gifts they might actually want

A Gift for Every Type of Dad (at Every Price Point)

Best Gifts for Dad
Photo-Illustration: Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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There’s no one-size-fits-all gift for dads. There are dads who are more tech-savvy than their kids, dads who watch the forecast for golf weather, and dads who will cross state lines for a rare beer. We’ve come up with the best gifts for dads of any stripe and put together the following list of 52 options, many of which we’ve tried and loved ourselves, or are recommendations from the cool dads we’ve talked to over the years. (We’ve done the same digging to find great gifts for moms, too, in case you’re looking.) To make it even easier to shop this list, we’ve arranged the items by price, from an inexpensive, ingenious lawn-raking tool to a splurge-y cannabis infuser.

Gifts under $25

For the dad who hikes

For a pair of socks he’ll actually be excited to open as a gift, try Darn Tough — according to us, cool people, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, they sell some of the best wool socks out there. They’re made in Vermont and come with a lifetime guarantee.

For the dad with a grout vendetta

If he’s been in a yearslong war with hard water, he’ll love the Drillbrush — a brush attachment for his power drill that provides noticeable de-griming results in one pass.

For the dad with a mosquito vendetta

Give him the gift of enjoying the outdoors again with this little doodad, which uses suction to remove the irritation and itching caused by insect bites.

For the dad who gets competitive about bird-watching

Photo: Retailer

A field guide is a great gift for a bird-watcher, whether they use it for its intended purpose of identifying birds or just flip through the pages to look at illustrations. (This one comes recommended by a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.)

For the dad who refuses to use a propane grill

Help him fine-tune his grill setup with these charcoal logs, which are made from the wood of the rambutan tree. (And if he cares about this sort of thing, these logs are the same ones that they use at Philadelphia restaurant Laser Wolf; contributor Regan Stephens calls them the secret to “the most tender, wildly delicious poultry I’ve ever tasted.”)

For the dad who always has his iPad on hand


This swiveling gooseneck holder will allow him to watch his favorite show from anywhere.

For the dad who’s a whiz with a can of compressed air

If he acts like archaeologist on a dig when removing crumbs from laptop keys, this marker-size, two-sided electronic cleaning brush will be a welcome addition to his toolkit.

For the dad who waxes philosophical

If he’s pondering life’s big questions, give him How to Live, which chronicles the life of 16th-century essayist and philosopher Michel de Montaigne. Architect Christopher Choa recommended it (paired with How to be a Stoic) when we asked people who have turned 60 about the best 60th-birthday gifts.

For the dad who’s already planning for pie season

This old-school, Red Delicious–colored contraption was first recommended by pie professionals Emily and Melissa Elsen of Four & Twenty Blackbirds — it makes peeling, coring, and slicing apples a million times quicker and easier (and getting some time back is perhaps the best gift of all).

For the dad who watches the same movie over and over

Flavacol Popcorn Seasoning
$12 for 2
$12 for 2

A three-quarter teaspoon of this magical flavored salt and he’ll swear he’s at the movie theater (even though he’s just rewatching Master and Commander on the couch).

For the dad who sends handwritten thank-you notes

A fountain pen is a great gift, but they’re usually a splurge. Not so with the Kaweco Sport: “It’s like the Volkswagen of pens with a Jaguar engine,” says author André Aciman.

For the dad who spends all day on his feet

This analog wooden foot massager is one of our favorite gifts for doctors — it’s even compact enough to fit under a desk.

For the dad who keeps an eagle eye on the lawn

Rugg Original Leaf Scoops

If Dad can’t relax until he’s tackled any lawn imperfections, he’ll love these goofy-looking, very effective leaf scoops.

For the dad who still buys Barbasol

For a few dollars more, you can upgrade him to Italian brand Proraso’s toning aftershave, a brand recommended by barbers as the best on the market and what they use on their own faces.

For the dad who can’t just let the kids win

Invented by a German optometrist to teach his children numbers and colors, Dutch Blitz is described as a kind of “very energetic solitaire.” Strategist contributor Lauren Guidry writes that the game threatened to tear her family apart.

