The 43 Best Gifts for Dads Who Are Hard to Shop For

Our favorite gifts from TheraGun, MasterClass, Amazon, and more

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Best Gifts for Dads

Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images

Dads can be tricky to shop for because they might have a tough time dropping hints, let alone coming out and saying what they're really coveting for their birthday or Father's Day.

We tested and researched a range of brands that offer customization and usefulness for dad, whether he's into gadgets or home improvement projects, is a foodie, or appreciates sentimental presents. Our list includes a top-rated massager from TheraGun, a magnetic wristband for home projects, and more.

Here are the best gifts for dads.

Our Top Picks

Theragun Prime Massage Gun

4.8
Theragun Prime

Dick's Sporting Goods

This popular massage gun comes with four attachments and lets users give themselves at-home muscle massages that can him him recover more easily after strenuous workouts or even get a better night of sleep. The attachments work on different parts of the body such as trigger points, large muscle groups and small muscle groups, and bony areas. Although it's certainly expensive, it's about the same cost as three visits to a masseuse—so for a dad with extra sore muscles, it might be worth it.

Texas Canvas Wares Magnetic Wristband

Texas Canvas Wares Magnetic Wristband

Texas Canvas Wares

For the handy dad who is always tackling home projects, gift him something that will make his life easier. This wristband from Texas Canvas Wares is adjustable and made from thick canvas for durability and comfort. When working, dad can keep any nuts, bolts, nails, or screws right on his wrist for easy access when tinkering. This is a practical gift option for any dad who regularly works with his hands.

MasterClass Annual Membership

MasterClass Annual Membership

Some people love knowing a little bit of something about everything and others have very specific interests. Either way, an annual subscription to MasterClass is a great option. The online portal offers access to more than 150 classes on topics that range from finances to food to creative writing. Dad can watch the virtual classes from his phone, tablet, or television.

Whether you need a retirement gift for a dad with a lot of time on his hands or want to spoil the travel loving father in your life, this Anywhere Travel Guide is a gateway to making new memories. This deck features 75 cards with different prompts for new experiences and interactions from “Buy coffee for a stranger” to “Ask a stranger his/her favorite street.”

Bombas Men's Gripper Slipper

Bombas Men's Gripper Slippers

Bombas

Spoil the dad who have everything with a little extra luxury in his day to day life. This cozy slipper and sock hybrid from Bombas are made with a super soft lining for ultimate comfort and feature a special grip on the outside to keep him from sliding. Every pair also comes with a packing bag, perfect for travel, so he can feel supported and luxurious anywhere he goes.

Pottery Barn Mini Golf Club Bag

Pottery Barn Mini Golf Club Bag

Pottery Barn

Dad can store all of his golf accessories in one place with this mini golf club bag from Pottery Barn. Housed in a vegan leather case with sleek stitching, the set comes with three golf balls, five tees, and a divot repair tool. The convenient case comes in brown and pink so you can get a matching one for mom as well.

Yeti Sidekick Dry Gear Case

Yeti Sidekick Dry Gear Case

Yeti

Keep important things safe and dry when outdoors with the Yeti Sidekick Dry Gear Case. While fishing or camping, he'll have a durable case to keep his keys, wallet, phone, and fishing license organized with the mesh pockets and dry with a waterproof seal. The pouch has a sturdy hook and loop closure to attach to your belt or other bags and gear.

Artifact Uprising Hardcover Photo Book

Hardcover Photo Book

Courtesy of Artifact Uprising

This Artifact Uprising book is a great way to finally see some of those digital photos in print, but also create a personalized present that's sure to make him feel special. The hardcover book would look great displayed on any coffee table or desk and the interior consists of photos of your choice, up to 210 pages. Select the cover size, fabric color, type of paper, and more.

Blue Apron Meal Subscription

Blue Apron

Courtesy of Blue Apron

For the busy person or someone who just appreciates convenience, Blue Apron is a great, tasty subscription. Just select meals from a rotating menu and the packaged, pre-measured ingredients show up at your doorstep in an insulated box. There's the option of easy one-pan meals, recipes that take into account dietary restrictions, and more.

