If you’ve got a mechanic on your gift list this year, options are numerous and far-reaching for products that’ll make life under the hood easier, more efficient and more enjoyable.
From the casual backyard mechanic to the professional technician, we present a few worthy gift options below, spanning a range of prices and purposes, to help give the aspiring or professional mechanic on your list a Christmas morning to remember.
Gifts Under $50
If your mechanic uses a computer in their garage or shop to look up repair manuals, schematics and other information, chances are that its keyboard is a total filthy mess. Consider a rubberized keyboard cover, to fend off smudges, debris damage, and harmful dust. The keyboard itself will be kept clean, and it’ll last longer, too – especially if it’s on a laptop.
If the mechanic on your gift list has been listening to a busted and staticky FM radio in their workplace for years, why not consider upgrading their listening experience? Portable Bluetooth-powered speakers can be placed anywhere in the shop, and most offer hours of battery life. Fully controlled by the user’s smartphone, there’s no need to touch the speaker itself. In addition to higher audio quality than that busted old stereo, the Bluetooth speaker can easily be transferred between home and work, and is ideal to handle music duty when your mechanic’s buddies come over for wrenching and beverages.
Deluxe Power Bar
Your mechanic needs power, and this power bar delivers. Not only will your mechanic get a multitude of power outlets for their accessories, but two high-output USB ports are also included for fast recharging of mobile electronics, like a tablet, smartphone, or that Bluetooth speaker. Powerful LED spot-lights provide improved illumination in dark areas, and a mounting plate allows the unit to be fixed to a wall, under a shelf, or anywhere else where some added power and lighting might be welcome. There’s even a clever flip-out tray to keep electronics off of the workbench while they recharge.
Gifts Under $200
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Cordless Impact Driver
A go-to for many mechanics, professional and otherwise, a cordless impact driver packs a punch for busting off stiff bolts, and can make seasonal tire swaps a breeze – all without having to fish out the air-line and run the compressor to power a conventional air-powered unit. Compact, easy to use, and lightweight, the cordless impact driver will become your mechanic’s go-to device for a multitude of jobs.
If your backyard mechanic doesn’t have an air compressor and air tools, they’re probably working too hard. Give the gift that keeps on giving: even a sub-$200 air compressor is a worthy addition to the home garage, and most are compact and easily located in the workshop. Look for an on-sale unit with an accessory kit, opening the door on a world of air-powered convenience for the car repair buff in your life. With the right accessories, an air compressor can make numerous tasks easier and faster, including seasonal wheel swaps, drying a wet car, tire pressure adjustment and even workshop cleanup.
If your home mechanic often works in an unheated garage, they probably curse frequently and rely on coffee and heavy, uncomfortable clothing to keep from freezing. Thankfully, numerous portable garage heaters are available to help provide added warmth. Powered by fuel or electricity, numerous options can be used to heat the specific work area, or an entire small garage, making life easier and more comfortable during cold-weather car repair.
Custom Wall Sign
Does your in-home mechanic long to have their own shop? Give their garage workspace a touch of personalized class with a custom wall sign. Available in a variety of themes, colors, sizes and price points, options are abundant for any taste or budget. Your mechanic will get a strong sense of pride when they walk into their garage and see a “Hank’s Garage” sign hanging overhead (especially if their name is Hank). Pricier options include larger signs and illumination, and options for both custom signs and clocks are available.
A Comfy Creeper
Every mechanic, everywhere, hates lying on their back to work under a vehicle, because laying on your back to work on a vehicle is uncomfortable and it sucks. So, consider getting your mechanic a high-quality creeper, complete with plush padding and added features to make life easier while they’re lying on their back. The one pictured above is extra handy, since it’s thickly padded, long enough to support the entire back, and converts easily into a padded stool too.
Price No Object
Gladiator Garage Organization
The Gladiator line of garage organization products are modular, scalable, and easy to install. Ideal for the mechanic who is still setting up their garage workspace – cabinets, shelving, bins and organizers are mounted to clever wall rails, allowing for easy placement and customization. Each component is tough, handy, and easy to use – and numerous accessories can be added or swapped. Best of all, color coordinated cabinets and accessories help give the garage an upscale look – and since the Gladiator line is fully expandable, your favorite mechanic can add new products easily as their needs change.
Unless you’ve got lots of money, and unless the garage in question was built for it, a full hoist kit probably isn’t in the cards for a Christmas gift this year. Enter the QuickJack – a sort of clever mini-hoist that elevates cars off of the floor, providing more clearance, and sturdy suspension of a vehicle, a few feet off of the ground. From changing brakes to doing oil changes to servicing components beneath the vehicle, the QuickJack is the next best thing, when a full hoist isn’t a possibility.
Rousseau GT Workstation
Canadian company Rousseau makes some of the most coveted workstations on the marketplace, with residential products inspired by the company’s experience kitting up service centers with their far-reaching line of workstation implements. Consider the Rousseau GT – the basis of a custom workstation that can be sized and scaled to any budget, space or technician’s needs.