Ask the Readers: What Are the Best Gifts for Men?

By Ashley Jacobs on 2 October 2012 (Updated 9 October 2012) 72 comments

Congratulations to John S @ Frugal Rules, Debra K, and Lynda for winning this week's contest!

Editor's Note: For the next few weeks, we will be doing a gift giving series on Ask the Readers and will focus on the best gifts for certain demographics! Ask the Readers: What are the Best Gifts for Men? is part one of our series!

Shopping for the men in your life can be tricky and coming up with new gift ideas is difficult. Every time my dad's birthday or Christmas come around, I always seem to end up getting him a gift certificate to the local golf course. When your dad or the man in your life has a hobby he loves it's easy to always get him something that relates to his hobby of choice. However, sometimes it's good to break the mold and get him something different or unexpected.

What are the best gifts for men? Ladies, what are the best gifts you've ever given your dad, brother, husband, or boyfriend? The latest Apple gadget? A gift certificate to his favorite restaurant? A new golf club? Men, what is the best gift you've ever been given?

Tell us what you think the best gifts for men are and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entry:

  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, October 8th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after October 8th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Stephanie

The men in my family always enjoying outdoor stuff, like fishing gear, hiking stuffy, BBQ gear. Can't go wrong with any of that stuff!

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Alex H

I always struggle to find gifts for my dad. Frankly, he's a man with little time for indulgence or even hobbies, as well as a man with expensive taste. I always look for something that I think will make what precious little time he doesn't spend working even more valuable.

One thing I know he is definitely impressed by is the ultra-high definition of Blu-Ray movies on the HDTV at home. He doesn't get much of a chance to watch them, but when he does, he marvels at the resolution. He already has an extensive collection of old films in old formats, some of which are slowly making the transition to HD. I'm always on the lookout for classic films that have been up-converted to Blu-Ray.

Dads, and perhaps men in general I suppose, like gadgets, tech and the latest, greatest, most high-res, hi-fi gear. New toys are expensive, but new accessories or expansions for those new toys might make for awesome gifts.

Guest's picture
Therese

My husband loves when our daughters sign him up for the Beer of the Month Club. He gets to try a lot of new flavors, and it reminds him of their love every time a new shipment comes.

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Bethany

New technology. They love it!

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Sarah

Experiences - probably the Chocolate Tour tickets I bought for my dad and me.

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Tim

Time - I love it when my wife says "do whatever you want...i'm taking the kids and leaving you for the day so you can enjoy some free time to do whatever."

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Pam

Good coffee, books, magazine subscriptions, "Artisan Beer", restaurant gift certificates, sports tickets!

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Andrea

It can be so hard to find just the right gift for the "man who has everything." Instead of stuff, I prefer to give experiences: tickets to sporting events or concerts, a weekend trip to visit his favorite places or to see something new, tours of local things that are in line with his interests, brewery visits, paintball trips, etc.

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steph

homemade cookies and beef jerky!

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steph

i like on facebook

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Sam

For dads or grandpas of young children:

Give a TomTom (or another GPS navigation system) with the young kids doing the voice-over. This will take some effort to create, but it will surely be appreciated. Instructions here: http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_5796342_create-own-tomtom-voice.html

It's actually two gifts in one! Even if the dad/grandpa already has a TomTom, the voice file alone will make him happy. Now if the gift includes the TomTom itself--which he had never admitted to want or need--that's even better :-)

Sam

Guest's picture
Mel

When in doubt, I always get my husband a tool for his garage or a movie he enjoys. Then I let him pick out the rest and wrap them up under the tree. It's makes the gift-giving a virtual guarantee!

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Guest

Amazon gift cards, assuming they know how to read.

Guest's picture

Best gifts for men would be any electronic devices that will keep them occupied!

Guest's picture
RyanR

I believe the best gift for a man is something that is useful to them on a daily basis. This varies for each individual. I also believe that no gift should be cookie cutter, as that almost puts a damper on receiving a gift. I would say for me personally, a nice axe would be a good gift.

Guest's picture
RyanR

I believe the best gift for a man is something that is useful to them on a daily basis. This varies for each individual. I also believe that no gift should be cookie cutter, as that almost puts a damper on receiving a gift. I would say for me personally, a nice axe would be a good gift.

Guest's picture
Christie

Something for a hobby that he enjoys! (For my hubby, that's music, so we got him new headphones for his birthday -- he uses them almost every day.) Also, gift cards to their favorite restaurants or coffee place are always a nice thing. That way, it is a free treat whenever they'd like! Saves money for them and lets you know you're thinking of them too.

Guest's picture
Christie

Liked and commented on Facebook as well!

Guest's picture
Cy

Honestly, depends on the man. There are few universal gifts that apply to all men. Some like sports, some like tools, some like computers, some like candles. However, a customized gift tends to be a good decision. Personalize something they use, like a coffee mug or a water bottle, and you usually can't go wrong.

Guest's picture
Happy Love

I have a hard time coming up with gifts for my father since he tends to buy what he wants when he wants it, but my husband loves to be given new tools.