Mantl Starter Kit

Mantl

Courtesy of Mantl

For the dad looking to get into skincare or a new dad that can use a little extra self-care, this starter kit has everything he needs to develop his own easy-to-follow routine. Queer Eye's Karamo Brown founded Mantl with naturally-derived ingredients, perfect for skincare newbies and experts alike.

Coravin Model 3 SmartClamp Wine Preservation System

Coravin Model 3 Wine Preservation System

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Coravin systems are designed for people who like to enjoy their wine one glass at a time and might have a few extra-special vintages lying around they want to pick and choose from. The device clamps around the bottle and comes with a thin needle that pierces the cork, so you can pour yourselves a glass or two without needing to completely open the bottle.

Once you've poured, the capsule fills the remaining space with argon gas to prevent oxidation (that's what makes day-old wine taste bad), and the cork reseals itself after the needle is pulled out. The system also works with screw top wines using a special cap accessory.

Heritage Foods Monthly Bacon Subscription

Bacon Subscription Box

Courtesy of Heritage Foods

If he lives for bacon and wants to learn more about where his food comes from, this food gift will make him happy on a monthly basis. The pork comes from heritage breeds, those of which can trace their lineage many generations back and are valued for their excellent, nuanced flavors. The farmers who work with heritage breeds pledge to raise them humanely; they are also never given growth hormones or antibiotics. Each box comes with about three pounds of bacon, plus details about the history of both the breed and farm it came from.

Talia Di Napoli The Speciale

Talia di Napoli The Speciale

Talia Di Napoli

It's hard to find someone who doesn't love pizza, but for the major pizza lover, Talia Di Napoli's pizza pies give a taste of Italy from the comfort of home. The handcrafted pies are made in Naples and arrive at the doorstep perfectly packaged in dry ice. The Speciale includes four of their favorite flavors including margherita, provolina, tartufina, and cheese.

Spikeball 3 Ball Kit

4.5
Spikeball

Courtesy of Spikeball

Described as a cross between volleyball and foursquare, Spikeball is a handball lawn game that's played with a low net and four people split into two teams. It's a fun, fast-paced game guaranteed to get lots of laughs, and the foldable design and travel bag make it easy to bring to the park or beach. Dad will love it even more if it comes with a promise of a couple of screen-free hours of family time.

Marcato Design Atlas 150 Pasta Machine

5
Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine, Stainless Steel, Silver, Includes Pasta Cutter, Hand Crank, and Instructions
Courtesy of Amazon.com.

A new kitchen gadget, like this pasta maker, is a great gift for foodies or dads who love to cook and try new recipes. This one from Italian company Marcato Design comes in seven fashionable covers and has a removable crank for easy storage suitable for small kitchens. Dads can choose from 10 thickness options to make delicious fettuccine or tagliolini.

Harry & David Hometeam Snack Box

Hometeam Snack Box

Harry & David

Give dad everything he needs to host the best game day party ever. This gift basket from Harry & David features popcorn, queso and bean dip, crackers, cheddar cheese, and a football-shaped sausage to please any sports fan.

Uncommon Goods Uncommon Experiences

Uncommon Goods Uncommon Experiences

Uncommon Goods

An interesting "experience" that doesn't even require the recipient to leave their house? That's exactly what the Uncommon Goods Experience offers. The virtual classes range from making cocktails, painting, flower arranging, and even how to make dog treats. Some experiences have the option to also purchase specific ingredients or products in advance, so be sure to order with enough time for the shipment to arrive.

Hasbro Scrabble Deluxe

Hasbro Scrabble Deluxe

Hasbro

Give dad a gift that doubles as a fun bonding activity with a board game perfect for the whole family. Elevate the classic game with Scrabble Deluxe, which features a a spinning game board (so no one has to read upside down), two storage drawers for easy clean-up, and a sleek carrying case with a convenient handle.

The Nue Co Forest Lungs Fragrance Supplement

The Nue Co Forest Lungs Fragrance Supplement

The Nue Co

This unique take on cologne is designed to relieve stress with every sniff. The Nue Co replicates the smells of nature with notes of citrus, cedar wood, bergamot and more to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and soothe your senses. Dads will love this woodsy scent as well as the extra benefits of breathing in the outdoors without ever leaving his desk.

