• July 18, 2024, 10:42 pm

The best gifts for DIYers SoftAIT

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Update : Tuesday, November 14, 2023


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DIY is more popular than ever, with 73 percent of millennials identifying as do-it-yourselfers, according to the market research firm The Farnsworth Group. Whether your favorite DIYer is into home renovation, woodworking, or tinkering with their car, you can show your appreciation for their handiwork by rounding out their tool set with some new models. Or give them the gift of bins and boxes to help them organize all those tools (and the storage shed). These are the best gifts for DIYers our writers have used this year.

Best cordless drill: DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill

This cordless drill is rugged and powerful enough to be worthy of a pro job site while remaining affordable enough for a gift for a DIYer. Powered by a 20-volt battery, DEWALT’s cordless drill can reach speeds of up to 1,500 rpm, making it fast enough to handle jobs that require a lot of fasteners. A slower speed option with a max of 450 rpm adds versatility and maximizes the drill’s torque output. 

At 8-1/2 inches long and weighing 3.6 pounds, this is one of the bulkier drills on the market, but DEWALT makes up for that with an ergonomic handle that makes it comfortable to hold for longer jobs. DEWALT’s drill has other useful features, including a ratcheting chuck that makes it easy to secure bits by hand and an LED light with a 20-second delay for added visibility. — Tony Carrick

Best cordless drill-driver set: CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Drill Combo Kit

A red cordless drill, impact driver, and carrying bag over a drill bit set in a red case.

If you want to fill out a DIYers entire power tool library in one fell swoop, you should start with CRAFTSMAN’s V20 Cordless Drill Combo Kit. This drill set comes with all the essentials, plus a carrying case and impact driver. The star of the show is its powerful 20-volt drill, which can rotate at speeds of up to 3,400 rotations per minute. An impact driver may look like a drill, but it wraps around a screw or lag bolt to rotate them and is best suited for heavy-duty tasks. This isn’t the type of tool DIYers are likely to have in their garage already, and while you may be unfamiliar with it, its applications will become apparent as projects arise. Both of CRAFTSMAN’s tools have an LED light, which will help in dark areas—think attics or nooks and crannies in a basement or garage. — Brandt Ranj

Best power drill: Craftsman CMCD710C2 Power Drill

A red and gray Craftsman Power Drill in the foreground of a workspace.

We could tell the quality of Craftsman’s CMCD710C2 from the moment we took it out of its packaging, and our expectations were exceeded the first time we used it for a project. It drove screws through plaster and a wooden beam during a TV wall-mounting project like a hot knife running through butter. 

This was the most powerful power drill we tested, but it was also the heaviest. Despite its increased power, it made roughly the same amount of noise as other drills we tested—if not a little less. There’s no technical downside to using this power drill beyond its weight, but you should also consider its price. The CMCD710C2 is expensive, though it does come with a battery and charger. If you want to gift the DIYer in your life the absolute best performance from a power drill and to be safe in knowing they’ll never need to upgrade again, this is the one to get. — Brandt Ranj

Best mechanics tool set: DEWALT Mechanics Tool Set

If you never want to buy a socket set ever again, then this is a good place to start. The sturdy carrying case includes three 72-tooth ratchets, more than 150 sockets, and a full run of hex keys. Made of steel and hand-stamped for easy identification, this set is designed to endure. It’s great for people who enjoy tinkering around with their vehicles. — Stan Horaczek and Jen McCaffery

Best power tool kit: BOSCH Power Tools Combo Kit

If someone in your life is just getting started with DIY projects, a basic tool combo set like this one from Bosch is a great place to get started. The 12-volt set features a compact yet powerful 3/8-inch drill/driver that operates at a range of speeds up to 1,300 rpm, a lightweight reciprocating saw, a bright worklight that lasts for three hours on a single charge, two batteries, and a charger. And they all fit back nicely into the included bag. — Jen McCaffery

Best multi-tool: Ryobi 18V Multi Tool

While it’s easy to get excited about a garage full of tools, sometimes it’s helpful to have some options that are capable of performing more than one function well. Ryobi’s 18-volt Multi-Tool is a great tool for DIYers working with various materials. Capable of up to 20,000 OPM (oscillations per minute), this tool comes with plunge cut and flush cut blades and can be used to cut metal, wood, plastic, and drywall. At 1.5 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight, and it vibrates less than comparable models. The Multi-Tool also comes with a sanding pad to help your DIYer put the finishing touches on their projects. — Jen McCaffery

Best screwdriver set: Klein Tools 80031 Screwdriver Set

Tools don’t get much more basic than the humble screwdriver. This five-piece set from Klein Tools, which has been making tools since 1857, includes the most commonly used types: two Phillips head, two slotted, and one square-tipped screwdriver. The shanks are chrome-plated, and the tips are cut for precision. And the handles are cushioned for an easier grip. — Jen McCaffery

Best impact driver: Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hex Hydraulic Driver Kit

A red Milwaukee tool bag with an impact driver, battery, and battery charger in the foreground.