For the dad who is lotion averse

“It’s a funny invention, no?” says pastry chef Jacques Torres of these exfoliating gloves. “Call me lazy, but these make things so much more efficient.”

For the dad who puts together the Ikea furniture

Photo: Retailer

Any woodworker will love poring over this illustrated guide, written by architect Kiyosi Seike, that provides an introduction to Japanese carpentry via 48 different joint styles.

Gifts under $50

For the dad who refuses to play Settlers of Catan ever again

‘Wavelength’ Game

We recommended this cooperative party game for a reader’s “neurosurgeon son who is into Magic: The Gathering,” and it would also be great for dads who get too heated when they don’t have enough sheep to build a settlement.

For the dad who carries everything he owns in his pockets

Moft MagSafe Wallet
From $28
From $28

According to Strategist tech writer Jordan McMahon, MagSafe is one of the iPhone’s best, most underutilized features. This magnetized wallet can attach right to his phone and has a stand that allows him to scroll in portrait mode hands-free.

For the Deadhead dad

For the dad who uses his shampoo as a bodywash

Photo: Retailer

Class up his shower with this handsome, old school soap-on-a-rope by Portuguese brand Claus Porto, a favorite brand of barber Hung Nguyen. It has notes of sandalwood, amber, musk, and vetiver.

For the dad who likes to tour distilleries

$28 for 4

“The world of whiskey is littered with glassware,” says Jason Julier of whiskey website Malt Review, but you don’t need to look further than this affordable set of tulip glasses. “They provide solid performance and a robust, practical design.”

For the dad who has Autocorrect typos in his texts

If he hates texting on a small phone screen, this nifty Bluetooth keyboard will turn his iPhone in to a tiny typewriter. (It’s an especially good gift for frequent travelers.)

For the dad whose favorite book is The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power chronicles work created by Black artists from 1963 to 1983. It’s a “must-read for anyone interested in the history of American art and the importance of Black artists in that history,” says Andria Hickey, curator at large at the Shed.

For the single-origin-only dad

$34 for 3

He’ll appreciate a three-pack of French roast straight from New Orleans’s iconic Café du Monde. (If Dad’s the type to go through several bags of beans in a month, you might consider a coffee subscription instead.)

For the dad who taught you how to use a Chemex

According to some coffee people, the AeroPress system makes a more consistent cup than pour-over. It’s also easy to travel with, if Dad’s the kind of coffee snob who needs to bring his brewing setup on vacation.

For the dad who’s mourning the closure of Noma

This kit should cover all his Nordic-inspired fermentation experiments.

For the dad who’s always clean-shaven (but prefers doing things the old-fashioned way)

The Merkur 34C is our best-in-class safety razor; the expert barbers we spoke to praised its reliable engineering and ease of use. It’s also attractive enough to gift, with its chrome finish and knurled grip.

Gifts under $100

For the grill-master dad

This Tom Colicchio–approved thermometer will allow him to monitor internal temperature from his phone (up to 165 feet away) for “perfect meat every time.”

For the dad who makes pesto all summer

AeroGarden Sprout

Help him never kill windowsill basil again: “The roots of herbs are somewhat simplistic,” says Sera Rogue, the owner of the Brooklyn gardening company Red Fern. “They require daily watering” — which the AeroGarden, our best-in-class hydroponic smart garden, does automatically.

For the forgetful dad

$55 for 2

If your dad is the type to spend 15 minutes in a panic trying to find his keys before leaving the house, the Tile bluetooth tracker will be a gift that keeps on giving. It’s about the size of a nickel and can stick to all his valuables.

For the dad who likes to tour breweries

Extend his brewery trips with an insulated growler, which will allow him to keep his favorite IPA cold on the way home, as any beer nerd should.

For the dad who goes to design museums

From $80

He’ll love this striking stovetop espresso maker from 102-year-old Italian manufacturer Alessi, designed by Memphis Group member Michele De Lucchi (who is also the designer of a design-nerd-favorite chair).

For the dad who loves to lounge

You can never go wrong with this made-in-America aluminum lawn chair. The UV-resistant webbing seat has a bit of flex, so it’s comfortable to sit in for hours.

