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The last two months of the year are the time for giving. Most people, including Santa, feel more generous during this time. That’s why we have Thanksgiving Day in November and the Christmas season and a slew of holiday events in December. People buy gifts for loved ones to express their love and appreciation.
For a handyman in any trade, be it woodworking, electrical installation & repairs, plumbing, appliance repairs, or DIY, no gift can be more gratifying than a nice tool gift. You can gift your woodworking dad, electrician mom, DIY sibling, mechanic husband, or HVAC friend a good tool that will always be useful in their woodworking projects.
Unfortunately, most good tools are not cheap, and good inexpensive alternatives are not easy to find. So, it is not uncommon to be out of luck in finding a very good tool to gift someone. Also, if you do not belong in the same trade as the person you want to gift, it might be difficult to find the best tool gift for them. That’s why I started a series of articles to share with you tool gift ideas for men and women in various trades.
In this article, I share 10 woodworking tool gift ideas for less than $50.
You may also like: 5 Best Inexpensive Tool Gifts For Dad
Woodworking Gift Ideas for Under $50
1. Woodworking Clamps
A clamping tool is simply a brace or clasp for strengthening or holding things in place to keep them from moving while drilling, cutting, or gluing. They keep the workpiece intact and prevent it from shifting out of alignment.
A woodworker will never have enough clamps in the workshop. There is a variety of clamps to choose from including C-clamps, locking grip pliers, pipe clamps, face clamps, and quick-release clamps.
Each type of clamp has its ideal application. For example, the quick-release clamp is good for glue-ups, pipe clamps are the best for holding large pieces, and the face clamp is more suitable for gripping workpieces by the face such as when making pocket hole joinery.
The demand and the variety of clamping tools should give you confidence when buying suitable clamps as a gift for a woodworker. They are always a nice addition to a woodworking tool kit. It does not matter if the person you are buying for already seems to have all the tools. There will always be room for more clamping tools.
Woodworking clamps are also inexpensive. So you can buy a couple of them for less than $50. My favorite is the Jorgensen clamps. These clamps are very well made and very presentable. There is also a wide variety of Jorgensen woodworking clamps from which to choose including spring clamps, pipe clamps, F clamps, bar clamps, and the most popular C-clamps. Irwin clamps are also very good and are available in sets.
2. Pocket Hole Jig
Pocket holes are common in woodworking joinery. They are made by drilling holes at an angle into a workpiece to form pockets through which to install fasteners. These angled holes allow a woodworker to drive a screw at an angle into the wood grain of two workpieces to make a neat and strong butt joint. You can find pocket hole joinery on any kind of indoor and outdoor furniture including cabinets.
Making accurate pocket holes is not easy, even for experienced woodworkers. This is why a pocket hole jig would be an excellent tool gift for a woodworker to enable him or her to make neat and accurate pocket holes.
Not only do these wood drilling jigs bring accuracy to the angle of the hole but also the depth. With a pocket hole kit, a woodworker does not need to guess or worry about getting pocket holes right.
There are many types and models of pocket hole jigs but the Kreg pocket hole jig is the gold standard, IMO. This makes it the perfect gift for a woodworker or carpenter, especially those who specialize in indoor or outdoor furniture.
The kreg pocket hole comes as a kit that includes the pocket-hole jig, a material thickness gauge, a drill bit, and a clamp adapter. All these components come packed nicely in a durable, compact carry case which is very presentable as a gift.
3. Carpenter’s Wood Glue
Wood glue is an adhesive for joining together wood temporarily before installing permanent fasteners or nails. It goes hand in hand with the clamps. Glue is also useful for holding together the end grain when installing pocket screws that run through the end grain.
There are different varieties and quantities of wood glue but any of them is good for a woodworker. You can combine a clamp tool, pocket hole jig, and wood glue as a gift hamper for your woodworking buddy. It is the best gift for a carpenter.
4. Woodworking Pencils
A woodworker is more likely to lose a pencil than use it up. So, having enough supplies is never a bad idea and this is what makes buying a bunch of pencils a perfect woodworking tool gift idea.
Pencils in woodworking are useful for a variety of reasons including marking wood for cuts, calculating measurements, drawing sketches, and simply carrying one around as a woodworking signature. There is a ton of uses for pencils in woodworking, making them a perfect gift for a woodworker. My advice is that you buy different types of pencils including plenty of 2H, 3H, 4H, and a few HBs.
Also, since pencils are not expensive, you can try to be fancy and include a few mechanical pencils. Many woodworkers love them because they are easier to use than traditional wood ones. When the lead in a mechanical pencil breaks, you just push a button or twist the knob to expose more lead and continue working. No more wasting valuable time sharpening a pencil when you have the mechanical one. They are also available in packs.
5. Drill Bit Set
Like pencils, a woodworker will never have enough drill bits in the woodworking tool kit. These are useful pieces of metal for drilling holes in a variety of materials to install fasteners. High-speed steel drill bits are the most popular sets for woodworkers. You can buy a set or two from Milwaukee or DeWalt. Be assured that the bits will not sit in the toolbox unused.
6. Woodworking Apron
A work apron not only keeps a woodworker’s clothes clean and free of dirt but also acts as a protective garment. It protects you from flying wood chips, debris, and sparks.
