Buying Guides

2014 PTR Holiday Tool Gift Guide – Up to $100


Without a doubt, the Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide is one of our favorite projects of the year! This is our opportunity to put ourselves in your shoes to make a Christmas shopping list that you can hand your spouse or family with a smile and just say “surprise me!”. From stocking stuffers, to pro level kits, you’ll find something for every tool guy or gal in your family. As you look through our Holiday Tool GiftGuide, we’ll tell you who each tool is for, why you should get it, where you can get it, and the price you should expect to pay.

 

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2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide: What Goes in the Average Tool Box?

  • Tool box – if he or she doesn’t already have one, we’ve recommended one of the best this year!
  • Tape measure – either 16′ or 25′ feet in length is good
  • Hammer – most pros are going to want a framing hammer with textured face (called a milled face), unless they are doing finish work like crown molding and painted surfaces
  • Screwdriver set – you can get one of those sets with a bunch of screwdrivers in it, but the multi-bit changeable drivers have come a long way.
  • Level: the best won’t fit in a tool box, but you can bet you will find one close to every pro’s tool box
  • Utility knife – these are used to cut everything from boxes to tape and even scoring drywall
  • Wire strippers/cutters – almost every general contractor will need them
  • Pocket Knife- Okay, this might not be in the tool box, but almost every pro prefers to carry a knife

From there, it starts to get specialized. For instance, I carry a couple of my smaller power tools in my tool box along with accessories for them. If all else fails, print out our guide and give you tool enthusiast a highlighter!

For part 1 of the Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide, we look at products under up to $100. Most of these can find a home with anyone in the tool industry with a few specialized items thrown in for good measure.

2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide: Under $25

Milwaukee Inkzall 4 pack $4.972014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Buying Guide

Who? Everyone needs markers!

Why? Professionals mark on things a lot. They mark where to cut, what to leave alone, where to install things, and the list goes on for a very long time. Milwaukee’s Inkzall markers will write on and through virtually everything on the jobsite and they are priced about the same as those other popular markers. The 4 pack includes black, red, green, and blue markers for to further differentiate around the jobsite. These make a great stocking stuffer!

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $4.97


 

DeWalt 6:1 Gear Ratio Chalk Line2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Buying Guide

Who? General contractors, drywallers, remodellers

Why? Chalk lines like the DeWalt DWHT47246L allow users to “pop” a straight line on material that they are about to cut. This gives them a guide to follow with (usually) a circular saw, though other saws can be used in a pinch. This chalk line from DeWalt comes with a red chalk refill. This model is also built to be durable and includes a lifetime guarantee. A belt clip makes for easy carrying around the job site.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $15.97


 Klein Switch Drive System2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Buying Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? I have never met a contractor that told me he or she didn’t need screwdrivers with them. The Klein Switch Drive System allows you to switch out the heads to match whatever kind of fastener you are screwing down. Even better, the heads are rated to be used as accessories in impact drivers as well! Several options are available, but you are always safe with the standard #2 Phillips head/Flat head set.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $19.78


 

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure Bonus Pack2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Buying Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? Every pro should have either a 16′ or 25′ tape measure. Milwaukee give you both in this promo pack for the holidays. Milwaukee uses magnets on the end to help users grab hold of ferrous materials and eliminate the need for an extra pair of hands. The blade includes nylon to protect the markings from scraping off like most tapes experience on the jobsite. Even the housing itself is designed to be tougher than most tape measures on the market.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $24.97


 

2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide: $25 – $50

 

Hammerhead 45 Piece Impact Bit Set2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Most everyone

Why? Impact drivers are replacing drills as the go to tool in most tool boxes for drilling and fastening applications. They have a hammering action that tends to tear apart standard bits. Because of the additional torque in those systems, you need a special kind of bit that is impact rated to deal with the pressure. The 45 piece set from Hammerhead take care of most every type of screw head that you’ll come across. Plus it come with a magnetic fastener holder that’s extremely useful. It’s also available in a 30 piece ($20.21) or 6 piece set ($9.99).

