Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

June 13, 2016

10 Awesome Father's Day Gifts for Handy Dads

I think the mistake we make with handy Dads is that we assume, because they're handy, they already have the tools they need for any job around the house.  But if your Dad is anything like my Dad, many of his tools and gadgets are probably old, maybe a little worn out, maybe a little stolen by his daughter but he can't quite remember which ones, but he probably won't treat himself to something new because his tools "do the job just fine".

For Father's Day, I've seen a lot of hipster Dad gift guides that probably won't appeal to Dads of a certain... "vintage".  So I chatted with Hubby and I made a list of great tools we have and love (that my Dad covets) and ones that look really enticing and perfect for a handy Dad.

Poll any handy person around and I bet you, dollars to donuts, that they have an old drill - I know we did!  It's probably a corded model, a little bulky, but it works fine so why spend the money on a new one?  If you're shopping for a Father's Day gift, spend the money for him and get a drill that's cordless and light, perfect for any jobs around the house.  This WORX 2-in-1 switch drill and driver is compact, plus it switches easily between driving and drilling modes.  We have added this to our "stuff for the boat" tool arsenal and I love how lightweight it is!


Work lights like these are awesome enough to cause major fights in my family, as whoever borrows them (me) tends to resist returning them to their rightful owner (my Dad).  They have been used so many times - they make late night DIY projects so easy and are perfect when you've cut power to an area of the house but need some light.  An extension cord and one of these makes midnight wiring possible - perfect for busy Dads!   


Magnelex, this clever magnetic bracelet, helps keep track of nails and screws - such a genius idea, and way better than trying to hold a bunch of screws in one's mouth (we're all guilty of that).  I classify this as the type of thing Dad would never buy himself, only to use it all the time once he has it. 


When we were shopping for a sailboat, every boat was on land and had to be accessed by a ladder.  Every older dude who showed us boats rolled up with a sketchy, rickety ladder.  I'm convinced that ladder sales must be slow.  Now that I think about it, I've never actually seen someone purchase a ladder.  And no one I know has a shiny new one, they're all the dicey kind that make my palms sweat.

This articulating ladder is worth every penny - we splurged and bought ourselves the exact model because Hubby and I are both afraid of heights (although one of us has been sky diving and so that someone has to clean the gutters because you can't pretend to be scared of ladders and then jump from a plane).  It's been handy for accessing the roof, reaching the smoke detector on our 13 foot ceiling, and so many others tasks that make my heart skip a beat.  It's so sturdy and really versatile, transforming into eight different positions, like a stairway scaffold - genius!

Looking for something funny to gift with a larger present?  Coax Dad to trade in the duct tape for Fiber Fix, a handy little product that can mend anything from shovels to hockey sticks and eek out a little more life out of whatever 100 year old shovel or fishing rod he won't let go of.

I was sent a sample of this stuff and it's so handy to keep around for making emergency repairs - with a more permanent hold than duct tape.  It's a one time use product, so go ahead and toss a few packages in your cart.  


Is Dad doing some electrical work?  My Dad is super thrilled that he was able to successfully repair my parents' washing machine after watching a ton of YouTube videos.  This digital multimeter is one we own and it's something we use a lot so I highly recommend it if your handy Dad doesn't have one!


I actually have the Bosse Tools round point shovel.  We've been doing some "landscaping" - I use the word generously - around the property and Hubs and I sprint to the garage to get our hands on this first.  It was awesome for shoveling 1400 pounds of dolomite out of the back of the truck.  Oy.

It's really easy on the back when you're digging a lot - it improves your posture and the center handle rotates and locks in place for comfort.  Dads with aching old joints and backs will surely appreciate this!

This is more a public service announcement than gift idea.  Because I log a lot of hours at Home Improvement stores, I have seen some seriously sketchy practices for getting lumber, plywood and other building supplies home.  The other day we saw a pick up truck with some kind of rolled up rug hanging four feet out the back of a truck, tail gate down, with no straps or anything, and it was bouncing around, threatening to impale the cars behind.  The driver was a left lane bandit, doing 30km/hr in a 60 zone, trying not to lose the carpet.  It was so irresponsible! 

