It’s been a busy year, and already we are into another holiday shopping season. What to get for the gearhead in your life? Below is my seventh-annual list of neat ideas for construction-minded adults and kids alike.
Temporary Tool Tattoos
A temporary kids' tattoo with a jackhammer on it caught my eye while I was standing in the checkout aisle of this year’s World of Concrete bookstore. My four-year-old proudly wore it on her arm for more than a week and tried her best not to rub it off in the bath. I wondered what was out there for adults. Look no further than these awesome tool tattoos showing artfully illustrated vintage implements. Find them on Tattly.com for $15.
Samsung Smart Watch
Are you tired of being forced to watch whatever the restaurant manager puts on the television? Now you can secretly take control with Samsung’s lineup of smart watches. I observed with amazement this summer as a construction hipster used his wrist to channel surf the hotel lobby’s television at an industry conference. You can also use these nifty wearable devices to answer telephone calls, respond to messages, take pictures and track your fitness goals. Prices start at around $199.
The Caterpillar Way
If you are interested in what makes Caterpillar a strong company and brand—some business experts view Cat not as an American company but as a global company that happens to be based in the U.S.—then check out “The Caterpillar Way” by Craig T. Bouchard and James V. Koch. Not to be confused with the 2005 book, “The John Deere Way,” this year’s study explains how the old-line manufacturer, under the leadership of then-CEO Donald Fites, in 1990 made sweeping structural changes that transformed Cat’s culture and its go-to-market strategy and, perhaps, even saved the yellow dinosaur from extinction. Available in hardcover for under $20.
In case you missed our recent Super Boom Shootout feature, in which we used a Hilti laser meter to measure the height of boom lifts standing taller than 180 feet, here is another plug for a handy tool that may eventually replace your trusty tape measure. Laser meters are durable and easy to use, and they make difficult jobsite calculations easy. As prices come down, they are a must-have for the toolbox. Here is a sample of options starting at $28 and going all the way up to $560.
People talk about reinventing the wheel, and KeyDisk 2 does it in a nice way. Rather than filling your pocket with a thick ring of keys, why not arrange them flat in this handy holder? This slim design keeps all of your keys where you need them without the bulk. Donate to the company’s Kickstarter campaign and receive $10 off.
Designer Duct Tape
Duct tape companies have expanded the face of their product beyond its traditional gray image. Perhaps inspired by the colorful rolls of Japanese washi tape now littering the office-supply store, you can now have designer duct tape bearing such patterns as sports logos, psychedelic swirls and cartoon characters. MacGyver would have had a different roll to get him out of a jam each day of the year. Get it online for just a few bucks.