Getting Handsy on V-Day: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Tinkerer

Gifts Hands On

Anyone who looks to February as a much-needed post-holiday respite has apparently never actually lived through the month. Sure, February is shorter, there is the groundhog prestidigitation to appreciate, there are the endless replays of one of the best movies (also the only one) to celebrate said groundhog. But once you’ve busted past the first few days of the month, you’ll find looming an equally stressful holiday to prepare for. Valentine’s Day. Born from love, yet somehow still one of the most stressful of days. And this year, as usual, the stakes are high. Chances are your beloved has not left any kind of clue, or even a blatant message, suggesting what kind of Valentine’s Day gifts might tug at the heartstrings in a fun and appropriate way. Doesn’t matter. We’ve got you covered. Read on for the best Valentine’s Day gifts for your favorite tinkerer, hobbyist, hands-on, DIY sort of guy.


The fixologist
We all know one: the friend who loves to fiddle with things, the companion who want to create, the beau who wants to build something better. And while the intense Popular Science experiments may pique the interest of some, there are those among the DIY population who are looking for hands-on projects that are more interesting, more awesome. That’s where we come in.

Now that’s a knife (or three)
So yeah, there’s no new Crocodile Dundee reboot coming anytime soon, perhaps for the better. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t toss out everyone’s favorite and maybe only Paul Hogan quote. Especially if it’s said when gifting a knife making kit. And while the manly stereotype isn’t our bag, the knife part is—there’s never anything wrong with an honest-to-goodness, well-crafted, steady and sturdy knife. And there is nothing more honest-to-goodness, well-crafted, steady and sturdy than a knife made with one’s own hands.


A wise man once said, “The value of a knife is in its sharpness.” And while there was probably something much more heady and philosophical intended with this statement, it applies to actual knives, too. The Knife Making Kit comes with a blade so sharp, a handle so unique and a sheath so rugged, anyone receiving such a Valentine’s gift is sure to utter something equally deep and profound. Also they’ll be really excited to make their own knife.knife2

The more subtle man may prefer the Folding Knife Making Kit. It combines equal parts strength and stealth as well as the same hands-on-ness that’ll make it a solid DIY men’s Valentine’s Day gift.folding knifeIs your favorite handyman more interested in cutting veggies than throats? Well, we hope so, because that’s an entirely different story involving the authorities and at the very least a bit of intervention. But if your Valentine is into cooking, the Chef Knife Making Kit is the perfect gift, whether he’s a beginner or an old pro. Damascus steel meets Micarta handles to create the most stylish and delightful of handmade slicery. chef knife

Eat, drink and be crafty
Fact: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Food, whether it’s of the solid or liquid variety, is good food. And never a more delicious Valentine’s Day gift has existed than one that satisfies the tum while also inspiring a bit of creativity.

eat drink

The most rewarding and love-filled path to the heart is lined with bacon. The Baconology Kit has rub, it’s got cure, it’s got the ability to create flavor the likes of which have never been tasted. No one who gets this Valentine’s Day gift will ever be sad.baconologyOh, beer, the most delightful of all the ingestible things. One of the oldest and most universally praised creations, beer is guaranteed to bring about a Valentine’s Day smile (or an any-day smile), particularly when one is able to put one’s own stamp on it. The Home Brewed Kit has all the ingredients and fixings needed for making a personalized, memorable—and tasty—Valentine’s Day gift. Home BrewHomemade moonshining is far less dangerous than it used to be. And with the Gin-Fusion Kit, it can also be much more exciting. Not only will it not cause blindness, it will also result in gin of the most flavorful variety. It’s got juniper berry, its got spices, it’s got beakers. Beakers! This is a men’s Valentine’s Day gift sure to last the ages and impress everyone.gin

The thinker-er tinkerer
There are those who find that the act of contemplation goes hand in hand with the act of making. This particular demographic—think poets with pipes and whittlers who write—requires very specific Valentine’s Day gifting techniques.

The most worthy pursuit of pipe smoking has long been a draw for those who also like to pursue deep thoughts. The Pipe Carving Kit allows for relaxation, inspiration, creation. Or just making a pipe and smoking it. Depends on the level of commitment. Still, this gift is one of the most rewarding for the tinkerer since no matter what the motivation, he gets to make an awesome Valentine’s Day gift and look serious and smart while doing it. pipeMakers come from all walks of life. But one thing they all have in common is wanting to keep their pants up. The Leather Belt Making Kit will allow them to do just that, and with style. It’s fashion, it’s function, it prevents the embarrassing pants drop. What more could a DIY-er want?beltOnce the pipe has been carved and the belt has been buckled, the next step is to get the Sweater with Elbow Patches Kit. And if you happen to find something along those lines, good on you, because we don’t know of any such thing.

Assembly required
Some men will be happy enough to make their own Pet Rock and call it a day. And there’s nothing wrong with that—no, really, it’s okay. But there are those who can’t get enough of making something. Or when they have had enough of making something, all they can do is think about fixing something else.

It was the great humanitarian and philosopher Albert Schweitzer who said, “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” And while dog fans may find the bit about cats questionable, no one would disagree with the music part. The Ammo Can Speaker Kit not only lets him build something techy with wires and circuits, once he’s done, he can effortlessly carry that sucker around with him wherever he goes. Obviously cats aren’t that easy to manage.ammo

Houses are crazy. They can be so unpredictable—who can say when a nail is going to come loose or a screw is going to shoot out of the wall or a light fixture is going to come plummeting down from the ceiling? Now anyone not prepared to move houses under such circumstances (which honestly might be the best option—that place sounds like a deathtrap!) is going to need the finest of tool kits to have at the ready when things need repair. The Pro-Tool Crate comes with a utility knife, a 4-in-1 screwdriver and a magnetic holster and wristband to keep all the tools and little bits close at hand when the need to fix, fiddle and/or futz tool

So when did DIY become a thing? And what’s with all this desire to make and build and create things with one’s own hands?

The term do-it-yourself has been in use since about 1912, but the first evidence of assembly instructions dates back to the 6th century B.C. Once again, those wily ancient Italians found their way to doing something first, this time an instruction for mass-production sort of thing. Sorry IKEA.

And while some may curse and make mistakes with a DIY project, it’s a proven fact that making a thing by hand is always satisfying. According to psychology, building something, busting out all the blood, sweat and tears you got, not only adds value to the project’s worth, it also adds value to your own worth. Psychologically speaking, that is. Not a bad way to feel good.