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Best Power Tool Christmas Gift Ideas

A Christmas Present Guide for the Woodworker or Remodeler

© 2008 by ; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

A Ryobi Benchtop Table Saw

A Ryobi table saw

This article was updated on 12/08/20.

These are the top Christmas holiday gift ideas for DIY projects around the house for the carpenter, builder, or remodeler. How about a table saw, Sawzall, Work Sharp Tool Sharpener, drill press, grinder, or something else?

Christmas day is getting closer now and what could be a better Christmas present to give the Do-It-Yourself-type person than a tool? While it if fine to know a boatload of wood shop tips, they won’t do much good without proper tools.

Power tools or hand tools, the holiday season selection has never been better. This article lists the top best DIY power tool gift ideas. The previous one talked about hand tool gift ideas.

The Benchtop Table Saw: a Portable 10” Cabinet Table Saw, Kind Of

OK, it’s not a cabinet table saw in and of itself because of the size as well as the weight. But when combined with table saw accessories like outfeed rollers and a stand, it gets the job done! A benchtop table saw should be right on top of the woodworking tool list.

The major benefit of the benchtop table saw is its portability. Some jobs demand the the accuracy and scope that a circular saw just can’t deliver. And, there are times when it's just not practical to do all the cutting in the wood shop. There comes a break point in the scope of the job that it makes more sense to set up on-site.

Don’t worry about the small size. Why not pick up some benchtop table saw extensions for handling those larger projects? For top quality, look for Jet, Ryobi, and DeWalt.

The Reciprocating Saw — Tough and Fast

The reciprocating saw is like a monster jigsaw on steroids. There are times when a Sawzal will decimate the time it takes to perform a task. In fact, one of the best times to have one of these is when doing a demolition job.

These babies are tough enough to take on drywall, tree limbs, wood studs, and even steel, such as rebar. The best reciprocating saws on the market are made by Milwaukee (who coined the term), Ryobi, and DeWalt, in my opinion.

The Scroll Saw for Fine Craftsmanship

The scroll saw has a lot to recommend it. If your aim is to do detailed work such as inlay or parquetry, this tool is indispensable. Here are a few benefits.

  1. It can make internal cuts. All you have to do is drill an entry hole in your work piece, insert the blade, and cut away; no need to cut through the edge. A jigsaw can do this as well but does not lend itself to as fine a detail. Then you can clean up the internal edges with the sanding tool of your choice.
  2. You can use it to cut the cheeks of a dovetail joint and also to divide wide tenons into two smaller ones.
  3. They can be had in a variety throat sizes. The throat size is the distance (in inches) between the blade and the rear part of the saw. A larger table surface handles larger projects.

Work Sharp Tool Sharpener WS2000

When I’m installing door hardware, mortise and tenon joints, or other furniture projects, I rely heavily on my chisels. A perfect blade might not be so critical visually in many situations but if the cut isn't straight and crisp, your glueable surface area is reduced. (Here are some excellent woodworking glue-up tips.)

What can be done to keep your chisel blades straight, true, and sharp? the Work Sharp Tool Sharpener. Small in size, it packs a punch in features. The main thing is the Chisel Sharpening Port, which puts a precise 25 degree angle on your chisel blades. Sometimes a dedicated tool makes all the difference, right?

The Band Saw

While the table saw will do most of the things that a band saw will, sometimes not so much. Here are some of the benefits.

  1. Using the right band saw blades you can even cut metal.
  2. Just like the scroll saw, it can make angled cuts up to 45 degrees.
  3. Since the table is open on both ends, throat size is not so much of a consideration, although table size still is. For longer stock there are a number of workarounds, like rollers.
  4. It has the capacity to cut much thicker stock than a scroll saw.

The Benchtop Drill Press

When most people think of a drill press, the one that comes to mind is the one from high school shop class. Remember, the one almost as tall as the teacher? Well, those are good for big jobs but the benchtop drill press is the way to go for those smaller DIY projects, especially in a smaller shop like mine (2-car garage).

For the small home wood shop where real estate is at a premium, this drill press can be stored away when not in use. What are the qualities to look for in a benchtop drill press?

  • Horsepower. A HP rating of ranges between 1/4 and 1. Bigger is better.
  • Variable Speeds. The more the better. Versatility is key here; 5 to 12 speeds are common.
  • Depth Stops. The ability to set the bit depth is essential with repetitive drilling.
Look for Grizzly, Delta, Craftsman, and Ryobi for top notch quality.

The Bench Grinder

The popular bench grinder is essential in any wood shop. And at the price Home Depot and Lowe’s sell them for, it’s an embarrassment not to be the proud owner of one! Precision tool? Far from it.

But it’s the best thing in town for sharpening and removing mushrooms from cold chisels. Also, it’s invaluable for those little gotta-make-it-fit tasks. DeWalt makes a great one, as does Jet, Delta, and Dayton.

Rotary Tools: Routers and the RotoZip

A compact router table for a small shop; photo courtesy Kelly Smith Rotary tools do what the name implies — rotate a bit to cut and shape. Routers are held in both hands or mounted in router tables, which is where the fun and creativity really starts.

The picture above shows a router table that I recently designed and built. If you choose to give a router as a gift, the lucky giftee can follow the link in the “Related Articles” list at the bottom of this article for my detailed router table plans.

A RotoZip is similar in function to a router but smaller, held in one hand. It’s more of an all-around utilitarian tool as opposed to the router, which is more of a woodworking tool. There are many handy RotoZip attachments available.

For the Woodworker Who Has Everything

Face it, it can be tough to buy a Christmas gift for the woodworker whose work shop is fully stocked. But the right stocking stuffers can solve that problem. Check out these Bench Cookies. Placed under the woodworking project on the work bench, they eliminate sliding. They also elevate the piece for sanding, gluing, or finishing.

Hopefully, this assortment of power tool Christmas gift ideas provided some good ideas for the woodworker in your life. If it did, consider sharing this page with your friends and social media. Thanks for visiting!

Visit Kelly's profile on Pinterest.

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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

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© 2008 all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.