Where? Amazon

How much? $25.21


 

Dremel Rotary Tool Accessory Kit2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone that owns a Dremel

Why? Dremel technically falls under the realm of consumer level tools, but they are found on jobsites around the country doing everything from cutting off nails on residential construction to precision fiberglass sanding for boat builders. The wide range of applications for the Dremel means that you need a wide range of accessories to be prepared for whatever comes up.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $29.88


 

HART 21 oz. Milled Face Fiberglass Framing Hammer2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? There’s a reason that tool belts come with a hammer loop. The hammer is the iconic construction worker’s tool, no matter what part of the industry they are in. HART is another company that warranties many of their products for life. The fiberglass construction of the handle will reduce the weight and help absorb vibration. Just double check with you tool enthusiast on what kind of work they do. This milled head hammer is great for general framing work, but if they need to use it for crown molding, baseboards or other finish work, go with a smooth head.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $29.97

 


 StoneBreaker MasterSmith Work Glove Journeyman

Who? Everyone

Why? StoneBreaker gloves are designed to be ready to work with no break in period. The MasterSmith glove features knuckle protection,padding for shock absorption, and extra leather for additional protection. StoneBreaker combines synthetic material with natural goat leather to provide excellent protection with dexterity that pros need on the jobsite.

Where? The Home Depot (online only)

How much? $32.49


 

 StoneBreaker Wrench Work GloveWrench

Who? Anyone maintaining lawn equipment and Auto professionals

Why? Designed around the same features as the StoneBreaker Journeyman work gloves, the Wrench are optimized for use around engines. Auto mechanics and those maintaining outdoor power equipment will appreciate the attention to details that allow the movement needed to work around engine parts. The StoneBreaker Wrench gloves come ready to work with no break in period and use a combination of natural and synthetic materials to get the protection and movement that they need.

Where? StoneBreaker 

How much? $32.49


 

DeWalt Bluetooth Radio Adapter2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone who like listening to music on the jobsite

Why? There are a lot of really great jobsite radios on the market. Until recently, most didn’t have Bluetooth capability to stream music from your phone or other Bluetooth device. DeWalt’s Bluetooth Radio Adapter allows you to use your radio’s auxiliary port to add a Bluetooth receiver to your radio. It’s got a 100′ range and the rechargeable system will run for about 8 hours.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $39.97


 

Milwaukee 26″ Work Box2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? Everyone needs and tool box, and this is pretty much the best one ever made. It’s full of innovation with tool pockets in the corners and all kinds of durability features. This box was drop tested with a 50 pound load to see how durable it was. It survived more than 1000 drops! There are also screw bosses in the top that allow you to mount chargers or hooks. The handle double as a clamp to hold round materials while you cut them.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $39.97


 

HART Quick-Tatch Combo Kit2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? People doing tile work and remodelling

Why? The floats and trowels help prepare surfaces for tiling and  to apply grout. The HART Quick-Tatch system makes keeping all of those tools together much easier. The included handle fits all of the Quick-Tatch floats and trowels. Because each trowel or float no longer needs a handle of its own, they can be stored in a much more compact and convenient way. There hasn’t been much innovation in the world of trowels, but users seem to really love this new system!

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $39.97


HART 8 Pound Axe with Fiberglass Handle2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Landscapers, concrete layers

Why? There’s really only one reason why pros need an axe – roots. Perhaps you’re doing the landscaping on a home or pouring a driveway. To prepare the ground for those applications you’ll need an axe to cut through the tree roots you’re bound to come across. Sure you can hack at it with a machete or sharpened shovel, but an axe is designed to do that kind of work. HART’s fiberglass handle helps to reduce the overall weight while absorbing shock.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $39.97


 

Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid Fan2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? It gets hot during the summer and there’s nothing worse than working inside on a construction site that has no air flow. The great thing about the Ryobi 18V One+ Fan is its ability to run on either Ryobi 18V One+ batteries or from power to an extension cord. In addition to jobsite uses, it’s fantastic for outdoor fun. The integrated hook and pivots allow for almost any hanging position you could want. When I took my kids camping this past August, the Ryobi Hybrid Fan was a lifesaver in our tent.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $39.97


Kershaw Secret Agent

Who? Users who want to carry a knife to personal protection4007_profile_rendering_1020x400

Why? The Kershaw Secret Agent is a discrete knife that is great for personal protection and a variety of utility functions. It can be carried in a multitude of ways around you, but one of the most popular is as a boot knife. A fixed blade knife of this class isn’t just for the guys, either. It can be easily carried by a lady who would like the confidence of personal protection in areas where it is not legal or practical to carry a firearm. The included sheath can be clipped or you can use the strap slots to attach it to your leg.

Where? Kershaw

How much? $39.99


Wolverine Men’s Alto Ripstop Long Sleeve Shirt

 Who? Everyone2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Why? Wolverine makes really comfortable shirts. I’m a fan of the long sleeve button down style of the Men’s Alto Ripstop. The sleeves can be rolled up during the warmer months and down when it’s cooler. The concrete washed finish leaves a comfortable texture. The shirt is also very breathable. Let’s be honest here, sometimes we need some help buying new clothes, and Wolverine makes shirts that are stylish enough to wear out and comfortable enough to work in.

