8 Gifts the Man in Your Life Really Wants

By Paul Van Lierop on 20 December 2009 (Updated 25 November 2013) 24 comments

If you want some sure fire hits for that special man in your life, whether it be your husband, dad, boyfriend, teacher, or taekwondo instructor, you can't go wrong with the following gift choices. Some of these might not be for city dwellers, but there’s plenty to choose from here. I have either received, purchased, or used these items personally and can vouch for their awesomeness. Okay a few are on my Christmas list, but they are still awesome. (See also: 20 Gifts for the Guy Who Has Everything)

LED Headlamp

Every man needs a head lamp. Honestly I think everyone could benefit from a head lamp — not just the guys. I received the Petzl e+LITE from my good friend who works at REI, so he knows his outdoor gear. This is an impressive piece of gear. It sports 3 white LEDs that can burn out your retina in approximately 45 milliseconds. It also has a red LED to avoid enemy detection when you are in the bush. And this thing is so tiny you can wear it like a headband (or my preferred method where it clips right on to your baseball hat). Finally it runs off of CR2032 lithium batteries that have a shelf life of 10 years.

Portable Mouse

Let’s face it, when it comes to mobile computing there are times when you need much more than a trackpad. When you’re playing Call of Duty (I mean working on your Pivot Charts) the use of a full blown mouse is terribly useful. If you’ve got large hands, those tiny portable mice are a trip to the Hand Surgeon waiting to happen. Enter the Microsoft Arc Mouse. This bad boy is regular mouse size. Oh and did I mention that it folds? It folds up to hold its tiny USB adapter that you plug into your laptop for wireless mousing bliss. Perfect for all of your late night fragging (I mean number crunching). (See also: The 5 Best Computer Mice)

iPhone

I don’t think much else needs to be said about this device. It is the veritable swiss army knife of the personal gadget world. I love mine.

Air Pistol

For that man in your life who likes his Martinis shaken not stirred, give him the gift he has always wanted — a Walther CP99 Compact Air Pistol just like James Bond’s, minus the 9mm ammunition. This bad boy uses CO2 cartridges and standard .177 BBs. Slap in the 18-shot BB magazine and he’s ready to go. Look out Dr. No, he’s armed now.

Digital Clock Kit

If your guy is an electronics nut who enjoys firing up the soldering iron from time to time, you can’t go wrong with this Ice Tube Clock Kit. Harken back to the cold war with this kit that utilizes a Russian Display Tube to project your clock digits. Frankly most anything from Adafruit is awesome.

Tauntaun Sleeping Bag

What guy wouldn’t love to recreate Luke’s time on Hoth by cutting his way into his own Tauntaun Sleeping Bag for a snuggly night’s sleep? With details like a lightsaber zipper pull and printed internal intestines, your jedi in training will thank you.

Ready Wrench

I hope my wife is reading this one, as I didn’t add it to my list in time, but the folks over at Black and Decker have come up with the MSW100 Ready Wrench. In one socket wrench you get 16 of the most popular sockets combining both metric and standard in one tool. I’ve handled this in the store and it is so choice. This one should be available at most any big box hardware store for you last minute shoppers, and it’s so new there’s little chance he already has it, even if he’s a tool hog like myself.

Man’s Pocket Knife

I know you think those little swiss army knives are cute, but if you want to get him something he’ll really want you’ll score the SOG FSA-98 Flash II. This one is half serrated and half straight which is perfect for whittling, hacking through branches, or picking your teeth. I wouldn’t call it a switch blade, but it’s “assisted” so you can have it out ready to work fast. SOG makes a lot of knives for the military. They are extremely well made and should last a lifetime.

Good luck and Happy Holidays.

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Guest's picture
AW

Very nice list, glad to see Lady Ada made your list, she has a ton of cool kits, kind of surprised a Dremel didn't make the list, because a Dremel is magic tool from the land where little boys dream of making the coolest stuff ever,okay maybe just me.

Paul Van Lierop's picture

No doubt about the Dremel it's a maker's dream.

Guest's picture
Arohan

idea here sounds lethal :-)

I am a man and the only thing I want this Christmas is a pair of warm slippers to wear around the house that are strong and do not look girly. Is there such a thing?

Paul Van Lierop's picture

So Funny you asked, another item on my list was the MuckBoots Daily Clog which in your book might not qualify for a slipper but I'm in and out of the house and to the workshop frequently and a normal slipper just won't cut it. 

Guest's picture
Croatian1

Go to either Cabella's or Gander Mountain's websites,they have slippers for any man. Last year I bought my hubby a pair of shearling sheep slippers in chocolate brown from Cabella's. He lived in them all last winter and as soon as it turned cold this year he was digging them out!

Another suggestion I have and this maybe just be my hubby, but he will spoil me and the fam but won't spoil himself. So through out the year for birthday, anniv and Christmas I listen to him and he will comment on "toys" he might want. He fishes, loves his Wii, so I am never without ideas. Now, I just have to figure out if he knows that by holding out I will buy him his "toys", so maybe it is me he has trained!!! But I love surprising him!