People laugh at us because it normally takes us about 20 minutes (sometimes half an hour) and eight ratchet straps before we're ready to drive off with our precious cargo, but properly securing larger items is SO important - things flying out of a pick up truck or an SUV with the tail gate open can seriously injure or even kill other drivers.  But if your Dad is like my Dad, he might rely on a handful of aging bungee cords and hope for securing larger purchases because ratchet straps are too expensive.  Buy these ratchet straps for him.  Please.  


Some of my gift ideas for handy Dads veer toward the practical - and affordable! - but if you're looking to splash out on an expensive and deliciously FUN tool, this FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Camera (with image storage) could definitely fit the bill!  Just over $300, yes, but it could save Dad tons of money because you can use this handy gadget to find heat loss in a home, track roof conditions, spot electrical issues, etc - home inspectors love these.

Hubby is positively drooling for one of these.

I'm kind of proud of the fact that the welder we own is actually mine.  We joke that my "Hope Chest" came fully stocked with dishware, a car, a welder.  All I'm missing is a goat and some chickens.  We were recently doing some welding - building an awesome new fire pit - and we chatting about some bigger welding projects we'd love to do.  Hubby has his eye on this Lincoln Electric Arc Welder for some heavy duty projects my welder can't handle.
These are just come suggestions based on tools/handy gadgets we have - and love - or things we think a Handy Dad would appreciate.  My best advice?  Poke around Dad's garage and check out his tool situation.  Treat him to a better, fancier version of what he's been using for years - or the thing you borrowed and never returned.  He might fight you on it ("oh I don't need it"), but he'll thank you for it later.

Feel free to chime in with your own suggestions in the comments!  Please note that for some, not all, of the products I recommended I was able to use affiliate links so I might make a small commission.  I never allow affiliate linking to drive the products I promote in any way.


  1. Bwahahahaaa - "maybe a little stolen by his daughter" made me laughsnort so hard!
    In our family my mother is the handy one, so it's her good screwdriver, ladder, drill and sander that were maybe stolen by her daughter. And for some reason (yes, ok, probably mainly because they can be expensive) I never thought to give her tool! Will definitely keep this in mind for her birthday. :D

    1. So cool to hear your Mom is the handy one!! And funny to hear that there's a rumored tool thief in your family too ;)
      Maybe I should have done a tool shopping list for Mother's Day too - I'm earmarking that idea for next year!

  2. Love that you mom is the handy one, Alexandra. Definitely in our family, gender means nothing in terms of handiness but my dad and hub are still the handiest of the bunch.
    Funny note about your welder, Tanya. When I met my husband, I had the skillsaw, battery charger, extension ladder, jigsaw, chainsaw, etc. that he lacked. I don't own my own welder, (hubs' is industrial, though) but I do weld (I used to be a welding supervisor) so I love having one around. And a friend gave him a table saw he didn't need and he said, that's great, it's for my wife.
    I love you ideas for Father's Day but clearly you should consider the Mother's Day tool list, too

    1. How did I not know that you were a welding supervisor? That is so awesome! I love that you are so capable with power tools - more women need to hear about other women wielding them!

      I am normally pretty slack in the Mother's Day gift guide department in general because my Mom LOATHES Mother's Day so I didn't publish one at all this year. Next year I am definitely rounding up some tools Mom needs! I love this idea you and Alexandra have given me!

  3. Lots of great tools for the tool shed! I love that magnetic bracelet what a great idea :)

    1. I am always amazed at the clever things people come up with! It's so simple, but so GENIUS.

  4. Awesome ideas, I love the drill with the swivel head and the bracelet.

    1. I am definitely putting together a tool guide for Mother's Day!


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