Where? Wolverine

How much? $40.00


 

Wolverine Men’s Foster Pant

Who? Everyone2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Why? We need some help picking out clothes. As guys, we’ll wear our favorite pair of jeans until they’ve almost inappropriate… and then we’ll still try to wear them a little longer. Wolverine’s Foster Pants are a great candidate to replace them. Help us out a bit and pick us out a new favorite pair of jeans. Actually, grab two.

Where? Wolverine

How much? $40.00


 

Wolverine Men’s 10″ Canyon Cargo Short

Who? Everyone2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Why? Some of us are blessed to be able to wear shorts to work, other just like lounging around in them. Wolverine’s Canyon Cargo Short extends down to just above the knee and are the most comfortable khaki shorts I’ve had the pleasure of owning. They’ve even got a little bit of elastic give on either side for when we go a bit overboard on Christmas dinner. If your tool guy like khaki shorts, he’s going to love the Canyon Cargo Shorts!

Where? Wolverine

How much? $40.00


 

Klein Journeyman Heavy Duty Side Cutting Pliers2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Electricians and utility professionals

Why? Klein’s original linesman pliers are so popular and effective that they are still know around the industry as a “set of Klein’s” no matter who actually made it. They bring that kind of quality to the Journeyman Heavy Duty Side Cutting Pliers as well. Whether you’re an electrician, work for a power company, or are a cable installer, you’ll appreciate the workmanship and durability of these pliers.

Where? The Home Depot (online only)

How much? $42.31


 

Klein Journeyman Leather Gloves2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why?  I remember working at a power company the summer after my senior year of college. The gloves we had to wear were horrible to work in. Klein has made significant improvements to work gloves, and the leather model is their top of the line. These are actually comfortable to wear while providing excellent protection. They are also built with the ability to actually work in mind. You’ll still be able to work with tools and adjust settings while wearing them unlike many other bulky gloves on the market.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $49.50


 

Hammerhead Compact Laser Distance Measuring Tooldownload (1)

Who? Floor installers, painters, homeowners

Why? Tools like Hammerhead’s Compact Laser Distance Measuring Tool are tape measure replacements that save professionals that do area estimations for bids a lot of time. They are also useful around the house for laying out potential furniture placement and all sorts of DIY projects that a tape measure would usually be employed to help measure. Hammerhead’s laser distance measure features 100′ range, an outstanding display, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and automatic area calculations.

Where? Amazon

How much? $49.99


 

2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide: $50 – $100

 

Ryobi Phone Works System2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? General contractors, home inspectors, remodelers

Why? Ryobi Phone Works is a system that turns your Apple or Android smart phone into a platform for a variety of  tools for residential construction and inspection. It includes a stud finder, laser level, laser distance measure, noise suppressing earphones with mic, inspection scope, infrared thermometer, moisture meter, laser pointer/transfer level, and storage case. Each of these tools interact in a way that take your smart phone to a place that it’s never been able to go on its own before.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $14.97 – $99.97 individually


 

Husky 12 Pocket Top Grain Rig Tool Belt2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Just about everyone

Why? The majority of pros will be able to use a tool belt on at least some of their jobs. Personally, I’m biased towards leather, but there are also nylon and other options available. This tool belt from Husky is optimized for holding small and medium tools. It’s a great starter for the professional that needs to carry a few items around on rooftops and ladders. If the professional in your life needs more space or prefers a different material, Husky has other options available at The Home Depot.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $59.97


 

CRKT Endorser2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? The CRKT Endorser is an EDC (every day carry) knife that the pro in your life will be proud to show off. Aside from its good looks, the drop point blade is great for puncturing and slicing packaging on the jobsite. While the handle looks wooden, it’s actually a material called G-10 that helps secure a solid grip. The Endorser also features a spring assisted deployment, so opening is very fast and easy. Not to worry though, it also includes CRKT’s Fire Safe locking mechanism to prevent unwanted deployment. You might want to give this to your favorite pro at the end of gift opening; he’s probably going to sit there playing with it for a while.

Where? CRKT

How much? $59.99


 Kershaw CQC-7

Who? Everyone6034t_profile_1020x400_bladeshow

Why? When it comes to the cool factor of the knife you carry, looks are one thing. The oohs and ahs come from the way it opens. If spring assisted isn’t for you, or perhaps you’d just like to try something different, check out the Kershaw Emerson CQC-7. There is a wave shaped feature that allows the user to open it just by pulling it out of their pocket. Emerson knives sell for several hundred dollars, so getting their patented feature at this price point is a major win for knife enthusiasts. Plus, the CQC-7 was a 2014 Blade Show Award Winner.

