Help Jose fill out his wedding registry

Jose, in one of his last fits of freedom, writes:
I'm an avid reader of BoingBoing/Gadgets/TV and am getting married September 27th. One of my duties as the future groom is to pick out items to be placed on our wedding registry. There's a good chance that anything reasonable would be purchased (large pretty progressive families/friends), and I need all the help I can get. I've started scouring through your archives for great things that I would want... but thought that the commenters on the site would be into making their dream uber gadget wedding registry. I need all the help I can get, so thought this shot in the dark was at least worth the effort!
My vote is for a set of Dewalt power tools (or Milwaukee or other solid brand). I got the set I linked above as a gift a couple of years ago. While I'm not a massively proactive woodworker or anything, it's been fantastic to have enough multi-purpose tools with real oomph to tackle minor construction projects and repairs around the house. It's sort of a hard question to answer, though. It's not like the old days where two people were moving right out of their parents' houses into a new home. Wedding gifts these days are less about stocking up a new household and more about...just getting stuff. Still, let's pretend: what critical household tools should Jose request? Image: Withrow; it's what came up when I searched for "scared groom."
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38 Responses to Help Jose fill out his wedding registry

  1. zuzu says:

    How about solar panels or–depending on where you live–a wind turbine? Your well-wishers can give the gift of free, clean energy. Of course, these are fairly big-ticket items. But it could be a group gift or could be broken up some if you list system components (batteries, regulator, etc.) separately.

    I really dig this suggestion. If you can get the zoning for it, Amazon sells the SkyStream 3.7.

  2. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    Oh, I guess that goats and season passes are not gadgets, huh.

    Well then I would get 2 high-quality Massage Chairs, and a really good BBQ set-up, and some of those hydroponic grow-your-own-herbs-and-vegetables AeroGarden things (if you live in the city), and a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer, and, if you have a yard, I really think it is time to bring back Badminton and Croquet 60s-style.

  3. kyfho23 says:

    A microwave, if you don’t have one.
    A stepstool. It’ll save YOU time and trouble, if you have a short wife.
    A quality vacuum cleaner-they last longer.
    A LARGE (interior capacity) toaster oven/convection oven.
    Coffee maker.
    Membership in AAA.
    Meat tenderizer-essentially a spring-loaded row of blades with a cover at the sharp ends.
    Rechargeable electric screwdriver.
    Gift cards from your favorite grocery store.
    A good battery powered (or hand-cranked) radio and flashlight.
    An answering machine.

  4. Patrick Austin says:

    Nothing is geekier than GOOD knives, and I’m not talking about those inelegantly overbuilt German ones or the all-tech-but-no-love Japanese ones. How about a nice carbon steel French Sabatier made from pre-war forged blanks?

    You’ll DEFINITELY want a good sharpener if you go that route, so get the spyderco sharpmaker or somethin’. They get RAZOR sharp, but don’t stay that way as long as modern steels.

    Obscure, practical and absolutely beautiful once they’ve built up a nice patina.

  5. Kestral says:

    I actually think that out of the tech-y gadgets (though I loves me some power tools) the NAS is a great idea; most people wouldn’t buy them for themselves, but they can save a lot of hassle, and the benefits beyond just having a easy backup system are pretty nice. And depending on the NAS, they can be upgraded for a while, meaning they’re a relatively permanent gift.

    On the more pure “power tools” side, I’d consider asking for a nice tool chest if you decide to ask for some heftier power tools. The amount of space they save simply by aiding organization can be quite large, and if you plan ahead, will be able to have enough space to take on new tools if you find yourself needing them. You can also find chests that include tool sets, some of which are fairly well stocked with the basics, and both chests and the non-powered tools will easily last a lifetime if from a reputable source.

    In terms of kitchen gadgets, you might want to consider asking for good knives, if you or your fiancee don’t already have a set. Good knives last a lifetime if properly maintained, and truly are worth the extra money, if you cook for yourselves a lot. I recommend Wusthof just from personal experience, though J.A. Henckels is also a good choice, and Kyocera makes some knives that some swear by.

    As far as other gadgetry, I’m kind of stumped for “long-term gifts.” Shorter term, I know that personally, I’d be picking up a PS3 for the Blu-ray player. It’s one of the best in terms of software, and it has gaming functionality added. Also, it’s not that much more expensive than other standalones.

  6. EyeSpy Guy says:

    The Coffee maker you want is the Aeropress.

    Designed by Stanford Professor of Mechanical Engineering Alan Adler, with attention to detail that only a true coffee lover can provide.

    Less than $30. Kicks the snot out of any drip filter or french press.

  7. EyeSpy Guy says:

    Get yourself a set of Metrinch Spanners and never strip a bolt again. Fantastic value, each spanner or socket is cut as a cam that fits both metric and imperial bolts without slipping.

