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The GarageSpot Gearhead & Garage Geek Gift Guide (2016 Edition)

It’s Christmas time and that means websites everywhere are publishing gift guides. Since GarageSpot is a website, we’ll play along. Plus, our personal wish lists are quite extensive. So if you’re in a giving mood, our addres… just kidding.

Oh, and since it’s down to the wire, if the websites we’re linking to can’t deliver by Christmas, consider this list inspirational when you hit your local big box home improvement or other stores.

In no particular order, here it goes…


Milwaukee M18 Fuel Combo Kit ($315)

Everyone needs a legit cordless drill and impact driver. Buying into the Milwaukee M18 line means that about 100 cordless Milwaukee tools can be powered by the same battery. A great way to get started is with this brushless combo kit, that includes the drill, impact driver, two 5.0Ah batteries, a charger, and hard-shell carrying case.

Brush Hero Pro ($45)

We LOVE our Brush Hero. We did a full review of it earlier this year and honestly use it on our wheels and other areas almost every time we wash our cars. It’s a soft but tough brush that spins with amazing torque, considering it’s powered only by the water from a standard garden hose. The Brush Hero cleans and rinses at the same time and does it very well. And it’s not just for wheels, either—it’ll clean anything from grills to muddy shoes. This is the new PRO version, which includes the new Flow Control trigger. This thing is just awesome. Get one!

WEN 6″ Bench Grinder ($40)

From deburring ragged edges to sharpening blades, the WEN 6″ Bench Grinder is the ideal companion for any workbench. You’ll quickly wonder how you got along without one! This popular kit includes two 6″ x ¾” wheels—a 60-grit wheel for general purpose grinding and a coarse 36-grit wheel for faster material removal. There’s also a flexible work lamp, which is very useful when working with smaller, more precise pieces.

Bench Dog Bench Cookies ($16)

A perfect stocking-stuffer, we covered bench cookies in-depth a while back and they’re super-useful for anyone—particularly woodworkers—working with materials that need to be raised off of the workbench or held very steadily in place. Bench cookies are great for routing, sanding, cutting, and carving without using clamps, and they won’t leave marks. Each cookie is 1″ thick by 3″ in diameter and made from a hard plastic resin with a thin yet high-friction rubber top and bottom. These things will become the second set of hands you always wanted.

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan ($100)

BlueDriver is a professional diagnostic scan tool that can read or clear trouble codes when a vehicle’s check engine light comes on. The small device plugs into the vehicle’s OBD port under the dash and connects to the accompanying app for iOS or Android. With the app, you can view a vehicle-specific repair report that contains info such as code definition, possible causes, and reported fixes.

Drop Stop ($20/Pair)

So much loose change and so many french fries, pens and bottle caps have been lost to the Carmuda Triangle. As seen on Shark Tank, the Drop Stop is a black neoprene sock-like device filled with some kind of memory foam-like material that you install in the gaps between seats and center consoles, which prevents anything from falling through those dreaded cracks. It conforms to fit gaps anywhere from ¼” to 3½” wide (most seats).

DEWALT 200 Piece Mechanics Tool Set ($150)

Most gearheads have their favorite tools, but for those just getting started or for those who need to replace old tools, this 200 piece mechanics metric and SAE tool set from DEWALT is a solid investment and includes a lifetime, hassle-free replacement guarantee. All tool stow away in a very well organized hard-shell case.

Torin Creeper Seat ($20)

Working on wheels, tires, trim or other lower portions of a car (or even under it, if it’s lifted off the ground or a monster truck) can be back-breaking. A creeper seat like this very popular Torin model with a built-in tool caddy can save the day—and your back. The comfy vinyl seat rests on strong tubular steel with 360° smooth-rolling casters that make sporting around the garage more fun than work. Get two and race your buddies down the driveway.😜

Timberland PRO Pitboss Work Boots ($75-$140)

Pit Boss work boots are safe, tough and very comfortable, thanks to Timberland’s 24/7 Comfort Suspension system. The steel toe construction means you won’t bust your piggies when you accidently drop a 2×4 on ’em. These boots have superior traction in wet or slippery conditions, electrical hazard protection, and removable sock liners to prevent blisters. They’re not 100% waterproof but are water resistant. Good. Solid. Work boots.

Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit ($49)

We talk a lot about much more expensive, pro-level car care and detailing products here on GarageSpot, but there’s not a damn thing wrong with Meguiar’s products for a weekend detail. This is the perfect kit for the auto enthusiast or new driver in your family.

Porter Cable Pancake Air Compressor ($120)

One of the most popular pancake air compressors on the market and something every DIYer absolutely needs, the six-gallon Porter Cable boasts a 150 psi max tank pressure, storing more air for longer tool runtimes. Includes 13-piece accessory kit with a 25-foot nylon hose, blow gun and attachments, tire chuck, tire gauge, quick coupler, plugs and Teflon tape. A solid deal, indeed.

Masterbilt 30″ Electric Smoker ($165)

There’s just nothing tastier than slow-cooked, smoked meat. And Masterbilt are experts at making smokers that are simpler to use than most gas grills. Available in black, stainless and with or without windows, Masterbilt smokers feature 730 sq. inches of cooking space, four chrome-coated racks, an 800 Watt heating element, thermostat temperature control for even cooking from 100° to 275° F, convenient side-loading wood chips, removable drip and water pans, and a top-mounted digital panel to control all of the magic. Don’t forget the wood chips variety pack!

Dremel 8220 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool ($85)

Cut, carve, engrave, clean, polish, grind, sharpen, sand, and more. The Dremel is every maker’s must-have tool. This cordless model is one of the Dremel’s most popular to date and includes 28 accessories, a carrying case, a 1-hour charger, and one 12V max lithium-ion battery. Once you Dremel, you’re hooked! There are hundreds of available accessories, too, and that list continues to grow.

Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier ($68)

We rarely go anywhere without our multi-tools somewhere close-at-hand. One of our favorites is the tactical-looking Gerber Diesel. This multi-plier includes a super-strong stainless steel blade with half-serrated edge, and 11 other tools: a crosspoint screwdriver, small, medium, and large flat-blade screwdrivers, a can opener, a bottle opener, a file, a saw, scissors, and wire cutter/stripper.

5-Gallon Shop-Vac ($60)

Whether cleaning the garage, shop, patio or car, hooking up to a hand-held power sander, or sucking water from a clogged drain, a good wet/dry vacuum is an essential tool. The original Shop-Vac brand still leads pack in affordable wet/dry vacs, and this 4½ horsepower, 5-gallon stainless steel model is a best-seller. Kit includes 7′ x 1¼” friction fit hose, three extension wands, a 10″ wet/dry nozzle, gulper, crevice tools, tool holder, cartridge filter, and collection bag.

Black Bull Parts Washer ($220)

Cleaning and degreasing car parts, tools and other greasy stuff can be a messy process, and certainly not good for your yard, sink or septic tank. A better way to degrease is to use a dedicated parts washer. This 20-gallon parts washer from Black Bull has a 12-gallon solvent capacity and can clean small to medium size parts quickly. The pump operates at 318 gallons per hour and recirculates up to 3.2 gallons of solvent per hour. The washer sits on a rolling cart with lockable casters, making it easy to move around the shop. A fire safety lid keeps you safe, too.

Laser Thermometer ($14)

A thermometer in the shop is something that many don’t realize they’ll use until they have one, which makes it the perfect gift! As simple as aiming and pulling the trigger, you’ll get an instant temperature read on whatever object the laser is pinpointing. Very useful when grilling out, working on the car, testing HVAC systems, or anything else where temperatures matter. Measures anywhere between -58℉~ 716℉.

What Happens in the Garage… Tin Sign ($20)

Like our GarageSpot.com tagline states, we think of the garage as a getaway—a place to hang out, fix stuff, tinker and build. Or at least pretend you’re doing those things. This cool, vintage looking 12″x16″ tin sign just speaks to us.

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About Michael Turner

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Forty-something years later, Michael still doesn't' know what he wants to do if he grows up. Raised around cars and trained in diesel mechanics, Michael has owned a successful detail shop, developed and sold software, led a K-9 SAR team, ridden the dot-com wave as a marketing & PR executive, led digital strategy teams at both large and small agencies, and now this. He digs Jeeps, off-road racing, football, photography, writing, making EDM, cranking metal, PC gaming, and a plethora of other contradictory things.

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