Gift Guide: Power Tools

Craft & Design


Here are our picks for some electrified craft gadgets that will get your studio’s motor running. What are your favorite craft power tools? Leave a note in the comments below.


Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger
A serger really takes the home sewer’s capabilities to the next level. Make professional-looking knitwear, rolled-hem napkins in a flash, and wield the frantic power of this machine that slices as it stitches.


Singer Futura X-L400 sewing and embroidery machine
sewing and embroidery

If needlework’s more your thing, head for a dual sewing/embroidery machine. This one has software for illustrating your imagination in stitches, and does all the basic sewing stuff, too.


Foredom flex shaft
I have one of these bad boys and I love it. The motor hangs from a hook and the spinning handpiece spins at variable speeds, controlled by a foot pedal. I use it for fine metalworking, but it’s useful anywhere you’d use a handheld rotary tool.


Eye-Fi Mobile X2
At first thought, I didn’t think much of the idea behind Eye-Fi: it wirelessly uploads photos from your camera to your computer, and optionally, the internet. When I tried it out, it clear that the Eye-Fi was keeping my photos and videos super organized and backed up with no effort on my part, and I changed my mind about it. As soon as I’m done shooting a project, the files are already there for me to start editing.


Silhouette CAMEO
The Silhouette machine is a desktop vinyl cutter related to the Craft ROBO. It cuts paper, fabric, and many other planar materials in intricate shapes, useful for stickers, decals, scrapbooking, circuit board etching, and much more. Check out Becky’s review and Meg’s video using one of the other Silhouette machines.


KitchenAid stand mixer
Homemade whipped cream? Five batches of cookies? Liquid nitrogen ice cream? No problem. These stand mixers will last forever and can do the heavy lifting for all kinds of foods including pasta, sausage, and even good old fashioned birthday cake.

Brother knitting machine
Only available used, this is a serious gift that requires some ebay agility! Look for machines that are confirmed to function and have complete manuals. Digital is preferred over punchcard.


Olympus E-P2 camera
This is my camera and I adore it. It’s small enough to bring everywhere, has interchangeable lenses, and shoots HD video with microphone input! I’m a big fan of the new micro four-thirds cameras and recommend trying them out in person and then finding a good deal online.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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