This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure.
Shopping for your dad or husband?
Looking for something he'll absolutely love? Then gadgets are the way to go!
There's just something about gadgets that make a man feel like James Bond.
(And yes, Daniel Craig is my favourite Bond).
This Dad's Gift Guide is written in consultation with my husband, Eric. So, the ideas are from an actual dad (and approved by a mom)!
These are gift ideas for dads that were a hit in previous years, as well as things that are still on my husband's wish list.
1. A Drone
Can you spot the drone in this photo? I love that it blends in with our decor!
A drone is the quintessential 'Peter Pan' man gift. You know, that gift you get the man in your life who'll always be a kid at heart? There are pros and cons to being married to this type of man. I'll refrain from delving into the cons in this post... But, one of the benefits is that he makes an incredible playmate for our three-and-a-half-year-old son! He's killing it at 'dadding.'
I got my husband a drone the Christmas before last, and it was a huge hit around here; my son was just as excited as his father. They fly it both inside and outside of the house.
If you're looking for a gift that your husband and kids can enjoy together, this is definitely it!
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW is the drone I bought for my husband (after much internet research). It's considered to be a 'beginner drone,' meaning it's easy to use right out of the box without much of a learning curve. My husband advises purchasing an extra set of batteries for uninterrupted playtime.
You can control this drone with either the joy stick-type controller, or hook it up to your phone to get a first person view from the drone's camera. You can also use it to take photos and videos. Another positive is the price, as it's currently only $40 on Amazon!
2. A 3D Printer
My husband's a 3D printing junkie. He actually put a 3D printer on his wish list this past Christmas, but ended up purchasing it himself a few weeks prior because he found it on sale. Cheating, right?!
Comgrow Crealty Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer ($256, Amazon.com).
While this may seem like an expensive, frivolous gift, it's proven to be quite useful. My husband's made a small vase, little toys for my son, and replacement parts for some of our broken IKEA furniture. It's literally the gift that keeps on giving!
Your kids will love watching it at work. Just like the drone, this is another gift your husband and kids can enjoy together (read: this will buy you some precious alone time)!
This Kinder Egg-style toy is one of my husband's most recent creations. The little truck's wheels actually turn and the dump bed can...well...be dumped. The little egg made to house it even has functioning hinges!
He gets his ideas for what to make on various 3D printing websites (such as thingiverse.com) and uses free software (ultimaker.com/en/products/ultimaker-cura-software) to turn the model programs into code that the printer understands.
If you really want to impress your husband, include the above two links and some printer filament refills with your present, so that he's good to go right out of the box!
3. A Smart Speaker
Full disclosure: we don't have one of these...yet. But, we've been thinking about getting one, so the research we've done so far comes in handy here!
If your husband's a fan of 'smart home' technology (and I've yet to meet a man who isn't), he'll love the Amazon Echo. You can use it to summon Alexa to play music, make calls, set timers, put things on your to-do-list, and, of course, answer any ridiculous Siri-type question you can think of.
It's also compatible with many smart devices, such as the Amazon Fire TV stick, smart thermostats (like the Nest and Ecobee---see more on these below), and various smart plugs (also more on these later...).
With a simple voice command, you can control your lights and tv, play music from a specific playlist, lock the door and adjust the heat!
There's also Google Home. I prefer the way it looks:
4. A Smart Thermostat
If your husband's anything like mine, he'll love the power trip of being able to remotely control things at home via his phone. One of his first remotely controlled gadgets was our smart thermostat, the Ecobee.
This thermostat can be paired to your cell phone, so it knows when you leave the house and can turn down the heat or AC to your preset specifications.
After about a year, this device will have paid for itself in energy savings alone! You can also set specific temperatures for different times of day and it's Alexa-enabled and follows voice commands. All this, and you can control the temperature remotely on your phone from anywhere in the world. This works great for those instances where you forgot if you left the heat on just as you arrive at the airport for a week-long trip.
There's also the Nest, which has the additional feature of being able to learn your patterns after a couple of weeks of use. It then automatically adjusts the thermostat based on your habits, thereafter.
5. Smart Plugs & Switches
If you think your husband would like the idea of a 'smart' home but he's not too handy (and giving him a gift that requires installation isn't going to be fun for him), then consider easing him in with smart plugs!
We use the TP Link Kasa Smart Plug Lite plugs. With these plugs, we can control our lamps and appliances remotely via an app on our phones. We even put the plugs on a timer to have the lights turn on and off at specific times during the day. It can be set up to work with a smart speaker, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home, allowing control via voice commands.
You might argue that the previous three things on this list are for the home, or the whole family, rather than 'gifts' for dad. But, when's the last time anyone cried foul when Mom received a food processor or Instant Pot for Christmas or Mother's Day? I smell a double standard...
Eric and I are both big fans of useful gifts. In fact, I received an Instant Pot last Christmas and it's one of the best (i.e. most useful and somehow life changing) gifts I've ever received! Two Christmases ago, I gave my husband a Roomba, and he's still happy with it. It's a frickin' robot that also keeps your floors spotless---what's cooler than that???
See my post on the best gadgets for decluttering your home for more on how the Instant Pot and Roomba have changed our lives (I know this sounds a little sad, but it's true)!
6. Wireless Ear Buds
Okay, so you may remember these from my 'New Mom's Gift Guide' post. That's because they're so awesome, I can't think of a single person who wouldn't benefit from these! I love my Apple AirPods, which I received for Christmas last year (along with the Instant Pot...let's just say I was a very good girl last year)!
Not only are you completely unencumbered by wires, but you look like some sort of futuristic secret agent wearing these.
Don't underestimate the aesthetic benefit of ditching wires: these look great even when left strewn about the house.
If you're looking for a more budget friendly alternative, Amazon carries these look-a-likes for about a quarter of the price:
Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds ($35.98, Amazon.com).
7. A Pint-sized, Multi-tool Keychain
To balance out the list, this last item is a low-tech gadget. A good old, back-to-basics utility knife. The kind your dad or granddad probably had. Except, this one crams 10 useful tools into only 2.5 inches and 1.8 ounces! Fitted with a keyring, it makes the perfect keychain for your handy MacGyver-wannabe!
My husband's been on the hunt for a new, lightweight pocket knife for a while now, and after much research, he decided on the Leatherman Micra 10-in-1 Multi-tool. At under $30, this makes for a great stocking stuffer!