June 8, 2016

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Jesse Orrico

Father’s Day is less than two weeks away. Most dads will have already built a collection of tools over the years, but we bet there are lots of particularly useful odds and ends out there they don’t have their hands on yet. Here are a few gift ideas for tools your father may appreciate.

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Leatherman's OHT multi-tool. ($78–$90)

Leatherman’s OHT multi-tool. ($78–$90)

Leatherman OHT Multi-Tool »

With most “one-handed” multi-tools, you get the option of one-hand-opening pliers OR one-hand-opening blades. With the Leatherman OHT (“one-handed tool”), both of these functions are combined into a single heavy-duty unit, along with 14 other tools. Here’s the full list:

  • Spring-action needlenose pliers
  • Spring-action regular pliers
  • Spring-action 154CM replaceable hard-wire cutters
  • Spring-action 154CM replaceable wire cutters
  • 420HC knife
  • 420HC serrated knife
  • Saw
  • Strap cutter
  • #8-32 cleaning rod/brush adapter
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Oxygen tank wrench
  • Phillips wcrewdriver
  • Large screwdriver
  • Medium screwdriver
  • Small screwdriver

All of the tools lock into place when open, and the handles are visually imprinted so you can quickly identify where each tool is. The Leatherman OHT comes in black ($80) or coyote tan ($90). Each comes with your choice of black or brown molle sheath.

If this tool isn’t quite your dad’s style, check out Leatherman’s “Style CS” and “Style PS” clip-on multi-tools.

Big Idea Design's Titanium Pocket Bit. ($14)

Big Idea Design’s Titanium Pocket Bit. ($14)

Big Idea Design Titanium Pocket Bit »

Big Idea Design’s Titanium Pocket Bit is a clever and discrete way for your dad to carry a screwdriver with him at all times. The grade-5 titanium bit is threaded through the center with a grade-2 titanium ring, which can fit onto (or replace) his existing key ring.

Each bit has a #2 Phillips head on one end and a 6mm flat head on the other, and you can choose between a round or hex body when purchasing. As long as your dad’s got his keys with him — and why wouldn’t he? — he’ll always have a handy tool for fixing issues, opening packages/boxes or cans of paint, and popping off the occasional bottle cap.

Here’s a short, 20-second preview of it in action:

Note: These bits do not work with magnetic screwdrivers.

Gränsfors Bruk's Wildlife Hatchet ($143)

Gränsfors Bruk’s Wildlife Hatchet ($143)

Gränsfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet »

If your dad fancies himself an outdoorsman, one of the best and most versatile items he could have in his arsenal is a good hatchet. It’s a tool that can help fashion other tools, should someone ever find themselves in the wilderness alone. Or, after using it to chop and split some kindling and firewood, it can be paired with a firesteel to start a fire.

The Wildlife Hatchet from Swedish company Gränsfors Bruk is the one we’d recommend. At $143 as of this writing — we’ve previously seen it priced over $250 — it’s on the pricey side (especially for one so compact) but its old-world craftsmanship is worth every penny.

The high-carbon steel head of every GB hatchet is individually forged, ground, and polished by hand. Once the smith has completed the job, if they decide it’s good enough to release into the world (and their standards are high), they stamp their initials into the head right beside the company’s crown logo. Talk about standing by your work. The wood handle is made from solid, fine-grain hickory, and is finished with linseed oil and a coating of beeswax. The hatchet comes with a handsome leather sheath that covers the top of the head, which helps protect the generous amount of wood protruding from the eye area.

Each hatchet is backed by a 20-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects. If you’re still not comfortable dropping so much money on a hatchet, Best Made Co. makes a decent one for $88.

Light My Fire's Swedish FireSteel 2.0. ($13)

Light My Fire’s Swedish FireSteel 2.0. ($13)

Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 »

Here’s another gift idea along the same lines as the hatchet above. Guys who spend lots of time in the great outdoors know the value of a good fire starter — one that will work in any situation, weather, or altitude. Light My Fire’s Swedish FireSteel 2.0 is a dependable, army-style fire starter that can last up to 12,000 strikes.

The 2.0 model improves on the original army FireSteel with more ergonomic handles, a flat-edge stainless steel striker (the flat edge is nice because it produces better sparks and without grooving the FireSteel), and an emergency whistle built into the striker handle. This bad boy isn’t affected at all by extreme heat or cold, and it’ll spark even if it’s dripping with water. It’s a tool your dad can count on.

The AccuSharp 001 knife sharpener. ($10)

The AccuSharp 001 knife sharpener. ($10)

AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener »

The AccuSharp 001 might be the last knife sharpener your dad ever needs, and it only costs ten bucks. All they have to do is run it over a blade edge two or three times, and the knife will feel like new again. It’s trusted by America’s Test Kitchen (scroll to the 2nd entry on the list), so you know it’s good.

The diamond-honed tungsten carbide sharpener inside the handle typically only has to be changed out once or twice a decade (they can be reversed for even more longevity), and the unit as a whole is sturdy enough to withstand years of abuse. It even works on serrated edges as well as straight ones.

Hugo's Amazing Tape. (Price varies by type of roll; the 2-inch x 50-foot roll is $15)

Hugo’s Amazing Tape. (Price varies by type of roll; the 2-inch x 50-foot roll is $15)

Hugo’s Amazing Tape »

Hugo’s Amazing Tape is a reusable, adhesive-less tape that clings only to itself. It’s particularly popular with board gamers and embroiderers who need to keep a lot of small items neatly organized, but since it’s so easy to remove and reuse, it’s also quite useful around the house and office.

These are just a few of its uses:

  • Cable management (we’ve got more on this topic here).
  • Keeping multi-part kitchen items together (namely those with lids). Same applies to tools in a toolbox.
  • Temporarily patching up a bit of hosing or plumbing until a more permanent fix can be put in place.
  • Binding important files and documents together.
  • Making sure moving boxes stay closed.
  • Hold objects together while glue dries, freeing one’s hands for other work.

There are a variety of widths and lengths to choose from, all of which are both freezer-safe and microwaveable. We recommend the 2-inch x 50-foot roll.

The LadderLimb tool-holding ladder extension. ($20)

The LadderLimb tool-holding ladder extension. ($20)

LadderLimb »

Dads who are always doing DIY projects around the house — whether it’s painting walls, cleaning gutters, or whatever else — likely spend a lot of time on a ladder. To make your dad’s life easier, get him a LadderLimb to hold his work materials securely. The rubberized end fits snugly into the hollow rungs of most ladders, giving him a place to hang his tools, buckets, and/or paint cans. For him it’ll be like having a third hand when he needs it most.

General-purpose / desk scissors by Ernest Wright & Son Ltd. (£28–£32, or ~$41–$47 USD as of this writing)

General-purpose / desk scissors by Ernest Wright & Son Ltd. (£28–£32, or ~$41–$47 USD as of this writing)

General-Purpose / Desk Scissors by Ernest Wright & Son Ltd. »

Yes, on the surface it seems silly to recommend a pair of scissors, especially ones that cost over $40 USD, but watch this video and you’ll see just how much care goes into every set:

They’re made from professional-grade, hand-tempered carbon steel blades, and each pair is guaranteed for life. The company will even re-sharpen the blades for you decades after the fact, if need be. Compare that to those cheapy scissors from the dollar store.