Technology sets the Milwaukee M18 Fuel impact driver apart from the rest. Its hydraulic drive sustains torque better than other impact drivers, allowing it to drive faster and with more power. With so much torque, impact drivers always risk stripping out a screw head. The Milwaukee M18 solves this problem by featuring a self-tapping screw mode that helps to start the screw without stripping it out. With its four drive modes, the user can tailor the speed of this driver to suit any job. We also like the small profile of this driver. At less than 5 inches long, this driver is compact enough to fit into tight spaces, and it’s one of the quieter models on the market. Its hydraulic drive technology eliminates the metal-on-metal contact that makes other impact drivers scream like a jackhammer. — Tony Carrick

Best angle grinder: DEWALT 4-1/2” Angle Grinder

A yellow, black, and gray corded angle grinder tool from DeWalt.

DEWALT’s 4-½-inch angle grinder is a tough, high-quality tool aimed at those who need consistent, trouble-free performance. The 11-amp motor is the most powerful in its class, with a speed of 11,000 rpm. With the correct wheel fitted, this angle grinder will cut concrete or steel with equal ease. Although fairly slender, the tool is 12 inches long and relatively heavy, so it isn’t as maneuverable as some. It’s more a professional tool than one for the average DIY user, but keen home auto restorers and anyone taking on major remodeling could well find it worth the investment.  — Bob Beacham

Best jigsaw: CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Jig Saw

A red and black Craftsman V20 cordless jig saw.

A jigsaw allows users to cut curved lines, circles, and other shapes into a range of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, laminate, and more. This 20-volt model from Craftsman operates at speeds from zero to 2,500 spm (strokes per minute). It comes with three orbital settings that let the user control the aggressiveness of the cut and works with both T and U shank blades. Its beveled shoe also allows the user to cut at 45-degree angles. Plus, it features a contoured handle for a more comfortable grip. — Jen McCaffery

Best chainsaw: ​​Worx Nitro 40V Chainsaw

A black Worx Nitro chainsaw set in front of some rocks against some brown leaves.

Worx offers a number of very versatile tools in its Nitro series, and the chainsaw is no exception. The 16-inch bar is ideal for most typical users who don’t need to go chopping through Middle Earth-style forests. A pair of sturdy grips give both hands a comfortable place to rest and lots of control over the tool. During our testing, we chopped through tons of 3- to 4-inch sticks and some larger, full-grown trees.

With two powerful batteries installed, it quickly gets up to speed, and we barely had any issues with kicking or getting stuck. Installing and adjusting the chain is simple, and it self-lubricates as users run it, so it doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance. We spent several hours cutting away with this tool and ran into almost no issues, which is exactly what we’re looking for.  — Stan Horaczek

Best circular saw: DEWALT DCS573B Flexvolt Advantage 20V Circular Saw

A yellow, silver, and black circular saw by DeWalt.

The DEWALT circular saw offers numerous user-friendly features that suit both professionals and amateurs who are prepared to invest in quality. This powerful 20V cordless model runs at 5,500 rpm, providing faster cutting than many rivals. The brushless motor maximizes battery life. Thanks to the Flexvolt Advantage system, this saw can also use DEWALT’s high-capacity 60V batteries, which the manufacturer claims can result in a 77-percent power increase. An LED light makes it easier to see cut lines and improves accuracy in low-light conditions. An electric brake stops the blade quickly, so it’s safe to put the saw down after a cut. A rafter hook, favored by framers and other carpentry trades, is also included. — Bob Beacham

Best random orbital sander: beyond by BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander

An orange and black beyond by Black+Decker random orbital sander.

