Valentine's Day is only a week away, and it can be hard to shop for your partner. If your significant other is a gearhead, I'm sorry for you, because this must mean they spend more time with their cars and car buddies than they do with you, and the fact that you have stayed with them despite of this just shows how lucky they are. Regardless of gender, however, most gearheads can be rather easily satisfied with some of the presents I will discuss in a little bit. Just remember that the thought is all that counts, and you will not be dumped for getting them an extra 10mm socket, for every gearhead knows that you can't have enough 10mm sockets. Back to the topic at hand, there are tons of things you could get your partner to make them happy for the fourteenth. Matter of fact, I went ahead and compiled a list of ten things you should consider purchasing for them, and a few words as to why. Many of these things I received myself, and I am incredibly happy with them (otherwise I wouldn't be suggesting them to you). Keep in mind, I am not paid by any of the manufacturers of these products to suggest their items to you.
This one's a no-brainer. You can buy your partner a GoPro for every Valentine's day, and they will still find a way to need another GoPro. I personally have one, but if I had more, I would keep two in my garage, four for my race-car, another three or so for my daily. Some may call it being greedy, but I want to capture as many angles of my life around cars as I can. Not only can the footage be used for bragging rights, but it could also be used to review any mistakes made for future references.
2. Snap-On Tools.
Any Snap-On tool will do; whether it's a ratchet, or a set of allens, it can really hit your gearhead in the right spot. If you can't make up your mind as to which tool you should get them, just pick up the Snap-On corded LED light. They run around fifty bucks and are a great present for almost any occasion. They only use 25W of power and project 2000lm of light, more than enough to light up a small garage. I found this light to be perfect for when I work underneath my car, regardless of the time of day. It's easy to handle, the cord is long enough to stretch to the wall and it's ridiculously bright. I only wish they made them in the United States.
3. Any bright 1000lm tactical flashlight.
I personally use a FenixPD35 Tactical Flashlight. The kit I purchased cost around $80 and included a battery, a charger and a belt holster. Now you may think, why would anyone pay that kind of money for a flashlight? Well, for starters, it's very bright for something that is mobile and fits in the palm of your hand. You can control the brightness as well, from dim to blinding bright, and it's really a blessing when working with the dash loom. Combined with a flashlight holder, it can really make any repair job ten times easier. Besides automotive work, it's a bright flashlight with a very long battery life, so it really helps to carry it around. I found myself carrying it in my holster attached to my Redwing belt, which also gave my belt another purpose. There's also the Streamlight brand, and while it is slightly more expensive, it's much easier to charge.
4. Redwing Boots.
Speaking of Redwings, here's a good one for you. If I had to wear one pair of shoes for 5 years straight, my choice would easily fall to the Redwing Boots. While expensive, the boots are less of a "purchase", and much more of an "investment". They'll last you for years and years to come, and you can have them resoled for around a $100. Redwing Shoes offers free laces as well as restoration and leather maintenance kits. You could easily spend around $400 the first time you visit a Redwing Shoes store, but remember- it's an investment. Not only are they comfortable once formed to your feet, but they're tough. Mine have been covered in hot metal from welding and cutting, transmission fluid, multi-purpose solvent- you name it. I really put my shoes through a rigorous test throughout the day, and these Redwings are holding up pretty damn well. I find myself recommending them to every gearhead I meet, and while at first they question my sanity for paying over $300 for shoes, they come to realize the true concept behind them. Not to mention, these shoes are made in the United States, so you'd be supporting the American labor force.
5. Ryobi Impact Kit.
The Ryobi Impact wrench has always been a favorite of mine for working on my car at home. It's got just the right amount of torque to bust lug nuts loose and even subframe bolts. Matter of fact, you can pick up the impact driver and wrench kit from Home Depot with a charger and two batteries for only $129 dollars, which is an absolute steal-deal. The Impact itself delivers 200 ft/lb of torque, and the batteries can last quite a while. It does help, however, to purchase the jumbo size batteries down the road. They last much longer and deliver slightly more power to the tool, allowing for even more tasks to be completed in the same time frame.
6. A torque wrench.
Having a torque wrench is an absolute must. Whether it's a 3/8" or a 1/2", a torque wrench will prevent broken studs and also it will make sure the wheels don't fall off the car. As far as the brands go, I personally use a Snap-On Techwrench 1/2" torque wrench, and will be purchasing a 3/8" version soon enough. While expensive, the digital torque wrench can store up to three torque settings and is covered under Snap-On lifetime warranty. Much like anything else posted on this list so far, it's more of an investment rather than a purchase. Yet if you can't afford a Snap-On Techwrench, there are always less expensive options from Snap-On.
7. Racing Helmet and/or a Hans Device.
While both are pricey, but they will save the life of your significant other in a crash on the track. Of course, this is assuming they even go out to the tracks. A Hans Device will prevent the neck of your partner from being snapped in a forward/backward motion. The helmet is pretty self explanatory. Each run at around $500 and are by far the most expensive items on the list, together beating the $600 Snap-On Tech Wrench. Keep in mind, however, that at the end of the day, the life of your loved one should be worth more than anything else. Of course, this is assuming you can afford these items, and if your partner hasn't bought these for themselves yet, at least try to convince them to do so as soon as possible.
8. Halguard Fire Extinguisher.
Fires happen, and they can spread very quickly. The Halguard fire extinguishers can help minimize damage and prevent the wiring from being deemed useless, mostly because they are use Halon. A small bottle of the Halguard fire extinguisher is around a $120, and more than perfect for a daily driver. However, if the car in question is a race-car, a proper fire suppression system should be installed, and this is something that your partner should probably address on their own time.
9. A Blu-Ray of "Senna".
This is a true tear-jerker. If you haven't heard of Senna, you are missing out on one of the most amazing people in the history of racing, and maybe even humanity. Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian F1 driver who had an almost divine talent. While F1 drivers are held to a certain standard, Senna has always been on a level of his own. The documentary is a great present, and I guarantee that even if your lover knows nothing of F1, they will become attached to the story of the most incredible driver of all time. Matter of fact, they will be so addicted, they may just end up watching it more than once!
10. Hot Wheels®!
Now look, I don't care how old you are, Hot Wheels® are incredible. Probably the cheapest yet one of the best presents you could pick up from your local CVS/Walgreens for this Valentine's. If your partner collects these, make sure to take a picture of their collection to avoid buying doubles. Also, please don't buy any of the generic ones; there's a huge difference between picking up an E30 M3 and getting a "Twist-rocket-monster", because only one can find a special place on the "Hot Wheels® shelf". Whatever you buy, just keep in mind that one can never have enough Hot Wheels®, so feel free to drop maybe even $40 on these.