Any list of gift ideas for men will inevitably include tools and gadgets, but a man who is getting married—a groom—has some even more specific needs as he enters into a new life situation. The task of keeping a home and yard in top shape often falls on the man (although these gifts are perfectly suited for a bride, as well!). Whichever partner straps on the tool belt will find these gifts useful.
There is one caveat to consider. Tool manufacturers make a number of different versions of their products, each with a different price point and, more importantly, features. It’s in the features where tool selection becomes personal. So rather than picking a specific tool, you may consider giving a groom a gift card—you can even include an image or note suggesting what he could use it on. That way he can pick the model he is most comfortable with.
Here are my top seven suggestions:
Cordless Drill/Driver. No power tool collection should be without a cordless drill. They not only drill holes, but they also drive screws with ease. A hammer drill/driver provides extra power when drilling through masonry surfaces. Milwaukee Tool’s Fuel line of products features professional-quality tools with either 12- or 18-volt batteries. The 18s last longer and are more powerful, but the 12-volt models cost less and are significantly lighter, which is a plus when working for long periods of time.
The Milwaukee Fuel 12-volt hammer drill/driver
Pressure Washer. These tools make cleaning decks, patios, walkways and outdoor furniture a breeze. Once they are hooked up to an outside spigot, the machine pressurizes the water and automatically mixes it with a cleaning solution, and the high-pressure stream blasts away dirt. The Ryobi 2,000 PSI, 1.2 GPM has an electric motor—most pressure washers run on gas—making it even easier to use. It includes a 25-foot hose, an on-board hose reel and three quick-connect heads for different cleaning applications.
Mobile Tool Storage. If you own tools, it’s smart to keep them protected and out of the way when they are not being used. There are a number of built-in and standalone storage systems available, but for maximum flexibility, nothing beats a rolling tool chest. The Husky 52-inch, 9-drawer features a wood top, making it a rolling workbench as well as a portable tool chest. Its top drawers can support 75 pounds when extended, there are two extra-deep bottom drawers for bulky items, and the drawers lock for safety.
Generators. Generators are getting smaller. There is a whole class called inverter generators that are designed to supply power for camping trips and tailgating parties. Unlike the big home generators that restore power during blackouts, these are smaller, quieter and more efficient. They won’t light up your house and power a heating system, but they can produce enough power to handle a few lights, a portable sound system, and even a small TV—the essentials of a good tailgating party. The Homelite Skinit 2,100-watt unit weighs 43 pounds and can be customized with the logo of many professional and college teams.
Smart Thermostat. There are a lot of smart programmable thermostats on the market, and the 7-day model from Ecobee is among the smartest. A regular thermostat senses and responds to temperatures in its immediate area. But the Ecobee model comes with a remote sensor that adjusts the temperature to deliver comfort where it is needed, while cutting energy bills. One sensor is included, but more can be added. It is also Wi-Fi enabled, so the owner can change the settings from a smart phone, tablet or computer.
Yeti Colsters. There is nothing like enjoying an ice-cold beverage on the deck or patio after working around the house. Unfortunately, that refreshing drink turns tepid quickly in hot weather. Yeti, a manufacturer of high-end coolers, has produced a line of insulated drink holders made of high-grade stainless steel. The double-wall vacuum of the Colster keeps drinks in 12-ounce cans and bottles cold for hours, without sweating on the outside. At about $30 each, a set of three or six is a good gift for outdoor types, or they make much-appreciated groomsman’s gifts.
Security Camera. A Wi-Fi security camera provides peace of mind when homeowners are away, and Nest’s indoor model is among the best. Simply plug in the power cord and download the app to view what the camera sees in high definition video. Nest’s camera can zoom in and has a night vision feature for when it is dark. A listen feature turns the camera into a baby monitor. Video can be viewed from any smart phone, tablet or computer.
Marriage is the beginning of a new life together. Having the right tools on hand can be a huge help in making it a smooth transition for both a groom and his bride.
Fran Donegan is a longtime home-DIY and tools journalist and the author of the books Paint Your Home and Pools and Spas. Fran provides tips to grooms and other homeowners on the must-have standard tools, as well as up-and-coming new home products, for Home Depot’s gift cards department. For Home Depot’s gift card options for the groom you’re shopping for, you can visit the company’s website.