Ah, young love. My 21-year-old nephew just got married last weekend to his girlfriend of 3 years. It was a nice affair: the cake was delicious, the decor tasteful, the gift tables stacked high with juicers, crock pots, cookware, towels, bedding, crepe makers, dishes, salad tongs, fondue pots-- the usual. My opinion, the kids are never going to use a lot of that stuff. It's a pity, they don't know what they really need. And let's face it, the bride put the registry together. No offense, she's not the one who'll be going to the hardware store a dozen time later on to get tools for putting the home together.
May I make a suggestion? The next wedding you attend for a young couple (or even a not-so-young couple), go rogue on the registry and give them a tool kit. For less than $100 with a coupon, you can put together a complete set that they'll use all the time, maybe even for the rest of their lives. At least longer than the kettle corn maker they got.
Here are some basic tools to throw in the kit. It'll make their lives a whole lot easier:
- Hammer - Nothing fancy, just a simple, sturdy claw hammer. This one from Pittsburgh has a shock-absorbent fiberglass handle that won't splinter or split.
- Screwdriver Set - As you know, if you don't have the correct-sized screwdriver, it can be a bad experience. It keeps slipping out of the slot, stripping the slot, etc. That's why getting a set of comprehensive slot and Phillips screwdrivers is the way to go-- and this 32-piece screwdriver set is perfect for whatever household job comes up.
- Wrench Set - Just as a screwdriver, you need just the right fitting wrench. That means you'll want both SAE and metric on hand. This low-price 22-piece combination wrench set accommodates the most widely-used sizes and comes with a handy rack for quick access.
- Tape Measure - When putting up pictures and wall decor, measuring for furniture space or executing most any home improvement, you've got to have a tape measure on hand. Like this 30-ft. one from Harbor Freight, they're cheap but they're invaluable!
- Level - Got to make sure the family portraits are up for when the relatives come over-- but you can't do it right without a level. At $6.00, the 9" Magnetic Torpedo Level will save you a lot of headache for vertical, horizontal and 45-degree leveling.
- Socket Set - A wrench set is great to have, but for some jobs a socket set is so much sweeter. Pittsburgh makes a good, long-lasting 64-piece set at a low price, which includes both SAE and metric, with 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drive. It comes with a rugged custom carrying case for storage and transport.
- Screws, Nuts & Bolts - Hey, it's at least one less trip to the store, right? Probably a number of trips-- a 1,001-piece set with wood screws, sheet metal screws, nuts, bolts, washers, lock washers and cotter pins. Definitely worth the 12 bucks.
- Tool Box -You've got to get one-- the ready-made gift box that keeps on giving. The 20" Stainless Steel Toolbox from Storehouse is a Harbor Freight best buy, with a dent-proof, high-impact base, heavy-duty tray and strong rubber-grip handle. With a full-length piano hinge, two sturdy latches and a brushed steel finish, this toolbox is built to last.
- Cordless Drill - OK, so this isn't going into the toolbox, but it certainly completes the set. If there's any power tool the new couple's going to need, it's a cordless drill, and the low-cost Drill Master 18 Volt Cordless 3/8" Drill With Keyless Chuck is a rugged, reliable addition to the arsenal.
So, when the top tier of the cake disappears in the freezer under some ground chuck, all the returns and re-gifting's been done and those crazy kids go one with their lives, they'll remember you every time there's an outlet plate to replace or a bicycle to build, an armoire to secure to a wall or a tiki mask to hang in the bathroom... the wedding guest who had the good sense to ignore their registry.