10 Green Gifts for the Home Renovator

10 Green Gifts for the Home Renovator

Michelle Chin
Dec 13, 2010

Tis the season to keep your handyman or woman outfitted with the essential gear that he or she hasn't already acquired. When I bought my home I was pretty confident that I had everything I needed, but learned quickly that there were some pretty essential gaps in my tool kit. So if you're stumped on buying a gift for the home renovator in your life, hopefully this will make shopping a little easier.

Top Row:

1. Petzl Tikka XP 2 LED Headlamp ($54.95): this is probably the best purchase I've made in years. It certainly helped when I had to shore-up the joists under my house. Can't very well hold a flashlight AND hammer nails. I even bought one for my cousin who is a professional sheet metal worker who has to work in very cramped, dark spaces. We both give it two thumbs up!

2. Leatherman® New Wave Multi-tool ($69.99): This is the sort of thing that you carry around in your pocket (or purse) and find yourself using it so often that you forget you're using it. With 17 functions, you'll be able to tighten screws or cut a loose thread.

3. Estwing Mfg Co. E3-16S 16-Ounce Rip Claw Hammer with Steel Handle ($28): A really good hammer is something you don't realize you need until your arm is ready to fall off from working harder than you need to. That little $7 hammer from Target is great for hanging art, but driving 3" nails will need a little more power. Some might argue that an 18 or 20 ounce hammer is better, but I've found this size to be great for my needs.

4. Ryobi 10 in. 15 Amp Table Saw with Transportable Stand ($269): After lots of struggling to get by with my hand saws, I finally broke down and bought this portable table saw. I read a lot of reviews and figured I'd give it a shot. It worked wonderfully when I built the Ace Hotel-Inspired Pipe Shelves. And it takes up a heck of a lot less space in your garage than a regular table saw.

5. Make It! Hardware Store Decor ($10-22): Curbly's Make It! series is a modern DIY-er's dream. These twelve how-to projects will show you how to make a Brightly Lighted Letter, an Aluminum Accent Lamp, a Posh Pipe Desk, a Drop-Cloth Slipcover and much more! Each project includes a materials and tools list, and detailed step-by-step instructions with high-res photos.

Bottom Row:

6. Magnet Light Mine ($6.99): So super cool, inexpensive and INGENIOUS! Sometimes you need a bit of light shining from the side or behind the object you're trying to repair (see Rachel's coverage from last year). Think about engine compartments, under the sink or the furnace. This little magnetic LED is can be positioned in almost any direction.

7. VoltAlert™ AC Voltage Detector ($25.95): When you're working around electricity, it's sad but true that it's only a matter of time before you accidentally touch a live wire. The first best way to avoid that is to switch off the breaker. But what if you're trying to make sure a wire is live when it's supposed to be? This little device can save you a very uncomfortable surprise.

8. Best of Mother Earth News: Natural Building Methods E-Book ($10): Explore the pros and cons of building with straw, logs, cordwood, earth and local lumber. Learn how to manage local building codes and inspections. And find out how you can design any home to take advantage of solar heat and natural cooling.

9. Handcrafted Wooden 28" Standard Level ($81.69): Beautifully crafted wooden levels made in the United States. Built for accuracy and durability. If well taken care of, this beautiful tool should last a lifetime!

10. Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw ($98.05): This is a tool that will make a lot of jobs easier for you. Cutting tree limbs, installing a dog or cat door, cutting tile or drywall...a sawzall will pay for itself in no time!

Our 2010 Green Gift Guide:

(Images: as linked)

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