Looking for a special holiday gift for that hard-to-shop-for guy on your list? Forget the neckties and flannel PJs. Here are five can't-miss gifts sure to get any guy caught up in the holiday spirit.
For the gearhead who needs a little more torque or the weekend handyman whose workbench is a little too bare, check out the ultimate set of tools from Craftsman. The set includes nine of Craftsman's comprehensive tool sets, including the 300-piece Base Essentials set and the 94-piece Auto Specialty Professional Tool set. (Each set also can be purchased separately.) No nut will go untightened and no muffler will hang loose thanks to this sea of shining tools. The only problem? Finding enough space to store all 1,470 pieces.
(SHLD) Limited Edition Ultimate Collector's Box: Beatles' Video iPod Set, $499.99, from Bloomingdale's.
(SHLD) The Beatles grew from Liverpool mop-tops peddling textured pop harmonies to rock 'n' roll titans crafting innovative musical masterpieces. Any guy will love this box set, which charts the rise of the Fab Four with a batch of retrospective CDs alongside 13 original Beatles discs, including sought-after British releases of albums such as "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver." And to take all that music on the go, the Psycho Bunny-designed collector's box carries a 120-gigabyte video iPod from Apple (SHLD) with the Beatles insignia on the front and the iconic Abbey Road image etched on the back. The set also includes an engraved metal guitar pick, suitable for strumming "Love Me Do" or playing air guitar along with John, Paul, George and Ringo.
What do Rush Limbaugh, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and His Royal Airness Michael Jordan have in common? They all love a good cigar. Fact is, guys everywhere love a nice Macanudo or Ramon Allones, whether on the 10th tee or paired with an after-dinner scotch. But with the dizzying range of cigars to choose from, picking just one brand is difficult. Enter Cigar International'sCigar of the Month Club. For $244.40 a year, or $19.95 a month, the company will send a monthly collection of four cigars. Each stogie is hand-rolled, and monthly offerings include well-known brands like H. Upmann as well as boutique cigar brands chosen by Cigar International. And don't worry if the gift recipient doesn't know a torpedo from a double corona. An executive summary detailing each cigar will give him a monthly crash course in Stogies 101.
Playing a guitar like Jimmy Page is hard enough, but keeping your ax in tune while switching from "Black Dog" to "Kashmir" can make even the experienced musician call for his guitar tech. Fortunately, the folks at Gibson USA have melded electric guitar know-how with high-tech geekery to build the Robot Les Paul Studio Ltd.. These six-string contraptions include motorized tuning pegs that automatically tune the guitar in a variety of differing tunings, from standard ("Black Dog") to open-G ("Kashmir"). Just switch on a master control on the body of the guitar, strum the strings and the tuning gears adjust each individual string. The drawback: No more blaming your equipment for those off-key notes. (The Robot also is available in Gibson's SG, Explorer and Flying V models. Supplies are limited across the board, but retailers such as Guitar Center and Musician's Friend sell the instruments well below the Gibson price tag.)
Aperion Intimus 4T Hybrid SD Home-Theater Speakers, $1,569, from Aperion Audio.
A 50-inch, hi-def plasma-screen television will look great playing just about anything, from a Blu-Ray disc of "The Matrix" to Sunday afternoon football. But what about the sound? For those looking to rattle the windows and shake the floor in full surround sound, look no further than the Aperion Intimus 4T Hybrid SD system. The home-theater speaker set comes with six pieces, including two towers, two bookshelf speakers, a center-channel speaker and a booming eight-inch subwoofer. The speaker system received high marks from CNET's editors, who called it an "exceptional surround speaker system." Shipping is free and the package comes with a sound-level meter to calibrate the perfect home-audio balance -- and a pair of white gloves to keep pesky fingerprints off the cherry wood or black gloss finishes. Just make sure to invite the neighbors over for movie night.