The Gifts Our Fixers Want for the Holidays

The perfect gift is the thing you can’t justify buying for yourself, but which someone gives you because they know you’re worth it. At iFixit, we have a lot of hobbies and interests, and a ton of stuff on our want-but-don’t-technically-need list. Here’s an assortment of staff picks that might help with your own holiday shopping.

Some of these things are from our own store, because we happen to sell the kinds of things we want to play with. Many are from other stores. Some of these links (mostly Amazon) would generate a small commission for iFixit if you purchase after clicking them. The prices listed were taken at the time of writing.

With that out of the way, let’s show off the kind of stuff an iFixit type wants for the holidays.

Taylor Dixon, Technical Writer

SE Lens Loupes ($9), LW Scientific Loupse ($630) (or presumably something in-between)

“I would like a nice set of eye loupes that I can attach to my glasses during board work and other microscopic jobs.”

Taylor’s boss, Sam, interjects on Slack:
“Taylor ‘bout to restore some toys:”

Taylor: “That was my EXACT inspiration.

Kay-Kay Clapp, Director of Stuff

Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity ($13)

“I’m really into Felicia Day’s new book. It’s all about doing silly exercises to give you the confidence to make and create things, digital or physical.”

Whitson Gordon, Editorial

Soldering Workstation (iFixit) ($50)“I’ve encountered many a project or repair that required the tiniest bit of soldering. I was too lazy to move forward because I didn’t have the required gear, or easy-to-learn basic soldering skills. Some projects only need a screwdriver, but some need you to get in there with liquid metal.”

Scott Stephens, Shipping

Upper Deck Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game ($45)

“I absolutely love deck building tabletop games (Dominion is the most popular one). I’m a huge Marvel nerd, and they just so happen to have one of the best deck building games on the market. That’s the base deck you need to start, but they have 20-plus expansions. I have over 10 of them, but there’s still so many I want I haven’t gotten around to buying: Venom, World War Hulk, Revelations …”

Kelsea Weber, Outreach

“Just like Hank Schrader from Breaking Bad, I’m a devout rock mineral collector. While my favorite specimens are displayed throughout my home, I like to make jewelry with my less precious stones. Turns out iFixit has a whole slew of tools that are great for jewelry-making and repair:

Sam Goldheart, Lead Teardown Engineer

Cosplay grab-bag:

  • Thermoformer“For working with plastics. I can use it to make molds, or use it to make lenses for helmets. Plastics are hard to work with unless you have a thermoformer, although Worbla does wonders (A thermoplastic you can form by hand, it’s also expensive).”
  • Brother 1034D 3/4 Thread Serger with Differential Feed ($184) – “For finished edges on garments―makes them less single-use costume and more wearable and washable.”
  • Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer ($539) – “Mostly for casting or thermoforming, but also just handy to have to make small parts. I currently use foam (easy to damage) or polymer clay (brittle and heavy).”
  • INTBUYING Screen Printing Press ($86) – “For more repeatable screen prints.”

Jeff Suovanen, Senior Technical Writer

Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 ($82)

“A cordless impact ratchet—one of those little luxuries that transforms a tedious car repair into a fun and relaxing activity that you, too, will want to tell the whole Internet about. No more endless ratcheting back and forth in those teeeeny narrow spaces. The first time you use one, it just makes your whole day—and then you have to have it.”

Olivia Webb, Outreach

Frank Edmunds & Co. Universal Stand ($43)

“I started cross-stitching about a year and a half ago, and I’m always on the lookout for cool tools and frames that will hold my work for me so that I can easily manage the rest of my supplies and focus on the important bit—the stitching. This stand holds all of my frames and adjusts almost any way you’d need.”

“Not only would this bring me one step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming an accomplished 19th-century British aristocratic woman worthy of a Jane Austen novel, it would also make my hobby easier and more relaxing—and probably prevent long-term posture problems that come from hunching over the frame like I currently do. And it’s perfect for sitting on the couch to stitch while I watch Disney+.”

Brett Hartt, Product Development

Compound Cross Slide Vise ($53)

“Precision x-y movements are super handy when working with super tiny stuff, like models and jewelry, as well as for inspecting things under a magnifiying glass.”

Tarun Thiruma, Technical Writer

DJ TechTools Chroma Caps ($1.19 each)

“New gear doesn’t make you a better DJ but maybe some new knobs and faders will make me feel like a better DJ. They might help me see where everything is in a darker club environment too.”

Fat Shark Attitude V5 FPV Goggles ($300)

“A new pair of FPV goggles would be awesome because I’m trying to get back into freestyle quad. I can use ‘em for drone racing, too, if I ever do that again.”

Craig Lloyd, Technical Writer

QuickJack BL-5000SLX ($1,285)

“A lift makes repairs and maintenance 10,000 times  more convenient. I’m fortunate enough to have access to a car lift here at the iFixit office, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t want one in my own garage.”

Raven McDaniel, Software QA

Arthur Shi, Technical Writer

Ruputas Lithium Precision Screwdriver Wowstick 1F+ ($41)

“After working on certain phones that required a “Remove the following 18 screws securing the midframe” step, I am interested in trying out a precision electric screwdriver.”

“Bonus picks, from the missus:”

Jeff Stephens, E-Commerce

Haas Mini Mill

Haas Mini Mill ($32,000)

“Why? That’s a silly question. … That may be what I want, but honestly, a small manual machine would do just fine: Bolton ZX32G ($1,512). Why? If you insist, I make lots of small parts for my mechanical gadget artwork.”

“But wait, there’s more! Fiskars Fabric Cutting Set ($30). Because a rotary cutter and a self-healing mat beats the pants off scissors for accuracy when cutting squirrelly fabric for any project. This is particularly true for slick nylon ultra-light fabrics for making your own backpacking gear (MYOG)—and I am a total MYOG junky.”