Whether DIY enthusiasts, workshop hobbyists, or professional tradespeople, we all know someone in our life who takes pride in tackling repair and maintenance projects. But finding the right home improvement gifts for our loved ones isn’t always easy. Lucky for you, we consulted with experienced carpenter Lucas D’Angelo (@mannmadeinma) to help us curate a list of useful and valuable ideas that will make the perfect gift for this holiday season.
This heavy-duty cutter never leaves my toolbelt! It features a stainless-steel blade channel and an auto-lock mechanism to safely hold the blade in place. This utility knife can be used for general cutting, but I also use the steel blade holder as a slotted screwdriver and prybar. It works magic for small screws, switch plate cover screws, etc. What I like the most about it is the size and comfort grip of the handle: it fits perfectly in my hand, like no other tool I’ve used to date. I would recommend the OLFA NL-AL because of its rubber grip, lightweight, and because it’s simply the best designed knife I’ve used so far. (If you prefer a ratchet-wheel lock but want the same great features, check out the OLFA 18mm NOL-1). And if you need any help finding the right blades to go with it, I recommend the OLFA 18mm LFB Ultra-Sharp Black Speed Blades, as they stay sharp for a really long time. I use these with all my OLFA 18mm knives.
This is another tool that always lives in my tool belt. It is a heavier-duty utility knife, with a reinforced fiberglass body and a ratchet-wheel mechanism for easy blade extension to unlimited cutting depths. (If you’re someone who prefers an auto-lock mechanism, OLFA has you covered with the OLFA 25mm XH-AL Utility Knife). Although the OLFA XH-1 is a larger tool, the rubber grip helps hanging onto it and the ratchet-lock wheel allows for a good positive spot to push my thumb against. I use this knife for almost everything: from trimming or notching molding, to making quick flush cuts (i.e. cutting plugs flus). It’s one of those tools that’s handy and always easily accessible. Also, if you throw a pull-saw blade in it, it will replace your full size saw for 95% of your jobs!
These scissors are THE ultimate shop scissors: they’ll cut anything and always stay sharp since they’re serrated. The blades feature consistent sharpness from base to tip to ensure a clean cut. Whether it’s wire, sheet material, paper, cardboard, plastic (even my beard), these scissors trim everything up very nicely. They are also a great size: my fingers fit into these scissors naturally and the distance between the handle and blades is perfect. These are truly the first pair of scissors where I don’t have to worry about what I’m cutting through – they will cut through just about anything you can throw at them! There is also a 7-Inch version if you need more cutting length.
From scraping paint off of glass, stickers off of lumber, or adhesive off of solid surfaces, the OLFA GSR-2 can help you through endless of projects. I would describe this tool as your standard straight edge scraper, but on steroids: it features better ergonomics, sharper blades, and a lower profile. I like having the rubber grip and wider body, versus cylindrical handle scraper – it fits my larger hands better. I also love that it’s a thin blade and can get under stickers without them tearing. Additionally, the blade is keyed into place and never slips when tackling any project.
This is the beater chisel/scraper that you’ve always wanted! With its slim outline and large plastic handle, this scraper can navigate wherever you need it to go, including low and high positions. It’s great for scraping off dried glue, chipping dried thin set off of other tools, and I even use it as a light duty chisel sometimes.
When we asked Lucas why he recommends OLFA tools as the ideal gifts, his answer was quick: “OLFA makes a cutting product for virtually any situation you may find yourself in. And not only do they make it, they make it to the highest quality”.
Lucas D’Angelo Bio:Lucas D’Angelo is a carpenter based out of Eastern MA, who loves to work with wood and metal. He is also a vintage machinery enthusiast and really enjoys the process of restoring/rebuilding antique tools and machinery. Whether it's trimming out a room or machining replacement parts for a restoration, he’s always up for a challenge and loves problem solving.