gifts they might actually want

A Last-Minute 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. 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. Everything will arrive by Christmas as of Monday, but act fast — like, if you’ve got your eye on something, buy it today — because shipping deadlines can change quickly. (And if you still can’t find something that your dad will like, check out our list of every holiday gift guide we’ve written this year.)

$25 and under

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 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 who can’t just let the kids win

‘Catan’ Dice Game

Try this compact version of the cult-favorite tabletop game Settlers of Catan, one of the Strategist’s top travel games that are fun for kids and adults.

For the dad who watches the same movie over and over

$15 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 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. (Contributor Regan Stephens discovered these logs via the Philadelphia restaurant Laser Wolf, where they’re the secret to “the most tender, wildly delicious poultry I’ve ever tasted,” he writes.)

For the dad who can eat an entire seafood tower on his own

Pair this chef-approved oyster knife with a trip to the seafood market (and cue up a YouTube playlist of how-tos for shucking oysters).

[Editor’s note: This oyster knife arrives after Christmas, but if you can wait, it still makes a great gift.]

For the dad who mutters “phone, wallet, keys” before leaving the house

Apple AirTag

If your dad is the type to spend 15 minutes in a panic trying to find his keys before leaving the house, Apple AirTags will be a gift that keeps on giving. (Pair with an AirTag-holder carabiner so he can snap it onto his keys immediately.) They’re about the size of a quarter and can track all his valuables.

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 runs late

A reliable retro watch that Brynn Wallner, founder of watch website Dimepiece, says can “very quickly go from dorky to a cool summer-in-the-’80s-in-Italy vibe.”

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 sends handwritten 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 makes a legendary grilled cheese


Spencer Rubin, the founder of the Melt Shop, uses this handsome, very giftable grill press, which he prefers to heavier options: “You don’t end up pushing the cheese or ingredients out of the bread,” he says.

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 drinks Heady Topper from the can

If he’s explained to you why certain IPAs are better from the can versus in a glass, he’ll love this gadget that removes the tops of aluminum cans for a better drinking experience. (I heard about it from Strategist writer Brenley Goertzen, who found out about it from her dad.)

$50 and under

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

‘Wavelength’ Game

I 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 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 dad who likes some froth

Chinya Milk Frother

If he’s got to have his morning latte, consider this little machine, which won over our kitchen and dining writer with its three simple settings (hot foam, cold foam, and just straight-up warm milk), and the pleasant consistency of the foam itself.

For the dad who carries everything he owns in his pockets

From $30

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

Photo: Retailer

Because you can never have too much tie-dye.

For the dad who uses his shampoo as a bodywash

Photo: Retailer

Class up his shower with this old school soap-on-a-rope by Portuguese brand Claus Porto, a favorite brand of barber Hung Nguyen. It has notes of poppy, green leaves, patchouli, and pepper.

For the dad who likes to tour distilleries

“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 single-origin-only dad

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

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
From $32
From $32
Photo: Retailer

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 still 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.

$100 and under

For the grill-master dad

MEATER Plus Smart Thermometer

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 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 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 hits the slopes

This rich moisturizer from Vermont brand Ursa Major is especially good for dry, wind-chafed post-skiing skin.

For the dad who goes to design museums

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

For the dad who loves to lounge

It’s a collapsible camping chair and a rocker in one. The Dyrt co-founder Sarah Smith recommends it to “anyone who will listen” because it’s “super-comfortable and slightly decadent.”

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 keeps trying to get you to listen to his favorite podcast

Blue Yeti USB Microphone
From $90
From $90

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

$200 and under

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

The Wahl Magic Clip, one of the Strategist’s best-in-class beard trimmers, will be a welcome upgrade to his shaving routine. “It’s the top product to own if you want to re-create a barbershop experience in the comfort of your home,” says barber Miles Wood-Smith.

For the dad who loves getting cozy

From $100

These Danish wool clogs are at the top of our list of the best slippers to gift — they’re soft, warm, mold to your foot, perfect for lounging around the house with a rubber sole that allows for quick trips outdoors. They “really do deserve their reputation as the best slippers,” writes former Strategist writer Karen Iorio Adelson.

For the dad whose knives are getting dull

A very solid 15-piece set that our kitchen and dining writer feels is an excellent deal, particularly because it comes with six matching serrated steak knives—unusual for a set like this.

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 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’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 still buys pre-ground beans

This burr grinder from Fellow, the maker of a “the gold standard of electric kettles,” will get him hooked on freshly ground coffee.

For the dad who’ll spend the coldest day of the year sitting on bleachers

Keep him toasty for hours with the men’s version of Reba McEntire’s favorite heated vest, a gift from her son and daughter-in-law, which she calls “the greatest invention known to man.”

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.

For the dad who loves a hike with elevation gain

These lightweight telescoping aluminum poles — one of our favorite gifts for hikers — will help him navigate steep terrain. (They’re also great for snowshoeing.)

Gifts under $500

For the dad with an encyclopedic 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 hosts the barbecue

It’s the “Birkin of coolers.” If you’re feeling extra nice, stock it with his favorite drink for a two-part gift.

For the 420-friendly dad

Lēvo II
From $299
From $299

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 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 love 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.