Gift Buying Guide For The Pro In Your Life
Check out our 2018 holiday buying guide to help you find the perfect gift for the pro in your life.
2018 STANLEY® FATMAX® tape measure
Stanley FATMAX tape measures have been a go-to measuring tool on jobsites for years now. They recently released 2018 model of the tape that sports some great new features, including straighter blade standout that can extend up to 13-ft, and an impact resistant case that Stanley claims can survive a 50-ft. drop onto packed soil. And this 25-ft. tape measure acutally pulls out to 25-ft. instead of stopping a couple feet short like many other tape measures do. The most interesting change is the case; it has been redesigned with a rounder overall shape simulating a baseball-style grip that fits comfortably into the average hand. The 2018 Stanley FATMAX Tape Measure is available now online and at select retailers for $29.99.
CHANNELLOCK® Reversible Jaw Adjustable Wrench
CHANNELLOCK thinks that they’ve got a solution to help un-clutter your tool box. The new CHANNELLOCK Reversible Jaw Adjustable Wrench is just like a normal wrench, but if you reverse the jaw, your wrench will have teeth and work like a pipe wrench. These new wrenches are available in 6, 8, 10 and 12-inch sizes. They are available in most major hardware retailers in the US and Canada. Price and availability will vary by retailer.
Milwaukee Utility Pouches
Sure, your tool pouch is trusty and true and has lasted you for years on the job. But just because it works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Milwaukee is now producing both a Utility Pouch and a Compact Utility Pouch with new, modern updates that might make an upgrade worth considering. Both pouches are made from tear resistant material and attach to your belt with a “quick-attach” system, so you can switch from one pouch to another as easily as you switch projects. These new Milwaukee Utility Pouches can be purchased online and in home centers starting at just $24.99.
Easy to clean, multi-tasking level
The rugged Milwaukee REDSTICK can be used to screed, smooth, and level concrete. Once you’re done, the level is preposterously easy to wipe clean. The REDSTICK also has all the great features you would expect from a Milwaukee level. SHARPSITE Vial Technology makes the magnified bubble easy to read and the REDSTICK’s magnesium core keeps the level from breaking down. The Milwaukee REDSTICK Concrete Levels are available in 24-inch, 48-inch, and 72-inch lengths starting at $55.99.
Light as a feather
DeWALT’s new Carbon Fiber Composite Staple Gun weighs 50% less than a typical staple gun. And the reviews from buyers so far have been positive. Many pros are impressed that it doesn’t jam regardless of what brand of staples are used. But really, it’s all about the weight. You won’t believe it until you pick one up. They’re so light they don’t feel like a legit tool, but nothing could be further from the truth. The DeWALT Carbon Fiber Composite Staple Gun is available online and in hardware stores for $34.97.
Are you worried about your assets coming loose in the back of your truck or on your trailer? Check out ShockStrap. ShockStrap’s Ratchet Straps use a urethane-based shock to keep tension on the strap at all times. Other ties loosen when road conditions force the payload to shift and settle. The ShockStrap prevents unsafe loosening by absorbing shock and contracting with the load, perfect for hauling equipment or toys with any kind of suspension, like snowmobiles, ATVs and side-by-sides. The Urethane formula is incredibly durable and resistant to wear and tear typically caused by sunlight, saltwater and chemicals. On top of all that, all the hooks and buckles on a ShockStrap are coated in yellow zinc so they will last much longer than powder-coated metal. The ShockStrap Ratchet Strap come in a variety of widths and lengths and can be purchased online starting at $35.99.
ToughTested’s Pro-Comm Neckband Headsets are headphones built for the jobsite. What makes them so great is that they work both as headphones and as a speaker that rests around your neck, all wirelessly through Bluetooth. “Speaker mode” is especially nice if you’re the type of person that can’t stand having ear buds in for long periods of time. And most importantly, they’re very durable, featuring rubberized surfaces and Kevlar reinforced cabling with braided nylon covering to prevent wear-and-tear and tangling. Pro-Comm headsets are even IP54 rated for water, sweat and dust resistance and last up to 15 hours on a single charge. Pro-Comm Neckband Headsets cost $79.99 and are sold online and at select retailers.