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Betty

In my family, we usually do gift certificates to restaurants or tickets to a show.

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Betty

I liked you and your post on Facebook.

Guest's picture

I tend to like gift cards as I can go out and choose what I like. It also means a lot to me when I can tell time has been put in to planning or getting it.

Guest's picture

men are hard to shop for! other than making their lives easier (I bought a floor cleaner for my dad, like a Roomba type thing) or replacing what they currently have (my sister is going to replace my dad's broken backpack).

Guest's picture
Carmen

My husband is one that doesn't want more "stuff", so gift certificates to go out to eat are usually the best. That or a new baseball cap. Oh, or leaving with my daughter for the day - as a SAHD, he relishes the time alone. My dad is also difficult - he doesn't golf, drink beer or do any of what is considered guy activities. Books, something related to his faith, or some indulgence - like choc covered cherries are always good.

Guest's picture
Lisa

Cash is always a nice choice.

Guest's picture
Tyler

I always like a durable tool. Not a cheap 15 piece set, just a single tool.

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Kate

Homemade cookies seem to work for me!

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OFG

Food! My husband loves a good home cooked meal more than just about anything else. Well he likes technology better, but I never know exactly what to buy in that department, so I make him tasty meals instead.

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KelR1

GCs to their favorite stores or restaurants, sports tickets or clothing, books.

Guest's picture
Patrick

I have found that my dad enjoys gift cards for experiences he would not otherwise have and restaurants he would not otherwise go to. Being frugal, he has always shyed away from some premium experiences and restaurants. He deserves them, so I look for deals and discounts and buy them for him, even months in advance.

Guest's picture
Andrea

A stainless steel stand for his straight razor and shaving brush. It is functional and he uses it everyday. He prefers useful gifts!

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Rebecca B. A. R.

Food or books or clothes. Money always works, too.

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DeeDee

That is a tough one. My hubby has reached the age of I don't need anything, if I need it I'll buy it.

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Lynda

anything to do with meat, sports, and beer/cigars!

Guest's picture
Elena

Gift cards make the best gifts

Guest's picture

Buying gifts for men is always the most difficult part for me when I shop for gifts. Wine, sports-related stuff, books, CD or DVD collection of his favorite singer or actor, or electronic gadget (if the budget allows) will be fine but gift certificates or gift cards for spa, salon, or restaurant may also put a smile on their face.

Guest's picture
VIRGINIA JEFFREYS

a gift basket of his favorite foods

Guest's picture
Deb Baker

A man can never have enough flashlights and utility knives

Guest's picture
Joshua

Looking for the best gift for a guy you know, father, brother, or maybe your man. Well look no further than the man who you are shopping for. All you need to do is a little detective work. What is he into? Is he an avid cyclist then buy him that upgrade for his bike and make it one that he has been wanting. Does your man love video games and play MMO's? Then buy him some in game gold, items or a bonus. How about if he likes hunting maybe you can find him a new scope for his riffle. Remember it is the thought that counts and when you are buying a gift in an area he loves you are sure to win big as long as you put a little thought into it and go the extra mile.

Guest's picture
Angela G.

Two of the best gifts that I have given my husband (who is very hard to please!) have been the following:
#1 - He has a show truck and I know what part he wanted to get next so I got with his Uncle who is also into trucks, etc. and got the part ordered and painted. He was so excited to have it and it still is on his truck to this day. I did this for him because it was something that he wanted and just never seemed to find the time to get to.
#2 - The second thing is that when my husband had his car he had gotten free Sirius Radio for 3 months and although I knew that he liked it I also knew he would never pay for it because it warred with his frugality side. I found a deal for 1/2 off for the year and so I got him a year subscription for Christmas that year and again he loved it.

The other thing I did for all of the men in the family started out funny but then they ended up loving it and getting it for themselves was Monkey Butt powder! This stuff really works and I had ordered a bunch for every man in our family, brothers, brothers in law, husband, father in law. I am a big practical joker, but I am also practical so it sufficed for both. Needless to say that year lots of jokes were passed around and lots of balls were powdered.

That's it! Hopefully I gave some ideas out!

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Sara N

Depends on the man but in my family you can never go wrong with books.

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Jason

Dinner at a restaurant of my choice, not one picked by (or because of the kids palettes or my wife's tastes). Steak, sushi or a good burger all make the list.

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Mami2jcn

My husband likes getting Barnes & Noble gift cards.

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James

- Gift cards for Amazon, iTunes, Home Depot or Lowes, or a Steakhouse
- Technology of any kind
- High-end shaving cream
- Homemade treats
- Maybe retro comics or DVDs of favorite childhood shows

Guest's picture
Guest

Whenever I ask my husband what he wants for a birthday or Christmas gift, he always says, "put a bow on it." I'm sure you can figure out what "it" is.

Guest's picture
andi k.

I personally don't like giving gift cards, but I sometimes do when push comes to shove. Usually I try to get my bf something practical that he wouldn't spend the money on for himself. In the past I have built him a new bicycle, got him a GPS - he travels all over the U.S. for work, and scoured the Twin Cities to find his favorite Thai dish.