    I own the big set, but they are all good.

  8. zuzu says:

    An answering machine.

    What is this, 1985? All mobile phones have voicemail.

    A good battery powered (or hand-cranked) radio and flashlight.

    Make sure the radio includes shortwave.

    Ideally, also get a radio scanner such as the Uniden BCD396T. You’ll want to know where the FEMA camp is being setup when shit goes down.

    Make sure the flashlight has a white LED bulb. I prefer the D-cell Maglites because they double as a bludgeon in a real crisis. Lowes sells them for cheap.

  9. jpe118 says:

    nintendo wii, duh.

  10. Gary61 says:

    I’d say a Dewalt over-powered fully automatic rabbit skinner / de-boner.

  11. rebdav says:

    Let me second or third the solar pannel idea, we have gotten plenty of use especially during blackouts, a gel-cell or deep cycle battery with seperate acid stores well, an inverter is great for road trips and blackouts. Leatherman tool(too bad they don’t do the good old supertool 200), high quality backpacking gear, bicycle stuff, tools including fabrication stuff like an arc welder and taps/dies, a quality heavy duty sewing machine and sewing acessories, easy to pack QUALITY travel gear and bags, good map books highway and wilderness, GOOD basic kitchen stuff(not silly gadgets), collect air miles for a honeymoon trip or two before the kids come.

    Try if you can to get away from work for three or four months and bum/backpack Hawaii or the Pacific Northwest on a low budget. It teaches lots of living together skills and budgeting in a low stress environment. You can’t ever replace those months wasted at work

  12. mgfarrelly says:

    Can’t go wrong with a leatherman. The skeletool model is wonderful.

    Sun and moon jars (solar powered lights that charge during the day and glow at night)

    I was raised on craftsman tools, still have my dad’s set from more than 20 years back, so any of their current line gets my vote.

  13. chus3r says:

    If we are going outside the box:
    Decent set of tools. Stanley or craftsman or something. Include all the good stuff. Get a hammer, level, wire snips too.

    Zip ties are great for hiding cables and bundling.

    If sky is the limit I’m getting a Pioneer Kuro, HDMI cables, HD service, HD antennae for the roof, a hardware encoding device to compress TV for my portable devices. Wireless N router. Decent 5.1 or 7.1 setup.

    I would also consider SONOS or using Air Port express to stream music to multiple rooms.

    Security cams setup around the house networked to a central PC. File server with loads of space would be cool.

    Something I think would be cool is having a couple of touchscreens, like a 7″ version, in a few spots that are essentially widgets with weather, twitter, and other dumb stuff you don’t want to have to look up all the time.

    Good luck holmes.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why be so focused on yourself and consumerism? Find a worthwhile project in a third world country, a school for example, and ask your guests to donate to that instead? (And, bonus, it solves the problem of deciding where to go to honeymoon aswell. You should visit your investment.) Making the world just a little bit better starts with you.

  15. mistercharlie says:

    A gaggle of Airport Expresses and 2.1 speaker kits, for music in every room.

  16. Moon says:

    You need to get as much STUFF and HIGH QUALITY STUFF as you can right now, because once babies start coming, you are doomed. You need to establish some kind of a man-cave, preferably in a spot where it can’t be co-opted by a baby or relatives (in other words, the basement). Start planning on fixing that up right now.

    Here’s a projection clock:

  17. clueless in brooklyn says:

    The best thing for a new groom is a well-designed prostate massager. I suggest The Pandora”

  18. gent says:

    Hey guys… This is Jose! Thanks for all of the tips. so far:

    wii: own one already!

    dewalt rabbit skinner: any sort of reciprocating saw would be awesome. Right now I just get by with the black and decker VPX small cordless recip saw.

    Leatherman Skeletool: this would be an awesome tool to have.. but I already have like 3 leathermans, and a bunch of other off brand ones picked up over the years.

    Sun/Moon Jars: We’ve made a bunch using the garden light instructables hacks… very fun and easy to do:

    tools in general: We thought about just suggesting Lowes/HomeDepot gift cards as a catch all for that sorta stuff.

    Joel said it very well when describing the role of wedding gifts nowadays. My fiance and I have lived together for a while now, and we have all of the things we “need”… but we are moving to the NW early next year so the gifts that we do receive won’t really get used until then. We’re also going to be purchasing a home out there, so tools and utilitarian things would really help out alot during that process.

    Most of our friends are creative/artist/musician types, but a large contingent of the wedding attendee’s that have been asking about where we are registered for gifts.. and what do we NEED? all of the help and ideas you guys can provide is greatly appreciated.

  19. michaeljohnprince says:

    I’m pretty sure someone in Gadgets posted this already, but you should get the…

    Craftsman 1470 pc. Pro Tool Set

    It has everything you could ever need. It will last forever. Downside = $8600. Instead, get the 300 pc. set for $599 from

    Update: BB already did! Hooray Cory Doctorow! See the link above.

