Christmas is upon us, and thus it’s gift buying time! I always try and gather up information and dropped hints to come up with the best gifts for the people I love (while at the same time I do my best to drop hints about what I would like).

If you have a friend or relative who DIYs, or if it’s time to start dropping hints about your own DIY endeavors, this list will hopefully help you get a clear idea on what’s needed. We asked around Dunn and got the opinion of our salesmen, our power tool vendors, and from our good friend and carpenter Daniel Westbrook. This is a compilation of all of their input, and excluding the most basic of tools and materials, this is a list of some of the best gifts a DIYer can receive. We hope you enjoy!

1. A Cordless Drill

drill buying guide

This is your most basic power tool. You’ll use it on pretty much every project that you attempt. A good drill can make your projects a joy, and a bad drill can make them a pain. I find that the 18 volt Milwaukee is a good balance between quality and price. It’s a little more expensive than the 12 volt, but the battery life is significantly longer. Makita also has a high quality, reliable drill. If you’re really looking to splurge Festool is the Cadillac of cordless drills. It even comes with right angle chuck that makes it possible to drill in those hard to reach places.

2. 4’ Level

buying a level

A quality level is a wonderful thing. It’s one thing to hang a crooked picture, it’s a whole different thing to hang a crooked headboard, or slanted board and batten. From my experience, it will drive you crazy. They also work well as a straight edge. It’s not necessary to spend over $100 on a level. Those are “carpenter” levels, designed for hanging doors and other exact sciences. The Irwin level is a good DIY level that’s right around $50.

3. Sawhorse

A sawhorse can save you hours of work on your knees. As someone who has spent the last six months without a sawhorse I have to say, I wish someone would buy me one for Christmas. You can buy a really cheap wood sawhorse, or you can invest in a little more expensive plastic one. The one real advantage is that the plastic one is collapsible and therefore easier to store.

4. 24” Clamp

buying a clamp

Clamps can save you from the agony of lining up everything perfectly and then having it shift while you’re drilling. They make a two person job into a one person job, and are a lifesaver when it comes to gluing. A 24” clamp is long enough to pretty much serve as the only clamp you’ll need.

5. Framing Square

buying a framing square

Working with wood is all about precision. Wood has very little give, and if you want something to fit well it has to be cut perfectly. Your framing square will help you keep those corners sharp and those lines straight.

Bonus Item:

6. Festool Track Saw

Here’s a fun bonus item! The Festool track saw is essentially a circular saw that runs back and forth on a track. It takes the place of a table saw. Roughly around the same price it’s smaller, safer, and easier to use. Not only that but it gives you a straighter more finished cut. If you’re dealing with projects that involve cutting plywood, this tool is an absolute must have. It may be a little pricier than some of the other items on the list, but it id definitely worth the investment.

7. Gift Cards

buying a gift card

Cue shameless Dunn Lumber plug! If your DIYer already has all the DIY essentials, you can't go wrong with a gift card. Pick up a gift card in any denomination at one of our Seattle-wide locations.

Happy Holidays, everyone!