Finding the right gifts for woodworkers who have everything can be a challenge. Especially, if you aren’t familiar with the hobby and all of the tools your loved ones are using.
Although it would be much easier to hand them a gift card to their favorite hardware store, a hand-picked gift related to what you love doing is irreplaceable. Furthermore, if you nail your selection, you will impress them and leave a long lasting memory in their head.
Today, I will be talking about some of the most interesting items I’ve seen people get for those in the woodworking hobby. This may be a close family member or a friend. I will be also covering some of the best ways to figure out what kind of gift would be most suitable for them.
Understanding the Woodworking Hobby & Their Branch
You certainly want to make an impression with your gift. Your journey begins by figuring out the branch of woodworking your recipient is engaged in. In other words, you need to start paying attention to what they’re actually making. The woodworking hobby covers a lot of different areas such as woodturning, carving, wood burning, furniture assembly and much more.
The easiest way of figuring this out would be to spend some time with them. Observe what they do, ask questions and learn about their projects.
Pay close attention to the tools they’re using on a regular basis, which machines they are working with the most and which activities cause them anxiety or stress.
Here’s a detailed list of the different hobbies which are umbrellaed under the term woodworking. The more you can narrow down what your loved one is doing, the easier will it be to select the right present.
Woodturning – typically revolves around working with a lathe. This niche hobby is centered around carving out objects such as bowls, pens, baseball bats and anything else which has a cylindrical shape. It is a particularly involved hobby which requires specific tools as well as maintenance and consumable equipment for the wood lathe.
Whittling and Carving – is a hobby which requires a lot of time and patience. It allows one to create amazing pieces by sculpting them out of wood. This hobby requires basic tools which need to be sharpened on a regular basis. Furthermore, wood carvers like to use expensive kinds of wood which stand out once the piece is finished.
Wood Burning – is a hobby where the person is drawing on wood with a hot iron. It requires a lot of meticulous work as well as proper tools and an endless supply of wood. Furthermore, someone involved in wood burning would be very pleased with items which showcase their work such as frames, cases, and displays.
Furniture Building – is exactly what it sounds like. Many woodworkers simply enjoy building good furniture. This requires a constant supply of wood, an array of powered as well as hand tools and a lot of consumable materials such as nails, screws, and bolts.
Selecting Gifts for Woodworkers Who Have Everything
I will separate gifts in three distinct categories: necessary, practical and somewhat related.
A necessary gift would be something your loved one needs to practice the hobby. It can be a tool or a consumable they use on a regular basis. Choosing this route should lead you to a straightforward gift.
A practical gift would be a piece of equipment which they don’t necessarily need but is an upgrade for them. It will facilitate their life and make the hobby more enjoyable. I truly believe that if you’re looking to make a serious impact on them, you should find a gift which falls into this category. Not only will you impress them with your knowledge, but solve some of their frustrations and improve their leisure time.
A “somewhat related” gift would be something which does not directly impact their hobby but is still related. It could be a mug with a funny quote, a motivational placard or a humorous scarf.
Here’s an in-depth breakdown of great gifts within each category.
The Necessary Gift for a Woodworker
Once again, a necessary gift would be a tool or consumable which will be used on a regular basis. Here’s a complete list with a brief description of each item that would help you pick the right item.
Multipurpose Set of Tools – a prepackaged set of different tools used in woodworking. These sets are packaged by the manufacturer and can range from a simple screwdriver kit to a complete drill set. Although your gift recipient may already have some of them, chances are that some are worn out or missing. Receiving a complete set as a gift is always a joy.
Wood & Lumber – for woodworkers who enjoy working on unique or expensive lumber, this gift would be ideal. As they inevitably go through their stock, they will require a fresh supply of lumber to keep them entertained. That being said, I would advise not to gift simple 2 by 4 beams. Order something personal and unique if you’re going this route.
Wood Stain, Lacquer, and Finishes – wood always requires a great protective coat. Luckily for you, these finishes are consumed quite fast which makes them a great gift for anyone who loves to work with wood.
Power Tools – are high-cost items which frequently need to be replaced or upgraded. Selecting the right power tool as a gift can be particularly tricky as most of them as geared toward a specialized woodworking domain. That being said, if you’ve shadowed your loved one at their workshop, you should have a good idea as to what they’re up to.
Consumables – as a woodworker, you will always run out of nails, tape, screws, and bolts. Items such as sandpaper, drill bits, and grindstones also fall into this category of items. Although I would not consider these extremely exciting as gifts, they are very useful to have. Consider buying these for the individuals who are building furniture, work with power tools, etc.
Examples of “Sets of Tools”
As mentioned above, a tool set makes a great gift. They come in many varieties, have a large assortment of tools and can be found at nearly all price points. Furthermore, they are easy to purchase online and hard to go wrong with as a gift.
Here are some examples of tool sets which I’ve gifted in the past.