For those people who want to strip old furniture before repainting, sand lumber, or perhaps ease a sticking door, the Black+Decker could be the ideal tool. This random orbital sander may not be especially powerful, but it will get the job done. The fixed speed doesn’t give it great versatility, but it is fast enough for ripping through old paint or varnish and good for sanding store-bought softwoods. Weight is under 3 pounds, and rubberized areas make it easy to use at different angles. It comes with three sanding disks of different grits, which won’t last very long but will get the new user started, and acclimate them to how each type cuts if this is their first sander. — Bob Beacham

Best heat gun: DEWALT Heat Gun Kit

A yellow and black DeWalt heat gun in front of a black DeWalt bag with silver attachments in the foreground.

A heat gun is a versatile tool that can help with a range of DIY and pro tasks, from thawing frozen pipes and removing tiles to repairing electrical equipment. This compact model from DEWALT comes with an LCD display that allows users to adjust the temperature within 50-degree increments. It also features built-in overload protection, and hang ring for storage, a cord protector, and a kickstand for stability. The heat gun comes with a range of attachments to fine-tune work, including a cone nozzle and fishtail surface nozzle. At 2.3 pounds, this tool is lightweight, and the handle is ergonomically designed for more comfortable use. Note that the battery and charger have to be ordered separately. — Jen McCaffery

Best smart tape measure: LEXIVON 2 in 1 Digital Laser Tape Measure

A yellow and black with red smart tape measure from Lexivon with a red arrow coming out the front.

Smart DIYers subscribe to the maxim, “Measure twice, cut once.” Lexivon’s 2-in-1 Digital Laser Tape Measure allows them to do just that. This device combines a traditional 16-foot tape measure with a laser that measures out to 130 feet. It features an LCD screen that displays measurements and is accurate up to 1/16th of an inch. Powered by two AA batteries, this tool also allows users to make stud center markings and comes with a rubberized case and belt clip. — Jen McCaffery

Best laser level: DEWALT Line Laser

A yellow and black DeWalt line laser tool

DEWALT is known for constructing well-designed, durable tools; this laser level is no exception. Like many other options, it offers both horizontal and vertical leveling. What sets this model apart is the durable construction that ensures you won’t be buying another one should it happen to take a tumble or spend time out in the rain. That’s because DEWALT protects this level with an over-molded housing that can endure drops from heights of up to a meter. It also has an IP54 rating, which means it will withstand being splashed with water. 

In addition to being ruggedly built, this laser level is also easy to use, thanks to its self-leveling capability and a versatile mounting system that’s compatible with a tripod. Its 100-foot range is ample distance for most indoor and outdoor applications. — Bob Beacham

Best work table: WORX WX051 Pegasus Folding Work Table & Sawhorse

A gray WORX Pegasus Folding Table and Sawhorse with orange accents.

With all these tools, a DIYer also needs a reliable workspace. This folding work table from WORX that converts into a sawhorse fits the bill. Made of durable ABS plastic with steel reinforcements, it supports up to 300 pounds as a work table and up to 1,000 pounds at a workhorse. Yet at just 25 pounds, this work table is relatively lightweight and easy to store. It features two integrated clamps and a lower shelf that’s great for storing power tools. If your DIYer needs more workspace, these tables can also attach together to expand the work surface. — Jen McCaffery

Best work light: Craftsman LED Portable Work Light Bundle

A red Craftsman LED light with a black handle and plug next to a blue microfiber towel.

DIYers also need dependable lights that can illuminate dark corners when fixing things around the house or under the hood. This Craftsman work light features an LED light that provides up to 2,000 lumens of light. At just three pounds, this cheery red light is easily transportable, and it has a 5-foot power cord. The head rotates 360 degrees, so DIYers can point it in whatever direction they need light. It’s also rated IP65, so it’s safe to use in wet locations. And when the project is completed, this lamp is also great for camping, fishing, and hiking.

Best work gloves: Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves

A black work glove with the fingers pointed down and the work Ironclad on the hand in yellow.

Reliable safety protection is essential for DIY projects. These classic work gloves from Ironclad are made of synthetic lever and feature thermoplastic protection on the fingers to protect the knuckles from impact and abrasion. The gloves have a hook-and-loop closure for a secure fit and even include a terrycloth sweat wipe at the back of the thumb. When the job is completed, these gloves are also machine-washable. 

Best toolbox: DEWALT Tough System

A durably built black toolbox with clasps holding it closed and the word

The DEWALT Tool Box is a medium-sized hand-carry case that’s a great choice for home use or on a busy job site. This toolbox comes with a deep storage compartment that is large enough to fit a drill, saw, or a cordless tool battery and a charger. Sitting on top of this compartment is a removable tray where users can store hand tools, like screwdrivers, wrenches, or a hammer. 