-Andi

Guest's picture
Tory Jimenez

On my husband's 30th birthday, I gave him 30 small gifts - each one representing somethign that I know about him - e.g. coffee mug because he loves coffee; a small bottle of his favorite shampoo.

Guest's picture
Miranda M

It really depends on the guy--I find it's best to get gifts that fits a person's unique interests.

For example, my boyfriend likes collecting old NES and SNES games, so I know those kinds of gifts will be appreciated (I like bargain hunting through eBay, flea markets, and Craigslist for that).

My dad likes building and repairing things, but either has the tools and materials he needs already or the specialty tools he might like are expensive, so what I do is look for frugal alternatives by looking for online sales or promo codes or finding out-of-the-ordinary niche products that he doesn't have that could come in handy (for example, a magnetic wristband that holds nuts, bolts, and screws; a portable luggage scale that he can use on trips to make sure no bag goes over the weight limit; a bendable mounting light that you can attach anywhere for home improvement projects).

I like to find practical, thoughtful gifts that I know the recipient will like and use but doesn't have already; with a little work, those gifts don't have to be expensive.

Guest's picture
Miranda Migoni

I like Wisebread and this post on Facebook.

Guest's picture
Deb

Give him the best of both worlds:
The Organic Beer and Munchies set isn’t strictly healthy, but is organic. The set features 2 organic microbrews. And from reviews sounds like these brews pass the test. Gourmet organic popcorn and a toffee chaser also included. Bonus: all comes packaged in a sustainable bamboo case. $30 ecoexpress.com/

This post should provide some great ideas as well:
http://frugalistagiftguide.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/18-frugalista-gifts-...

Guest's picture
Lisa Under the Redwoods

My husband likes to receive a gift certificate from a music store a friend of his runs. He walks over with a couple of beers and they sit around and shoot the breeze between customers. It is like the modern equivalent to hanging out in the barber shop.

Guest's picture

My dad is a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan. He also goes to a lot of my son's midget football games. I was pretty excited (and so was he!) when I found and Alabama fold-up stadium seat. It's got solid back support, cushioning, and clamps on to the bleacher. Now, he's comfortable, and can support his home team while also supporting my son's. :)

Guest's picture
Crystal

I bought the two men in my life the chopper axe. You can split wood with little effort and they are going to love it for camping season next year.

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Lyndsae

I find that gift cards are a good choice. They allow a man who wouldn't spend money on himself to buy whatever he wants.

Guest's picture
Angie

The rule in our family is "something new, something you need and something to do."
The something new is usually small and satifies the instant gratification part of the holiday/birthday. Something you need is something useful for everyday life (socks, gadgets, etc.). Something to do is a fun outing like baseball tickets, movie passes or something that the guy can look forward to and prolong the celebration!

Guest's picture
Nicole

My dad's favorite gift ever was a case of oil and oil filters for his car. He does all the oil changes for our family, so I knew it would be something he could use.

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Stephanie B

Best man gift?

A round of golf for him and 3 of his buddies. Guys LOVE it cause even if they do not golf, they can go out there and drink!

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Graham Young

By far the best gift I ever received was a bound notebook with two pages letters of advice from the most important older men in my life. Some gentlemen wrote to me of virtue, others of work, others of women, and my high school track coach whom I was very close to wrote me a letter of his ambitions for me and how I could surpass them. To this day I still crack this gift open once in a while when I need to center myself or just need some help.

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Debra K

My husband loves video games. So my gift not only includes getting him the game, but also giving him time to play it, no guilt or bugging him about it either.

Guest's picture
Elizabeth

Definitely food. Maybe homemade, but only if it's something that is special for birthdays and not made regularly at other times. Otherwise the best food gifts in my family are either something more expensive than everyday (real maple syrup, smoked salmon with all the fixings) or something the recipient likes but others in the household don't (rhubarb jam, really dark chocolate, certain types of pickles, etc.).

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sabrina andrews

gift cards or cash is what my hubby has always told me he prefers. I do try to make it look like I put a little effort into it like last year I bought him a new wallet and put money, gift cards, pictures of us and other small items in there just to show him I care. To me thats better than slapping a 20 dollar bill in a card and being done with it.

Guest's picture

One of the best gifts I ever received was a jar of Reese's Peanut Butter. It's the best peanut butter by far, and unobtainable anywhere out of the Atlantic Seaboard. Someone who knows me well took the trouble to go into a Giants store for only that one item. The PB is long gone, but that gift still stands out as one of the most thoughtful. Often the best gifts are more a reflection of being observant than its price.

Guest's picture
Raina

It seems most people these days, male or female, like electronics/tech gadgets. Depending on the age of the guy, I'd say video games are a nice bet. Or just something crafted to his personality; for instance, a wine cabinet for someone who loves wine.

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Raina

I like WiseBread on Facebook.

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Guest

Most men like to eat. Food gifts are usually welcomed in our family. Either homemade goodies or store bought assortments of meat and cheese or gift cards for a nice restaurant.