Great guy gifts. That’s what the Jp staff is laying out for you over the next several pages. Yeah, we call ’em guy gifts, but a lot of these ideas will go over really well with that active, Jeeping, outdoorsy girl in your life, guys. You won’t find any scented candles or frilly bath lotions in these pages. And if you’re a wife or girlfriend of a guy who loves Jeeps, the outdoors, or tinkering in the garage, then it’ll be hard to miss with any or all of these suggestions.
And because there are so many different types of Jeepers, each of the Jp staffers is coming up with his own list. For me, I’m a guy who likes simplicity and functionality. I take my coffee black and unflavored, I like my Jeeps uncluttered and simple, and I try to keep the toolbox well stocked with one of everything I’d ever need. I don’t need electronic gee-gaws or remote-controlled gadgets or fancy widgets—just plain old simple stuff that does what it’s supposed to and stands the test of time. Rather than a wish list of stuff I don’t have, I made up a list things I’ve used over the years that I’d love to get as a gift. All of the approximate prices were found on the web as of press time.
What: Milwaukee 1⁄2-inch Magnum Hole Shooter (PN 0234-6): $139
Why: Drilling holes sucks and this thing has the power to put a drill bit through any thickness of material. It has an ambidextrous side handle, an indestructible keyed chuck that won’t fall apart like those sissy keyless chucks, and a powerful 5.5-amp motor. Yeah, you have to plug it into the wall, but there are no batteries to wear out and it’s burly enough to last forever.
Where: Milwaukee Electric Tool
800/SAW DUST (800/729-3878), milwaukeetool.com
Warn Shorty Winch
What: Warn M6000 SDP Short-Drum Portable Winch (PN 39116): $836
Why: Most moderate Jeeps weigh 3,500 lbs, so following the adage of selecting a winch rated for 1.5-times your vehicle’s weight, the M6000 SDP is actually plenty of pulling power for most. It comes attached to a receiver cradle so I can swap it from Jeep-to-Jeep and I’ve used it as my trailer winch for over 8 years. I just pop it on where I need it and I’ve never had it stall on me despite its “little” 6,000lb rating.
AEV Benchmade Knife
What: AEV Edition 851 Barrage Knife by Benchmade (PN 581S): $245
Why: Other options and sizes are available but this is the larger Barrage with the M390 Super Steel drop-point, partially serrated 3.60-inch blade. With an ambidextrous pocket clip, it fits my southpaw grip and the assisted-opening functions like a pistol slide. Kachack! The machined aluminum end cap could be used as a windshield punch in an emergency (my words, not the company’s), and so far it’s been the finest pocket knife I’ve laid my hands on.
Where: American Expedition Vehicles
What: Miller Digital Performance Series Helmet (PN 256161): $230
Why: There are more expensive and less expensive auto-darkening welding helmets, but I’ve found the perfect balance of performance, value, and features in my Digital Performance Series helmet. I can adjust the level of shade for cutting, grinding, and welding, fiddle with delay time, and increase or decrease the sensitivity. There are lots of styles and colors available, but how can you ever go wrong with a Bald Eagle and patriotic stars and stripes motif?
What: SKS Model 59 7.62mm Rifle (PN RI1094-GC): $175-$250
Why: Guns, Jeeps, and outdoors go together like…well, America, guns, and Jeeps. The SKS is a Commiefornia-legal, semi-automatic rifle that holds 10-rounds of 7.62x39mm and it’s an absolute hoot to shoot. They’re fairly accurate to a couple hundred yards and are almost immune to dirt and abuse. My wife got mine for me a couple of years ago from my local sporting goods store for about $175, but Century International Arms imports many types of surplus military rifles from other countries for licensed dealers. Check the company’s site for a list of dealers in your area.
Where: Century Arms International, 800/527-1252, centuryarms.com
What: Curt Pintle Hitch (PN 48205): $85
Why: While mine is an old, used industrial 5-ton pintle hitch I got as a gift, you can still buy quality new pintle hitches that allow a secure tow attachment point for a strap or can be hooked to an old military-type pintle-equipped off-road trailer for good off-road articulation. They’re offered in larger sizes, but the Curt 5-ton version (PN 48205) is perfect for most Jeep applications.
877/CURTMFG, (877/287-8634), curtmfg.com
What: Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight: $43
Why: For 20 years I toted a huge, heavy three-D-cell Maglite. It put out plenty of light and could double as a club, but the batteries ran out fast, it was bulky, and couldn’t just slide in your pocket. Then I got a Maglite XL200 LED as a Christmas gift and was floored. It puts out a brighter light than my old incandescent three-cell flashlight, is tiny, runs off three AAA batteries, has cool features like automatic SOS signal, low-light beam, and more. And since it’s LED the batteries last a super-long time.
What: Various Camping Gear in Storage Container: $50-$150
Why: My buddies all turn into gourmet chefs when they’re camping. I eat well at home, so I’d rather camp light with some freeze-dried or military surplus MREs, instant coffee, a simple stove, paper plates and plastic utensils, a propane bottle, matches and fire starter, a camp pot, stainless mug, and cleaning supplies loaded into a Rubbermaid container that easily fits inside a Jeep. Mine measures about 81⁄2x13x22 inches and is kept full of stuff that won’t go bad and is ready at a moment’s notice. Most or all of this is available at your local mega-store, sporting goods, or military surplus store.
Where: Walmart, Target, Sporting Goods store.
What: Warn Recovery Bag (PN 62858): $276
Why: For over 10 years I’ve used this Warn Medium-Duty Recovery bag that includes a 3-inch x 30-foot tow strap, a 4-inch x 8-foot tree strap, two D-ring shackles, and a pair of heavy leather winch gloves in a durable camo bag. I toss in an extra D-ring shackle on a Warn receiver hitch mount (PN 29312), just in case.
What: Matco Tools Rollaway bottom cabinet (PN 4225R): $4,685
Why: Wanna see a grown man cry tears of joy? Have something like this in the garage Christmas morning. Mine is an older Matco Pro-Formance Series (since replaced with the 4S Series) bottom and top rollaway tool box. Matco’s site doesn’t list an upper cabinet anymore and the quoted price is list, which is way more than street pricing. Even still, it’s a lot of coin for a toolbox, so you can find used Snap-On, Mac, and other top-shelf brands on craigslist, or try Harbor Freight Tools for some decent-quality rollaways.
Where: Matco Tools
866/BUY-TOOL (866/289-8665), matcotools.com