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Here are the best gifts for Dad--ones he'll love and use (no neckties!). If your Dad is a handyman, DIY guy, or gardener, there's a great gift here for him.
Thank you to Garrett Wade for sponsoring this post.
Who has trouble figuring out the best present for the guys in your life? *every woman on the internet raises her hand*
Whenever I ask Hubby or my father-in-law what they want for Christmas, they just shrug and say, "I don't really need anything." Typical Dad answer, right?
Well, that's not helpful. Even if they can't think of anything they need, I still want to get them presents. And I want the guys in my life to get quality gifts that they will use and enjoy.
Now if you're looking for a silly present or a prank gift, I recommend one of these White Elephant Gifts. There are a lot of funny joke gifts in there! (The 4th one is my favorite.)
But if you want to give your Dad, brother, uncle, mentor--or any man in your life--a thoughtful, quality gift then you're in the right place.
Here are 20 "Dad-Approved" tools and gifts from Garrett Wade that he'll use, appreciate, and pass down to the next generation.
The Garrett Wade philosophy is simple: to find and bring you unique tools of exceptional quality and solid value--tools that feature superb design, durable material, and superior workmanship. I've used their garden tools for some time, and am very impressed with their quality.
For each gift idea, I'm providing the manufacturer's description along with a Real Dad Review. Yep, these are the real, unscripted words from the Dads who reviewed this list. Here we go!
The Very Best Gifts for Dads
For Dads Who Love Woodworking
Here are five essential products for Dad's wood shop or workshop. These are unique, quality tools that are great for lots of DIY projects.
The Ultimate Versatile Vise can be fully oriented in two axes at the same time, giving you infinitely greater options in positioning. The head can fully rotate around its vertical mount, and with its unique offset arm, it can also pivot around an horizontal axis. It can even be remounted horizontally to hold your work over the edge of your workbench.
Real Dad Review: "This would be great for holding on to funky-shaped stuff while you're sanding or welding. I've had to turn myself into a pretzel trying to reach the area I'm working on sometimes."
These clever little Finger Guards, made for us in France from soft, tough suede, hold tightly to your fingertips with elastic straps, and protect them during tasks like whittling, sewing, sanding, etc. Comfortable and secure, they extend approximately to the second knuckle, and offer the kind of manual dexterity you can’t get while using work gloves.
Real Dad Review: "Wow, they look like little finger sandals! Should I wear them with socks? Hahaha. But seriously, I bet those would really save your fingers when doing woodcarving or even laying brick. My hands got torn up when we did that brick wall at the old house."
This ingenious clamp grabs almost any shape - even round or oval objects. The 13 ft. nylon clamping web and 4 sliding pressure corners (each with two feet for gripping) are easy to use: just pull the web though the clamp to set it up, lock the webbing clamp and apply final pressure with the screw handle.
Real Dad Review: "Oooooh, I don't have any projects right now that I could use this for, but I'm sure I need it. You can never have too many clamps."
A number of remarkable properties make this glue the favorite of many furniture makers. First, a high solids content and great intrinsic strength makes this a superb, strong glue for joints. Second, any glue that squeezes out of a joint does not penetrate the wood pores and fibers, and easily chips off after it has dried--eliminating the need to scrape, sand, and clean up prior to final finishing.
Real Dad Review: "I don't know how this would work for building furniture. Actually building chairs and stuff is above my pay grade. But fixing things? Oh yeah. This would go great with that fancy clamp you just showed me."
Carving wooden spoons is a classic easy-to-do hobby, and one of the best ways to introduce beginners to woodcarving. Our 3-tool set is all you need. The blades are high carbon steel so they keep their edge and are easy to sharpen. The handles are made from a dense hardwood to achieve a solid presence in the hand; we also refined the shape for comfort and control.
Real Dad Review: "I'm not a spoon carving guy, but I bet your Grandpa would have really liked these. Those look well-made and sturdy."
For Dads Who Love DIY
Every Dad will appreciate these tools, whether he's a hardcore DIY guy or just has to fix a leaky faucet every now and then.
The standard clear 1-5/8" diameter lenses are German-safety shatterproof, laminated glass (7/64" thick). Accessory glass lenses are gray (UV protection sunglasses) and real level-5 Welder's lenses. These goggles with aluminum frames are extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods, as the middle flexible strap hinge allows them to fit almost any face, and the cushioned leather padding fits the face snugly.
Real Dad Review: "Oh man...I can't wear these with my glasses. But I could do an awesome steampunk costume for Halloween."
The crescent wrench is probably one of the most common tools we use. But even the best suffer from the same flaw: the jaws do not hold their working position in use. The Garrett Wade Crescent Wrench stays where you set it – until you reset. The other unique feature of these wrenches is the ratcheting mechanism. The job goes faster, more efficiently, and with less aggravation as a result.
Real Dad Review: "Now THAT is a cool idea. I wonder how the ratcheting head works? *peers at the computer screen*"
Throw this handy LED shop light in the car or boat, or hang it in the workshop. It has three very different settings: click once and it’s a directed white shop light; click twice and it’s a broader beam “flashlight”, and a third click makes it a blinking warning light. The flex neck allows you to direct the illumination; plus, it attaches to any steel surface via its magnetic base.
Real Dad Review: "Wow, this would have made it so much easier to work on my first car than setting up the giant shop light in our tiny little garage. The magnetic base is a great idea."
