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April 15, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Best Tool Gifts for Christmas 2020 Edition

Best Tool Gifts for Christmas 2020

It’s been a year to remember (or possibly forget), but that doesn’t mean we can’t redeem it with some outstanding gifts this holiday season. We pulled together some of our favorite tools and gear this year to give you some options for the best tool gifts for Christmas 2020!


Tool Gifts for Dad and Mom

Ryobi Compact Glue Gun

Ryobi Compact Hot Glue Gun

We love the design of Ryobi’s updated cordless glue gun. Instead of having the battery attached to the bottom of the tool, it now keeps a base charged up and lets you work with a much more compact and lightweight glue gun. You end up with an easy-to-use cordless glue that’s compatible with a ton of other Ryobi 18V One+ tools and lifestyle products.


SOL Fire Lite Fuel-Free Lighter

SOL (Survive Outdoors Longer) has a new electric lighter that’s sure to be a hit with the outdoor-lover on your list. Less than 2 ounces in weight, it uses plasma technology with its rechargeable battery to produce ignition without any kind of fuel. It’s weatherproof, doesn’t have issues with altitude, and gives you 45 uses per charge. It even has a built-in flashlight and the paracord can be used as tinder.


Hart 90-Piece Socket and Screwdriver Tool Set

Every homeowner needs a good socket set to cover things like furniture installation, shelf installation, car maintenance, and much more. Hart’s 90-piece set includes 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch drive ratchets and socket that can help you cover the majority of those needs. There’s even a magnetic multi-bit screwdriver in there. It comes in an organized case and sets you back less than $50.


Simms Dockwear Tote

Whether you’re packing wading gear for a day of flyfishing or an extra set of clothes for a messy day on the jobsite, check out Simms’ Dockwear Tote. This 40L bag is built tough using waterproof-coated (DWR) 750D Cordura Oxford with a 200D polyester lining. There’s even a flannel-trimmed interior pocket for laptop and tablets up to 17 inches. There’s plenty of room to carry your bulk gear and its well-built construction ensures a good long service life.


Gerber Terracraft

From the Reserve collection only available on Gerber’s website, the Terracraft is an excellent choice for know enthusiasts who appreciate a quality build. This full tang fixed blade knife features a highly functional drop point blade with a thick S30V construction offset with G10 scales. Ready for what your outdoor adventures or jobsite throws its way, it’s as attractive as it is practical and comes with a leather sheath. Need a hand choosing between the two colors? We like the Flat Sage.


Yeti Roadie 24

Yeti’s Roadie 24 is a great size to travel with. It takes up less floor space than more traditional designs. It’s tall enough to still fit plenty of drinks or even bottles of wine. We use it on the boat to keep our drinks and lunches cold without having to share space with the fish we have on ice.

Ice Pink and Sagebrush Green are new color choices and you customize a college or MLB logo on the white model.


Skil 10-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Miter Saw

Skil is putting a more capable miter saw in the hands of DIYers and Prosumers this year with a new model that has a ton of Pro features. It has a dual bevel design with sliding rails and the capacity to cut 6 1/2-inch crown. Its 15-amp motor proves ample power and its shadow cutline indicator means you always know exactly where the blade is going to cut. All this comes at an affordable $249.99


Filson Dryden Backpack

The Filson Dryden Backpack starts with modern materials, puts them together with a quality build, and adds some elements that make it distinctly Filson. It primarily uses 1000D Cordura, giving it a toughness that can stand up to the worst your jobsite or travel can throw at it. Just under 26 liters, it meets TSA carry-on requirements for flights and has enough capacity for quick weekend adventures. Bridle leather tabs, grab handle, and zipper pulls set it apart from other Cordura packs. Want to stand out even more? Go with the Otter Green or Whiskey color.


Simpson 3400 PSI Pressure Washer

If you prefer to handle your own pressure washing, Simpson’s 3400 PSI PowerShot can make the job faster. At 3400 PSI and 2.3 GPM, it has much higher cleaning power than electric models and pairs beautifully with Simpson’s surface cleaner. Powered by a Honda GC190 engine, you can expect years of reliable service.


