The Best Holiday Tool & Garage Gifts for the Mechanic in 2020

From tools to stools, there’s something here for every greasemonkey on your Christmas list.

byHank O'Hop|
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This list was updated with new products and deals on December 22, 2020

A wise man once said, “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.” And while this phrase holds a lot of water, there’s no doubt that quality tools make the job that much better — and a heckuva lot easier. A lot of thought and care goes into the design and construction of a good set of tools. Design aspects that make it easier to work in tight spaces, how it feels in the hand, and sheer performance along with durability all come into consideration at the drawing table.

You already know tools are a popular gift idea for mechanics, and no one can blame you for wanting to get the do-it-yourselfer in your life quality tools and equipment this holiday season. That can be easier said than done if you have no clue what they need, want — or what they will actually use. That’s what we’re here for. If you need a great gift for the mechanic in your life, here are some great tool gift ideas that have a place in every shop this holiday season. (Prices were valid at press time, but deals expire and prices can change.)

Every do-it-yourselfer needs a good baseline. Unfortunately, most start out with a cheap set of tools that’s just enough to get by. And that’s fine for starters. But if you know a DIY mechanic who’s ready for the next level, you might consider hooking them up with this great pro-level toolkit from Gearwrench.

This 239-piece mechanic’s toolset has pretty much everything one needs. From ratchets and sockets to Allen wrenches, open-end wrenches, Torx bits, and a bit driver is included. And of course, it comes with a three-drawer toolbox. The quality of this toolset is well above average. The tools are reliable, the box will last for years, and a limited lifetime warranty backs the whole thing. And if that’s not enough, act fast and you’ll save almost $100 at Amazon right now.

More Great Tool Gift Ideas:

One of the things that can kill a mechanic’s productivity is just figuring out what’s wrong with the machine — which can be particularly tricky unless they can scan the vehicle’s OBDII system. That’s why having a diagnostic tool that can tap into the system and read codes is a must-have these days. But that doesn’t mean you need to gift them an expensive, state-of-the-art diagnostics system.

This OBD2 Scanner makes for an excellent gift because you can use it to troubleshoot pretty much any modern vehicle. So long as an OBDII system is present, it can tap in and find out what’s wrong. It even has a function to help you cross-reference codes and find out precisely what they need. It’s easy to use, lets any mechanic skip past headaches. And it’s on sale right now for 28 percent off.

More Great Tools Deals Added Daily!

A decent welder is the kind of thing that changes one’s entire working dynamic. It opens the doors to a ton of new possibilities. But most reach for the most affordable option and wind up with more headaches than progress. The good news is, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on setting your loved one up with a decent welder.

This flux-core welder from Lincoln is an excellent starting point for anyone, and it’s sure to last through years of use. And because it uses flux core wire, there’s no need to invest in expensive tanks and regulators to get it running. Another benefit of using flux is that it will run consistently indoors and out, which means you can use it for a wide range of projects.

Still More Great Tool Gift Ideas:

Here’s a fantastic gift idea for a mechanic that’s just too great of a deal to ignore. The base package comes with two M18 FUEL tools — a drill and an impact driver. Both of those are sure to provide maximum performance and years of use. But because they’re part of a BOGO deal at Home Depot right now, you can include another Milwaukee cordless tool for free.

There are nine cordless gifts to choose from, but we think that Milwaukee’s grinder is hard to ignore. If you opt for the grinder, you’re giving your loved one pretty much any cordless tool they need for jobs you’d tackle outside of a professional setting. And yes, it does include the necessary batteries and charger.

Handsome (and relatively fragile) chrome sockets are subjected to way too much abuse, especially from impact tools. Many hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers make the mistake of using chrome sockets on power tools and end up breaking them. That’s why you should consider getting your favorite mechanic a good set of impact sockets.

This set from Klutch contains a total of 94 sockets. It includes impact sockets for 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch-drive tools, which is already excellent. But because there is a blend of metric and SAE sizes, it’s a must-have for any shop. The plastic storage case also helps to organize everything as well and helps to prevent misplacing the sockets. Any handyman will love it, and you’ll adore that competitive price point.

A good set of screwdrivers is an ace in the hole every time. There’s a set in the toolbox, one in the glove box, and another under the bathroom sink. And even if you know your do-it-yourselfer has a set in each of these places, it wouldn’t hurt to upgrade this holiday season.

Klein tools are a favorite among folks in every industry — the screwdrivers, especially. This 8-piece features all sizes the average handy person will need and have the quality that ensures a lifetime of use. Precision machining and the cushion grip pretty well seal the deal of these being some of the best you can buy.

Here’s a tool often missing from the home toolbox. A lot of folks make the mistake of using screwdrivers in place of prybars and wind up with broken tools. This set will solve that.

There are a few things that make this set special. It includes five different lengths of prybars. Each with a curved end to increase leverage. But what really helps things along is the striking pad. That feature makes it possible to use a hammer to blast those stubborn parts free. It really doesn’t matter what kind of projects they work on; this is an excellent gift idea for almost every handyman.

There are many ratcheting wrenches on the market, but many will argue that these are among the best. Ratcheting wrenches can make a huge difference in almost any project. The ratcheting mechanism vastly reduces the time you spend spinning wrenches dealing with fasteners. And because it has an open end, you can use them in more places than you can a ratchet.

This set makes an excellent gift because it includes a total of 20 wrenches in a collection of metric and SAE sizes. That means it is perfect for folks who dabble in a wide variety of projects. And despite the affordable asking price, this set is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Pry bards aren’t the only nemesis of screwdrivers; many screwdrivers meet their end when they’re used in place of a punch or chisel. Even worse, a handyman meets his wit's end when the screwdriver gives up. So, here we have a tool that stops things from flying around the workshop and keeps foul language at bay. 

When it comes to knocking things loose, this punch and chisel set gets it done. The 28 pieces include a range of sizes of pin punches, tapered punches, and chisels. There’s also a collection of center punches in this bundle, which are essential for drilling out those extra stubborn bits of metal. Each piece in the kit uses chrome-vanadium for construction as well, meaning it’ll be around for a long time. It’s a must-have for any collection.

If you work with moving parts, you need a deadblow hammer. Hammers with any form of steel head will chew into other metal surfaces and do more harm than good. The damage they cause to tolerances, threads, and so on may be irreversible, and it often leads to one needing to replace parts. And even though we know this, we’ve all done it more than we would like to admit to.

This is precisely why this Tekton Hammer set is such a great gift. It includes three hammers of different sizes, leaving no excuse not to use the right tool for the job. And even if it’s relatively inexpensive, it has the potential to save that gearhead in your life hundreds of dollars in the long run.