Pro Klein Magnetizer
No, it’s not a floatie for your boat keys. It’s a Magnetizer/Demagnetizer from Klein Tools! The Magnetizer uses powerful rare-earth magnets to immediately give screwdrivers or drill bits magnetic properties. All you have to do is insert the driver or drill bit into the magnetizing slot and slowly pull it back out…like magic, it’s magnetic. You can then remove the magnetic properties from the tool by inserting it into the demagnetizing slot and, again, removing it slowly. The Klein Magnetizer/Demagnetizer attaches easily to tool bag, pouches and backpacks so you can always keep it handy. Buy one online or in stores for $9.97.
Fiskars has been creating cutting tools since 1649, so it’s no surprise that they have the knowhow to produce a quality product. They recently announced a new line of utility knives that promise a few cool new features. The knives have an improved locking system that prevents accidental blade release, a smarter button placement, and maybe best of all, the guts of the knives won’t fall on the ground when changing a blade. The knife line includes a Folding Utility Knife, a Fixed Utility Knife, a Retractable Utility Knife, Snap-off Utility Knives, Drywaller’s Utility Knives, and Painter’s Utility Knives. Fiskar’s utility knives are available online now.
Rugged reaching tool
Klein Tools’ Telescoping Magnetic LED Pickup Tool is the kind of tool that you don’t think you need until you do. The magnetic end is attached to a telescoping arm with an attached LED light so that you can easily see whatever small object you’re trying to snag. The telescoping arm extends up to 22 inches and has a gooseneck for added maneuverability. Plus, the whole tool has a ten-foot drop rating and is water and dust resistant. The Klein Telescoping Magnetic LED Pickup Tool is a smart addition to any tool box or bag and is available now in stores and online for $23.90.
Eaton Home Automation Hub
The idea of a connected and automated “smart home” may be intimidating to some, but it’s definitely a trend that construction pros need to be aware of. Eaton is looking to make the whole concept a little simpler with their Home Automation Hub, a one-stop device that can control an “eco-system” of smart home devices. Eaton’s smart home technology allows you control thermostats, security systems, lighting controls, surround sound speaker system and more all from the same device. This in turn can save you money on energy costs and give you an added layer of security. Go here to find more information on the Eaton Home Automation Hub.
Bosch Cordless Wet/Dry Vac
Bosch’s new Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner is great for pros who recognize the value of cleaning their jobsite at the end of the day but are tired of lugging around a cumbersome corded monster of a vacuum. This vac from Bosch is completely cordless and only weighs 10.2 pounds. Combine that with high-powered suction and a washable HEPA filter and you’ve got a powerful but maneuverable cleaning tool. The vacuum also has plenty of space, with a 2.6 gallon tank giving you more than enough room for all of the debris you’ll suck up over the vacuum’s 24 minute runtime (runtime based on high-power vacuuming using Bosch’s 18V 6.0 Ah battery). The Bosch Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner can be purchased now online and in stores for $99.00.
Rockler Drawer Organizing System
Sure, it’s always exciting when you find that long lost widget while rummaging around in your junk drawer, but that’s really no excuse for being unorganized. Now even your junk drawers can be organized thanks to Rockler’s Lock-Align Drawer Organizer System. The Lock-Align system combines interlocking tray sections with binds and dividers to create compartments for all the drawer’s contents. The synthetic rubber of the trays provides protection for tools and can easily be cut for customizable sizes.
The Lock-Align System Starter Kit (56117) costs $19.99 and includes:
- Three single-width tray sections
- Two standard bins
- Three standard dividers
- One tray extension
Headlamps are a great solution for pros who work in dark or low-light areas and need light but also need both of their hands to operate tools. Like their name suggests, Klein Tool’s new Rechargeable Auto-Off Headlamp have a really cool “Auto-off” feature that will save battery and the overall life of the light. If the light sensor in the headlamp detects bright light conditions it automatically turns the light off to conserve battery. Just don’t forget to manually turn it off before storing it away in you toolbox. The headlamp also features a silicon strap that won’t slip off of a hard hat and a bracket system that makes it easy to remove the light for recharging. Klein Tool’s Rechargeable Auto-Off Headlamp can be purchased online or in stores for $39.90.
