The Best Gifts for Dads Who Are Hard to Buy For

John Samels
John Samels
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Unless your dad is especially helpful (or picky) enough to lay out specifically what he wants as a gift this yea, odds are you're probably scratching your head -- as usual -- about what to get him. Actually, what about a head scratcher!? Wait, no, you got him one of those a few years ago. It's never easy to figure this out, but we're here to help. 

Rather than hit Home Depot or Best Buy in a last-minute panic to find something that might, potentially, maybe get him all pumped up when he unwraps it, we've pulled together a selection of items that should at least provide some inspiration for famously hard-to-shop-for fathers. From grill gear and power tools, to self-care products and audio equipment, you'll find something on here worthy of stoking every dad's holiday spirit. 

Amazon/John Samels

MegaChef Indoor Grill

Price: $42
Let your dad embrace his inner grillmaster all year round with this nifty indoor setup from MegaChef. For obvious reasons, it won’t replicate the charcoal or wood-burning glory of an outdoor grill, but the large surface (it's 15 by11 inches) is plenty of room to char up just about anything. Plus, it doubles as a gridle when you flip it over.

Amazon/John Samels

Original Vacu Vin Wine Saver

Price: $12
For the dads who wind down (or turn up) with vino on the regular, this nifty vacuum sealer is a godsend that’ll keep leftover red or whites fresh for up to a week after it’s been cracked. It’s simple to use — just attach the stopper to the spout, give it a few pumps to suck out the air, and voila, you’re in business.

Amazon/John Samels

Conair Active Life Waterfall Foot Spa

Price: $40
Give your dad the gift of luxurious lounging with this Conair Active Life Waterfall Foot Spa, which has a built-in massager and toe-activated buttons to turn on bubbles, heat, and even a waterfall. It also comes with three attachments — a pumice stone, scrub brush, and soft-touch massager — that’ll give the VIP treatment to any tired feet.

Amazon/John Samels

The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century

Price: $15
If your dad’s a history buff, it’s worth scooping up this dramatic book about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, arguably the most legendary American military regimen. It follows their lives and battles through diary entries and memoirs, and reveals a harrowing up-close portrait of the Spanish-American War.

Huckberry/John Samels

Standard Issue Dopp Kit

Price: $50
Treat your dad to an upgrade from the battered Ziploc bag he uses to carry his toothbrush and deodorant while traveling with this excellent toiletry bag from Standard Issue. It’s crafted from genuine calf leather on the exterior, and is waterproof on the inside (with two interior pockets) to protect any spills from leaking onto his clothes. It’s also small, simple, and handsome enough to appeal to even the most stubborn old man who’s never ready to change his ways.  

Amazon/John Samels

Northern Brewer Beer Making Starter Kit

Price: $50
If your dad’s finally coming around to the whole craft beer thing and ready to push those light domestics to the back of the fridge, this Beer Making Starter Kit is a good way to help him hone the hobby. It’ll walk him through the whole process of producing a gallon of Northern Brewer’s “Caribou Slobber Ale,” and includes all the tools and ingredients (fresh hops, malt, and yeast) to make it happen.

Amazon/John Samels

Braun 8-in-1 Facial Hair Trimmer

Price: $35
This Braun trimmer is perfect for dudes with facial hair of any variety. From long beards to tightly-kempt goatees, this 9-in-1 functional trimmer can handle it all. There are attachments that will clean up and style whiskers, and others that get those pesky hairs in the nose and ears. If pops wants to go below the neck, the body groomer offers safe shaving with an innovative all-in-one design, plus the trimmer lasts for an hour on a full charge (and can even be washed under running water).

Amazon/John Samels

Meterk 20V Cordless Electric Drill Driver

Price: $55
Whether your dad’s a novice shelf-hanger or an old pro with his own workshop, this drill is a solid choice. The 20V setup from Meterk is great for precisely drilling plastic, wood, steel, and other items. It’s equipped with two different speeds and  21 + 1 different torque levels for maximum control, plus it makes it easier to be precise in low-light or hard-to-see situation thanks to a built-in trigger-activated LED light.

Amazon/John Samels

Waterpik Water Flosser

Price: $70
A flosser? As a gift? Yes, and yes. It’s practical, and thoughtful. This thing will keep your dad feeling like he just got back from the dentist (in a good way), gently blasting his gums to remove plaque even in places string floss can’t. Plus, it’s like giving your mouth a mini massage every time you use it.

Amazon/John Samels

EleTab Standing Desk Converter

Price: $126
For any dad who spends a bunch of time in front of the computer, this standing desk converter will allow him to mix things up and spare his back and posture. It’s easy to raise and lower, seamlessly sits on any existing desk, and comes with two distinct decks designed to handle the weight of a couple monitors/laptops/tablets, as well as a keyboard and mouse.

Amazon/John Samels

Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill

Price: $109
The Original Weber grill is a stone cold classic, and these kettles have been in backyards for ages for good reason. Weber’s perfected the science of simple grilling with a lid and bowl made of porcelain (helps retain heat and prevents rusting). This particular version features a 22-inch grill space, which is big enough to manage a baker’s dozen of standard size burgers at a time. 

Ultimate Ears/John Samels

UE Boom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Price: $180
The UE Boom 2 is by far one of our favorite portable wireless speakers thanks to its powerful sound, small size, and it's insane durability. This thing will let your dad crank the tunes/podcast/audio book wherever he wants (it’s both waterproof and shock proof), Plus, with a 15 hour battery life, you can get a full day’s worth of listening without have to recharge. 

Amazon/John Samels

Dalstrong Steak Knives

Price: $200
Dalstrong is synonymous with exceptional cutlery, and has earned awards for its attention to craftsmanship and design. Scoop up this set of steak knives, and your dad will be slicing and carving like a pro with Japanese steel blades that have a scalpel-like edge. And sure, they’re a bit pricey, but they also come with a lifetime, money-back guarantee.

Amazon/John Samels

YETI Hopper Portable Cooler

Price: $200
This YETI portable cooler is the Rolls Royce of on-the-go chilling setups, and will keep whatever’s inside cold for far longer than any other one your dad’s ever used (all thanks to its special cold-cell foam tech). If your dad’s a camper or hunter, it’s also worth noting that it’s super-durable and designed to take a beating. It's small enough to be easily totable, but it's equipped with room for a six-pack and then some, plus the whole thing is waterproof and leakproof.

Amazon/John Samels

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones

Price: $350
Treat your dad to a bit of an on-demand audio escape with this pair of top-of-the-line Sony noise cancelling headphones, which silence the outside world remarkably well. Thanks to Sony’s next-level active noise cancelling tech, they’re virtually soundproof (though the do offer a “Quick Attention” mode that filters in outside noise whenever you want ot). Plus, each pair is equipped with all the bells and whistles any pair of premium wireless headphones should (touch control for track selection and volume, built-in mic for taking calls, voice-activation), and can last on a single charge for an impressive 30 hours.

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