Seven great gifts for the do-it-yourself dad

Jun 16, 2015, 4:50 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2015, 10:35 am

If your dad is a do-it-yourselfer and you’re still looking for Father’s Day gift ideas, we compiled this list of the best tools that every DIY dad needs in his tool belt.

1. A high-quality, battery-operated cordless screwdriver with light.

Look for a model that has 12 to 18 volts plus lithium batteries. Test them when you buy. If you try out the six- to nine-volt version, you’ll find out real quick why the extra volts are worth the extra dollars. I personally prefer the Dewalt brand of cordless drills and have recommended them for years on the show. Dad will love one with an LED headlight to help with jobs in side cabinets and dark garages and make sure it has a variable speed motor. These can cost $100 to $200.

2. Non-electric screwdrivers set

That may sound strange, but many dads would like a nice, new, high-quality set of hand screwdrivers that match and aren’t all worn out from frequent use. An organizational holder for the set is a nice add-on as well. Cost for a new set of drivers is likely $20 to $50, depending on brand and number of drivers included.

3. Dewalt 25-foot, easy-read tape measure

I’ve talked about this tape measure on air for a number of years and I use one all the time. It’s got extra-large numbers for easy reading and an easy-grab hook end. It’s simple, affordable and designed well. What can I say, but it’s great and your Dad will love it.

4. Laser level

Dad probably already has an air-bubble level to use when hanging a picture, for example, but for trickier jobs like laying tile, hanging cabinets or installing a group of electrical outlets across a wall in a bathroom or kitchen, you need something better. You can simply turn the level on and create a straight laser-lit line for your project. A laser level can turn your task into a one-person job with much less measuring. There are several different kinds to match everyone’s budget.

5. High-quality brushes

Good brushes are ideal if dad is planning a home painting project. One really good paintbrush will last forever if you take good care of it, instead of buying four or five cheap ones to toss out when the job is done. The best buy for the homeowner is a polyester brush with tapered bristles. (Natural animal hair brushes are only used with lacquers and varnish.) Prices range from $15 to $20 but can be less, depending on size.

6. Cactus-proof garden gloves

Arizona gardeners are always looking for gloves that will prevent punctures. A great pair of gloves we used last summer harvesting prickly pear fruit was the ThornArmor brand of gloves from HexArmor. They are available online for about $38. You can hear us talk about using these cool gloves in this archived audio clip (about halfway into the segment).

7. A new, easy-to-use wheelbarrow

It can be hard to push a conventional wheelbarrow filled with plants or soil, especially in hot weather. For the gardening dad, there is the Wheelzbarrow (about $150, plus shipping) sold online. This device is more like a wagon because it has two wheels in back as well as one wheel in front so it rolls along more easily. When you press down on the handle as you push, the front wheel will pop up a bit to carry your load over obstacles. No more using ramps or boards to get the wheelbarrow to travel around rough terrain.

As your DIY dad starts using all his tools around the house, be sure to let him know that he can find more ideas and answers to other questions in Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice, information and FAQs at

Remember, when the project is bigger and not something you want to tackle yourself visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at, Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR News every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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Seven great gifts for the do-it-yourself dad