Our set includes a 8½" Combination Pliers & a 6½" Needle Nose Pliers. The combination pliers have a very strong grip when grabbing electric wire, nuts or bolts. There is a deep, well-shaped half-moon in the central groove, and a cutter and stripper. The needle nose pliers have a long 3" head, and are great for reaching into smaller areas, like those hard-to-reach parts of outlet boxes. These are excellent for bending the ends of copper wires for switches and outlets and also have slots for various terminals and connections.
Real Dad Review: "Very good. You can't have too many pliers."
These heavy-duty tools have an unusual history; they were standard equipment in all US Army tanks, but disappeared from the market over 20 years ago. Now we have found them again. You can do absolutely anything with these tools - turn, pry, excavate, pound - whatever you can come up with. Solid forged steel from tip to top with rugged lacquered wooden grips - not very pretty, but then again you don't have to "baby" them.
Real Dad Review: "I can do anything with them? Pry, excavate, pound? Challenge accepted. They look really sturdy."
For Dads Who Love the Outdoors
Is your Dad into hunting, fishing, or camping? Here are just a few ideas for Father's Day gifts he will love and use again and again.
A bushcraft knife needs to be tough and capable under all conditions: and so trustworthy, you can stake your life on it. This knife is meant for the experienced outdoorsman who wants to lighten his pack, but not undermine his gear in the process. And, as hunters, we made sure to give the blades enough belly to handle skinning and quartering. The olivewood handle is shaped for a full controlling grip, even with gloves.
Real Dad Review: "This would be good to keep with the camping equipment. You could use it for carving sticks for roasting marshmallows, making feather sticks for kindling, or gutting fish."
This tidy 12" Mini Camp Hatchet is light enough to pack in on a hike, or to wear on your belt once you make camp. You can use it to split kindling and smaller rounds, or to clear branches. It has a flat poll to drive in tent stakes or to complete numerous other outdoor tasks, and the robust hickory handle remains sturdy in the face of the elements.
Real Dad Review: "This looks sturdy and well-made. I like that it comes with a sheath because you don't want a bare blade sitting around the campsite."
There’s a lot of good equipment packed into this First-Aid Kit. Hang it on the wall of your shop or on the inside of your kitchen cabinets so it’s immediately accessible for medical emergencies. Contents include everything a good first aid kit should have, including antibiotic cremes, gloves, soap, eye pads, bandages (strip and adhesive), ice pack, tweezers, pain relievers, tape, and more.
Real Dad Review: "It was your idea to include a first aid kit, wasn't it? You've treated too many of my workshop injuries over the years."
Its purpose is implicit in the name: hammering away at anything that requires a lot of force. Traditionally called a “Persuader” mallet for obvious reasons, it is heavy enough to take on demolition work or heavy landscaping jobs like breaking up concrete patios or even rocks. The hammer features a painted-steel, cross-peen head that is 2½" square and 7" long. The handle is 21" long. Thor could swing this with one hand, but mere mortals might want to use two.
Real Dad Review: "Every guy needs a persuader mallet. I'll use this when we demo the kitchen cabinets for the remodel."
For Dads Who Love Gardening
Whether your Dad is growing flowers, vegetables, or both, he'll appreciate these quality garden tools that will make his job so much easier.
This pair has a wide 3" main blade with a 1" blade on the other end, to double the tool’s usefulness. The Long-Handled Hoe saves your back as you turn soil, prepare garden beds, and plant rows. The Short-Handled Hoe works well in cramped areas or when seated or kneeling. Use both for mixing compost or peat into your soil when planting.
Real Dad Review: "Ummmm...all jokes aside, these are well-made, nicely balanced and weighted. They swing easily and arrive sharp and ready to use."
To sweep the yard, walks, or driveway you need a broom with extra stiffness and durability. Ordinary brooms just won't quite do the trick: they haven't got what it takes to push around the sand, pebbles, and dirt that you find out-of-doors. This one does the job with ease. Made with Piassava bristles, it's tough and will last much longer than the synthetic brooms we usually see.
Real Dad Review: "Wow. When they say stiff bristles, they aren't kidding. This cleaned up the garage even better than my trusty push broom."
These pruning loppers are designed with an over-sized ratcheting mechanism, to let you put more power into every cut for branches up to 2” thick. The telescoping handles of our extendable loppers go from 26” to a full 40”. The extra length not only lets you reach higher but acts as a lever for additional power.
Real Dad Review: "These will be great for extending my reach when trimming the neighbor's trees that grow over our fence."
These gloves offer maximum protection against punctures and provide superior cut protection. They use two layers of special cut-resistant safety fabric plus one more for added structure. The palm-side surface fabric is designed to be slightly tacky to aid in gripping. They excel at handling barbed wire, demolition work, and handling dangerous materials such as broken glass.
Real Dad Review: "This picture makes me thankful that I'm not helping my Grandpa set barb-wire fences any more. I bet he would have appreciated these gloves though."
Professionals need to work with tools that are super-sturdy. The 7" long, curved blade is welded at a right angle to the handle, and one edge is deeply serrated - and sharp - to cut roots and vines. The grip is large, the hand-guard keeps the knife from burying itself in the soil, and the tough alloy steel blade is specially heat-treated for strength.
Real Dad Review: "Wow. This looks like just one more reason to keep your favorite gardener happy. That is one vicious tool!"