This will be a great year for those receiving tools – and for those buying tools as gifts. Lots of favorites are on sale as Christmas nears. Here are a dozen:
1. The makers of Bondic say it’s not a glue, but the world’s first liquid plastic welder. Experts who review tools say it’s way cool – a must for every workbench. Use it on plastic, wood, metal and fabric. The 12-piece Bondic DIY Kit includes applicator, UV LED light, tube of liquid plastic, sanding block and more. It’s $39.99 at www.bondicusa.com. The videos at www.bondicusa.com/pages/videos do a nice job of explaining how it works.
2. Is there a first-time homeowner on your gift list? Consider a quality starter set. (Don’t buy tools off the bargain table.) This nine-piece Vise-Grip set is from Irwin Tools, based in Huntersville. Includes: 16-ounce hammer, 26-foot tape measure, 9-in-1 screwdriver, slip-joint and groove-lock pliers, utility knife, 9-inch level and adjustable wrench, in tough fabric bag. On sale now for $69.95, down from $93, at Amazon.com.
3. The first power tool for any DIYer ought to be a cordless, variable-speed drill/driver. This compact model from Ryobi is at Home Depot. It’s powered by a 12-volt lithium-ion battery that weighs less and holds a charge longer than comparable NiCd batteries. We found it at HomeDepot.com for $39, reduced from $49.97.
4. Every DIY cowboy needs a good holster! Seriously, a drill holster frees the drill user’s hands (and keeps him from dropping the drill and denting that table or countertop). This holster from Custom Leathercraft is made of heavy poly fabric, and holds most T-handle drills. There are outer pockets for bits, and a safety strap with quick-release buckle. It’s $11.79 at Amazon.com.
5. The MagnoGrip magnetic wristband isn’t new, but it’s one of those tools that users appreciate the moment they strap it on. Strong magnets in the polyester band hold screws, scissors and small tools. It’s just $8.35 from Amazon.com. Pair it with the drill holster.
6. If the tool person on your list already has a cordless drill, consider adding a tool that’s compatible with the same batteries. Most drill makers offer saws, flashlights and other items powered by the rechargeable batteries that operate drills. And “bare” tools – sold without batteries – are affordably priced. Confirm the brand and battery style, for instance, and see if there’s a reciprocating saw available. These are amazingly handy: Repair the deck, or remove that low-hanging tree limb. The Craftsman C3 19.2-volt reciprocating saw is from Sears. The blade has a 7/8-inch stroke, and you can change blades without tools. It’s on sale for $39.99 at Sears.com.
7. Help your DIYer organize (so you can reclaim a little space in the garage or basement). Here are a couple of versatile tool boxes: The Kobalt Zerust 18-inch lockable tool box is made of durable black plastic, so it won’t rust, and offers cantilever design for easy access to tools and fasteners inside. It’s $29.98 from Lowe’s.
8. The Ridgid 22-inch pro tool box offers heavy-duty metal latches and a tight seal to protect against water and dust damage. It’s $39 at Home Depot.
9. Lots of tools are great – until you need to work in tight or awkward spaces. For those times, you need something special. The Kobalt 11-piece flexible multi-bit screwdriver offers a 9-inch flexible extension to work around obstacles. The 1/4-inch quick-change connector and flexible shaft can be used in most cordless drills, too. Includes handle, shaft and eight bits. It’s about $15 from Lowe’s.
10. The Craftsman Gimbal Palm Ratchets come in 1/4- and 3/8-inch drives, with pivoting mechanism that allow the user to reach into tight spots. Use with sockets or interchangeable bits. The three-piece set is on sale for about $30 at Sears.
11. This Old House magazine chose the Centipede Support XL portable work system as one of the top new products of 2015. And that’s when it was priced at about $100. We found it on sale for $79 at Lowes.com. The steel frame expands to support a full sheet of plywood, and collapses to fit into a canvas carry bag. Includes quick clamps to hold regular lumber.
12. Or, consider the Husky Portable Jobsite Workbench from Home Depot. It can be used as a router table or miter saw stand, and it’s the same height as the standard sawhorse. Metal legs support 1,500 pounds, and remove to store in the work table for easy transport. It’s on sale, too, for $49.97 at HomeDepot.com.