Father’s Day is the second biggest tool-gifting holiday of the year. All of the major home improvement retailers and independent tool dealers offer oodles of appealing gift ideas, but some of these tools might not be great fits for Dad.
Here are 5 types of tools that you should avoid giving Dad this year, unless of course he requests otherwise.
1. A 3D Printer
I bought the new Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer last month, and after 2 days of being unable to get it to print, and then a few days of troubleshooting with Printrbot, I sent it back to the reseller. The Printrbot Simple was supposed to be their latest and greatest, and the assembled version was supposed to be factory-calibrated, but it was clear that more hours would need to be put into the machine before it was usable. Even then it might not have been trouble-free.
Only get Dad a 3D printer if you know he wants one, and then get the one he wants. Despite the “easy to use” and “you don’t need to be computer savvy” boastings of the various consumer 3D printer makers, they’re not as easy to use as inkjet and laser printers as claimed.
2. Anything You Wouldn’t Use
Is a tool good enough for your toolbox? No? Then don’t get it for Dad.
3. “Special Value” Tools
Sometimes holiday tool specials can be good, but most often they’re designed to be cheap and appealing to gift givers.
Want to get Dad something new and cool but don’t know where to look? Skip the storefront gimmicks and check out our Ultimate Tool Gift Guide from last winter.
4. Anything He Doesn’t Need or Want
A few years ago I bought some tools for myself, and bought some for Dad as well. It wasn’t for Father’s Day, but because Sears was having a great sale on some USA-made Craftsman tools. Those tools haven’t seen any use yet. Since then I learned to only get Dad what he asks for.
It might sound obvious, but try to get Dad something he could actually use.
5. Too Fancy of a Folding Knife or Multi-Tool
If Dad’s not already into pocket knives or multi-tools, he probably won’t use a new one. Instead, get him some nice heavy-duty scissors, an upgraded utility knife, or something a little more user-friendly. LED flashlights are typically safe bets as well.
So in short, if Lowes or Sears has a TV commercial for it it, don’t bother.
Haha, finally someone who gets this. Wasn’t always the case with either, but now and days if there is a commercial for the product via Sears and Kobalt, there is a chance this is gimmick tool, but even a greater chance this made in China as well.
From personal experience, if your Father isn’t interested in tools or doing work himself, just get him a gift card to a place he enjoys.
Such as Harry J Epstein, as there is something there for everyone.
I have that printrbot and I love it. I got one of the very first ones and while it needed tweaking to get right, the auto level probe and simple hardware design make it much easier to use and work on than a lot of others. As a $540 kit, it’s hard to find a better 3DP out there.
No 3D printer is really plug and play friendly, they are still for tinkerers at heart.
I’m about dying to get a 3D printer, but I have to ask myself: After making the odd phone case, toy and piece of jewelry, what am I going to use it for? 3D CAD design has a rather steep learning curve, so for most people it pretty much comes to downloading stuff already designed…or else find an affordable 3D scanner.