2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Every year we put out a holiday tool gift guide to help you pick out a gift for that hard to buy for tradesperson in your life or maybe a gift for yourself. All of the tools in this year’s guide are ones that are in my job site kit or in my shop. I can personally recommend all of these because I use them regularly.

Tool Gift Guide Stocking Stuffers

Milwaukee Tool Fastback 2 pack

What’s to say about these knives? I’ve been using them for years both on the jobsite and in the shop. One of them, either the compact or normal fastback is always on me and sometimes I’m even carrying two. Now you or your loved one can get in on the action with this great deal from Home Depot for under $15.2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide -Fastback Knives


Stanley Fatmax 2 pack

Here’s another sweetheart of a deal from Home Depot. This time it’s 2 for 1 on the perennial best tape measure. Just $20 is all you need for this one. At this price, buy one for yourself and one for your loved one.2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide -Fatmax 2 pack Tape Measures


Stanley  6-Way Screwdriver

I love this screwdriver. It isn’t one of those fancy 800 in 1 drivers but what’s great about it is that it has the two Philips sizes (#1 and 2) on opposite ends of one bit and the two standard sizes on opposite ends of the other bit. I love these so much that I own 3. Under $5 at ACME Tools.


Gearwrench Micro

I bought this last year as a stocking stuffer for my then 6 year old son (on a recommendation from my buddy Stuart). It’s a good quality, compact kit with most of the sizes you may need around your house. It is especially useful on knockdown furniture. I bought it for him but I borrow it so much that I should just get my own… and you should too! Just over $16 on Amazon. 2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Gearwrench Micro tool set


Bosch GLM50C LDM

When laser distance measures first came out, I didn’t think they were all that useful outside of estimating. Now I use them quite frequently just to do quick material calculations, or sqft measurements, or heights, or any other measurement that’s longer than my tape. Stan reviewed it a couple years ago and it’s still a great tool. On sale now at ACME Tools for just under $100. 

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Bosch GLM 50 C

Measurements can be directly imported into a phone/tablet app for quick layouts


Stiletto 10oz Hammer

Up until this point, all the tools in the gift guide have been on sale or some kind of special holiday deal. Not so much with this hammer, it’s listed at the normal price. So why am I including it? Because it’s the best hammer I’ve ever swung. Sure a hammer’s greatness is pretty subjective based on how it feels to the user but it was our best pick for our finish hammer head to head a few years ago with 6 of 7 of us picking it over the rest of the field. You can get it for about $85 at ACME.

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide -Stiletto 10oz hammer

My trusty hammer is a little worse for wear but it stills bangs nails like a champ



Tool Gift Guide – Under $100 Gifts

Kindling Cracker

This cool little tool is something I bought for my dad as a gift a couple years ago. It’s a dead-simple piece of cast iron that you put small logs on top of and whack them with a hammer to get small pieces of kindling. No moving parts and it’s fun to boot! $90 at ACME 2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Kindling Cracker


Metabo HPT 10″ Miter Saw

Are you or a loved one in need of a miter saw to finish off that honey-do list? Every year ACME has a honey of a deal on this Metabo HPT 10″ miter saw. Is it the greatest miter saw on the planet? No but the price is fantastic for a decent little saw. Don’t believe me? Check out the price and reviews at the following link. $89 at ACME. 2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Metabo HPT 10" Miter Saw


Dewalt 20V Blower

I’ve had this blower a couple seasons now and while it’s similar to other blowers on the market, the concentrator nozzle is what makes this one special. Usually this model is around $140. At only $99 at ACME, this is a screaming deal.2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Dewalt 20V Blower


Cordless Inflator

Battery-powered inflators have been out for almost a decade on the RYOBI One+ platform. It wasn’t until a couple years ago the Milwaukee and Dewalt also released inflators of their own. An inflator isn’t an everyday tool so get the one that goes with your current battery platform. Either Ryobi ($49 bare tool), Milwaukee ($99 w/battery and charger), or Dewalt ($99 bare tool).2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Milwaukee M12 Inflator