IceMule Classic Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag

IceMule Classic Insulated Backpack Cooler Bag

Courtesy of Walmart

A functional cooler is a great gift for any dad who loves the outdoors. This one from IceMule comes in a sling-style backpack that makes carrying ice-cold beer (or juice boxes) to the beach, boat, or campsite extremely easy. It comes in three sizes: 10, 15, or 20 liters. All are designed to be completely hands and stress-free with no zippers or difficult seams. And if it falls overboard? Don't worry, it floats.

Big Red's Flavor Tour Hot Sauce Sampler Pack

Big Red's Flavor Tour

Courtesy of Big Red's

Paul Ford and his wife, Tasia, run Big Red's from their home in Phoenix, Arizona. This sampler pack comes with the company's nine signature hot sauces, and includes flavors like maple bacon jalapeño, Big Yella (tropical mango mustard), smokey habanero, and God's Wrath, which is made with ghost peppers—some of the hottest chili peppers in the world.

Uncommon Goods Anatomy of Sports Coasters, Set of Four

Anatomy of Sports Coasters

Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

These playful cork-backed coasters were designed by Megan Steffen, a home goods artist based in Chicago. Each one is packed with sports facts arranged around an elegant illustration. There are nine sports to choose from, including skiing, tennis, baseball, golf, and sailing.

KINGSO Outdoor Fire Pit

Kingso Outdoor Fire Pit

Courtesy of Amazon

Is the dad in your life hoping to extend backyard time into the fall and even early winter season? There is no choice but to embrace the fire pit lifestyle. This attractive, inexpensive option has a durable steel bowl that rests solidly on four legs, which are designed to elevate it slightly off the ground and allow airflow. The mesh metal dome helps catch flying embers, and the poker can be used for lifting the lid and poking the firewood, as dads tend to do.

Google Nest Hello

4.4
Google Nest Hello

Courtesy of Google

If he's tech-savvy and loves having the newest big thing, a video doorbell might be a good fit. The Nest stands out for being able to show an expansive view of your step, meaning you'll see people head-to-toe, rather than a fish-eye view of the top of their heads. (That's helpful if you need it for security purposes). If you pair it with the Nest Aware app, it will even alert you when your packages are dropped off and picked up.

Wall Chess

Wall Chess

Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Whether he likes a good board game or just appreciates unique wall decor, this chess set is a fun gift. Instead of being played on a tabletop, this chess set hangs vertically. The oak pieces fit securely in their spot, so no need to worry about them falling out. For those longer games, there's a designated marker to indicate the last move. This set comes in two different sizes, 12 x 12 or 18 x 18.

Jaybird Vista True Wireless Sport Earbud Headphones

Jaybird Vista True Wireless Sport Earbud Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

These cordless Bluetooth headphones are considerably less expensive than AirPods but still provide high-quality audio. Other features include quick-charge (five minutes on the charger gets an hour of audio), six hours of playtime after a full charge, a smartphone app that lets you customize the settings, and big-time durability. The buds are waterproof and even crushproof.

My Face Socks Custom Dog Socks

Custom Dog Socks

Courtesy of Face Socks

Calling all dog dads! My Face Socks makes it easy for dads to rep their furry friend 24/7 with cozy socks featuring their pet's face. Just upload a photo of your dad's dog or cat and choose the design, size, and style that will fit them best. Your dad will definitely get a kick out of the fun gift, and you can even buy a matching set for the whole family.

Patagonia Retro Pile Fleece Jacket

Patagonia Fleece Jacket

 Courtesy of Patagonia

Make a difference with your gift by shopping sustainably. Patagonia uses 100% recycled polyester in their garments including this Retro Pile Fleece Jacket, perfect for dads with any taste or style. Splurge on a fleece jacket they can wear daily during the fall and winter that is both fashionable and functional. Six colors and eight sizes are available for purchase.

Tribit Stormbox Bluetooth Speaker

Tribit StormBox Bluetooth Speaker

Courtesy of Amazon

What about a waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker to use next to the pool or on the next family camping trip? Not only can this one handle a splash, it can even withstand up to 30 minutes in water up to three feet deep. It has a special bass setting called "XBass" you can turn on with the touch of a button. It comes with a rechargeable battery that offers 20 hours of straight playtime: the equivalent of playing "Baby Shark" roughly 600 times on repeat.

