Today's home handypeople, male and female, want tools that are highly functional, convenient to use and with a touch of 'cool.'
What's that? You're not sure a power washer belongs under the Christmas tree? Think again. Give it to the right individual and you'll be remembered for life.
Cordless power tools are the handyperson's best friend.
The Makita cordless combo kit is like having all your friends in one place. Inside the set's rugged carrying bag, you'll find a battery-powered hammer drill, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, circular saw, and angle grinder. This useful allin-one gift can be found for $599.20 at The Home Depot.
Carrying cordless drills can be a hassle, of course, so Lee Valley Tools solved the problem by making both leather and nylon drill holsters. These fit two-inch leather and nylon belts and include Velcro strips to keep the drills in place. The leather holsters have a nice 'cowboy' feel to them (leevalley.com).
Now if only band saws were portable. But they're too big, right? Wrong: Makita builds a portable band saw that can be taken from place to place; Acklands Grainger offers both cordless and corded models.
Trying to work in dark spaces is always a challenge. Lee Valley has solved this problem by offering the $12.50 Cree head-mounted LED flashlight. This is not a toy: The Cree headlight puts out 160 lumens of usable light with variable brightness settings. It can be focused from a wide field to a narrow beam, and moved through a 90-degree range so that the user's head is always in a comfortable position.
Black & Decker's AllinOne Laser Level attaches to the wall, and sets a level line using a built-in laser. But that's not all: This device has a green/red light that visually indicates when the line is level, and when it is not. Available at Home Hardware and other retailers (blackanddecker. com).
Is your f avo u r i t e handyperson constantly plagued by power issues? Get them a Wagan 200W Power Dome LT from Best Buy for $79.95. This is a portable battery unit that can jump-start dead car batteries, and has a built-in AC plug that will power laptops, battery chargers, or most anything else that has a standard AC plug.
There are generic workshop radios and then there's the Bosch Power Box 360 Digital Media, available at The Home Depot for $249. This is a rugged, jobsite AM/ FM/Sirius satellite radio-capable audio system with five speakers plus a subwoofer that provides 360-degree sound. The Power Box 360 accepts music inputs from iPods, MP3 players and USBs. It even charges 14.4-volt and 18-volt li-ion batteries.
According to the satirical singing group The Arrogant Worms, a typical man likes his pressure washer 'because it makes cleaning destructive.'
Canadian Tire sells the gasoline-powered Diamond 3800 PSI Professional Pressure Washer. The professionalgrade triplex plunger pump is designed for the toughest jobs: This $1,399.99 unit will make pressure washing truly destructive of everything you're trying to blast away. Fun times!
Multi-function mini-tools can be a lifesaver when you're in the middle of a big job. The Leatherman Skeletool is a sturdy device that comes with a stainless steel combo blade, pliers, bit driver, removable pocket clip and carabiner/bottle opener.