For the dad who refers to Florence as “Firenze”

Whether he’s an Italophile or simply loves to cook, this precisely calibrated pasta machine from an Italian company that’s been around since the 1930s is a classic and comes recommended by a pasta pro.

For the dad who’s been going to the same barber for decades

The Wahl 5-Star Detailer, one of our best-in-class beard trimmers, will be a welcome upgrade to his shaving routine.

Gifts under $200

For the dad who listens to a million podcasts

From $109

Kickstart that plan to start his own podcast with a Twitch-streamer-approved microphone. (Best of all, it plugs into a USB port, so it doesn’t require much in terms of tech skills to set up.)

For the dad who taught you how to open a beer bottle with a spoon

In our gift guide for beer lovers, Andrew Burman of Other Half Brewing Co. recommended this rapid cooler from Cooper. “Having a rapid cooler for beer, wine, or Champagne is key, especially for last-minute gatherings,” he says.

For the dad who loves getting cozy

Our best-in-class organic cotton robe would fit in at a fancy hotel and will make chilly days feel a bit warmer and cozier.

For the dad who uses his phone in a cup as “speakers”

He’ll appreciate an audiophile-recommended speaker that’s both portable and waterproof, so it’s safe to bring on camping trips, beach trips, or to the pool.

For the dad who owns every NPR sponsor gift

This stylish radio is just that — a radio. It does AM/FM and nothing else. But as Dad will tell you, that’s the point.

For the dad who hasn’t bought a new razor since the Bush administration

Photo: Retailer

The Philips Norelco 7700 is our best-in-class electric razor, delivering the “smoothest, most effortless shave” of all the razors our tester tried out. If Dad’s been using the same razor forever, he’ll be thrilled to get an upgrade.

For the dad who’s a bit of a gent

There’s always something dashing about whipping out a nice umbrella. After testing 37 of them, we declared Davek’s wind-resistant, comfortable-to-hold, stylish-looking, fast-drying model as one of our absolute favorites.

For the dad who needs to relax

This chiropractor-recommended massage tool would be a lifesaver for any dad who deals with back and neck pain.

Gifts under $500

For the dad with a record collection

Audio-Technica turntables are a favorite among experts — they won’t scratch records and are “built like tanks,” says record-store owner Jake Sullivan.

For the dad who loves fire

BioLite FirePit+

The BioLite controls airflow to quickly generate less smoky fires; you can also use it as a small cooking grill. (For more gifts for dads who like fire, check out our roundup.)

For the dad who likes to go off the grid

Garmin inReach Mini

This satellite communication device will allow him to keep in touch on hikes far from cell service. It’s a favorite of Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard, who points out that it “could literally be a lifesaver.”

For the 420-friendly dad


The Levo II took the top spot in our roundup of cannabis infusers. And it even makes a great gift for dads who prefer baking the traditional way: You can even get extra chef-y and play around with making non-cannabis infusions in it as well: Basil finishing oil, lavender honey, pandan coconut cream,” says confectioner and cookbook author Stephanie Hua.

For the dad who makes a great cacio e pepe

For the dad on a quest for the perfect char

“If you want to see a grown chef cry, gift them an Ooni,” Strategist food and dining writer Emma Wartzman says. If he’s been fiddling with his pizza setup, he’ll appreciate this compact outdoor oven, which can get as hot as 950 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the dad who lives for starry nights

Photo: Retailer

If he’s really into stargazing, a pair of binoculars designed specifically for observing the night sky like these from Celestron will allow Dad to see constellations much faster than setting up a telescope.

For the dad who hoards wine

Give him the gift of not having to edit down his wine collection with this 12-bottle cooler, which comes recommended by sommelier Katie O’Byrne. “It was able to reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit within 20 minutes of plugging it in, which meant I was on to my third bottle of chilled white wine an hour after it arrived on my doorstep,” she says.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best gifts for mom, hostess gifts, baby shower gifts, gifts for your boss, bar mitzvah gifts, and gifts for tweens. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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A Gift for Every Type of Dad (at Every Price Point)