A Pro Builder’s Christmas Wish List
A range of ideas for presents, from miter clamps to dust extractors.
One thing I know is that with higher quality tools comes higher quality finish. Here’s my list of things from stocking stuffers to the items only Santa could bring. This year I’m thinking higher efficiency, higher quality, and comfort. My list of tools changes all the time. To constantly better our finished product, I need to constantly change my line of equipment to reflect that and to stay at the top of my game. Most of these items are things that MANY contractors have, but for one reason or another we have not picked them up yet.
These items are listed from least expensive to most.
First on my list are Collins miter clamps. These will keep even the smallest of angle cuts tight and clamped for glue-ups without nailing, often keeping your hands free of danger. Yes, they make small indents in your materials, but so do nails. They will keep your miters right where you need them even if it’s just to hold them when you’re trying to nail or screw something together.
Next on my list is a Thingamejig scribe tool. This scribe tool is a step up from a simple compass-type tool. The adjustable cylinder will raise and lower the cutting edges to make a knife-like cut right where you want it. No pencil lines, and even on those dark materials where you can barely see your mark, it is more visible. At the base is also a non marring slide so that when you’re working with those high-quality finishes, you won’t damage them by sliding the tool against the surface.
Next item: work boots. Footwear is often not thought of as a tool, but when you are wearing them for 8 to 12 hours a day, it is definitely a must to invest in some quality boots. I’m also thinking about job-site safety and looks. Sure, you may not think of boots as something focus on for looks, but if you think about it there could be a potential client walking through the job at any moment. Seeing someone who looks presentable and professional will definitely make them want to look at your services compared to someone else who does not. I’m suggesting these Heritage boots from Thorogood. I see many people both on commercial and residential sites wearing them, and when I ask how they fit and last, I always hear good reviews.
The next items I am looking at are two efficient and high-quality products from Festool. I have not yet invested in a single product from them, but it’s time. We need not only higher-quality finishes, but also better job-site dust collection, ease of assembly, and faster production. You may look at the prices and think it’s crazy, but generally speaking they offer products that will not only make your job easier but make it better and faster.
First is the Festool Rotex. More than just a sander, it has an alternate mode that will knock down a seam in seconds that would otherwise take you minutes with the standard orbital sander everyone else has. I have four, I could have purchased one or two by now and saved so much time. Speed, quality, finished product — why wouldn’t I put this on my Christmas list?
Finally, it’s a Festool Dust Extractor. I have used Festool products but have not purchased them. I often say I need this one especially. Simply plug a tool to the outlet on the vacuum, and any time you switch on the tool, the vacuum activates. You will, for the most part, get dust-free cutting, sanding, and even grinding, so long as the shrouds are good enough to allow for it. Regardless, the particulates are drastically reduced. These are just a couple of my must-haves on the Festool line. The Domino is also high on my list.
Thanks for checking out my wish list this year, and I hope this helps you with yours, or with the contractor or tradesperson you’re trying to buy for. We can never have too many tools.
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Pictures were taken from online sources. Credits go to their owners.