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We argue about this around the Toolmonger offices every year, but this year we thought we’d let you into the game as well: What’s going to be the “Tickle Me Elmo” of tools this year?

Note: We’re not asking “What’s your favorite tool this year?” or even “What’s the most useful tool this year?” We’re asking, “What tool do you think will fly off shelves as gifts to friends, neighbors, and fathers everywhere this Christmas?”

Sean and I will jump into the comments and share our own ideas, but I can’t wait to hear yours.Β  Will this finally be the year of the useful, practical gimmick tool?

 

23 Responses to Reader Question: What’s This Year’s Hot Tool Gift?

  1. John E. says:

    I really really want the Milwaukee pocket driver.

  2. Garrett says:

    I’m going with the auto-adjustable wrenches. I think they’re worthless pieces of dung, but they might appeal to the masses.

  3. Guy says:

    The hot tool gift of the year should be a set of ratcheting wrenches! These have come a long way in the past couple years. Lots of variations, box, comb, short, long, etc. I picked up a set and use them before I pick up any of the hundred non-ratcheting wrenches I have.

  4. Gary says:

    Lee Valley gift card! Oh wait, that’s what I want.

    Hmm. Hope my wife reads this…

  5. KMR says:

    Garrett: I got one of the auto adjustable wrenches last year for xmas, they are worthless. Even used manually, the jaw assembly has so much slop in it, that it is utterly useless.

    There is nothing this toolmonger dislikes more than getting crappy tools as gifts!

  6. Kevin says:

    Craftsman 12v Hammerhead Autohammer for the win. Those things are flying off the shelves at my Sears. We can’t keep them in stock. Have one of the largest raincheck lists I’ve ever seen in as long as I’ve worked there.

    Oddly enough, we have plenty of the B&D Autowrenches and they’re not going out as fast as they have in the past. Could be people are realizing they’re not that good for actual use now.

    Kevin T. Pace
    Customer Solutions Consultant
    Lawn & Garden Department
    Sears Store #1295, St. Petersburg, FL

  7. ScaryFast says:

    I’m surprised the Craftsman Nextec Hammerhead Auto Hammer is popular. People are that lazy? I think the best part is that when the battery dies, people are going to try using it as a real hammer. I hope it was engineered to survive that sort of abuse πŸ˜›

  8. Kris says:

    I’ll go along with Lee Valley gift card. Also a Rockler gift card. Also a Lie-Nielsen gift certificate. There’s so much at these places to lust after. They gotta hope I win the lottery – they will end up with a big chunk of it!

  9. JB says:

    I tried to use the tickle-me-Elmo as a real hammer and was pleased with the results. but seriously, that Rigid R82007 drill http://toolmonger.com/2008/12/02/ridgid-r82007-38-drill/ looks cool to me.

  10. Kris says:

    I have to agree with KMR and Garrett. Mine that I got as a gift is next to worthless – it does not tighten enough on the bolt (bet B&D lawyers had visions of some kid crushing his finger with it) and the battery drains sitting in my tool box. The wrench also is not long enough IMHO.

    I saw quite a few years ago an adjustable wrench that you opened and closed by a slide you moved with your thumb – I think that would be more worthwhile. Don’t remember who made it, and have not seen one since.

  11. Frank says:

    I believe the most sought after tool this Christmas will be the Dremel Multi Max.

  12. Hank says:

    “an adjustable wrench that you opened and closed by a slide you moved with your thumb….” Kris: I have one, and have a strong opinion about it. Give me a mailing address and it’s yours.

  13. Brau says:

    Anything with a LASER on it, of course. Laser guided hammers, chisels, screwdrivers, they’re all fair game. How long before we see a laser guided orbital sander, rototiller, or chainsaw?

  14. bidwell says:

    I agree with the Dremel Multimax. And of course, Clamps! You can never have too many clamps or vices. They are timeless and always just outside of arms reach when you really need them. My one crappy past Christmas tool gift that turned out to be useful was an all in one tool that someone gave me. It was a hammer with a pliers in it. I have never once used it to hammer anything, but having a pliers with the hammer claw on it turned out to be very useful for pulling nails out of wood, and having over sized plier handles helps too.