LÍLLÉbaby Serenity All Seasons Baby Carrier

Lillebaby Serenity All Seasons Baby Carrier

Courtesy of Amazon

For the new dad, this baby carrier can be used starting from birth all the way up to 45 pounds and has six different carry positions. The handy zipper can be used to control airflow: Pull it down, and it reveals a mesh lining to help keep baby cool. It also has a waistband pocket that can hold all those essentials new parents are always misplacing, like their keys and baby's pacifier.

Bevel seems to have made it their mission to help wipe out ingrown hairs and razor burn. This comprehensive kit comes with priming oil that gets massaged in first, to help soften the skin and stubble, as well as shaving cream and brush to exfoliate and work up a lather, safety razor with 20 blades, and a restoring balm to use at the end. Although the safety razor might take some getting used to, Bevel has a detailed how-to video on their web site to help him get the technique exactly right.

Backcountry Therm-a-Rest Uno Chair

Therm-a-Rest Uno Chair

Courtesy of Backcountry

This brightly colored, two-pound chair has a MacGyver factor that will appeal to many gear-loving types: Not only does it fold up small enough to be stored in its base (which measures only a foot across and can be tossed into a backpack), it can also be flipped over and used as a small table. It has a weight limit of 250 pounds and sits low enough to the ground that he won't be the guy blocking everyone's view at an outdoor concert or a little league game.

Host Double Wall Plastic Frozen Pint Glasses, Set of 2

Host Double Wall Plastic Frozen Pint Glasses, Set of 2

Courtesy of Amazon

Spoil the beer lover in your life with sleek and functional glasses. Sure, he could put a regular glass into the freezer and wait for it to get cold, but then he'd be dealing with sweaty condensation as he sipped his beer. These double-walled, insulated glasses are filled with a cooling gel that prevents drinks from getting warm once they've been served.

Ari Jogiel Vanguard Mask

The Vanguard Mask

Courtesy of Ari Jogiel

For every one of these stylish masks that is purchased by a consumer, LA designer Ari Jogiel will donate another one to first responders and essential workers. When you order, you can specify the organization you want to receive the second mask; the current list includes the United States Postal Service, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the Los Angeles Fire Department. The masks are made from anti-microbial fabric and have a built-in cotton gauze liner.

Mark & Graham Grill Master Set

Mark & Graham Grill Master Set

Mark & Graham

The grill master of the family will certainly appreciate Mark & Graham's Grill Master Set. Not only does it include a 24 x 16 carving board, but it also comes with a set of BBQ gloves and an apron. All of the items can be monogrammed with initials and they're made of durable materials like acacia wood, leather, and suede.

Ember Travel Mug²

4
Ember Travel Mug2

Courtesy of: Williams-Sonoma

Keep coffee-obsessed dads happy with a high-tech travel mug perfect for his morning commute or work-from-home desk. This "smart" mug has a touch-sensitive control panel as well as a corresponding app to dictate the temperature of your drink. Additionally, the lid is leak-proof, only needs a push to open, and lets you drink from any side of the mug.

Etsy Personalized Leather Valet Charging Station

Etsy Personalized Leather Valet Charging Station

Etsy

Whether he's constantly misplacing items or just needs a sleek, stylish solution for a catch-all tray, this Etsy gift is perfect. The station consists of three separate compartments for small items like a phone, keys, wallet, etc. The back of the tray has a small opening to accommodate charging cables. The leather tray has such a luxe look at an affordable price and it can be personalized with a name or initials.

Jaybird Vista True Wireless Sport Earbud Headphones

Jaybird Vista True Wireless Sport Earbud Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

Earbuds can be quite expensive, but Jaybird's offers them at a reasonable price with stellar sound quality. The sweatproof design makes them great for intense workouts, but the six hours of playtime also means they're reliable for taking important calls or listening to music. The earbuds also come with three pairs of gel caps to ensure a snug fit for a range of ear sizes.

