The Gifts FHM Editors Wish They Were Getting This Year
Don't know what to get the DIYer on your list this season? Take it from Family Handyman editors, your recipient will love these editor-approved gift ideas.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Read on for a wish list from Family Handyman editors. Your favorite DIYer will love these editor-approved gift ideas.
Our house was built in 1884, yet someone saw fit to do “popcorn” ceiling texture. I’d love to get rid of that, but it’s a difficult, time-consuming and messy task. The Festool Planex drywall sander makes the job easy (I don’t need to get up on a ladder, either), and virtually mess-free! — Brad Holden, senior editor.
AC Infinity Airtap Register Booster Fan
We always have one bedroom on the second floor that doesn’t warm as much in the winter. These fans retrofit into existing floor registers and boost the airflow coming to the room. The super quiet fan operates via a programmable LCD thermostat. According to Amazon reviewers the booster fan quickly regulated their room temperature. They work for heating and cooling. — Shay Tilander, senior editor.
Park Tools Deluxe Home Mechanic Bike Repair Stand
I maintain a few bicycles in my household, and I would be a far better husband and bike mechanic if I owned this tool. I’ve tried inexpensive alternatives and they just don’t work well. If you’ve ever taken your bicycle into a bike shop for service, the pros there use a stand like this. Don’t I deserve the same tool? — Glenn Hansen, deputy editor.
My son and I enjoy fishing together. When the weather starts to cool down, we start prepping our ice fishing equipment. Although we’ve traditionally used a gas powered ice auger, storing and maintaining a small engine can lead to frustrations and tinkering when it’s time to hit the ice.
Makita Cordless Wet/Dry Vac
My carpenter husband has one of these portable Makita shop vacs for work and shop use, but we constantly steal it for the home, too. It’s great for cleaning out the car or clearing dusty window sills, and light enough for the kids to use, too. A good investment. — Berit Thorkelson, assigning editor.
Levoit Air Filter
When the maintenance person at my apartment building showed me the filthy filter he removed from my HVAC unit, I felt sick. These filters are replaced twice a year and mine was completely clogged. I live on a busy street with lots of car, bus and truck traffic, and a lot of that exhaust makes its way right into my apartment.
So, what do I want for Christmas? The quiet, true HEPA, Levoit 400S air purifier. This smart device, with 360-degree air intake, easily changes the air in a 403 square foot room five times per hour. The three-stage filtration traps dust, mold, smoke, fumes, pet dander, VOCs, odors and more. And, I like that this purifier has nine worldwide certifications.
If Santa doesn’t bring me this air purifier, I’m going to buy it myself! — Mary Flanagan, associate assigning editor.
Earthwise Reusable Shopping Bags
I love their mesh produce bags as well, I’ve given both as gifts many times. The mesh bags are lightweight, so they don’t add a lot of bulk if you’re paying per pound. I hate how many plastic produce bags I used so gave these a try.
They have held up nicely to washing and I have never had issues with the cashier scanning through the bags. I keep a few of these tucked inside my collapsible bags so they are always on hand at the store. — Jenny Mahoney, art director.
Garden Tool Set
My hand trowel broke at the end of the summer, so I’ll need a replacement before spring. This seven-piece garden tool set has everything I need to tend my balcony garden, plus a convenient place to sit.
It includes five hand tools: weeding fork, cultivator, weeder, transplanter and trowel. The folding stool will take up next to no space in my storage closet, and the detachable bag corrals the tools in one easy-access spot. — Mikayla Borchert, assistant editor.
Wall-Mounted Tool Organizer
Our garage is a mess. We’ve got rakes, shovels, brooms, etc. creating a huge clutter, so we’re in desperate need of an organizer. This wall-mounted organizer will fit all our outdoor tools and more, and comes in at an affordable price. It’s even strong enough to hold our bikes or other heavy equipment. — Alex Shoemaker, newsletter editor.
Meguiar’s Quick Spray Detailer
I own a vintage British sports car with a ragtop that cannot be run through a car wash; it’s got to be washed by hand. Although it sits in the garage collecting dust most of the summer, when I do find time to drive it, I want it to shine.
I simply mist on Meguiar’s Quick Detailer and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. It’s quick and easy no messing with hoses buckets or sponges. I have to say I was skeptical at first, but this stuff is amazing! — Joe Cruz, editor.
Delta Glass Rinser
My daughter is an interior designer and her clients like the new Delta Glass Rinse accessory. You can install it yourself if you have an air hole in your countertop. A nice feature from Delta, all to make our lives easier! — Peggy McDermott, editorial services.
via Duluth Trading Company
Men’s Ballroom Double Flex Slim Fit Jeans
I bought these jeans from Duluth Trading Company because I was sick of wearing my nice jeans and blowing out the knees while shooting all of our videos. So these are my work jeans, the ones I am okay rolling around in the workshop with and getting sawdust all over them.