Where? Kershaw

How much? $59.99


 

CRKT Tao Tactical Pen2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? It’s a tactical pen! Everyone needs a pen, and some us go nuts over pens that write really well. This one will write upside down and even underwater. CRKT designed the Tao to write well and be used defensively. Yep, protect yourself with a pen. The aluminum construction allows for three forms of defense – blunt force or raking to let your assailant know you can fight back, pressure on the throat or other points to disable, and even penetration by stabbing. When you travel, you can’t carry a gun or knife on a plane anymore, but you can still take a pen.

Where? CRKT

How much? $69.99


Klein VDV Scout Pro II Voice/Data/Video Cable Testerf2bfda88-141e-48e6-b789-30d55aa70dbe_400

Who? Voice, Data, and Video installers and technicians, IT professionals

Why? Klein’s VDV Scout Pro II helps identify cable runs, test for faults, and trace cable runs. For the professional that is installing or troubleshooting voice, data, or video cabling in situations where there are multiple lines run, this tools is an indispensable time saver. The kit includes LanMap location remotes for RJ45 Cable, CoaxMap location remotes for coax cable, coax cable F-adapter, self storing remote, and 9V battery along with the tester and manual. Kits with additional accessories are also available.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $79.00


 

Ridgid 12V Hyper-Lithium Drill and Impact Driver Kit2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone, especially electricians

Why? 12 volt platforms don’t deliver as much power as 18 volt, but they’re much more compact. This makes them a favorite among electricians. Most pros will keep at least a 12V drill handy for light duty work. The kit comes with a compact 2.0 amp hour battery, 4,0 amp hour extended capacity battery, and charger. The price point puts it at a spot where everyone from the homeowner and DIY enthusiast all the way through the professional will like to see this under the tree. Like many Ridgid tools, this kit includes free batteries, free parts, and free service for life with registration.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $99.00


 

Ryobi One+ 18V Drill and Impact Driver Kit2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? General contractors, remodelers, and other pros that need 18V performance on a budget

Why? The Ryobi One+ 18V Drill/Impact Driver kit is a step up in power from the 12V systems, but at the 12V price. This is kit offers a pair of compact Ryobi One+ batteries and charger. This mid range kit is going to tackle the majority of heavy duty applications that you’ll run across. If you’re looking to upgrade from a 12V system or just simply start with a 18V kit, the Ryobi P882 kit is a great option that won’t break the bank.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $99.00


 

 

Leatherman Wave Black with Sheath2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? Leatherman has been making multitools for a long time and is responsible for their invention. The Wave is their most popular model that includes 17 different applications. The included sheath will make it easier for him or her to carry around the jobsite. Right now, Leatherman has marked down the price to $99.85, but I have no idea how long that will last. The traditional stainless steel model is also $10 off right now at $89.85, but I’m very partial to the black.

Where? Leatherman

How much? $99.85


 Husky 5 Ft. 2500 Lumen LED Multi-Directional Work Lightb54eb535-3562-47ca-b0f5-924f4379319f_400

Who? Everyone

Why? Sooner or later, everyone wishes that they had a work light. The 2500 lumen, multi-directional work light from Husky is versatile for wide range of applications. It has the capability to completely light up a room from the center. You can also pivot the light to point in just one direction. Whether working outside early in the morning, late at night, or simply in a darker work space, Husky’s Work Light will give you the light you need to work or entertain safely.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $99.97


 

Dremel 4000-4/36 Rotary Kit2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone, especially woodworkers

Why? The more I see of the Dremel Rotary Tool, the more I realize that it has applications virtually everywhere. You’ll see people doing crafts and DIYers all over the country have these as well. On top of that, you’ll see pros that have one just because it an do so many things. They are particularly popular around woodworkers that need a powered option that still allows for detailed and precise work. The Dremel 4000-4/36 kit includes some of the most popular accessories and attachments. The variable speed motor has a range of 5,000 to 35,000 RPM.

Where? The Home Depot

How much? $99.99


 

Wolverine Men’s Finley Jacket2014 Pro Tool Reviews Holiday Tool Gift Guide

Who? Everyone

Why? The Finley Jacket is a comfortable, heavy jacket that stops the penetration of the wind following winter storms. I’m not usually a fan of hoods unless I really have to have one, but the Finley still looks classy with it on there. Like other clothing from Wolverine, the Finley is stylish enough to wear out with your lady, yet comfortable and durable enough for the jobsite.

Where? Wolverine

How much? $100.00


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