Tool Gifts for Woodworkers and Carpenters

Metabo HPT Pancake Air Compressor: The Tank

Metabo HPT Pancake Air Compressor

Metabo HPT cranks out some serious air with its latest “Tank” air compressor. This 6-gallon pancake model is rated at 200 PSI and delivers a monster 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI To put that in context, you can two framing or roofing nailers at the same time (we tried it!). Even though you’re essentially getting twice the airflow of most pancakes, there’s not a huge premium—just $199!


Rockler Portable Drill Guide w/ Vise

Not everyone has the floor or bench space for a drill press. For the woodworker or carpenter that still needs to drill accurate holes, check out Rocker’s Portable Drill Guide with Vise. It has a well-thought-out and robust design that’s a step up from other options. Just chuck up your favorite drill, dial in the settings you want, and let the smooth plunge action keep you on track!


Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool

Milwaukee nailed the design of their M12 Fuel oscillating multi-tool. It cuts fast and has incredibly low vibration compared to most models. Thanks to its M12 power source, the battery doesn’t add the same weight that 18V/20V Max models do while still offering cordless convenience and an easy-to-maneuver handle design. Pick it up for $149 if you already have M12 batteries or $238 as a kit.


Tool Gifts for Men and Women Contractors

Carhartt Rugged Flex Relaxed Fit Straight Leg Jeans

Most jeans need some time to break in before they move the way you like. Carhartt’s Rugged Flex jeans are comfortable from day one thanks to an 85% cotton/14% polyester/1% spandex blend. This easy move and flex jean is still jobsite tough and its midweight construction makes it a good choice for a wide range of temperatures. Available in Dusty Black, Coldwater (light blue), and Superior (dark blue), Carhartt Rugged Flex is the perfect everyday jean for work and play.

Front Runner Outfitters Expander Camping Chair

Whether you’re on the job or overlanding for the weekend, having a comfortable chair can take a lot of stress off of your body. The Expander Camping Chair is different from most collapsable models, though. It folds up flat, making it much easier to tuck behind a seat or set in your truck box. Since it’s simple to store, you’re more likely to have it when you need it.


VSSL First Aid Mini

At just 6 3/4 inches tall and 2 inches wide, the VSSL First Aid Mini fits the need to carry a first aid kit whether you’re on a jobsite or a camping site. The aluminum waterproof housing holds 3 tins with 41 intentionally chosen essentials plus a roll of tape. Keep one in each vehicle, your boat, your tool bag, and your backpack!


Midland BizTalk MB400 Business Radio

Midland took their original BizTalk radios and beefed them up with more power and a more durable build. The upgraded MB400 has a weather-defying IP67 ingress rating and the range doubles to cover 350,000 square feet of warehouse space (or a 30-story office building). It’s ideal for jobsite communication when durability is a must.


Makita Bluetooth Jobsite Speakers

Makita XRM11 Bluetooth Speaker Review

Nothing helps the work day move faster than good music, talk radio, or podcasts. And no small from speaker system we’ve seen has the sound quality that Makita packs into its XRM11 Bluetooth speaker. Running on 18V LXT, 12V CXT, or AC power, these speakers can link up to 10 units together with flawless synching. While one sounds good on its own, grab 2 for true stereo sound or 4 to fill a large area with room-filling sound.


Kodiak McKinney 6-Inch Work Boots

With a classic hiker-style work boot design, Kodiak’s McKinney blends protection with comfort and several versions to choose from. We like the 6-inch lace-up design as a good all-around option. There are also 8-inch lace-up and Chelsea (slip-on) styles, and soft or composite toe options. Checking off all the right boxes for serious jobsite use, they have modern technology mixed with 110 years of boot-making heritage.


Link over to the Kodiak Store on Amazon


Grundens Ballast Insulated Jacket

Whether your jobsite is a rocking trawler or on solid ground, Grundens is a name we trust for weather protection. The Backbone Ballast Insulated Jacket is a great choice to keep you dry as winter’s cold fronts blow through. Designed with an active fit, it lets you move freely, keeps you warm and dry, and stands up to tough environments.


