It’s time once again to be looking for some great gift ideas for the home handyperson or tool nut on your gift list. Here are some fun and practical suggestions for brightening up the holiday season:

One+ System (Ryobi, starting at $19.95): Ryobi’s One+ System of cordless tools allows you to buy each cordless tool by itself without the battery and charger so you can customize your tool collection and save a little money at the same time. Start with the 18-volt NiCad battery — which is interchangeable with all the tools in the system — add a charger, then add the tools you need. Among Ryobi’s new additions to the extensive One+ line are a cordless hand planer, which is both comfortable and powerful. It features dual carbide blades, up-front depth adjustment from zero to 1/64 inch per pass, an edge rabbeting guide, and a built-in “kickstand” that lets you set the tool down between passes without contacting the wood. Also new is the 6-inch random orbit buffer/polisher, sold with one buffing and one application bonnet for swirl-free results on everything from cabinet finishing to polishing the car. Seven other new tools have just been added, and many of the tools are available in various combo kits if you want to get started with the basics.

Handisaw (Black and Decker, $39.95): As the name implies, this is a very handy little saw to have around for a wide variety of tasks. It’s small, light and cordless, and will cut wood, plastic or drywall up to 1-inch thick, as well as thin metal. Recharging is done by plugging the tool into its wall-mount charging stand, thus eliminating the heavy battery, and the saw will accept any standard jigsaw blade.

The Jumpstarter System (Husky, $89.99): Here’s a very handy piece of equipment to have around the house, shop or jobsite. The Jumpstarter Portable Power System will supply power to 120-volt AC or 12-volt DC appliances, equipment and electronics; jumpstart any 12-volt battery; inflate anything from automotive tires to air mattresses; has a 400-watt power inverter; and even has a built-in work light for emergencies. It has a heavy-duty, maintenance-free battery that’s contained within a tough, all weather housing with a protective steel carry handle and is rechargeable with 120-volt AC or 12-volt DC power. It is well designed and completely self-contained, with all the hoses, cables and other parts on-board and easily accessible.

Power Scissors (Black and Decker, $21.95):  For the do-it-yourselfer or the hobbyist who wants to make quick work of tedious cutting tasks while saving a lot of hand strain, the 3.6-volt Power Scissors are light, tough and rechargeable. They’ll cut a wide variety of materials, including just about any type of fabric or paper product, cardboard, carpet pad, vinyl flooring and more. This also includes a handy table mount attachment for hands-free cutting.

Equalizer Ladder (Werner Ladders, $179 – $249): A ladder might not be the first gift idea that comes to mind, but if someone you know needs a safe and professional-grade extension ladder, this one is perfect. The Equalizer has independently adjustable legs for use on sloping ground, stairs and other uneven surfaces, along with a small bubble level encased in the ladder’s bottom rung to let you know when it’s level. Available in 16-, 20-, 24- and 28-foot lengths. Get one early and simplify putting up the lights!

MiterFinder Digital Protractor (Bosch, $109): Accurately measuring angles is a challenge for everyone from the pros to the home craftsperson. Bosch’s digital MiterFinder is a perfect answer, combining an angle finder, compound cut calculator, protractor and level. This tool is both rugged enough for the jobsite and accurate enough for the finest finish work, with an easy-to-read digital display that’s accurate to +/- 0.05 degrees and can be read from both sides for added convenience.

Tool Belts (various manufacturers, $40 to $70): There’s nothing your home handyperson would like more that a pro-quality tool belt. Having all the tools you need for the job close at hand can make any task that much easier, and the right tool belt adds comfort to convenience. Look for one made from lightweight nylon with a wide, well-padded belt and tool-holder pockets that are removable and interchangeable. For heavier loads, adding on a pair of suspenders will really help!

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at

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