5 Father’s Day Gifts Not to Get the Modern Dad

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Here are some gifts to skip this year -- way too stale -- and what to get instead.

Father’s Day is nearly here — Sunday, June 21, in case you forgot — but before you start picking out ties for Dad, consider swapping those stale, old-fashioned gifts for ones more in tune with the modern man

Stale: a pocketknife

A pocketknife is a traditional gift for men, and a high-quality one with an engraving is still a solid present. But it has only one real use: to cut things. It’s just not as useful as newer and more impressive hardware that can fit in Dad’s pocket.

The modern alternative: Consider a pocket multi-tool. For example, this Leatherman Juice S2 Multi Tool won’t bust your wallet at $74 (less if you’re a Prime customer) and has a 4 1/2-star average review on Amazon.  There’s also the lighter Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 tool for $15, which has a four-star average review.

Stale: grilling tools

Don’t get us wrong: Grilling tools are great, and guys do love to barbecue, but modern dads have advanced beyond grilling meat and developed other cooking skills. So while Father’s Day falls right in the middle of grilling season, and you may see your dad at the grill on summer nights, it doesn’t mean he’s dying for a new metal spatula.

The modern alternative: There’s no better gift for a man who cooks than a well-stocked kitchen. If your dad is a foodie but doesn’t have a knife that can cut through a slab of meat like it’s butter, look for a good chef’s knife like this 8.2-inch Zanmai Pro Gyuto knife. It’s a little spend ($144), but, according to a sous-chef friend of mine, great knives don’t come cheap. You might also consider these popular (and cheaper) kitchen tools:

  • A set of industrial grade mixing bowls.
  • Immersion hand blender.
  • Stainless steel pots and pans.
  • 10-inch or larger cast iron skillet.
  • Dutch oven.

Stale: a tie

Ties are perhaps the stalest gift we can think of. Barely anyone wears a tie to work anymore. According to a Gallup Poll in 2007, only 6 percent of men wore a tie to work every day, and 67 percent said they never wear one to the office.

The modern alternative: You know what Dad does take to work every day? His smartphone. Consider getting him a case that can withstand punishment, like an OtterBox for his iPhone 6, which sell for about $25 to $40 on Amazon depending on the style. They’re also available for the Galaxy S III and other smartphone models, and the company’s good customer service has been lauded.

Stale: domestic beer

Getting a domestic six-pack with Dad sounds more like an any-day scenario. There’s nothing all that memorable about a few cans of familiar beer. Instead, put down the 12-pack of Pabst and look for something more exciting.

The modern alternative: Craft beer has exploded, and the taste is more complex than boring domestic brands. There’s a craft beer for every taste. Does he like bacon and doughnuts? No problem: Try Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale. Dark coffee and chocolate? Try the awesome Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing. To find a craft brew your dad will love, follow these three easy steps:

  • Head over to BeerAdvocate.com and search for beers by company, type or flavor.
  • Check the beer company’s site to see if there’s a distributor finder.
  • If there isn’t, make a list, head out to local liquor stores and be sure to ask some friends. Some beers are harder to find than others.

Stale: department store body product packages

Those gift boxes of aftershave, cologne, deodorant and body wash are so boring. Your dad has his own cologne (or deliberate lack thereof) and probably already has grooming supplies. Skip it.

The modern alternative: Consider professional manscaping. Spas, manicures and pedicures aren’t just for women anymore. The modern guy knows there’s nothing wrong with looking good, so don’t be afraid to help him out with a prepaid professional haircut and a manicure.

What are your favorite gifts for Dad? Sound off on our Facebook page and tell us about it.

Stacy Johnson

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