One-handed Vise Grip
The first Vise Grip, patented by Bill Petersen in 1924, was a game changer. Over the years, the original design has been tweaked and improved, and Irwin is not done yet. They recently introduce the new Next-Gen Fast Release™ Locking Pliers. There are a few improvements, but the most notable one is that the span required to operate these new locking pliers has been reduced by 20%. That along with the Fast Release feature makes these new locking pliers a one-handed affair. And that makes them much more useful, especially if you need to hold something in place while you clamp it down. Are you paying attention welders? One-handed operation is also handy if you need to use them while hanging off a ladder and only have one hand to work with. Irwin’s Next-Gen Fast Release™ Locking Pliers are currently available in six different sizes and configurations. You can find them at Lowes.
Klein Tool’s now has a handy Velcro wristband with built-in rare earth magnets. The magnets allow small metal parts, screws, and nails to be kept nearby at all times, saving time and effort. The wristband is made from breathable mesh so that it won’t be uncomfortable when worn on a wrist and has adjustable hook and loop closures. It’s also designed to attach to tool bags or belts. Klein’s Tradesman Pro Magnetic Wristband is available online and in stores now for $20.31.
More for battery fanatics
We’ve all seen those USB charging port adapters that can be plugged into a battery designed for a cordless tool. Some batteries even have a USB port built right in. But here’s something new… The Nexus Escape is a 150W power inverter that’s fueled by one of EGO’s powerful 56V batteries. The Nexus Escape would be perfect to run a laptop on the go, or it can even power a 42-in. television (up to ten hours) during a power outage. And what could be more important than a tv during a power outage? It could even be used to charge other cordless batteries. Is that irony? The Nexus Escape costs $99.99 (inverter only) at Home Depot.
Better Finish™ Nail Hole Filler
Here’s a handy tool from HYDE. It’s a reusable joint-compound dispenser that comes with its own small putty/taping knife applicator. It’s perfect for filling nail holes and other small drywall dings. HYDE says it will fill over 300 nail holes and will last up to 3-year years, even after opening! Might be a nice product to keep on hand. It doesn’t take up much space and it’s worth all 500 pennies if it saves you one emergency trip to the hardware store. Find out more and buy them here.
What a great idea!
We’ve all heard the horror story: “Guy climbs ladder; guy falls; wedding ring snags; finger gone.” If you enjoy all ten of your digits, then you might want to check out these rings made by QALO (pronounced Kay-Low). The rings are made from silicone and are designed to tear away before your finger sustains a serious injury. These are perfect for construction workers, shop rats, weekend warriors, athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and basically anyone who likes to do stuff. And no, they’re not just a glorified rubber grommet you find at hardware store. There are hundreds of design and color combinations to choose from. You can also customize rings with patterns, monograms, or phrases of your own choosing. Prices start at about $25.
The original Drill Doctor has been around for some time. I never thought about buying one because I figured that drill bits don’t cost that much. Why bother sharpening them when you can buy a set of 20 for $20. But recently, I learned that it’s not just the cost of the bits, it’s the time it takes to go to the store and buy one. I was working on a project that required a whole lot of a very specific sized hole. I had two bits that size and burned them up way before I was done. This required a trip to the store to buy two more. I should have bought three because I burned those up as well, which required another trip to the store. To add insult to injury, the individual bits cost $8 each, instead of a $1 when you buy them in a kit.
That depressing saga will never happen again because I now own a Drill Doctor 750x. The other reason I was hesitant to buy a Drill Doctor was my fear that it was too complicated. I didn’t want to have to re-learn some 10-step process every time I needed a sharp bit, which could be several months. I can now attest that the entire process can be learned by watching this four-min. video. It was easy and it worked great. The 750X model costs $140. The 350X model costs $50.