For all those handy men and women out there, it’s the start of another full year of fixing and building. Hopefully you were good and Santa brought you the perfect new tool.
If he didn’t and Christmas has got you down because there was no new angle grinder under the tree, just think… it could have been worse… you could have gotten one of these worst handyman gifts…
1. Toilet Mug
Are you a wizard with the wax ring? The Mister Fix-It of the flush valve? Just be happy your fans didn’t think to thank you for all your hard work with one of these.
The ads say you can use them to hold ice cream and candy as well. The possibilities are as distressing as they are endless. If one of these showed up under your tree, best be planning an unfortunate accident with it. Otherwise the next thing you know your wife will be using it to serve up chocolate coconut balls at the next Monday night woodcarving club meeting.
2. Thumb Saver
Excuse me; are you calling me a sissy? Do think I need one of these so I don’t ruin my manicure? Three words: tap, tap, bang. That’s how you hammer a nail. Pity the poor delicate flower that got one of these for Christmas.
3. Workshop-Sweeping Robot
A look at the marketing photo for this robotic vacuum cleaner might lead you to believe that it can nimbly navigate around ladders and piles of lumber to quietly suck up the heaps of sawdust and debris from your workshop floor. The reality of robotic vacuum cleaners is that have very small collection containers when compared to a typical workshop vac. Even robotic vacuums that boast an “industry leading” 1-litre collection container don’t come close to a typical workshop vac that can handle 75 litres or more.
Robotic vacuums are also a bit untrustworthy when it comes to electrical cords. Sometimes they pass right over them and sometimes the grab them, disconnect the tool or drag whatever is at the other end of the cord off the workbench. Robot vacuum cleaners can also panic in the presence of clutter, easily becoming wedged or simply spinning in circles until the battery runs out.
If you were unlucky enough to get one of these for Christmas you’ll soon find the only shop they can clean is one with no nails, tools or lumber on the floor. Or what a typical handyman would call a “clean workshop”!
4. Pink Tool Set
There are a lot of ladies that are good with tools. Trying to girly them up with pink grips and handles does not make them love their tools any more. If your man gets you a pink handled tool kit buy him the smallest flat screen TV you can find. “It’s so cute”, you can say. Maybe he’ll get the picture.
5. Telescoping Ladder
A telescoping ladder is more death threat than Christmas gift. The fact that most models come plastered with more warning stickers than a box of radioactive spiders should definitely make you suspicious. The most common configuration collapses to 2-1/2 feet tall and telescopes to 12-1/2 feet.
When you extend the ladder each rung clicks securely into place; unless it doesn’t. You’ll know about halfway up the ladder when one of the legs suddenly becomes a foot shorter than the other. It’s then that you’ll appreciate why they use “aircraft grade” aluminium as becoming airborne is a distinct possibility.
When collapsing the ladder, each rung is released by clicking the buttons simultaneously. If you are slightly out of sync it is common for the rung to catch. Unsticking the mechanism is as simple as wiggling the ladder until the rung comes crashing down on your fingers.
6. iPhone Multi-tool
Multi-tools are designed to be the perfect Christmas gift. They are not designed to actually be useful. Many perform dozens of functions – but all poorly. The latest addition to the list of ill-conceived multitools is the TaskOne G3 iPhone Case.
Made from polycarbonate (marketing speak for $100 piece of “plastic”) the G3 case comes with a set of stainless steel tools that turn your phone into a wire stripper, bottle opener and screwdriver among other things. Their website features an impressive video demonstrating a G3 encased iPhone being used to start a campfire, carve a pointy stick and finally hammering a nail into the back of a picture frame.
Despite their demo of the iPhone’s amazing new capabilities as a blunt object they make it clear (by burying it in the fine print of the Q&A section), “that doesn’t mean you can now use your phone as a hammer”. Um, we kind of thought it did.
7. Tool Calendar
Every workshop used to have a calendar. The tradition of pin-up girl tool calendars goes back nearly 80 years to the first calendars sold by companies like Ridgid, Snap-On and Matco.
Motorcycle and auto parts companies jumped on the bandwagon and soon every garage and boiler room from Cape Town to Calgary was wallpapered with scantily clad pin-up girls cuddling up to pipe wrenches.
Times have changed and now political correctness has made the etiquette of tool calendars a minefield. Once iconic tool calendar makers like Snap-On have stopped publishing them altogether and others have been relegated to locked closets and dark corners. Getting a tool calendar for Christmas might seem like a cool gift at first but it won’t be long before you find yourself stuck between a rock (crusher) and a hard case (tool carrier).
Still Think You Got The Worst Handyman Gift Ever?
If Santa spared you from these seven gifts, but you still think you got the worst handyman gift ever, feel free to tell us your Christmas gift in the comments below.