DeWalt FlexVolt Advantage Circular Saw

Give the professional contractor on your list a serious circular saw upgrade with DeWalt’s FlexVolt Advantage Technology. Capable of running on both 20V Max and FlexVolt batteries, it detects which battery you’re using and adjusts the power accordingly. You get solid performance with a 20V Max battery, but when you go with a FlexVolt pack, it boosts the power up to 77%!


Kobalt XTR Combo Kit

Kobalt XTR 24V 5-Tool Combo Kit Review

With a big boost in power, the Kobalt XTR system rivals the performance of premium tools with a much lower price tag and makes it one of the best values you can get. The 5-tool combo kit is perfect to get started in the system with a hammer drill, impact driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, LED light, two batteries, a charger, and a rolling case to keep it all in.


Tool Gifts for Plumbers

Lenox Carbide Reciprocating Saw Blades

Lenox Lazer CT recip saw blade cast iron

Plumbers have to cut everything from wood and PVC to thin and thick metals in some of the worst conditions. Bi-metal has its place, but getting the plumber on your list a selection of Lenox carbide reciprocating saw blades can make those cuts faster and more stable. With blade life up to 50 times greater than bi-metal, you can also save a ton of money over the course of a job.

Use “Lenox Carbide Reciprocating Saw Blade” search results on Lowe’s for link


Crescent K9 Jaw Pipe Wrenches

Crescent takes a new angle on the classic pipe wrench with K9 jaws. The design lets them bite into a pipe at angles up to 30º where standard jaws would slip. Available in aluminum and cast iron models with various sizes, they’ll get the job done where standard pipe wrenches won’t give you access.

Use “Crescent K9 Pipe Wrench” search results for link on Acme


Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp

Plumbers rarely just need a headlight. They’re usually in a crawlspace, confined space, or other less than ideal location. Black Diamond’s Storm 400 headlamp offers up 160 and 400 lumens while maintaining a low profile in a waterproof/dustproof design (IP67). What sets it apart from other options is PowerTap—just tap the side to switch brightness modes instead of hunting around for the button. When you don’t have a ton of wiggle room, it’s incredibly convenient.


Tool Gifts for Electricians

Lenox Speed Slot Carbide Tipped Hole Saws

Rated for wood, steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and more, Lenox Speed Slot Carbide Tipped Hole Saws are a great choice for electricians (along with plumbers and general contractors) from rough-in to box installs. The speed slot design helps you get rid of the plug more quickly and the carbide teeth last up to 50 times longer than bi-metal. The time and money you’ll save over bi-metal hole saws make this upgrade more than worth it.


Milwaukee 7-in-1 High Leverage Pliers

Milwaukee 7in1 High-Leverage Pliers

Milwaukee upgrades one of its most popular multi-pliers with a new 7-in-1 high-leverage design. They still have the core functions of cutting, stripping, looping, crimping, reaming, and twisting. Grabbing and twisting wire is easier thanks to a more robust jaw tip and the longer, high-leverage hand design requires less strain from your hands to get the job done.


Southwire Made in America Nut Driver Set

A good nut driver set is a core piece of any electrical tool bag. Southwire does a great job with its 7-piece set. The handle design looks a bit different than a standard one, but they fit in your hand more comfortably and have lanyard holes for when you’re working at height. Best of all, they’re part of Southwire’s Made in America series, proudly Made in the USA.


Tool Gifts for Mechanics and Car Enthusiasts

Chemical Guys HydroSpeed

Chemical Guys’ HydroSpeed is a ceramic quick detailer that gives your vehicle a brilliant shine in a hurry. The SiO2 (silicon dioxide) protective layer goes on fast and leaves a water-beading surface in just seconds. It’s for more than just your paint, though. Feel free to apply it to wheels, glass, and metal as well. You can even apply it over waxes or other ceramic treatments. Grab a 16-ounce spray bottle for quick detailing between washes or get even more value with 64-ounce or 1-gallon containers.


