12 Stocking Stuffers for the DIYer under $25

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Twelve useful tools, gadgets and accessories under $25 that make great stocking (err... toolbelt?) stuffers for the DIYer in your life. What's great about most of these is even if they already own one, a second one to keep in another location will be very handy.

Kreg Multi-Mark

The Kreg Multi-Mark Marking and Measuring Tool measures and marks all sorts of small distances at different angles and makes it easy to repeatedly mark the same distance accurately.

A great time saver for home improvement and woodworking projects.  Use the Multi-Mark to measure and then just transfer the measurement to the wood board, tile, trim, etc.

It includes a level and has a 3/16" offest all around to get the perfect reveal when installing door casing. A tool that should be in every toolbelt.

Giotto Rocket Blower

No more getting dizzy or getting dust in your face while trying to blow debris out of a hole you just drilled or cut. The Giottos Rocket Air Blaster, created for blowing dust out of cameras, also works well for clearing small amounts of saw dust and other construction debris.

Just a few quick pumps and you're done. Like having a tiny air compressor in your tool pouch that doesn't need batteries. More convenient and economical than carrying around cans of compressed air or hauling out an extension cord and compressor for small uses.

Smart Phone Work Gloves

Smart phones and tablets are becoming ubiquitous. No more wasted time and cold hands from having to remove your gloves to take pictures of your project to post online, look up some info or take a call as these sturdy Smart Phone Work Gloves from Wells Lamont have conductive threading on the thumb and index fingers. Great for working out in the cold weather.

For a slightly thinner, more breathable glove have a look at the Youngstown 11-3090-80-L TouchScreen Utility Gloves.

Magnetic Wristband

Keep screws, nails, nuts, bolts, drill bits and other small metal objects easy to reach with the MagnoGrip Magnetic Wristband.

Stop poking yourself digging through pockets or pouches looking for the right fastener. Helps speed up the job of driving nails and screws.

It's durable and the adjustable strap makes it one-size-fits-all.

Eton Crank Flashlight with Phone Charger

I own a few hand crank powered LED flashlights. Gone are the days of pulling out a flashlight and then having to run around looking for batteries. Just crank it up and it's good to go.

My favorite is my Etón American Red Cross CLIPRAY because it provides a lot of light, has a nice clip to fasten to a tool belt and has the added bonus of having a USB port that allows you to crank a little bit of juice into your cell phone if you need to make a call in an emergency but your battery is dead. It works well with my Motorola smartphone.

Non Contact Voltage Sensor

This little tool fits in a pocket or tool pouch and quickly lets you know if the wires you're about to work on are live or not. A true lifesaver that no DIYer should be without!

There are a few good ones out there but the best of the bunch is still the Fluke 1AC-A1-II Volt-Alert AC Non-Contact Voltage Tester.

Press the on button, put the tip on the wire and you'll instantly know if there's voltage running in the wires. That way you're sure you turned off the right breaker and can even check other wires in the electrical box to make sure there are no other live wires in it that might be on a different breaker.

Receptacle Tester

A receptacle tester like this well regarded Sperry Instruments GFI6302 GFCI Outlet Tester can help you quickly diagnose a number of problems with outlet wiring without having to unscrew the outlet cover plate and touch any of the wires.

Some electronic devices can behave oddly if the outlet is not properly wired and grounded. What's worse, an improperly wired GFCI outlet will not give you the protection you expect.

The Sperry Instruments outlet tester is the easiest one to use and is very durable. It has a GFCI test button for testing GFCI outlets and its 3 indicator lights will let you know if the outlet is wired correctly or has an open ground, open neutral, open hot, hot and ground reversed or hot and neutral reversed.

Safety Glasses

I'm a big believer that it's hard to have too many pairs of safety glasses. The more convenient they are to use the more likely I am to use them. I keep a pair in different toolboxes, near my landscape power tools and various utility drawers.

I like the DeWalt Dominator Safety Glasses. I have them in smoke and indoor/outdoor lenses. The indoor/outdoor lens is not a transitions type lens that adjusts the tint to light levels, it's just a little tinted so you can see indoors but provides some reduction of light while in the sun. They come in other lens tints too, including clear. They provide UV protection and meet ANSI Z87.1+ standards.

I also have the MSA Safety Works 817691 Safety Glasses which don't look as cool but allow me to protect my eyes if I'm wearing my glasses instead of contact lenses.

Mechanical Marking Pencil

Save time and get accurate markings with the Incra Mechanical Marking Pencil. The fine point gives thin lines that allows you to make more precise cuts. No need to have a sharpener or knife handy.

But it's round! How can a carpenter use a pencil that's not rectangular?!?!? The reason carpenter's pencils are rectangular is so that they don't roll when placed on a temporary work surface that might not be level. The pocket clip on the end of the Incra pencil will prevent it from rolling too much.

It can be used on it's own but it also works with Incra's other tools that allow for precise marking such as the Incra 12" Precision Marking T-Rule.

Non Contact Thermometer

A non contact thermometer can help you diagnose a lot of different problems. It can help you find areas of your home that are poorly insulated, are poorly sealed and allow air to pass, may detect some water leaks and can help you find problem electrical issues that may be causing overheating. Plus they're great for barbecuing and baking! If you have a pizza stone you can safely check that it's at the correct temperature.

The Nubee Temperature Gun w/Laser Sight is a good and affordable choice.

Simply point it at the surface you'd like to measure using the laser sight as a guide. Then search around that area to see if you find any significant temperature differences that could indicate a problem that needs to be corrected to make your home more energy efficient.


I don't know how I ever managed without a headlamp. Everything from minor electrical work, replacing a faucet and even just wiring up the back of home theater equipment becomes so much easier when you can see what you're doing without having to prop up a light in a tight awkward space. 

Cheaper and easier to use than setting up large work light too.

I have the Coast HL4 Headlamp and love it. It has a bright white LEDs as well as a dimmer red LED light that can be used for providing light when you don't want to compromise your night vision. Taking a hike in the dark for instance.  It adjusts a little up and down so the light is where I need it and it's comfortable to wear. A headlamp makes so many tasks easier!

Kreg Mini Pocket Hole Jig

There are a few different types Kreg Jig Kits but the cheapest and smallest is the Kreg Mini. It's small size allows it to fit into areas where some of the other Kreg Jigs can't.

Don't let the size fool you. It makes pocket holes just as good as i't slarger brothers. I've used one to create a built-in desk. It just takes a little longer to position than the more expensive Kreg jigs.

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