Slick Gifts for the Grease MonkeyS

You know what your darling wrencher truly wants this year: gold-plated O2 sensors and diamond-encrusted CV boots. But since it's always best to surprise, buy them one of these tools for the home mechanic instead.

Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

1. Snap-On Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver, $55:
No doubt your beloved grease monkey already knows Snap-On, makers of some of the most well considered tools in the business—and unfortunately too spendy for most home mechanics. But if you can buy them one Snap-On tool, one they can user every day, we recommend this sturdy ratcheting screwdriver. [SnapOn.com]


Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

2. Dale Adams' "Bone-ster" Mechanics Creeper, $80:
For years plastic creepers—the things you use to slide under the car—have been junk. Dale Adams has worked out the kinks with its bone-themed creepers. The Bone-ster is a smaller version of the bigger "The Bone", but the molded structural ribs make it rigid, ventilated, and light. [Amazon]


Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

3. Black & Decker Electromate 400 Jump Starter with Built-In Air Compressor, $110:
When I first got one of these, I tossed it in the truck and didn't touch it for three months. Then it saved my ass when I had a dead battery. Then again with a flat tire. Then a couple of months later when the battery died again. (Old car.) You're not going to be running tools off the compressor or want to reinflate four huge truck tires for off-roading, but for roadside emergencies you'll be glad it's on hand. Bonus: an inverter that can be used to charge phones, power laptops, or anything that uses 110V or 12V plugs. [Amazon]


Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

4. Lincoln Rechargeable Cordless Grease Gun, $150:
Make no mistake: A Lincoln grease gun, even a simple pistol grip one like I use, is a luxury. But what a pleasant luxury to have when you've got an arm wound halfway inside a suspension. Show your greaseball that you really care with an electric grease gun and soon every zerk in the house will be overflowing. [Amazon]


Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

5. Multiple-Copy Drill Bit Set, $150:
Breaking bits is a fact of drilling life. But when you've got a box with five to ten copies of each, there's nothing to slow you down. [GarrettWade.com]


Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

6. Bosch Basic Power Box Jobsite Radio, $185:
While other tool brands (Milwaukee, Makita) make smaller, cheaper "tough" radios, only the Bosch includes a built-in subwoofer for bigger bass—the better to punch through the sound of ticking manifold your house mechanic is trying to troubleshoot. [Amazon]


Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

7. Craftsman Locking Pliers (Set of 3), $37:
Don't call 'em vice grips(tm)—just call them super useful. Three sizes for a variety of uses, including a needle-nose set for finicky jobs. Great stocking stuff—just clip the stocking to the mantle with the pliers. [Craftsman.com]


Slick Gifts for the Grease Monkey

8. Box of Disposable Nitrile Gloves, $7:
Most shop mechanics don't use those too-fancy grip gloves that just fall apart anyway. They protect their delicate wrenching fingers with cheap nitrile gloves. The blue color means you're working. Costco sells 'em dirt cheap, but they're easy to find everywhere. [Costco]