Craftsman C3 19.2 volt drill with 25 piece bit set and a storage bag.
These few ideas should help you on your quest to find a gift that will thrill the wood worker in your life. If tools are on your list, I’ve given you many directions to pursue. The key is to shop carefully and be sure you are comparing apples to apples. If all else fails, it’s perfectly fine to ask your wood worker which tools they will make the most use of. Remember, the only thing worse than a good tool which never gets used is a bad tool that you’d rather not have.