2015 Holiday Tool Guide DIY Edition

2015 Holiday Tool Guide – DIY Edition

Another year has come and gone and the holidays are rapidly approaching. Instead of hastily grabbing something out of the special buy bins up by the register at the big box store, let us help. Take a peak through the holiday tool guide and find something for the loved ones in your life. The items on the list are geared toward the DIY-er, someone who is just getting into improving their home, a new woodworker, or maker. Despite being geared towards the DIY-er, all of the tools on this list would be right at home with the Pro user too. Each item on the holiday tool guide has links to both our review as well as a Buy Now link in case you want to order one up.


Ryobi Super Combo Kit

Ryobi One+ Super Combo KitThe first tool on the list is for the person without any power tools or maybe they have old tools with really tired batteries. The Ryobi kit has the tools to get them going on that next big project. I used these tools exclusively to demo a set of pine stairs and install oak treads and balusters. Despite the diminutive price of $129, the kit packs a big punch.

Full Review

Buy Now


Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits

Bosch Daredevil Spade BitIf your loved one does a fair amount of drilling or is thinking about tackling a big remodeling project, chances are they could use some spade bits for drilling larger holes in wood. There is no finer spade bit than the Bosch Daredevil and that’s why they made our holiday tool guide. I have a full set of these and have nothing but praise for them. Hold onto the drill tight though, these things remove material at a very rapid rate. Don’t forget your safety glasses, the chips practically jump out of the way when these bits spin up. A 13 piece kit goes for less than $20.

Full Review

Buy Here


Milwaukee Fastback II

Everyone needs a good utility knife. One that’s comfortable in the hand, is easy to control, and has good balance. The Milwaukee FastBack series of knives have these in spades. Other knives have come and gone and the FastBack is the one I go back to and use every day. In fact I own 3 of them so that there is always one close by. These are a pro level knife at a DIY friendly price. At just $15 for the FastBack II I’ve often contemplated buying a case of them just to pass out to my friends and family. $15 will also buy a 2 pack of the original FastBack, that way you can buy one for your loved one and keep one for yourself. Win-win.

Milwaukee Fastback IIFull Review

Buy Now


Milwaukee 25′ Tape Measure

Milwaukee Tape Measure -6

The tape measure is easily one of the most used tools on the jobsite and it has to be durable to last through the harsh conditions. DIY-ers need a good tape too and the Milwaukee fits the bill. Even though it’s marketed as a General Contractor tape, it feels good in the hand and is easy to use. With hand tools, I always recommend that people spend a few more bucks to get a tool that will last them a long time. At $18 it is a few more bucks than the cheap bargain basement tapes but it will last you 10x as long. If your loved one doesn’t need a 25 footer, the 16′ is $14 and is built to the same high standards. I have both of them and use the 25 out in the field and the 16 in the woodshop.

Full Review

Buy Now


Hart Quicktatch

Hart Quick-Tatch Trowel SystemI have a box that I keep all of my trowels in. All of my concrete and tile trowels of various sizes all have permanent handles affixed to them and they are really hard to store. Enter the Hart Quicktatch and all of the major sizes of trowels fit into the space just a little larger than one.  This tool makes so much sense that I feel like an idiot that I didn’t think of it first. If you’re adding a tiling project to the “Honey Do” list than do your honey a favor and buy them this. It’s an innovative storage solution to an age-old problem and at $20 for a limited time, we couldn’t help but include it on this year’s holiday tool guide.

Full Review

Buy Now


RIDGID Combo Kit

RIDGID Combo Kit-1Earlier this year the RIDGID Gen5x Combo Kit was released and it was a serious piece of kit for a very modest price. It was 5 tools for $499. That sounds like a lot of money but considering the pro level tools, it is a pretty good bargain. Now entering the holiday season, RIDGID has started offering more tools and combinations of tools in the Gen5x line. They are now offering the hammer drill and impact driver as a combo kit for the unbelievably low price of $169. That’s two tools, two batteries, a charger, and a bag. You may feel like your name should be scratched from the nice list and put on the naughty one after buying this tool and for good reason. At $169, it feels like stealing.

Full Review

Buy Now


Craftsman 10 Inch Sliding Miter Saw

In our Miter Saw Head 2 Head the Craftsman emerged as the clear value winner. At a tick under $300 it offered pro level features for a very reasonable price. It would make a very nice DIY saw or beginning pro saw. While it’s the most expensive item on this year’s holiday tool guide, it makes the best “one more thing” gift to surprise your loved one with. Just think about all the projects they can get done with this baby out in the shop. Honey do list? More like honey done list.Craftsman SM2509RC

Full Review

Buy Now

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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