$10 or Less: 20 Super Cool Stocking Stuffers for the DIYer
TOH editors' picks for small and budget-friendly presents the resident handy person on your list will love
Still searching for gift ideas for your resident handy person? Here are 21 tools This Old House editors think DIYers would like to open up on Christmas morning. Whether you add them to your shopping cart online or find them at the counter of your local hardware store, all are $10 and under (well, almost) and are small enough to sneak inside those stockings hung with care.
A credit card shaped multi-tool that will stand in as a flat screwdriver, bottle opener, orange-peeler(!), and much more.
About $12; Zootility Tools, zootilitytools.com
An exact replica of a tool from the 1870s, these cast-carbon-steel pliers have a serpentine handle that works as a fulcrum, making them perfect for pulling tacks or brads. OK, so these are over $10, but they are worth the splurge!
About $15; Lee Valley, leevalley.com
6" Double End Nail Set
Every carpenter needs one of these versatile steel gadgets in his or her toolbox; this one has a head that doubles as a second nail set for tight spaces, or as an anvil for straightening bent fasteners.
About $11; Japan Woodworker, japanwoodworker.com
Kapro Mini Level with Angle Finder
Surprisingly handy, this tiny level fits right in a back pocket for when you're up on a ladder or moving from room to room.
About $4; Kapro, homedepot.com
41-1218 2AAA LED Penlight
Looks like a pen, clicks on like a pen, but acts like a powerful flashlight—complete with LEDs that never burn out. Price includes the batteries, too.
About $10; Dorcy, amazon.com
Workshop smelling foul? This natural spray will sweeten the air with a clean scent. It contains pharmaceutical-grade oils that neutralize odors at the source.
About $9; Kanberra, kanberragel.com
Sugru Self-Setting Rubber
It may look like Play-Doh, but this self-curing rubber makes quick repairs on all your stuff. It'll bond to surfaces like aluminum, steel, ceramics, glass, wood, some plastics, and more.
About $12; Sugru, iFixit.com
Tub O' Towels
These aren't your grandma's all-purpose household wipes—they are larger and more powerful than the average towelette, yet they are also gentle on hardworking hands.
About $8 for a 40 Towel Canister; Tub O' Towels, gsasupply.stores.yahoo.net
This multi-bit compact tool offers a #1 and #2 Phillips head, ¼-inch and ⅜-inch slotted head, ¼-inch and 5/16-inch nut driver, which means it sometimes the only tool you need as you make repairs around the house. Every tool kit needs one.
About $5; Lutz, tools-plus.com
Olympia Tools 76-509N12 15-Piece Hobby Knife Set
For the hobbyist, this compact that contains everything you need to work on small projects: a ergonomic handle/grip, ten knife blades, a tweezer, a clipper, and a precision screwdriver.
About $10; Olympia Tools, amazon.com
Fraction Calculator Wheel
No need to keep a fancy calculator in the workshop when you've got this. It may look like an object out of your elementary school locker, but it adds or subtracts a range of fractions.
About $10; Lee Valley, leevalley.com
Terrebonne Deadheads Mini-Snips
Standard-size pruners can feel clunky when deadheading certain flowering plants and some stems are just too tough to snap with a thumbnail. These razor-sharp, palm-size snippers speed up the chore, and then come in a nice little case.
About $10; Terrebonne, mendotrimtools.com
World-wide travelers and backyard explorers alike will appreciate keeping this all-in-one gizmo around their neck. It combines an LED light, safety whistle, compass, magnifying glass, plus a secret dry-storage compartment.
About $5; The Paragon, theparagon.com
Swiss Tech Products ST66676 Utili-Key Multi-Tool, 6-In-1, Stainless Steel
It can't unlock your front door, but it can do practically everything else: open bottles, tighten a screw (three different kinds!), tear open well-wrapped Christmas packages, and more.
about $9; Swiss Tech Products, amazon.com
Bucket Boss Brand 99981 Mug Boss
This mini version of the popular tool carrier fits around a standard coffee mug, perfect for storing most used drivers and other tools on the workbench (or pens at the office...).
about $8; Bucket Boss, amazon.com
General Tools 842 Pencil Compass/Scriber
Aspiring and established carpenters alike can tell you that you'll need to scribe trim and other woodwork more often than you think, but it's impossible to do without a good marking tool. That's why they'll appreciate unwrapping this professional-quality compass/scriber, made of rust-resistant, die-cast metal and features a spring tension adjustment.
about $8; General Tools, amazon.com
Precision Oiler Pen
Never let a gear, hinge, or latch squeak or rust. The tiny pin-point will deposit oil exactly where it's needed, without staining fine furniture or dripping onto other parts.
about $8; Lee Valley, leevalley.com
You could spend a lot more on garden gloves, but we're not sure why you would. These lightweight and breathable gloves are quick drying, easy to hand wash, durable enough, and super cheap.
About $5, Atlas gardeners.com