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Which tools are best to give as gifts?
We all have that person in our life who’s afraid of, or maybe just ambivalent toward, home repairs.
You can usually tell who this is because they have a pile of unhung paintings in the corner, their drain needs a good snaking, and their doorknob is about to fall off. Instead of rolling your eyes or telling them off, remember this: There’s nothing a little elbow grease, the right tools, and a helpful YouTube tutorial can’t fix.
We’ve compiled a list of the most important items the not-so-handy person in your life needs to take care of their home, so you can nudge them in the right direction.
Are you looking for a few more gift ideas for the holiday season? Check out these gift guides:
BLACK+DECKER Home Tool Kit and Accessory Kit: This BLACK+DECKER Tool Kit comes with a cordless drill, claw hammer, tape measure, utility knife, and dozens of other useful tools your loved one can use around the house. Between this 60-piece tool kit and the 109-piece accessory set, you can rest assured that your loved ones will have everything they need to handle household repairs.
Drain care: When it comes to taking care of our drains, we often forget about it until we notice the murky water pooling in the sink or tub. Most of the time, it’s nothing a dose of Drano can’t fix, but sometimes it’s easier to remove the clog than flush it down. In this instance, we recommend gifting this drain snaking bundle, which comes with six plastic drain snakes and a stainless steel clawed cleaner. It’s nasty work, but they can handle it.
Flashlight: Sometimes all it takes to make a repair is being able to see what is wrong. With an affordable and highly versatile GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight, your loved one will quickly be able to shed some light on any problem.
Tape measure: How long does that curtain rod need to be? Is the hallway really wide enough to get that new dresser into the bedroom? How big should the throw rug be? A simple tape measure, like Craftsman’s 30-foot tape measure, is a definite must-have for every soon-to-be homeowner or apartment dweller.
Tape: Speaking of tape, you can never have enough. Gorilla tape holds things together with incredible strength, painter’s tape will drastically cut down on touch-ups, double-sided tape can fix that curling carpet, and some Teflon tape might be all your loved one needs to stop that annoying leak. Make sure they’re fully stocked — they’ll use it eventually.
Superglue: You may know that some sawdust, a little Gorilla glue, and a wood screw are all you need to make your chairs strong and sturdy once again. But for your not-so handy loved one, super glue can also mend an endless array of items from broken tiles to fractured figurines.
Lubricant: Sometimes, the problem isn’t needing to fasten two items together; it’s getting them apart. Whether it’s a squeaky hinge, a non-opening lock, or a stuck window, often, all that’s needed to fix the situation is a little lubricant. A stalwart in this area is WD-40. Not only can this oil lubricate, but it can also clean and protect as well.
Pro tip: Remind the user to be careful and read all precautions when applying tape, glue, and lubricants because improper usage can make a problem worse instead of remedying the situation.
Personal protection gear: The most important must-haves for any at-home repair job are the ones that keep you safe. Blistered hands, dust in your lungs, and splinters in your eye are all very real hazards. To combat them make sure your loved one owns (and uses) work gloves, a dust mask, and safety glasses.
Utility knife: One of the most useful tools for a not-so-handyperson is a utility knife. Whether they’re trying to open a particularly tricky Amazon Prime box or they need to do some precision cutting for a craft project, Fancii’s Folding Pocket Utility Knife will be up to the task.
Plunger: The first time you need a plunger will be the last time you’re ever without one. Plunging is one of the most common repairs an owner or a renter performs, so it pays to get the best. The simplehuman Stainless Steel Toilet Plunger will let your loved one flush their problems away… literally.
Ladder: You can’t fix what you can’t reach. Even if it’s just replacing a lightbulb in the hallway ceiling, your loved one is going to need a ladder. Little Giant Ladder Systems’ 6-foot Stepladder is a sturdy model by one of the top names in the ladder-making industry.
Pro tip: When climbing or descending a ladder, having at least three points of contact between your body and the ladder (two hands and a foot or one hand and two feet) will help prevent most accidents.
Hammer: Even if everything in your loved one’s house is hung up with Command Strips. At some point, even if they never plan on driving a nail, they’re going to need to tap something back into place. To do that, you’ll need to have a hammer on hand. And you may want to send your loved one some nails, just in case.
Multi-bit screwdriver: Every screw head is a slightly different shape, size, or depth, which means you’re going to need more than one screwdriver. Instead of buying a set of 100 screwdrivers, however, the right multi-bit screwdriver will easily handle all the situations your loved one may face. Klein Tools’ cushioned-grip screwdriver, for instance, is an impressive 11 tools in 1.
Pliers: Pliers may be the best tool for the not-so-handyperson. They’re strong, adaptable to a wide variety of situations, and require no instructions before use. They function like a powerful thumb and forefinger and are equally effective at holding something in place or twisting it off. Start your loved one off with an assortment so they always have the right tool. Craftsman’s 5-piece Pliers Set should adequately cover all of their needs.
Handheld vacuum: After every repair, there’s going to be some mess that needs to be cleaned up. That’s what makes a tool like BLACK+DECKER’s Cordless 16V Dustbuster such an essential item. This powerful, bagless cleaner will help your loved ones quickly tidy up a repair so they can admire their handiwork. They may even be inspired to use the dustbuster in other places around the house that need it.
First aid kit: If you’re sending your not-so-handy loved one a package of all the tools you think they need, why not throw in a first aid kit, just in case. This kit from First Aid Only has all the basics your loved one will need to deal with cuts, scrapes, burns, swelling, and pain.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.