Buying for a DIY fanatic can be tricky, since they’ll often make the things they want for themselves and they already own all the obvious tools. Here are some of our favourite DIY-friendly gift ideas.
We’ve listed suppliers for many of these options, but hunt around online (and check eBay) to make sure you get the best prices.
KeyTool Keyring Multi-Tool
For the DIYer who seems to have everything, the KeyTool Keyring Multi-Tool is a great addition to anyone’s keychain. With it, they’ll always have a screwdriver, nail file, bottle opener, wire cutter, and tweezers on hand. If the KeyTool doesn’t seem like the right fit but a keychain tool will do the trick, there are lots of other options.
If you have someone on your list who likes to play around with electronics, the Leatherman is a great Leatherman Squirt built specifically for tinkering with electronics. It comes with the traditional tools of a knife, pliers, screwdriver and scissors, as well as wire cutters and strippers. It sells for around $50.
The Raspberry Pi is a small, single board computer that’s not much larger than a wallet. At its core, the Raspberry Pi is a very simple little machine, but for the DIYer on your list it’s an amazingly versatile little device capable of running a table arcade machine, a private cloud storage system, or XBMC. Shop around to find one in stock; you’ll pay around $40.
Arduino Starter Kit
The Arduino is a fantastic gift for the electronics enthusiast. The Arduino microcontroller is well known for its variety of uses, ranging from an automated bartender to an MP3 jukebox. If your recipient needs help getting up to speed, our guide to getting started making your own electronics is a solid place to start. We like the Arduino Starter Kit from Arduino.cc because not only does it includes lots of components and instructions for 15 different projects.
The MaKey MaKey is one of the most unusual DIY tools we’ve seen in a long time. Essentially, the MaKey Makey is a way to easily add a controller to DIY projects, and in turn, just about anything can become a controller. If you have someone on your shopping list who loves making things with an Arduino or other electronics, the MaKey MaKey is a fantastic and quirky gift that’s sure to keep them entertained.
Sugru is an incredibly handy putty-like material that’s useful for fixing everything ranging from laptop cords to headphones. Sugru is easy to work with and hardens within 24 hours into a flexible material. If you have someone on your gift list with a tendency to break things often, Sugru is an excellent choice.
For the hacker in your life who loves to meet people, a membership to a local hackerspace is a fantastic gift. Hackerspaces are great places to get involved and meet a community of like-minded people, and they’re also a good place to go if they’re learning new DIY skills. Every place has different membership rates (and some are free): you’ll find a list of different spaces and membership costs on Hackerspaces.