Some days I struggle for things to write about on this blog. On others, I find inspiration somewhere and know what I want to say. As I write, serendipity has happened. There was I struggling with lack of project progress thanks to work and illness. Then I read the Toolmonger.com blog where someone is talking about presents for those of us with practical minds.
The gimmicky stuff can be useful, but getting someone a quality set of drivers or the like will always trump the gimmick.
Which is so true, as illustrated by this set of screwdrivers.
I was presented with these as a little gift by someone while I worked for the Ministry of Cows over 15 years ago. You might think "nice set of jewelers screwdrivers" but they are more than that. I can get a "nice" set for a couple of quid. For that money they will be used and abused - picking up superglue or oil (don't mix those up !) to drop in little spaces for example. Or maybe as punches when removing stubborn gears from shafts. When the blades get to battered to use on screw heads, I restore them with a file.
These screwdrivers are kept for best. Precision work. Those moments when I fancy myself as a bit of an engineer rather than a bodger. They also travel to exhibitions in my toolkit, in fact they have probably clocked up many thousands of miles this way. At no point do they get hit with a hammer or dipped in superglue.
So, as the man says, if you are looking for presents, a single high quality tool might look unimpressive under the tree, but it will be in use for many years to come and every time the owner picks it up, they will remember the person who gave it to them.