Guest's picture
Michael

Yes, such slippers exist. I have a pair that are leather on top, and a rubber sole. With the rubber sole, I'm willing to wear them out to the mailbox or garage to grab something quick.

UGG makes a similar pair, but my wife got them at Costco or Sam's Club for about $20. They've lasted 2 years so far.

Guest's picture

these are some great ideas

at Arohan
if you go look at the sleeping bag they have chewbacca slippers, definitely not girly ;)

Guest's picture
Stacey Marcos

A day free of nagging.
Priceless.

Paul Van Lierop's picture

That's hilarious and not one that I could have brought up.  But I'm relatively sure that would be very popular.  Not that it ever happens to me of course.

Guest's picture
princess_kessie

He would possibly enjoy an iPhone, but prefers his Crackberry. And as for guns, knives, wrenches and even Dremels - he has absolutely no interest whatsoever. DIY is not his forte.

Now *me* on the other hand - give me a workshop full of powertools and I'll be so happy :)

Guest's picture
John Gilbert Thorgood

I vote for comment # 7!

Guest's picture
fairydust

definitely not the iPhone for my hubster - he loathes all things Apple :) So he just got an HP iPaq instead. Good ol' handheld PC - LOL! But he does love his "toys" and even asked for non-girly fuzzy slippers this year, so everything else is spot on.

Andrea Karim's picture

Seriously, I think my man would leave me if I even suggested an Apple product. An Android now, he might like.

Guest's picture
Shannon

wow great post! I love these practical and inexpensive ideas, I have a couple men to buy for and I think this will help alot. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Guest's picture

I agree with the first two comments, a dremel is a guys dream! If the set is too expensive there is always bits and extensions and small parts for it.

Guest's picture

For some guys this might work but not me. Of all the thing on this list the Raedy Wrench is the only thing I would possibly want. I am not interested in guns, knives and camping equipment. I will admit I am a geek in knowing raw coding in several computer languages but I will stay far away from the LED Headlamp. I can see where it could be handy but not for me. I don't want to look like a dork too. And isn't the point of portable computing to be able to get away from carrying all the extras? Why have a mouse, an external keyboard and a portable printer just take the desktop with you and run it with a AC/DC converter in the car. I would never recommend anyone buy a cell phone as a gift as this requires the receipent to pay monthly fees.

If you want these things, good for you but not me. Give me gift cards so I can buy what I really want.

Guest's picture
Guest

I wish that I had a LED headlamp in February when my tire poped at 11 PM in the middle of Iowa. Changing a tire is tough enough at 0 degrees F, but try doing it with a flashlight in your mouth for 15 minutes.

Honey buy me one!!!

Guest's picture
Clayton

If he doesn't like guns, dremmels, slippers, and such then you can always give him a book of coupons involving acts like a day free from nagging, doing chores for him, and such. I got that for a gift one year and since my wife actually did what was on the coupons. it really was a great gift.

Guest's picture
Janeen

Just read on Twitter that Think Geek has the code TAUNTAUN20 to take $20 off your Tauntaun order today (12/22). ;)

Guest's picture
croatian1

LED Headlamp: Okay, I was going to not comment on this one, but every time I see it I burst out laughing. These have been around for at least 15 years, if not more. Years ago my brother got one from his in-laws ( now ex-in-laws). We all thought it was a gag gift, but no they thought he could really make good use of this. That New Year's Eve he and his then wife had a party, and everyone who entered had to have their picture taken wearing this goofy thing. Years later, he got custody of the photo album, and we look at those pics of all of us wearing that thing and burst out laughing all over again!

It really does not throw off that strong of a beam. I have a guy who rides his bike all year in our neighborhood ( MN), and he wears one, you can just vaguely see it on a dark night. So I would not suggest this for late night use on a bike.

Guest's picture
Guest

I'd have to say headlamps drive me nuts. You can't use them without blinding the people around you. I will not take mine when I am camping with my son because he is incapable of leaving it off. It turns a camping trip into a nightmare of lost night vision. Now one of those old angled military flashlights wit the red filter would be awesome. I could also use a medtation cushion and a bamboo flute with a deeper tone than the one I have now. Oh yeah, and a promise from my son to leave the flashlight alone when we are camping.

Guest's picture
Guest

Be carefull with the spring assisted knives. I got stopped by a police officer and when he asked me if i had any wepons i told him just my pocket knife. 20 mins later they told me that my knife met the legal deffintion of a switch blade because it was spring assisted, in nevada its a gross misdemerner. stick to a gerber or leathermen its just safer.

oh and dont worry, the officers let me off with a warning.

Guest's picture
boliyou

Thanks very much for using my photo in your article!

Guest's picture
Adelina

You can never go wrong with some table games. But this probably has a lot to due with the fact that if I buy such a gift to my father or one of my 2 brothers, is like buying it for all 3... group gift :))