I’ve only worn them for a couple of weeks, but they seem like they’ll work just fine. They have that stretchy material and they’re a slim fit so I don’t have to worry about them looking like parachute pants. — Kellen Berg, video producer.
I’ve done lots of BBQ-ing this summer, and each time I rolled out the grill or smoker I dreamed of a faster and easier way to ignite the charcoal. When fall came around, I had a similar dream of lighting our weekend campfires on the patio.
No more striking matches or holding a tiny flickering flame from a lighter under crumpled paper in your fireplace. Just screw on a propane or MAPP gas tank and start the Bernzomatic trigger start torch with a push of a button. I don’t do much sweating of copper, but if this lands in my Christmas stocking I’ll have a smile on my face. — Mike Berner, associate editor.
Tapo Smart Plug Mini
Smart plugs take ordinary devices and appliances and let you control them as if they were smart devices. These Tapo smart plugs can be used to create schedules for your small appliances, like setting up your coffee pot to turn on when you wake up.
You can also connect the plugs to devices like an Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Nest hub and control them through voice commands. If you want to give a gift that will be remembered and used every day, give the gift of smart plugs. — Harrison Kral, editor.
via Work Sharp
Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener
A dull knife—whether in your pocket or in the kitchen—is next to useless. But putting a truly keen edge on a knife takes a measure of skill and know-how, and it can be a chore. The Work Sharp Mk.2 makes the process a whole lot easier.
The Mk.2 has three abrasive belts: one for honing, one for general sharpening and a coarse-grit belt for reviving a knife edge that’s been butchered. Using the coarse or medium belt will create a lot of metal dust, so do that work in the garage (and remember to wear eye protection). Just install the abrasive belt you need, flip a lever for the proper angle (25 degrees for pocketknives, 20 for kitchen knives), pull the trigger and drag your blade through the guide. Once my knives are sharp, I mainly use the honing belt for quick touch-ups. — Nick Grzechowiak.
Electronic Bidet Seat
I didn’t think I needed a bidet, but a serious injury changed my mind. While I was recovering, I enlisted a friend to install the Fluidmaster Soft Spa, which took about 30 minutes. This bidet works on my one-piece toilet, but because of a curve where the tank meets the bowl, the seat would fit better on a traditional two-piece model. If you do install a bidet requiring power, you may want to add an outlet in a convenient spot to keep the cord out of sight.
It’s easy to adjust the temperature, direction and pressure controls to whatever suits you. The cleaning is thorough and comfortable, and the seat warmer is a nice touch. The unit also features a night-light, an effective deodorizing function and a drying fan. The dryer takes longer than I’d like, so I still use some toilet tissue, but my TP use is down about 75%. This bidet made me a believer, and using a typical toilet now feels a bit barbaric! — Vern Johnson, creative director.
Peet Boot Dryer
After a day of yard work or hiking, boots can be wet from rain and perspiration. And wet boots are smelly! Not only that, moisture shortens the life of leather and other boot materials. My Peet boot dryer uses thermal convection to quietly and safely dry my boots in three to eight hours. The dryer works on all types of materials. — Mike Berner.
As a farm kid, during haying season I’d go through several pairs of leather gloves. The twine on the hay bales was merciless. I wish I’d had a pair of Vermont gloves to put to the test then. As a big kid, I’ve had the opportunity to use a pair called The Vermonter for landscaping, cutting logs, splitting and stacking logs, concrete work and working with rough stone. So far, they have laughed it all off and are breaking in nicely. They’re made from goat leather, which the manufacturer says stays soft and supple through wet/dry cycles because of its natural oils. These gloves are hand-stitched, with double-stitched fingertip seams, and all the seams are on the outside to take it easy on your fingers. You can beat the tar out of them day in and day out, but at $100 a pair, you’ll want to treat them to a bit of Neatsfoot oil from time to time to add a few years of service. — Brad Holden.
Darn Tough Vermont
Darn Tough Vermont is a family-owned business with nearly 40 years of experience knitting socks in Northfield, Vermont. As a nod to their quality, the socks are guaranteed for life. If a pair ever fails, send it back and they’ll send a new pair. An employee inspects each returned pair to see how they can improve.
Darn Tough socks come in many activity-specific styles and three padding levels. My favorite is the midweight hiker with full cushion. Additionally, Darn Tough socks are made from naturally antibacterial merino wool to help keep your socks and shoes stink-free. Since trying out a pair about 10 years ago, I’ll never wear any other socks. They’re that comfortable! — Nick Grzechowiak.