Have you been struggling to come up with a unique gift idea for your dad this Father’s Day? Something more thoughtful than just another pair of cufflinks or a new tie? If your dad is the type who spends a lot of time in his workshop or backyard, here are some affordable gift suggestions that are perfect for the do-it-yourselfer.
Making it easy to remove a lawn mower cutting blade
A Blade Removal Tool is a simple, but effective device that holds a lawn mower cutting blade in place as the mounting nut or bolt is unthreaded. The tool is compatible with both walk-behind mowers and riding mowers and works on both single and twin blade models. Simply align the device on the mower deck with the end of the blade positioned inside the bracket, then tighten the clamp. The tool will prevent the blade from rotating as the mounting nut or bolt is loosened and removed, making the whole blade removal process faster and safer.
The device works the same way when installing a new blade. Just make sure the end of the blade is positioned inside the removal tool bracket as the blade is aligned on the adapter. Note that the curved ends of the blade should always be facing the mower deck. Thread the mounting nut or bolt and torque to manufacturer’s specifications. With the lawn mower blade installed, loosen the clamp, and slide off the device.
Does the spark plug have enough spark?
If your dad has trouble starting his lawn mower, string trimmer, or any other outdoor power equipment, the most likely cause is a worn out spark plug. An Ignition Tester will make it easy to determine if the spark plug or the ignition coil is faulty.
- Remove the ignition coil wire and boot from the spark plug.
- Attach the ignition tester clip to the spark plug and insert the opposite end of the tester into the boot.
- Attempt to start the engine but stand clear of the tester or any other electrical component to avoid a shock.
- If a spark jumps across the terminals in the tester window (or the engine starts), the spark plug and ignition coil are working properly.
- If you do not see a spark, unclip the tester from the spark plug and attach it to a good grounding location like a bolt on the engine valve cover.
- Attempt to start the engine again.
- If there is now a spark visible in the tester window, the spark plug is likely defective and will need to be replaced.
- If there is still no spark in the tester window, the ignition coil may have failed or there may be another problem with the equipment’s electrical system.
Multiple uses for a multimeter
The first step in any appliance or heating and cooling repair is to determine which part may be defective. There is no more versatile a device to help accomplish this than a multimeter. By being able to test for electrical continuity, voltage, and resistance, a multimeter takes the guesswork out of troubleshooting. Here are a few of the things that can be done using a multimeter:
- Testing thermostats, fuses, switches, heating elements, sensors, and solenoid coils for electrical continuity to determine if a continuous electrical path is present in the component. If the part doesn’t have continuity, it is likely defective.
- Testing switches and other components, such as heating elements, to determine if the part has shorted.
- Measuring the alternating current (AC) voltage coming out of wall outlets or home appliance power cords, and the direct current (DC) voltage being supplied by batteries used on cars, lawn mowers, and various cordless products.
- Helping to determine if a run capacitor, used in central air condensing units, furnaces, refrigerators, and washing machines, is capable of storing and then releasing its electrical charge.
- Identifying the resistance of a component to determine if the part is within factory specifications and functioning normally.
Tools, tools, and some other tools
Of course, a true do-it-yourselfer can never have enough hand tools. A ChannelLock 18 in 1 ratcheting multi-bit screwdriver comes with 18 easily interchangeable bits. A five-piece E-series plier set, also from ChannelLock, could be another welcome addition to your dad’s tool box. Or perhaps he could use a four-piece hook & pick professional set, or an 8.25 inch wire stripper.
There are also some great tools that fall into the “I never realized how useful this could be” category such as a dedicated brush to clean the condenser coils underneath the refrigerator or one to clean out the dryer venting. There’s even a specially-made tool to dislodge snow that has become hard-packed into a snowblower’s auger housing or chute.
Finding the perfect Father’s Day gifts with Repair Clinic
Most of these devices and tools can be purchased for under $30 at Repair Clinic; just enter what you’re looking for in the website’s search bar. In fact, if your dad isn’t already familiar with this website, let him know what a great resource it is for DIYers. Repair Clinic stocks genuine manufacturer replacement parts for all major appliances, outdoor power equipment, and heating and cooling products. The website also showcases thousands of “how to” videos, articles, schematics, and diagrams that make it easy for dads, or anyone, to take on the repair themselves.