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10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Makers and Tinkerers – MUO – MakeUseOf

Wondering what gift to buy for a DIY maker friend or relative this Christmas? Look no further.
Choosing Christmas gifts can be tricky and time-consuming as you scour myriad stores trying to find the perfect present for your loved one. Nonetheless, this isn’t necessary for finding a perfect gift. All you have to do is consider the recipient's favorite pastimes to come up with the best gift for them.
If this recipient happens to be a maker or an electronics tinkerer, then you're definitely in the right place. We've curated a list of the ten best gifts you can get your maker friend or relative for Christmas.
3D printing is an incredibly popular hobby among makers and can be a lot of fun. A 3D printer is certainly not the cheapest gift you can get, but they are worth the investment for makers.
If you are feeling generous enough to buy someone a 3D printer, we recommend the Cubicon Prime. It is ideal for beginners, inexpensive, and includes Wi-Fi for connectivity. You can purchase this excellent 3D printer for less than $400. There's minimal assembly required, and the printer is ready to work after installation. It also has a touchscreen interface and features a reliable, direct drive extruder.
A 3D printer is a wonderful gift to get that maker in your life, especially if they have mentioned wanting one. They might even print something nice and useful for you. Learn more about how 3D printing works.
LED Kits make great gifts for makers. They are usually simple enough for budding tinkerers and should present a new, fun challenge to most hobbyists. These kit boxes usually come with a bunch of colored LED sets as well compatible resistors.
The possibilities are virtually endless with the right kit. You can even add a microcontroller into the mix to spice things up a bit. Be sure to check our guide to connecting an Arduino to LED light strips.
The MioYOOW LED Lamp DIY Kit is certainly a mouthful, but it promises to be straightforward enough for beginners. The kit includes 18 LED lights, resistors, capacitors, transistors, an IR receiver, screws, a 555 timer, and an on/off switch among other components. It can be powered by a 4xAA battery box or USB power supply.
Overall, it's a fun kit for building an LED night light and should be useful for practicing soldering and learning about electronics.
A wire stripper is used to remove insulation from electrical wires and is an essential tool for makers and tinkerers, especially during repairs and electronics hacking. Basically, there are four different types of strippers: manual, gauged, automatic / self-adjusting, and laser.
Stripping wires is pretty easy with the proper tool. For most electronics projects, a basic manual wire stripper without all the bells and whistles will do just fine.
The Raspberry Pi is a line of single-board computers in a credit card form factor. The latest version of the mini computer, the Raspberry Pi 4, comes with some powerful features, including a quad-core processor that allows you to run multiple applications at once without slowing down.
The Raspberry Pi 4 also has built-in Wi-Fi along with Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, and USB 3.0 ports, so you can connect it to your home network and peripherals.
If you want to, you can get one of the Raspberry Pi kits that come bundled with extras such as a case, microSD card, power supply cable, and heat sink. Or, you could get the Raspberry Pi first and buy the case and everything else later. To learn more about how to select the right case for a Raspberry Pi, check out our guide to choosing a Raspberry Pi case.
A DIY electric skateboard kit is exactly what it sounds like: a combination of do-it-yourself and skateboarding. These DIY kits make it easy to transform an old, traditional skateboard into an electric skateboard. They usually come bundled with a remote control, a battery, replacement wheels, and a DC motor to drive the skateboard.
The Teamgee H3 DIY Electric Skateboard offers great value for the price. It is easy to assemble and use, has a fairly lasting battery, and offers an average top speed of 16mph. The wheels are large and made from premium polyurethane, which grants them a firm grip and helps you maintain your balance.
Putting together this kit won’t be too difficult, even for beginners, and there are plenty of videos online that show you how everything goes together. If you are not interested in a DIY electric skateboard kit, check out the best e-skateboards you can find for sale right now.
Arduino is an open-source hardware and software company that makes a series of microcontrollers and kits that can be programmed to do just about anything. Arduinos are used by makers for building electronics projects and experimenting with prototypes.
To get a maker started, an Arduino robotics kit is one of the best gifts you could give. These kits usually come with everything you need to make a simple robot (like a remote-controlled car or tank), including motors, sensors, and other accessories.
The ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit costs less than $80 and will be an excellent gift for a young maker. The robot car features automatic obstacle avoidance, infrared control, and line tracking. The accompanying CD has assembly instructions you can follow, and you can find the required software on their website.
A multimeter is a tool used to measure voltage, current, resistance, and electrical continuity. Multimeters are often used in electronics projects because they can help to troubleshoot electronic circuits or test the resistance of a material.
Some multimeters even allow you to measure capacitance (a measure of how much electricity can be stored within something), frequency (how many times something happens per second), and temperature.
The KAIWEETS digital multimeter is an affordable and high-quality device that can be used to measure AC/DC voltage, resistance, DC current, continuity. It can also be used for testing diodes and comes with a protective case for when it's not in use.
This is a great gift for a maker who wants to get their feet wet in the world of sensors. A sensor kit is a set of pre-built and easily connectable modules that allow you to interact with your environment using things like light, motion, and temperature.
The ELEGOO 37 in 1 Sensor Modules Kit is a fun little, inexpensive set of sensors that can be utilized in all sorts of electronics projects. It also comes with tutorials for use with an Arduino, although the sensors can also be used with a Raspberry Pi and many other controller boards.
A soldering iron supplies heat above the melting temperature of the metal solder, allowing it to flow between the workpieces needing to be joined. It is an essential part of any maker's toolkit and can be used to solder together electrical components or make small repairs on circuit boards. Check out our guide on how to solder wires and electronics.
The TS80P Soldering Iron is powered via a USB-C connector and is a lightweight, portable, and smart alternative to a traditional soldering iron. The TS80P can go from room temperature to 300 °C in eight seconds. It also features an OLED display and has an STM32 microcontroller which regulates temperature and allows sleep mode and auto power-off functionality.
If you’re looking for a gift for someone who spends a lot of time in the workshop, a screwdriver set is a great choice.
The GEARWRENCH Phillips/Slotted/Torx Screwdriver Set comes with 20 pieces of screwdriver bits, each designed to work in specific situations and for different screws. The tri-lobe-shaped handle is oil and solvent-resistant and is designed to be comfortable as well as efficient. You’ll find hex drivers in both 1/4-inch and 5/32-inch sizes, including Phillips head bits, slotted, and Torx drivers.
Being a maker is about more than just making things. It's about learning how to use the tools that help you realize your ideas and make them real. By helping your maker friends and relatives get these essential tools, you're making it easier for them to achieve these goals.
Finally, it's imperative to keep in mind that makers are still people too. They will also appreciate gifts that don't relate to their chosen hobby/profession. The important thing is to be considerate and creative as you select and purchase gifts for them.
Tomisin is a freelance writer with a passion for breaking down complex topics. He is also a tech enthusiast and a music geek. Currently, he writes about DIY tech for MakeUseOf.

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