After-shave, a rugby jersey, a personalized braai apron, socks and liquor – when it comes to Father’s Day gifts, some things never change. While tools or toolboxes are another favourite purchase for dads at this time of the year, their specialised nature and usefulness can create uncertainty about what to buy as a gift. Here are some tips for narrowing down the choices and gifting the perfect tool.
“The first thing to do is to look at the categories of tools and the types of job dad has to do around the house most often. If dad is a keen hobbyist or DIY fanatic, chances are he already has the most generalised and multi-purpose tools at his disposal, in which case something more specialised will be a good idea,” says Nathan Chapman, co-founder of building materials group Eva-Last.
Eva-Last has introduced its own specialised fasteners and tools to reduce time and effort taken to install perfectly aligned and finished flooring surfaces. “One of the product lines we manufacture and distribute is Tier Flooring, a highly specialised indoor flooring that is convenient to transport and easy to install, making home renovation and improvement jobs that much more reachable for the average dad. It’s amazing what used to require specialised carpentry skills and can now be completed using only a utility knife.”
Not every guy is into tinkering with tools and may be short of some of the basics for home maintenance, however. “Having a useful tool to solve problems at home can reduce time and effort in dealing with common household emergencies. Especially for younger dads, chances are they don’t yet have everything they need to deal with even some relatively simple tasks. We tend to accumulate tools as we get older,” says Chapman.
There are some must-have items for keeping a home in tip-top shape, such as:
- Screwdriver set
- Allen key set
- Spirit or laser level
- Glue gun
- Tyre repair kit
- Magnet (to pick up small tools and pieces)
- A portable multi-tool, such as a Leatherman
- Pocket knife
- Grill brush
- High-pressure hose
- Flexible LED task light or headlamp
- Measuring tape
- Cable ties
“The amazing thing that has happened in the last few years is the evolution of tools into multipurpose gadgets that cut down on so much time and effort. A universal socket grip for power drills can just about drive or unscrew anything that’s put inside it, which means you can move from a hex bolt to a traditional screw with the same attachment and get the job done in an instant,” says Chapman.
Modern specialised tools to reduce time include damaged screw extractor sets, incredibly capable pocket tools, Dremel tools that are easy to manipulate to great results. “Around these specialised tools themselves has grown a massive array of convenience devices like multi-tool carabiners, magnetic wristbands to prevent accidental part loss and LED headlamps. Today, it really is possible for any dad to complete a multitude of household jobs with a minimum number of actual tools and even less fuss,” Chapman says.
Finally, a compact and well-stocked first aid kit is actually a necessity because even professionals slip up from time to time. “Safety first – always. That could be the thing missing from most dads’ DIY toolboxes but they’ll probably appreciate having one around because it is the sensible thing to do,” he adds.