Milwaukee USB Rechargeable Headlamp

As a commercial carpenter, I’m often in low light job sites. One of my most used tools is my hard hat headlamp. It’s usb rechargeable so I just plug in my hardhat to my truck at the end of every day so that it’s ready to go for the next day. I like the milwaukee one not only for the rechargeability but the attachment system is second to none. At 475 lumens, it’s no slouch in the light output either. Home Depot has a screaming deal right now for the headlamp and an additional battery for under $60.2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Milwaukee USB Rechargeable Headlamp


Gearwrench 20pc SAE/Metric Ratcheting Wrenches

Gearwrench was the first company to develop ratcheting wrenches and this 20pc set is about the easiest way to get your hands on them. I’ve bought this set twice over the last couple years. Once for myself and then a set for my dad because I liked mine so much. Ohio Power Tool has a great deal on these wrenches at just over $55.

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Gearwrench 20 pc SAE/Metric ratcheting wrench set

Here is my wrench drawer with part of the Gearwrench set


Tool Gift Guide – Over $100 Gifts

Milwaukee Packout

I use Packout every day. Almost all of my tools that I bring to the jobsite are in a packout box, bag, or container. Milwaukee was later than some brands to the party but they’ve been blowing the rest out of the water with the shear number of options in the lineup. The gateway for most is the three case stack. If you don’t want to wait, head to your local Home Depot and pick up the stack for $197 plus tax. Otherwise you can grab it at ACME for similar price and free shipping.

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Milwaukee Packout

The three box stack is a gateway drug to all the other great SKUs in the Packout line, like these bags


Dewalt Tough System 2.0

If your loved one has a penchant for the color yellow instead of red, take a look at the all new Dewalt Tough System 2.0. They took many of the things that frustrated users with the original and fixed them all the while keeping the new ones backwards compatible. A three box stack is similarly priced to the Milwaukee around $200 but is currently $179 at ACME Tools.

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Dewalt Tough System 2.0

Gen 1 can click right onto the 2.0 boxes


Makita Rear-handle Circular Saw

Beast is the word that best describes this saw. Gobs of power, so much so that you may think it’s corded. With the ability to cut through 3x material in one pass, this saw is sure to be a hit with the tradesperson in your life. Right now you can get the saw with 2 additional batteries too so that means you get the saw, charger, a bag, and 4 batteries for $249 at ACME. 2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Makita Rear-Handle Circular Saw


Milwaukee Mid-Torque

As Goldilocks said, “This one is just right.” The same is true for the Milwaukee Mid-Torque impact wrench. It has just the right amount of power and finesse for most fasteners. Lug nuts and automotive bolts to lag bolts and screw anchors in concrete. The version I have is gen 1 and it has 600 ft/lbs of nut busting torque. As a bare tool it is $199 at ACME. There’s also a newer version that just came out but that one is $40 more for only 50 ft/lbs of additional torque. Dewalt and Makita both have mid torque offerings as well and they seem really nice but I’ve only used them at media events.

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Milwaukee Mid Torque Impact Wrench

My wrench and ratchet packout box. Mid-Torque is upper right.


Makita Couple Shaft

Hands down the best attachment system I’ve ever used and it appeals to most users because it comes in either gas or battery powerheads and about every attachment imaginable is available for this system. This isn’t something you’re probably going to gift someone (unless you’re married to them and get to benefit from it) but maybe it’s a gift you buy yourself this holiday season. Check out all the options at ACME.

2020 Holiday Tool Gift Guide - Makita Couple Shaft System

Couple Shaft powerheads are available as X2 battery or 4-stroke gas

About the author

Jeff Williams

Contributing Editor Jeff Williams is a carpenter for a commercial General Contractor specializing in concrete, steel, and wood buildings. Jeff comes from a long line of contractors. His parents started a commercial General Contracting firm many years ago and it has afforded him life-long, hands-on learning opportunities from rough and fine carpentry all the way to structural steel and concrete. Jeff has a Construction Management degree and loves the thrill of coordinating and successfully managing large jobs from start to finish. Inspired by the difficulties sometimes encountered to complete punch lists his motto is, "Work hard until the job is done."


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