  20. mccrum says:

    Good knives can be inexpensive as well, Forschner makes one of the best 8″ kitchen knives for about $30, light, stays sharp forever and a beauty of a handle. But I’d never get someone a knife as a wedding present, bad luck that they are.

    Any books you’ve always wanted? Camera gear? I recommend getting any man-cave gear now as well, surround sound or the like. Anything that I wanted to get like that after I got married involved great amounts of discussion about which might be better and why and so forth. If I had done it a few months before, done in a week.

    Crate and Barrel also has a very liberal return policy, they were great about anything we had gotten two of. I also recommend a finer china for when you host Thanksgiving in three years for the in-laws. Of course, now you’ll need a china cabinet as well…

    I like anon’s suggestions of helping out others if you don’t really need anything (my sister-in-law just did the same), but completely understand the older generation wanting to find you some physical object to put around the house. Therefore, do both. Register at Crate and Barrel and for a cause or two and see what happens.

    A final word of advice: Be sure to keep the registry current with a few things available at all times, lest your Great Aunt Martha have to strike out on her own and get you that $250 gold lame toilet seat cozy she thinks you might want. :)

  21. clueless in brooklyn says:

    I think the hardware store gift cards are a great idea.

    Your choice:

    Home Depot has given $2.35 million to the Bush Administration since 2001.

    Lowe’s has removed their advertising from certain FoxNews shows because they said they do not support hate speech.

  22. gent says:

    oops that should have read:

    “a large contingent of the wedding attendee’s are extended family that have been asking about where we are registered for gifts..”

    a new central hd setup is a great idea. also cosign on the gaggle of airport expresses (we’re a mac house) and they would be great with the iphone remote setup.. no sonos needed.. but thats more fantasy land stuff.

    @anonymous: I’m right with you, and thats a great idea to pursue as well… but in our circumstance, the large family part of the wedding is a bit more on the old fashioned side.. specifically wanting to get us things that would help us start a life together.. trust me I’m not demanding lazers and knex johnny 5 robots… just play along and tell me what would be your best LED wall clock recommendation.

  23. gent says:

    @CIB: awesome tip. Lowe’s it is!

  24. JasonB says:

    Like most people, I’d say hardware. My wife and I had all the kitchen stuff we could ever need (and more), but when we moved into our first house we were sadly lacking in home tools. A good toolbox has come in handy, as has one of those gorilla ladders that let you set the legs at different heights to paint on the stairs. (They also come in handy for changing really tall lightbulbs, and I even used them as sawhorses at one point.)

    Oh, and a lawnmower, if you find yourself with a lawn. We still haven’t managed to get one of those …

  25. mgfarrelly says:


    If your friends are looking for something unique, low cost and meaningful, how about a Kiva Loan?

    Micro-financing for businesses in the developing world. For the usual “cover your plate” cost of a gift your friends could help a taxi driver in Guatemala buy his cab or help fund a dairy in Uganda. You can even see how the gift has turned out, which is so cool.

  26. gent says:


    Great tip. This will definitely be on there. We thought something like this would be good for the groups that want to go in on something together.

  27. zuzu says:

    New highest tier MacBook Pro (or Air) laptops for the both of you.

    – And a MacMini with 4GB of RAM to act as your server at home for bittorrent and whatnot.

    – And a 1TB TimeCapsule for backups and 802.11n wireless. Plus some CAT-6 cable to network it all together.

    If you have a big place, the gaggle of Airport Expresses + 2.1 speakers would be nice. The new ones also do 802.11n. At the very least have one in the shower room for “wake up music”.

    Add a 30″ LCD from Dell and an HD HomeRun (with EyeTV) if you’re interested in television at all. (With 802.11n, you could just get the HDHR and there’s two tuners, one for each laptop, no “big screen” required.)

    Lowe’s has removed their advertising from certain FoxNews shows because they said they do not support hate speech.

    Agreed, Lowes is the hardware megastore to go to. Also, their inventory is noticeably better in selection and quality than Home Depot’s stock.

    The best thing for a new groom is a well-designed prostate massager. I suggest The Pandora”

    For the bride, a sybian. You’re not likely to find the excuse again to blow $4000 on the World’s Best Vibrator.

    Why be so focused on yourself and consumerism? Find a worthwhile project in a third world country, a school for example, and ask your guests to donate to that instead? (And, bonus, it solves the problem of deciding where to go to honeymoon aswell. You should visit your investment.) Making the world just a little bit better starts with you.

    Maybe this is ironic, but get over yourself. There’s plenty of poor people locally; hell, even a starting couple is relatively “poor” — with at least medical and retirement investments to sock away, and possibly mortgage payments to make. It helps psychologically if their spare time isn’t Spartan in the interim.

