It's that time of year again. The holidays have come around and (invariably) we've all forgotten to get gifts for that special mechanic in our lives.
So where else to get gift ideas for mechanics but straight from the horse's mouth?
Before we jump into our top recommendations, we should take note of some things to keep in mind when looking buying.
Don't be afraid to get your mechanic a duplicate of a tool. Chances are, if it's a good tool, it's either going to wear out, be broken, get lost or be needed in multiple places at once. If you've managed to get a good one, they'll love it even if they already have the same one sitting in their toolbox.
Don't buy into gimmicks. As mechanics, we hate getting useless tools that break on the first use or that just sit in the bottom drawer never to be seen again. We recently checked our bottom drawer and there was a set of pistons we forgot we had, a hoodie from winter 2015, at least 4 different P.O.S. gimmick tools and a gator grip socket which has never been out of the plastic.
Don't just consider tools for mechanics. To be honest, we love it when people put in the effort to get a great tool but there are so many other things that we might love. From Lego to magazines and even car-based experiences. We recently bought a present for ourselves and (needless to say) the significant others in our lives couldn't understand why we'd spent $300 on a set of out-of-print magazines from 2014.
So without further ado, here are some of our gift picks.
Tool gift ideas for mechanics.
1. Flexible hose clamps ($15-$30) - These are the most simple, budget-friendly Secret Santa gift we could come up with. They're something that not a lot of mechanics have that make a huge difference on the daily.
They're all made out of plastic so it doesn't really matter what brand you get and they're available at every parts/tool shop nationwide. Buy a set of 3 with different sizes to get the best bang for buck.
2. Pocket pry-back or pocket screwdriver ($15-$30) - The Snap-on pocket screwdriver has been on our wish list for the last 4-5 years consistently. It's a great little tool that makes removing connectors, fixing key fobs and so much more a breeze.
However, the Snap-on pocket screwdriver is "not meant to be used as a prybar" (so our rep tells us). Luckily, they've just released a new pocket pry-bar which fills a need we never knew we had.
3. Anything automotive from Knipex ($30-$120) - It's simple. If you want to let the mechanic in your life know that you care, get them Knipex pliers. Just be careful as Knipex is something that you shouldn't know about and there's a fair chance that this will go down as well as the olive-green French tip trend from 6 months ago.
If Snap-on is Gucci for mechanics, Knipex is YSL. If you don't know what to get, try 190mm long nose pliers with plastic grips.
4. Snap-on flush-cut pliers ($120-$180) - We're getting into our last couple of gift ideas for the year and (once again) Snap-on has been overrepresented. Do they make the best tools out there? not necessarily. However, some of the tools they sell don't have a good equivalent and that makes all the difference.
We bought a set of these mid-year and haven't put them down since. If your mechanic is coming home with little cuts all over their hands, it's probably from zip-tie tails. This is the permanent solution to that.
5. Snap-on 84" EPIQ toolbox in combat tan with blackout details ($34,580) - Needless to say, we don't actually need this. But, oh boy would we like someone to buy it for us.
Gift ideas mechanics for mechanics that aren't tools.
1. Speakers ($50-$TBA) - Here in the office, our team are all (sort of) audiophiles. We listened to over 45,000 minutes of music on our Spotify wrap because nothing better to help a work day go faster than some good music. You can spend as much or as little as you like but make sure to get something with either Bluetooth or wireless capabilities.
2. Bottle opener ($10-$20) - As you can probably guess, being a mechanic can mean hot and heavy days in sweltering sheds. Almost nothing makes the end of day like an ice-cold adult beverage. Being the obvious tool junkies all mechanics are, a high-quality bottle opener will make them happier than Larry. Something like this bar blade is the way to go.
3. A skid-pan day ($165-$265) - If you want to give the mechanic in your life something fun to do, look at these skid-pan days from Skid Control. To the "non-car-enthusiast" sliding a car around on a wet concrete slab might seem like a stupid way to spend time and money, but it'll have them grinning from ear to ear.
4. Lego Porsche 911 ($250) - This needs no explanation. Just look at how cute it is.
That's a wrap for another year of mechanic gift ideas. If you want to send anything to our Kashy mechanics, we're sure they would be appreciative! ;P
If you have any questions about this blog post, would like a second opinion from a mechanic or would like to find an honest mechanic in Brisbane, check out Kashy here.