Father’s Day is nearly here — Sunday, June 16, 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.
In the video below, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson explores Father’s Day gifts that have fallen out of favor with today’s dads. Check it out, then read on for some better gift ideas.
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 $42.55 and has a 4 1/2-star average review on Amazon. There’s also the lighter Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 tool for $9.49, 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 expensive, 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: Blu-ray player
Blu-ray players used to be at the forefront of home entertainment technology, but now their singular purpose seems a little outdated. Modern guys want more than just a movie player. They want something that can play movies and also integrate with services they already pay for like Netflix.
The modern alternative: For a tech-savvy dad, skip the Blu-ray player and go for a PlayStation 3 or a Roku. The PlayStation 3 plays video games and has a Blu-ray player and apps for Hulu Plus, Netflix and YouTube. But if your dad doesn’t care for DVDs or video games, go with a Roku. It has many more apps than a PlayStation 3, like HBO Go and tons of sports networks, and it’s cheaper. A base model goes for $49.97 at Amazon.
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 the OtterBox Defender for his iPhone 5, which goes for $29.63 at Amazon and has a four-star average rating and more than 5,000 reviews. 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 the gift of a manicure to get rid of chewed fingernails can even help him get a promotion.
What are your favorite gifts for Dad? Sound off on our Facebook page and tell us about it.