  28. jonathanpeterson says:

    Gadgets make crappy wedding presents. You want things that you’ll have forever. Gadgets by definition are ephemeral. Who still has a walkman? VHS video camera? etc.

    Tell your artist friends that you’d much prefer gifts that they MADE instead of things they bought.

    A nice set of Global knives.
    A dyson canister vac

    Non-traditional friends of ours registered at REI – we went in on a swanky bike rack for them.

  29. w000t says:

    How about solar panels or–depending on where you live–a wind turbine? Your well-wishers can give the gift of free, clean energy. Of course, these are fairly big-ticket items. But it could be a group gift or could be broken up some if you list system components (batteries, regulator, etc.) separately.

  30. Midland and Finch says:

    Mini Fridge.

    You’ll never buy one yourself, but when you get one you won’t know how you’ve lived your life without a mini fridge in your garage/den/man cave/bedside table.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just another suggestion:
    The Heifer Project gives productive animals (goats, cows, bees, etc.) to families and villages around the world. There are cool options at a lot of price ranges, and it’s easy to go in on a cow with some friends. Their website has great descriptions of the way each gift will help the recipient, e.g. providing x gallons of milk/day.

  32. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    I always liked the Donate a Goat charities (there are a few…here’s one):

    Otherwise it is also nice to have season tickets to something you enjoy, like the Opera or a Concert series or a sporting event / team.

    Also, membership in an art, history or natural history museum allows you to go to the museum all year and to all the special shows, events, lectures, etc. Many allow you to bring a friend which is great when family and friends visit from out of town.

  33. gilowyn says:

    Sorry, but was my comment indecent? Any other reason why it’s not showing up?

  34. Dean says:

    As ZuZu points out, a Mac Mini and a Time Capsule would both be excellent choices. I have a better suggestion though: a NAS device.

    Ask for a four or five bay NAS device, even one without drives installed. You can get a one terabyte drive online for about $130 now, and as the prices go down you can easily install more drives. NAS boxes have loads of cool functionality, such as built in web servers, iTunes sharing capability, standalone BitTorrent, FTP, and HTTP download clients, and loads of other cool extras. I’ll be doing a series of reviews on World of Apple in the next few months to find the best 2TB or larger box. Best of all, you can throw it in a closet and not really think about it, so you could even get a rack mount model to save some money. Check out Buffalo Tech, Thecus and Sans Digital for some examples. Send me an email and I’ll try to help you pick out a good one!

    Responses to other suggestions:
    A mini fridge is a good idea, but you can snag those for nothing on Craigslist when the school year ends. I was under the impression that this was for more substantial stuff you wouldn’t get otherwise.

    Airport Expresses would be great! Music everywhere doesn’t seem important until you’ve had it.

    Craftsman tools are definitely the way to go if you want tools. They have a lifetime warrantee, so you can get them replaced for free if there’s ever a problem. I have some friends who have bought broken Craftsman tools at yard sales and had them replaced the next day. Just go into Sears and they’ll pull a new one out of a set.

  35. mdhatter says:

    The “Mighty Max” ladder. So awesome.

    My g/f has one and she can fit it inside her car, then I can extend it and use it to clean my gutters on the 2nd floor. I think it’s better than the ‘gorilla’ style telescoping ladder.

    Also, look at Duluth Trading Company. Their site is chock full of cool handy gadgets and tool gadgets.

    Also, I third the MacMini suggestion. They make a great music server / public e-mail station.

  36. stuiethegod says:

    As far as power tools go, I have a preference for Makita. I’ve worked with my dad as a contractor for about 5 years now and we have a couple of the older 12-volt cordless hammer drills that I love. They’re very light and powerful, though they have a hex chuck and, because it’s an impact driver, can break drill bits if you try and use it for any sort of heavy duty drilling. I would recommend a two drill combo like this:

    Also, I’m don’t have much experience with fancy new power tools, but I’m still cautious of cordless saws. As they lose power I’m always afraid they might bind or tear the material as opposed to cutting it.

    As far as multi-tools go, I would want a Spyderco Byrdrench. Much more well designed then a leatherman, plus it seems much easier to take apart and clean, something that I am much too intimidated to do with my current Leatherman Charge. I also feel like I should mention another favorite pocket knife of mine, the van hoy snap lock, a crazy cool knife that flips sideways to open. Most defiantly classy geek bling.

  37. mcjake says:

    We got Tivo for our wedding in April. Revolutionized our life.

    Can’t go wrong with a tool set. And a nice set of kitchen knifes is ALWAYS good.

    Don’t register at Target their return policy sucks. But if you register for house hold stuff at Bed Bath and Beyond you can typically always return it for cash. (Even if some stores dont like admitting it.)

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