The best materials for a good, durable work apron are waxed canvas or leather. These aprons look professional, are durable, and have multiple pockets for the on-body storage of essential tools. They are also versatile in that you can use them in different trades.
Another good thing about shop aprons is that most of them are giftable. In other words, most work aprons have attractive packaging that gives a strong premium impression worthy of a gift. Hence, a shop apron is a nice gift for a woodworker or any craftsman.
Check out my review of the best waxed canvas shop aprons for less than $50.
7. Piles of sandpapers
Sandpaper is simply a type of paper with a layer of grit on one side. The rough surface acts as an abrasive for sanding down surfaces. Sandpapers are numbered based on the grit size. The smaller the number, the bigger the grains and the coarser the sandpaper.
For example, a 200-grit sanding paper is good enough for woodworking while 1200-grit sandpaper is great for repairing small dings on a car.
Sandpapers are very useful in woodworking for finishing wood. You use can also use them to erase pencil marks on wood instead of using an eraser. Therefore, a pile of sandpapers is a perfect gift idea that any woodworking professional would appreciate receiving. And since sandpapers wear out quickly, it is important to have enough supplies in the workshop.
8. Digital level gauge
A digital level gauge is a tool for measuring the angle of slant. Woodworkers use it mostly to set a precise angle of slant of the table saw blade or miter saw blade when making bevel cuts. It is also useful for calibrating the bevel gauges on both of these tools. A digital angle finder or level gauge is also a more accurate alternative to the classic spirit level tool.
If you buy a digital angle gauge and level as a gift for a woodworking enthusiast, he will use it to make more accurate angled cuts. This in turn improves the quality of woodworking projects significantly.
A digital angle finder is particularly useful for measuring arbitrary angles because a square can measure the common angles (90 and 45). When buying one, make sure it has a strong magnet to attach firmly to a magnetic surface and has an accuracy of 0.2 at most.
My favorite digital level gauge is the AccuMaster inclinometer. It has a strong magnet, the display is sharp with a backlight, has an accuracy of 0.1, and it comes with a pouch. This angle-measurement tool works both as a bevel gauge and a digital level for carpentry hence a good woodworking tool gift for someone you care about.
9. Tape measure
A tape measure is a useful tool for measuring length in woodworking. It measures longer than rulers and is very easy to carry around. There are different types of woodworking tape measures and here your choice depends on the purpose for which you are buying it.
For example, if you are buying for someone who does construction work, a construction tape measure is the correct choice. On the other hand, if you are buying for use in the woodworking shop, the carpenter tape measure will do the job.
There are other factors you look at when buying a tape measure. The first one is the length of the tape. Ideally, a carpenter’s tape measure should be about 15 ft long or thereabout while a construction type should have at least a 25 ft range.
The second factor is the standout length. This is how much a tape measure will extend out before it collapses. A good carpenter’s tape measure stands out about 8 to 9 feet whereas a construction tape measure should stretch about 12ft without collapsing.
The third important factor is the scale reading. A good tape measure should at least have both the metric and imperial scales. However, if you know the scale of choice of the woodworker you are gifting, you can choose the single scale, left-to-right reading tape measure. I prefer this type of tape measure because it allows measuring from the right or left edge. Moreover, the left-to-right reading tape measure allows reading upright numbers all the time from either side.
10. Woodworking Safety Gear
A woodworking shop typically has a lot of tools and equipment that are potentially dangerous in the event of an accident. One of the most dangerous woodworking tools is the table saw. It causes tens of thousands of injuries annually. According to a Journal article on the NCBI website, the most common table saw hazards include finger and hand injuries and lacerations. Hearing loss and respiratory problems can also occur when one uses a table saw for a long time without hearing protection or a dust mask.
As you probably know, noise and wood dust are constant by-products of woodworking activities such as sanding, cutting, or routing. Exposure to these types of pollution can result in long-term health problems for a woodworker.
For instance, a table saw uses a circular saw blade to cut which sometimes makes a lot of noise when cutting hardwood. Exposure to this noise for a long time can be calamitous and may result in loss of hearing. Similarly, wood dust that comes from cutting wood (sometimes treated lumber) can cause respiratory problems. This is why a dust mask or woodworking respirator would be necessary despite installing a good dust collection system in the shop.
A lot of other woodworking tools and equipment present similar risks to a wood person This is why anyone working in wood, whether professionally or as DIY, requires safety gear at the minimum.
There are also some jigs and accessories that make working with woodworking power tools safer. For instance, a riving knife helps prevent kickbacks on a table saw. Table saw kickbacks are very dangerous. They can cause fatal injuries in the workshop. Here are other useful table saw accessories that can help reduce table injuries.
Best PPE for woodworking
Some of the basic woodworking PPE you could buy as a gift for a woodworker include:
- Ear protection – ear plugs,
- Eye protection – clear protective eyeglasses or shield
- Respiratory protection – a package or disposable or reusable dust respirator, or a powered dust respirator shield.
- Feet protection – steel toe boots
- Body protection – canvas or leather work apron.
- Hand Protection – a pair of leather gloves for woodworking to protect hands
Those are some of the best woodworking gift ideas for him or her. What other items would you give to a person working in wood? Please share them on our socials 😉