- Inexpensive General Tool Set: Stanley 94-248 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit
- High-Quality Entry Level Power Tool Set: DEWALT DCK421D2 20V MAX Lithium-Ion 4-Tool Combo Kit
Examples of “Wood Stain and Lacquer”
Finishes come in all shapes and sizes. Chances are, the person you’re buying a gift for does not own all types of varnish. Therefore, they make a simple yet thoughtful gift for this person.
Here are some excellent examples:
- Specialty Beeswax & Orange Oil Finish: Howard FW0016 Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner, Beeswax & Orange Oil
- High-Quality Danish Oil Finish: Watco 242219 Danish Oil Wood Finish, Low VOC, Pint, Natural
Examples of “Consumables”
There is a wide range of consumable items you can purchase as a gift. You can even mix and match different sets in order to tailor your own personalized gift box. Here are some good examples of consumable gifts:
- High-Quality Drill Bit Set: DEWALT DW1177 20-Piece Black-Oxide Metal Drill Bit Set
- Assorted Grit Sandpaper: 120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing
- General Household Nail, Screw & more Kit: Household Assortment Kit, Cup Hooks, Picture Hangers, Push Pins, Thumb Tacks, Brads, Plastic Anchors, Screws and Nails
The Practical Gift for a Woodworker
As discussed above, a practical gift would be something your loved one would directly benefit from. This could be a new tool which they’ve been dying to purchase, an upgrade for their workshop, etc.
Tool Upgrades – in almost all cases, tool upgrades are welcomed by woodworkers. However, you should be careful as certain tools have a deep attachment and whatever you purchase, although more expensive, may not be used by them. Therefore, I highly recommend doing your due diligence when purchasing an upgrade for a certain tool. Ask questions about what their plans are, how much they love working with the current tool, etc.
Workshop Dust Collection Systems – woodworking creates a large amount of woodchip and dust. Although many woodworkers neglect their personal safety in that regard, it doesn’t mean that you should also. Purchasing a vacuum cleaner or a vacuuming dust collection system would change their outlook on the hobby completely. If they currently have such a system, consider buying an upgrade or filters as those need to be replaced quite frequently.
Tool & Project Storage Containers – storing your tools and masterpieces is always a challenge. Organization is a large industry which supplies equipment ranging from simple wall-mounted brackets to complete cabinets. Every single individual working with wood will agree that they could be a little more organized in their workshop. Therefore, organizational items such as containers, tool hangers, and others make a great gift.
Examples of “Tool Upgrades”
Tool upgrades can vary depending on the person. However, here are some general ideas to get you thinking about what you should aim for.
- Hand Drill -> Drill Press
- Hand Saw -> Table Saw
- Hammer -> Nail Gun
- Dust Mask -> Face Shield
- Rubber Gloves -> Leather Work Gloves
Examples of “Dust Collection Systems”
Dust collection systems play an important role in a wood workshop. They remove an array of harmful particles prolonged exposure to which can lead to severe health issues. These systems are broken up into two categories: large particle removal and dust filtering. The ones that remove large particles are primarily suited to remove all the debris and wood chips as work is being done. The ones that filter the air will get rid of the microparticles which get into one’s lungs.
Although some of the higher end systems will provide a way to deal with both problems, it’s important to consider the magnitude of the problem as well as the current system in the workshop. Here are some systems which you should consider:
- Entry Level Workshop Vacuum System: WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA High Capacity Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner
- Professional, Wall Mounted Vacuum System: VacuMaid GV50BPRO Professional Wall Mounted Garage and Car Vacuum
- Dust Collection Splitter Add-On: POWERTEC 70200 2-1/2-Inch Three-Machine Dust Collection Kit
The “Somewhat Related” Gift for a Woodworker
This category of gifts could be hit or miss in terms of value. I would put all the funny mugs, carpets, scarves and other non-woodworking items into this category. These types of gifts are easy to purchase and don’t require too much thought on your end. If picked right, some of them will incorporate the practical aspect as well making your gift that much more valuable.
Here are some excellent examples from Amazon:
- Woodworking Mug: Woodworker handyman white ceramic mug – for coffee or tea 11 oz. Woodworking birthday gift cup.
- Woodworking Mat: MSD Place Mat Non-Slip Natural Rubber Desk Pads design 29871441 Vintage
- Trendy & Practical Tool Apron: Luxury Waxed Canvas Shop Apron | Heavy Duty Work Apron for Men & Women with Pocket & Cross-Back Straps
Conclusion on Buying a Gift for Woodworkers Who Have Everything
I’m a firm believer in the fact that you need to spend some time with the person for whom you’re buying the gift in order to make a significant impact. By doing so, you’re learning about the hobby, seeing what they’re excited about and what frustrates them.
You have the option to select from one of three categories of gifts: necessary, practical and “somewhat related”. In terms of complexity, buying a “somewhat related” gift is always the easy option. If you’ve done you’re homework, you can purchase a gift specifically tailored toward the individual which will either aid them in their work or solve some of their problems.