The Perfect Tools For Your At-Home Mechanic: The Drive Gift Guide
It takes one to know one.
Here we go again. It's time for you to start freaking out about how you don't have the slightest clue what to give that gearhead in your life. Buying gifts when they were first starting out was easy. Literally anything helps. Now that time has passed, and they've honed their toolboxes, you have no clue how to blow their mind this Christmas.
While warm fresh socks and undies are always a good way to fill the stocking of someone who works in a cold garage, you're still going to need some pointers to nail down that big gift. The one thing you spoil them with that'll really make them feel special this holiday season. While we have no idea what’s in their heap of tools or what kind of madness they get into, we did come up with a list of killer gifts any wrencher will love.
Their New Favorite Tool: Milwaukee M12 Right-Angle Die Grinder
I bought the Milwaukee M12 die grinder for myself this past year, and I'm going to call it the best purchase I made in 2022, other than buying a house—maybe. This cordless right-angle die grinder can be used for sanding, cutting, grinding, and more. I've used it for every job I've taken on and really can't think of a job I wouldn't use it for in some capacity. Right now, you can snag the grinder, along with a battery and charger for $319 at Home Depot.
The versatility is worth every penny, and stacking it with this 300-piece sanding kit for less than $20 will have them running toward their next project.
A Watch They Can Actually Wear: Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch
The second gift recommendation comes from personal experience as well. More often than not, I find myself in pretty gnarly situations. That's not to brag or anything. I'm mostly just unlucky and a little on the dull side. And though I need a watch, as any other wrencher does, I never bought one because I didn't think one would endure the life. Then Managing Editor, Jonathon Klein recommended the Garmin Instinct. It's an absolute tank that stole my heart. It's a digital watch capable of delivering smart notifications, packed with all kinds of useful widgets, and can be linked to a fitness data-logging app.
It makes a fantastic gift and the current 33% off deal brings it down to a $199.70 that’s easy to justify for such a rugged piece.
A Toy to Remind Them Why: RaceBox 10Hz GPS Official Based Performance Meter Box
The Racebox is likely one of the best, if not the best, tuning tools you could ask for. $299 is less than some of the parts they need to get the job done, but delivers more information than a seat-of-the-pants feeling will. The Racebox records and logs 1/4-mile times, lap times, 0-60 times, and more. All of this is critical information to someone dialing a car into perfection and can be good fun for even the most casual tinkerers. It’s also a great way for them to remind them that all the work they’re doing is actually worth something measurable, helping them retain their sanity.
Hand Tools They’ll Always Appreciate
Hand tools can be a touchy topic because the wrencher in your life might already have a substantial collection. Doubling up only adds to the clutter, giving you less room to park. Still, hand tools are always a good gift. The list below is comprised of the kinds of tools we all want but put off buying in favor of shiny new parts. They're also all fairly small packages, so you're still in the clear if you still manage to snag duplicates of anything your gearhead already has.
- Gearwrench 21 Piece 72T SAE Standard & Stubby Ratcheting Wrench Set ($299.44, currently 21% off)
- Gearwrench 120XP 94-Piece Mechanics Tool Set in EVA Tray ($199, currently 21% off)
- Craftsman 1/2-Inch Drive Digital Torque Wrench ($157.03, currently 30% off)
- Vampliers 8-Inch PRO Linesman Pliers ($40, currently 11% off)
- Ares 8-Piece SAE 3-Way T-Handle Spinner Hex Allen Key Wrench Set ($82.31)
More Power Tools They’ll Put to Use
Every garage needs power tools. Even if the little hipster in each of us likes to chime in and say things like "I prefer the feel of hand tools” or " the old way helps me feel more connected to the project," power tools are going to get the job done. There's a lot of junk floating around out there, ready to victimize anyone none the wiser, which is why I rounded up some of the best options from industry leaders. In fact, we tested the Ryobi impact at the top of the list, which you can read about to make a more informed decision.
- Ryobi ONE+ 18V Brushless Cordless 4-Mode 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench Kit ($259)
- Ryobi ONE+ HP 18V Brushless Cordless Compact Impact Driver Kit ($89, currently 36% off)
- DeWalt 20-Volt MAX XR Cordless Brushless 1/2-Inch High Torque Impact Wrench Kit for ($299, currently %17 off)
- Milwaukee M18/M12 12/18V Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8-Inch Ratchet and 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench Kit ($199, currently 50% off)
- Milwaukee M12 12V Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8-Inch Ratchet Kit ($199)
Garage Gear They’ll Not Soon Forget
If you're aiming to wow a DIYer, chances are that you don't want to give them a new version of something they already own. You want to get them something that'll truly elevate their working dynamic. Something they've been dreaming of getting their hands on. Luckily for you, that's usually big stuff that's easy to spot. If you don't see something from the list below in their shop, you know you've found a winner.
Another note from personal experience: The Husky Standard Duty 9-Drawer Mobile Workbench Tool Chest below was gifted to me this year by my lovely partner in crime. Totally blew me away.
- Husky Standard Duty 9-Drawer Mobile Workbench Tool Chest ($579, currently 11% off)
- Central Machinery 12-Ton Shop Press ($169.99)
- Daytona 3-Ton Professional Floor Jack ($169.99)
- Performance Tool W85025 3-Drawer Rolling Tool Chest Seat ($137.99)
- Torack 4-Foot Garage Metal Pegboard Storage 109-Piece Kit ($109.99, currently 21% off)
Wearable Items They’ll Wear Out
You already know if that special someone in your life is in need of fresh workwear. Stains on every layer, pockets poking through the fabric, stink that doesn't seem to leave the room long after they did, you know the signs. Now, you do want to know their size, and gathering that information is up to you. But once you have that, you can hit the list below for gear that will not only last but will keep them warm all winter, such as the Milwaukee M12 heated jacket we put to the test.
- Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket Kit ($359.46)
- Dickies Men's Premium Insulated Duck Bib ($95.99 - $102.46)
- Carhartt Mens Loose Fit Washed Duck Insulated Coverall ($199.99)
- Carhartt Womens Relaxed Fit Washed Duck Insulated Bib ($119.99)
Stocking Stuffers for Wrenchers
Tools and gear are expensive, so you might only have room in the budget for one or two of the items mentioned above. If you're still after some little things to help fluff the pile up, you're in luck. There are lots of little trinkets and tools that go a long way in the garage. You’d be surprised just how much use a trained hand can get out of small, seemingly insignificant tools. Below is a list of some of the best options.
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