In a quandary about what to get Dad for Father’s Day this year? You know what he really wants are tools, and here are some great suggestions. They’re listed in order of MSRP, and can be found at most home centers, hardware stores and other retailers, as well as online. Do a little shopping around to find the best deals!

1. Ryobi SpeedLoad ($14.95 and up): If Dad already has a cordless drill, he’ll really appreciate a set of SpeedLoad bits. Ryobi’s SpeedLoad chuck fits in the chuck of the drill and accepts any 1/4-inch hex shank drill bit or screwdriver bit. It makes bit changes quick and easy, without having to chuck in each new bit individually, and is available in different combinations of bits, all with the SpeedLoad chuck and a carrying case.

2. Ryobi Compact Laser ($19.97): This is a great little laser that belongs in any tool box — and is small enough to fit! It features Ryobi’s AirGrip vacuum base, which attaches to most surfaces without the need for tape, pins or other fasteners. It projects a bright red laser line that’s ideal for installing shelves, towel bars, pictures and lots of other projects around the house.

3. Stanley FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Hammer ($29.99): A hammer is the most basic of hand tools, and a top-quality one will last a lifetime. Stanley’s AntiVibe hammer has a precision-balanced handle, an anti-vibration "Tuning Fork" and shock-dampening core, and a nonslip textured rubber handle, all of which combine to reduce the wrist and elbow discomfort common with continued hammer use. It even has a magnetic nail starter!

4. Stanley Rechargeable Tripod Flashlight ($49.99): A very handy tool for lighting up all of Dad’s home improvement projects, the Tripod Flashlight can be hand-held like a regular light, or with the push of a button the tripod legs open up to form a sturdy base for hands-free operation. The head pivots to put light right where you want it, and the push-button switch lets you select from two light levels. Because it’s rechargeable, there’s no worry about batteries, and it’s much lighter then conventional flashlights. The charging base is included.

5. Wagner 905 Power Steamer ($95): The Wagner Power Steamer is a great wallpaper steamer, allowing Dad to remove that old wallpaper without chemicals. It has a pressurized boiler, a 10-foot hose, and wheels for convenience. But thanks to all the accessories, the Power Steamer does a whole lot more than just remove wallpaper. Use it to clean the barbecue, spruce up messy sinks, clean dirty windows, degrease the stove, get the gunk off the floor, and much more. It includes a floor cleaning head and pad, window squeegee, two extension tubes, and an assortment of brushes.

6. Dremel Duo 2-Tool Kit ($99.97): Dremel has added convenience to their great lineup of cordless tools with the introduction of the Dremel Duo kit. Dad gets a Dremel Stylus Variable Speed Rotary Tool, which is a high-speed tool that accepts all of the Dremel accessories for cutting, grinding, sanding and much more, as well as the Dremel Driver Compact Cordless Screwdriver, which accepts any 1/4-inch hex shank drill or screwdriver bit, and has enough power and torque to drive 3-inch screws. Both of the 7.2-volt tools are light and compact, and they share the same docking/charging port, which keeps both tools ready for use at all times. Also included are a storage tray and an assortment of accessories.

7. Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium Ion Power Tool Kit ($299): You know Dad would absolutely love a complete set of top-quality lithium ion cordless tools. This new 18-volt combo set from Ryobi includes everything Dad needs, all conveniently packed in one organized, soft-sided carrying case. Included in the kit is a 1/2-inch variable speed drill with a 24-position clutch; a compact 5 1/2-inch circular saw with a comfortable, two-handed grip and a left-mounted blade for better cutting visibility; a variable-speed reciprocating saw with tool-less blade change capabilities; and a high-intensity flashlight with a swivel head. In addition to all the tools and the case, there’s a pair of high-capacity lithium ion batteries and a charger that accepts all of the batteries in Ryobi’s convenient 18-volt One+ line of tools.

8. Ridgid 12-Inch Dual Compound Miter Saw ($333): Professional contractor or avid do-it-yourselfer, Dad is sure to appreciate it if you all chip in and surprise him with a top-quality, heavy-duty miter saw like this one from Ridgid. It features a 12-inch carbide-tipped blade and a big 15-amp motor for lots of power when cutting framing lumber, with the capacity for slicing through 2 x 10 lumber at 90 degrees. For more intricate work, the saw features convenient upfront controls, an easy thumb lock, front-positioned miter scale, positive preset angle stops, and a replicable, zero-clearance cutting throat for clean, sharp miters in moldings and other materials. The saw is capable of miter cuts to 48 degrees in one direction and 50 degrees in the other, and has crown molding stops built in that make it much easier to cut the necessary compound miters. It’s a tough, well-built saw that Dad will love!

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at


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