For years, I got my dad presents that he’d almost always leave sitting somewhere unused. The sports t-shirt I got him? He sometimes mows the lawn in it. The Blu-Ray/streaming device I got for him? He only uses it when I’m home. The pizza stone we got him? That went right in the basement and hasn’t seen the light of day since.
After a while, instead of getting him gifts I thought he’d like, I started getting him things I knew he would like by simply watching his daily activities. I’m a great son. It was then that I realized dads don’t need a lot. They need tangible, practical, everyday things as plain, as the white New Balance sneakers on their feet.
Some of these gifts are things you can buy yourself, while some may be ones you go in with your siblings on, which I recommend if you want to shave a few bucks off your cost.
With that being said, here are some gift ideas for your father that he will actually use.
1. For the dads who enjoy reading: A new book
Now, every dad is different, but most dads do like two things: history and barbecue. Aside from a book about the history of barbecue, here are two of Amazon’s top results for books that your dad may enjoy.
I’m a history nut myself, so I think “Grant” by Ron Chernow portraying the life of famous general/president Ulysses S. Grant is probably great for everyone. As for dads who love to grill, “Meathead” gives the science behind barbecue with over 100 recipes as well.
2. For the pitmaster dad: A grill with a value pack of meat
My dad will go to the butcher shop and pace back and forth for 15 minutes trying to find things to try, so one time for a gift, I thought I would help him out and buy him steaks.
Omaha Steaks is a well-known company that ships steaks right to your door and that’s exactly what I did for my father. There are a number of different packs of food to get with all different kinds of combinations, but I went with the family value pack on Amazon. That includes four top sirloins, four chicken breasts, four burgers, four hot dogs and four stuffed baked potatoes for a pretty cheap price.
In terms of grills, a few months ago, we broke down the best of 2017 for you with a number of options for both charcoal and gas. For charcoal, we recommend the Weber Original 22” Kettle Grill that’s a combination of price, convenience and quality. It’s simple, it gets the job done and it can be found anywhere.
In terms of gas, we recommend our best overall, the Napoleon Rogue 425 in stainless. While you may not know the name, we had it as our top grill in terms of quality. It has great evenness in its cooking temperatures, an accurate built-in thermometer and an infrared side burner.
3. For the handy dad: The best pocket knife of 2017
From trees to the lawn to even their own hair sometimes, dads love to cut stuff. Pocket knives fit somewhere in that spectrum. It’s another item that dads always need around. We compiled the best pocket knives of 2017 and our winner was the Spyderco Delica4. The knife is great for a number of different tasks and is easy to use.
4. For the classy dad: Nice glassware
In my family, there’s a tendency to break wine glasses. To solve that problem, we recommend the Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Pure Stemware Collection, which can be purchased in a set of two, four or eight.
The glasses are dishwasher safe and are strengthened by two of the toughest compounds on earth in zirconium oxide and titanium oxide — definitely dad drop proof. They also come in different glasses for different types of wine with varying price adjustments.
5. For the dad who doesn't trust weather reporters: An indoor thermometer
I brought one of these home after winning it in a raffle once and left it on a table. The next day, I got home and my dad had taken it and set it up. He was so excited about this thermometer that I had to include it on the list.
The ThermoPro TP60 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Outdoor Thermometer is Amazon’s best seller in that department and has a number of features including a humidity monitor. It’s also on sale right now.
6. For the tech dad: A Wi-Fi expander
This little plug-in should eliminate some of the hassle of fathers having to un-plug and re-plug the modem twice a day because not everyone’s phone, computer, tablet and video game system can all connect.
7. For the courteous dad: Headphones
Dads are often up late and/or up early. They like to watch TV on their own time, and a good pair of headphones are a way to do that without disturbing others.
We listed our top headphones of 2017 and the winner was the Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 wired headphones. The quality is great, they’re comfy, stylish and most importantly, affordable. There’s nothing like watching the History Channel with a sleek pair of headphones at 5:30 a.m.
8. For the worried dad: Indoor/outdoor security cameras
For the dad that’s always worrying about if the doors are locked, if someone might be trying to break into the house or just wants to keep an eye on his kids, these cameras will get the job done.
Inside, we recommend the Logitech Logi Circle for its simplicity and quality. Outside, we liked the Nest Cam Outdoor for its many features.
Get the Logitech Logi Circle on Amazon for $199.99
Get the Nest Cam Outdoor on Amazon for $180.47
9. For the family historian dad: A new camera
For the dad who likes taking pictures, we list our top cameras of 2017 with all of the different categories, needs and price ranges covered.
Our overall winner for the best camera this year was the Nikon D500, which is likely a familiar name for photographers. We called it the “goldilocks” of Nikon’s lineup for its quality, features and durability. Your dad can shoot sports, weddings, vacations and much more with this camera. We believe it’s one of the best Nikon has ever made.
10. For the every dad: A TV
Dads and TVs. There’s not much more to say.
We released our best TVs of 2017 with different price ranges, categories and even streaming devices, but one stood out. We really loved the LG C7 Series, which is expensive, but LG has constantly had some of the best OLED TVs. In size and quality, there was no equal. This TV would make a great gift.
If your budget is a bit smaller, but you still want to get a solid product, we recommend the VIZIO E Series for its quality and price under $500.