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Choosing a tool for someone else isn’t as easy as running to the hardware store and picking up the latest thing.

I’m awfully particular about my tools. I’m still using the same putty knife I bought 30 years ago. If you buy me a new one, I’ll still walk around with my old knife that’s served me so well all these years.

Some of the do-it-yourselfers on your holiday gift list might feel the same way about their tried-and-true tools—and probably would have invested in the fanciest, newest products already if they really wanted them.

To someone who’s serious about home remodeling and repairs, tools are personal. So if you want to surprise someone with a shiny new tool on Christmas morning, get to know the working style of the person you’re buying for.

Here are five guidelines for buying tools for the handiest people on your shopping list this season.

  1. Know the kinds of projects your loved one likes to work on. If he or she uses tools only occasionally for light jobs like hanging pictures and tightening hinges, choose smaller tools designed for those everyday fixes. But if you’re buying for someone who’s elbow-deep in building an addition or gutting the guest bathroom, you’ll want to choose sturdier, professional-grade tools.
  2. Buy the highest quality tool you can afford. In tool world, that’s usually the most expensive tool in its category. Serious handymen and women think of their tools as a long-term investment. They want them to work, and they want them to last.

Read more…

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