Wurth Universal Bit Set

There’s nothing worse than being mid-project and realizing you don’t have to right bit to keep moving forward. Wurth USA helps you avoid that scenario with its Zebra 105-piece Universal Bit Set. It includes standard and security bits along with many of the specialty styles that you won’t find in bit sets from your local big box store. It comes in a labeled metal case that’s easy to store in your tool chest’s shallow drawers, your truck box, or your toolbox.


Ridgid 1/2″ Stubby Impact Wrench

Ridgid 18V R87028B SubCompact impact wrench

Ridgid’s SubCompact Stubby Impact Wrench meets the need for a legitimately compact model with the popular 1/2-inch drive size. Don’t let its size fool you—there are 225 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque under the hood, giving you the performance you need to do a lot of work without the bulk of a larger model or the pain of dragging a hose behind you.


KC C2 LED 2-Light System

Popping 2200 lumens at 120º, KC’s C2 LED 2-Light System is a great way to add more backup light, area lighting for your overlanding adventures, or safety lighting around construction vehicles. Its 20-watt CREE XMK LED chips deliver 6000K color and draw just 1.6A. They’re designed with an IP67 ingress rating and military-grade aluminum housings, so you can trust them to work when you need them most.


Tools Gifts for Lawn and Garden

Hobie Bass Army Sun Mask

Working outdoors comes with a serious risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen helps, but UV-resistant clothing is even better. Help protect some of your most vulnerable skin and show off your passion for bass fishing with Hobie’s Bass Army Sun Mask. It’s UPF 40 rated with a camo color scheme and fits in a wide range of ways to protect your neck, ears, and head.


Greenworks 60V Chainsaw

Greenworks 60V Chainsaw CS60L212

Greenworks finds the right balance of power and size in its second-generation 60V Pro chainsaw. Its powerful brushless motor and smooth operation gave us the ability to make quick work of an oak tree. Loaded with a 16-inch bar and chain, it’s the perfect size for seasonal trimming and storm cleanup. Have more work than that? Grab the 18-inch option for felling without the noise, hassles, and emissions of gas.


Makita 18V X2 Cordless Brush Cutter

Makita 36V Brushcutter

When the overgrowth gets too tough for a string trimmer, it’s time to turn to a brush cutter. You’d love to go cordless, but there’s just not enough power, right? Not so fast, my friend. Makita’s XRU16 uses a pair of 18V batteries to produce power equivalent to a 32cc gas engine. So skip the negatives of gas and keep the power to keep your property under control.


EGO 2-Stage Self-Propelled Snow Blower

From the brand that first proved we could legitimately kick the gas can for good comes the EGO 56V 2-stage snow blower. This self-propelled beast of a tool gives winter little chance to box you into a cold, white purgatory. More powerful than other cordless options and without worries of a gummed up carburetor, just keep your batteries charged up and dare Old Man Winter to give you his worst.

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Brian

The WURTH driver set is $28, not $76. PRETTY BIG DEAL!

Chris Driver

i got a greenwork gms250 on my wish list

Mick

Ummm….. The Greenworks 181 doesn’t come out until Q1 of 2020. So its not really going to show up under any trees this year. All this will do is help clear out the current GW 180s from shelves. But the current 180 is an old design and total weak sauce these days. 181 should be good, but it will NOT make it in time for these holidays. If you can’t wait for the 181, get the EGO 18″. Superior to the GW 180 by far. 181 will be competitive if you’re on that platform (when it gets here). But otherwise,… Read more »

Aaron

So how does the Packout radio sound compared to DeWalt’s TSTAK/Toughsystem versions? Already have the TSTAK and it’s literally half the weight of the Packout. Would love to compare the two but the Packout radio STILL hasn’t shipped to stores and apparently won’t until after Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I love Milwaukee but $299 is a huge leap of faith to pay for something that won’t arrive until well after the best discounts have gone by.

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