thatCharlieDude

Hand Tools as Gifts for a Beginning Woodworker

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Hi all. I've been mentally complying a list of hand tools to give me kids as gifts, especially our seventeen year old son. He has a couple of miscellaneous tools of his own such as  whittling knives but most of the tools he uses are mine. What would be a good set of hand tools for a beginning woodworker?  Also, our daughter is about to graduate from college and move into her own place. She has some tools, such as a cordless drill set, but not the basics like a good hammer, saw or even measuring tape. What should I get for her? And what would you suggest for storage or for a tool box/holder? Thanks! 

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For the toolbox:   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KN470Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Home Depot has a version of that with wheels, and a pull out handle.    There is also a small version, I think 23".  Ace Hardware keeps the smaller ones in stock.

   My tools are in something over 120 of these now.  They're waterproof, so tools don't rust.  I tested the first one with a pressure washer before I started collecting them.

 Make sure the lift out tray is back in place correctly, and don't try to use the latches to close an overstuffed box.  With those simple requirements, mine have lasted over 8 years now.  They nest for stacking.

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For a few "household handyman/woman" tools to keep in the house for hanging pictures or tightening hinges, I like a soft canvas tool bag. 

General use tools I keep handy:

Light claw hammer

Assorted screwdrivers

8" adjustable crescent wrench

12" channel lock pliers

Razor knife / box cutter

3/4" bench chisel

Needlenose pliers with wire cutter

Small flush trim saw

Cordless drill w/ assorted bits.

Torpedo level and/or 4' level

Speed square

Framing square

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Got to have a 8" Crescent wrench.  Vice-Grip pliers, needle nose pliers. For home/first apartment kits a 12' Stanley powerlock tape measure might be a better choice.  I think a 12 ounce hammer is more appropriate for a starter kit. 

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Two types of tools that it's best to stay away from cheap versions of, are adjustable wrenches, and vise grips.   Buy Vise Grip (now owned by Irwin I believe) brand, and I don't know what brands of adjustable wrenches to recommend, but stay away from the Chinese, cheap ones.  Off brand vise grips will twist, and are hard to open,  Cheap adjustable wrenches can mess up the head of a bolt or nut.

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Crescent is the original brand of adjustable wrench I belive.

I've got a 12" for all those nuts & bolts that are bigger than my wrench set goes up to. My dads got a 16" that works great on trailer hitch balls.

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What tools are they using of yours the most?  Get those ones.

Really, all you need are tools to make big pieces of wood smaller, and tools to assemble them together.

Hammer, saw, square, rule and pencils will make a lot of things.  You don't have to spend a fortune to get decent quality ones.  An Estwing claw hammer, the Stanley saws with the induction hardened teeth, Empire square, tape measure of your choice.  A set of screw drivers, some assorted pliers, a cat's paw and of course a decent set of chisels can all be had reasonably priced and will get them started.  Save things like planes and such for later to see if the hobby sticks.

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22 minutes ago, Jim DaddyO said:

What tools are they using of yours the most?  Get those ones.

+1

Don't forget about a good shop vac for each of them.

 

 

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2 hours ago, wdwerker said:

Crescent is the original brand of adjustable wrench I belive.

Sears Craftsman Adjustable wrench is still a top notch tool... believe it or not.  I have had a set of three for about 25 years and just purchased a couple more to keep in the truck and don't see any real difference in the quality from the ones I bought 25 years ago.

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Thanks guys. Lots of good ideas here. The idea is to pick up something once a month and to put it away until they need it or special occasion comes up. Our daughter may be getting a toolbox for graduation lol. 

3 hours ago, Jim DaddyO said:

What tools are they using of yours the most?  Get those ones.

This is how I got most of my tools lol. 

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3 hours ago, Jfitz said:

Don't forget about a good shop vac for each of them

They won't need one for apartment life, yet, but maybe a good vacuum with attachments?

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Folks have given some good advice but for your daughter at least I definitely would go with a smaller hammer then a 16 once. An 8 once would be best. I am always surprised by what my wife considers heavy, when we met she had the worst hammer I had ever seen. But she loved it because it was small enough she could swing it effectively. She disdained my larger "better" hammer. 

I would suggest just walking around home depot (not lowes their kobalt tools are terrible) and just picking up the basics. This is one thing that is still better to be done in person then online. You will be surprised by what you realize is needed but you didn't think about before.

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I think  wtnHighlander had a good list, though I’d suggest dropping the chisel unless they have stuff to sharpen it, and throw in some vise grips. A canvas bag is good for an apartment, easier to shove into a drawer. Also, a book on home repairs. 

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Being a new woodworker myself, I can speak from authority on this subject LOL - also, my wife gives tools to her clients as closing gifts so I have some experience there as well.

IMO many of you with years of experience may have forgotten what it's like to start out.  I know in my profession, I take my knowledge for granted all the time and the wife chastises me for it constantly.

If it were me I would give the son the following:

What ever tools he borrows from, those are obviously the ones he needs of his own. In fact, if it were me, I would take him on a shopping spree (with a budget) and let him choose the tools he desires.

If it were me for the daughter - you didn't mention if she also was into woodworking, so not knowing that....

I would provide her with a all in one screw driver (many tips), a set of bits for her cordless, a small hammer ( not too small) and a small set of adjustable wrenches and a tape measure (20' should be good enough)

let us know how it works out and what you decide

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It's hard to tell what tools our son borrows since he still lives at home and I don't pay attention to what tools he uses. He'll grab a hammer, saw or screwdriver bit depending on what project he's working on use it and then put it back. It's not like he take my favorite drill and leaves it in his room. 

I think I'm going to get our daughter a 16 oz hammer since that's what she's familiar with. She can hammer a nail faster and straighter than anybody else in the family except maybe my wife. 

For both of them I'm going to focus on the basic household tools, such as hammer, saw, screwdriver, level, etc, for now. I'll buy something each month and put it away for later. Since our daughter plans to live in Florida I'll be sending her tools from Amazon as gifts.

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2 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

A teenager that puts tools BACK!?!? :o

Not so much puts backs as he uses the tools in the garage where the tools are. He either puts them on the workbench, table (sometimes back) where I'm working so I don't really notice them. He is good about helping me pick up when I need to park the car in the garage. 

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My mom had a little tool set that hung on a molded plastic plaque in the kitchen. We could use them but she watched like a hawk . If one didn't get replaced there was hell to pay. I remember spending hours trying to find where I had left her hammer. Nothing else was going to happen until I found it . 

A dedicated drawer or tool box location for a first apartment or home is bound to be very handy.

You mentioned she has a cordless drill. I've got a set of driver bits, drills ,hole saws etc at home that lives right next to the drill kit.

IMG_1132.thumb.JPG.788f55d38824def5dd3b5c7170405775.JPG

 

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