If there’s someone you’re gift-hunting for that spends a lot of time in their garage or shed, finding the right present can be a double-edged sword. While you know that they will love a practical hardware of some sort, knowing exactly what and which brands to trust can create a minefield. We’re here to help.
If you know exactly what tool you need to get them, good stuff. However, if you’ve got little idea, or looking for perhaps a general starter-type home mechanic's set for a young one, the Parkers experts can help you out.
Tool buying advice
What brands to trust?
Crucial question. First and foremost, stay away from the unheard of or generic or unbranded gear you’ll come across in droves on sites such as Amazon. That isn’t to say Amazon doesn’t stock good tool brands - it does - it’s just that they’re mixed in with rubbish.
Examples of brands that produce excellent DIY-level hand tools are: Bosch (green), Draper Redline, Faithfull, Rolson, Silverline, Stanley, VonHaus, and WorkPro.
Examples of brands that produce excellent trade and professional-level hand tools are: Bahco, Bosch Professional (blue), DeWalt, Draper Expert, Halfords Advanced, Irwin, Sealey, Stanley FatMax, and Teng.
There are more, but these are some of the most popular names out there and bear large catalogues of products.
As with most things, it’s better to pay a little more for assured quality. This means that the user will not only get a longer life out of the tool, but will enjoy better usability too.
Hand tool gift ideas for home mechanics and DIYers
Below, you will find a range of Parkers-recommended options that range from full tool sets to individual pieces.
Werkzeug 157 Piece Socket Wrench Set
Best starter kit
This is a comprehensive and well-made kit suitable for DIYers. Containing 1/4-, 3/8-, and 1/2-inch sockets, plus spanners, hex keys, a few drive bits, and a few other things, this set allows the user to access all vehicle fasteners. The hard case is fine, but crucially, the tools are of dependable quality.
Bahco SL25 Ratchet Socket Set
Best starter socket set
This little 1/4-inch socket set is absolutely perfect for any DIYer in need of such a thing. The Bahco quality is a step up from the Werkzeug kit and the user should get decades of toiling out of it - provided the set is looked after.
WorkPro 108 Piece Socket Set
Best DIY automotive socket set
With 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch ratchets sizes, and including extension bars and long sockets, the user is totally sorted for any ratchet crisis that occurs in the garage, or around the house. The ratchet handle is comfortable and has quick-release and reverse switch, and you can expect a long working life at DIY-level thanks to the chrome vanadium steel. The hard case has metal clips too, which we really like.
Halfords Advanced 200 Piece Socket And Ratchet Spanner Set
Best professional socket set
Designed specifically for use by serious home mechanics and professionals on cars and vehicles, this choice is quite a step up from the above sets, both in use and quality. The lifetime guarantee distils confidence in the tools, but some details make this toolset a joy to use. For example, the 100-tooth ratchets only need minute movement, which allows for easier use in awkward workspaces.
Silverline Torque Wrench
Best torque wrench
For instances such as changing a wheel, knowing the correct torque for a fastening is crucial, which is where a torque wrench comes in very handy. This Silverline torque wrench has a great 28Nm to 280Nm torque range and includes an extension bar and 3/8-inch socket adaptor.
Draper 11 Piece Spanner Set
Best DIY spanner set
The Draper Redline spanner set is brilliantly no-nonsense. Sizes are 6mm to 19mm and all are stored in its little rack. The jaws are slightly offset to make working in awkward areas easier. It's a great quality item, too.
Draper Little Beastie Wallet Multi-Tool
Best little multitool
Tested by Ryan Gilmore****: u2018It's easy to dismiss a card-sized multi-tool as a bit of novelty fluff and useless. The Little Beastie is the opposite, I've started using it daily for opening boxes, tightening screws and as a bottle opener. It's a really handy little tool.u2019
Draper 44 Piece Screwdriver Set
Best DIY screwdriver set
What two things do you want from a screwdriver set? Quality and versatility. Enter the 44-piece screwdriver set from Draper. For DIYers itu2019s ideal. The handles have a soft ergonomic grip, the tips have excellent grip on screw heads, there is a useful storage rack, and there are all the sizes youu2019ll need (not including precision screwdrivers). Just be careful not to overstress the handles u2013 a common mistake when using screwdrivers.
Ring Automotive RIL4200 Inspection Lamp
Best inspection lamp
The RIL4200 is robust and effective and worth paying the extra for over cheaper inspection lamps. Weu2019ve tested cheap inspection lamps against ones that aren't and found budget not to be worth it. The RIL4200 has fast charging and versatile lighting for use in the workshop or as a regular torch, but one of its main strengths is its magnets and hooks for hands-free working.
Draper Foldable Funnel
Refilling oil? Adding AdBlue? Topping up screenwash? Draperu2019s foldable funnel is as functional as any funnel but because itu2019s flat and malleable, storage is immeasurably improved.
Einhell CCTJ 2000 Trolley Jack
Best car jack for the garage
Einhell is a reputable manufacturer of a great many power, garden, and workshop tools. This trolley jack has a 2000kg weight limit, making it suitable for most cars and small to medium-sized SUVs. It has a minimum lift height of 135mm and a maximum of 330mm. The jack itself weighs 8.7kg.
Halfords 2 Tonne Car Ramps
Best tool for undercar access
Quite a chunky gift idea but nevertheless, a very useful one. Lifts a vehicle to a height of 20cm; each ramp is capable of holding 1000kg; suitable for tyres 135mm to 185mm wide. Pair these with wheel chocks.
Don't forget about those in need
While we love giving to friends and loved ones, it's also important we don't forget about those less fortunate than ourselves. Perhaps consider giving a gift to one of the UK's homeless youth through Centrepoint, the UK's leading youth homelessness charity.