Fulton & Roark Total Package

Fulton & Roark Total Package

Fulton & Roark

Help him step up his beauty or self-care routine with a set from Fulton & Roark. The Total Package set includes soap, a moisturizing oil, deodorant, and a solid fragrance in a cool metal tin. It comes in six different scents, so there's something for every personality. The products, especially the solid fragrance, are compact enough to keep in a gym bag or take along while traveling.

Perfect Practice Putting Mat - Indoor Golf Putting Green

Perfect Practice Putting Mat - Indoor Golf Putting Green

Amazon

Help him practice his golf game with Perfect Practice's indoor putting green. The mat comes in a range of sizes, including a compact eight feet and up to 15.6 feet. The track lines will help keep him on point and the anti-slip grip keeps the mat firmly in place. Also, the ball return feature is pretty convenient.

Uncommon Goods Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Uncommon Goods Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Uncommon Goods

Maybe he's trying to save money on his daily coffee habit or maybe he just likes a cool kitchen gadget. This cold brew coffee maker gets the job done. The brass and stainless steel device makes the perfect cold brew, up to 50 ounces. The kit also comes with N20 cartridges, filter bags, and a funnel.

Etsy Personalized Recipe Cutting Board

Etsy Personalized Recipe Cutting Board

Etsy

Sentimentality is the name of the game for this customized cutting board that can be engraved with a favorite recipe, phrase, date, or name of your choice. The board comes in four different sizes and the words can be horizontal or vertical. The bamboo cutting board would look great displayed as decor but it's also functional for use in chopping and serving food.

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector with 100-Inch Projector Screen

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector with 100-Inch Projector Screen

Courtesy of Amazon

Create the perfect movie night setting with this mini projector. Connect it to a phone, tablet, or television and display a sharp image that can be projected on a wall, ceiling, or screen. It has a 10 hour battery life and is an easy way to create a surround sound experience that can displayed on a screen up to 200 inches wide.

What to Look for When Buying Dad the Best Gift

Customization

Monogrammed and personalized items are always a good way to go for the dad who already has everything. But if you're on a budget or short on time, simply think about what your recipient enjoys, says Jessica Saleda, gift consultant at J. Isabel Designs. "For example, gift items with specific scents, colors, or references to favorite tv shows or hobbies," she says.

Usefulness

When selecting a gift for dad, focus on buying something that he will use rather than stick in a drawer. Consider his hobbies (headphones are perfect for a dad who loves music), or think about an activity he constantly says he's been wanting to try (like a golf bag for the aspiring golfer).

Upgrade

Sometimes, dads hold onto their favorite things, even when they are past their prime out of habit or inertia. If your dad’s favorite sweater or pair of sneakers is worn even past the donation point, buy him a fresh but identical pair. Upgrade his grooming routine with a new razor set, offer him a new bathrobe or pair of slippers or a stylish new work bag to replace his beaten up leather briefcase that is possibly older than you.

Easy to Return

Dads can be hard to shop for, so make it easy on both of you and choose a gift with an easy return policy. This will help let dad know it’s ok to return your gift if it doesn’t suit him. Pay attention to what he exchanges it for if he does, which might help you pick out next year’s gift. 

FAQ
  • What do you get for a picky dad?

    The best way to approach buying a gift for a picky dad is to refrain from the elusive pursuit of finding the perfect gift. If your dad is impossible to shop for, there is no shame in a gift card to his favorite store or online shop or in getting him something you know meets his high standards but that he is nonetheless loath to buy for himself. Even the pickiest of dads should be touched by a handmade or sentimental gift like a nicely framed photo of the two of you doing something memorable. Whatever his reaction, try to let go of the expectation that you will please him and remember it’s the thought that counts. 

  • What should you put in a gift basket for a dad?

    His favorite treats: Choose food and drink-themed gift basket for dads with a penchant for beer, hot sauce, artisanal cheese, or coffee. Celebrate his interests with a gift basket devoted to helping him enjoy his weekly poker night, tennis game, or game night. Or, create a custom basket with a bunch of random items that you know he will appreciate and that shows you know him well. 

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more. This roundup was updated by Patrice J. Williams who has been writing gift guides for The Spruce since 2020.

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