  15. Joe says:

    I’ve got my project for today! Take the useless laser off of my miter saw and mount it on my wife’s tiller–scratch off one Christmas present!

  16. ShopMonger says:

    The autowrench,
    has great reviews unfortunatly there are some very bad copy cats our there….

    Now back to the post…

    I want a 6-8″ jointer bad I am making some butcher block counter tops for my bar.

    Any wood or metals working tools will work of course, but mostly a joint and a #7 or #8 plane

  17. Ray says:

    Laser guided pizza cutter. No more fighting over who gets the big slice πŸ™‚

    http://www.collectionsetc.com/Item71434.aspx?crossitm=1

  18. fred says:

    RE: ShopMonger Says:

    8 Iinch for the planer – but I think you will find the #7 Lie Nielsen more practical than their #8

  19. G says:

    Why does everybody keep thinking that the only point of an automatic hammer is for laziness? It’s nifty, it could help with spots that are too tight for swinging a hammer, and it could help with reducing the repetitive stress on wrists/elbows/shoulders.

    And I have been dreaming about such an implement for fence work, because holding something to the nail rather than swinging quite hard at it would probably lessen my likelihood of hitting my opposing finger (I’ve cracked it a few times now), particularly after I’ve been repairing fence for a few hours and am starting to get too fatigued to have any aim, but the fence still needs more work NOW.

    Over and above that, it could help people who simply don’t have any carpentry in them, and miss the nail 5 times out of 4. Again, holding a hammer head to the nail head could allow for a lot more accuracy, for someone who just can’t develop the skill to swing a hammer correctly. Such people are out there; my husband is one. This thing could really help people who are simply intimidated by tools.

  20. PutnamEco says:

    Re;
    G Says:
    Why does everybody keep thinking that the only point of an automatic hammer is for laziness?
    ……………
    It’s not that People think it is for lazy people, It is that they think it a tool for suckers.
    This is just another of the many tools that look like they might be a good idea, for people that don’t work with tools every day, People that work with tools professionally know that this is not the tool for the job.
    We already have palm nailers, that perform the same function.
    —–
    I have been dreaming about such an implement for fence work

    You should probably look into a Paslode cordless nailer for fencing. They will do what you ask quickly and efficiently.

    http://www.toolbarn.com/product/paslode/900420/
    ———-

    Over and above that, it could help people who simply don’t have any carpentry in them, and miss the nail 5 times out of 4.

    If they are not so inclined disregard my last suggestion, as that could be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands. I would instead recommend that they start with simple projects until they build the necessary skills.
    Failing that, I might also suggest getting a cordless impact driver (Like the Makita BTD142HW) and use screws instead.

  21. fred says:

    Re PutnamEco Says:

    You hit the nail on the head (pun intended). There seem to be lots of gimmicky tools and other items that are more designed as much to catch the untutored shopper – especially at Christmas Time – than they are designed to do a job. You will not find any of these on a job site – or at least not for very long..

    Most of us have used palm nailers for years – and the new smaller varieties from Senco and Grip-Tite – fit into tight spaces even better. Your suggestion about the Paslode cordless nailers fit well with situations where an air hose and compressor (or setting it up) would be inconvenient. We don’t do fencing for a living – but have been called upon once in a while to undertake this. We often turn to using SS nails in our Makita siding nailers.

    As you suggest – one might try screws. We’ve been a big fan of Makita 12 volt impact drivers and screws to replace nails in many instances. We just (last week) got a pair of the new Milwaukee 12 volt Lithium Ion impact guns as part of their promotion (get 1 free when you buy 2 other products – and they look to be well made too.
    For really tight spaces you think about a cordless right angle impact driver like the one made by Emerson and sold under the Ridgid brand at Home Depot

  22. Jim says:

    A 6″ Fraction/Metric Digital Caliper.

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