This box is made with durable structural foam that protects against impact damage, cuts, slices, dust, and water. Made with metal locking brackets and awarded an IP65 water- and dust-resistance rating, this is an excellent option for DIYers and pros alike. — Tim Dale

Best stackable toolboxes: beyond by BLACK+DECKER Stackable Storage System

A stack of three black tool storage cases with orange clasps and handles stacked on a black wheeled cart.

Tools can get heavy and disorganized, especially when a DIYer needs everything from a cordless drill, hammer, tape measure, and nails to complete a job. BLACK+DECKER provides an ingenious solution with its stackable storage system. The three-piece set features a rolling tote with rubber wheels designed for power tools, a deep toolbox for hand tools, and a small organizer toolbox divided into compartments. The stackable set is designed with lockable latches, and DIYers can roll the whole set together to a job or easily remove one of the toolboxes. This unit can also double as storage, so DIYers can also set the boxes against the wall in the garage and use them there. — Jen McCaffery

Best cordless vac: DEWALT 20V MAX Hand Vacuum

A yellow DeWalt hand vacuum with a black handle and base.

When it comes time to clean up, an easy-to-use vac is indispensable. This hand vacuum from DEWALT is designed with 20 volts of power, making it capable of removing debris and removing water. This versatile wet-dry vac comes with a half-gallon tank, a utility nozzle for targeting messes, and an extendable rubber hose. Powered by a DEWALT battery pack, this cordless vacuum is easy to transport and lightweight at 4.5 pounds. It also features a washable HEPA filter that traps more than 99 percent of dust.

Best shop vac: Bissell MultiClean Wet Dry Vac

A gray vacuum cleaner body with a red tube and a gray attachment next to a group of attachments.

There’s the fun of working on a DIY project … and then there’s the cleanup. If they’d appreciate a wet-dry shop vacuum that handles anything, the Bissell MultiClean vac covers all the bases. This versatile cleaning tool comes with a variety of features and functions, including a blowing function for clearing leaves or blowing up inflatables, a wet suction tool, and a toolkit of different brushes for vacuuming various surfaces and crevices. The tank is on wheels for easy movement while vacuuming, and its balanced body keeps it from tipping over when it’s pulled. This machine is sleek and easy to use for both small at-home messes and bigger shop cleanups. — Amanda Reed

Best leaf blower: DEWALT Cordless XR Leaf Blower

A yellow and black leaf blower from DeWalt with a charger and battery.

DEWALT’s cordless leaf blower offers an excellent combination of both power—courtesy of its 20V motor—and cost. This battery-powered model can push out air at up to 125 miles per hour, covering an area of 450 cubic feet per minute. A flat concentrator nozzle helps blow away heavier debris. At 5.4 pounds, this leaf blower is lightweight, and it’s designed with an ergonomic handle and also quieter than most at about 68 decibels. It is worth noting, however, that the battery generally only lasts from 15 to 20 minutes per charge — David King and Jen McCaffery

Best log splitter: Fiskars IsoCore 36-Inch Maul

A log splitter with a forged steel head facing right and an orange grip.

This manual log splitter is built to last with a forged, heat-treated steel head with a rust-resistant coating. Plus, the sculpted, soft-grip handle fits the contour of your hand and promises to transfer two times less shock and vibration than wood handles. The wedge-shaped maul head is specifically designed for, and highly efficient at, splitting—significantly better than the thin, relatively lightweight head of an axe. At only 7.43 pounds and requiring almost no storage space, this tool punches well above its weight. — Mark Wolfe

Best pressure washer: GreenWorks Pressure Washer

A green and black pressure washer by Greenworks with a black cord, water bottle, and hose in the foreground.

Does your resident DIYer start to turn green when they notice the outside of the house needs a good wash? They’ll appreciate the range of the Greenworks Electric Pressure Washer. The pressure hose can extend up to 20 feet, and the 35-foot power cord is safe to use with exterior outlets. It also comes with two nozzle tips, a soap applicator, and an attachable detergent bottle for added convenience at clean-up time. This GreenWorks pressure washer blasts at an impressive 1,600 PSI to dislodge dirt and get your house looking primo once again. This pressure washer is also great for cleaning your car, fence, patio, and more. — Jeremy Helligar and Jen McCaffery


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