50 clever and practical gifts for dad under $50

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A chocolate and coffee sip and taste setAmazonFour pouches of gourmet coffee, beans whole or ground, paired with four chocolate bars and tasting notes for $US38 on Amazon.


Whether you’re looking to rag on dad or show him all the love and kindness in the world (which are really one in the same, right?), we’ve got gift ideas for every kind of dad, from the hapless car-key-losing fool to the history buff and the masterful (and not-so-masterful) home chef.

Whatever it is that dad’s into, something below is bound to make him smile, laugh, cry, or, hopefully, all of the above. You’ve been a pain and a nuisance all along; why change now?

Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.



A classy lunchbox with a cutting board top

Uncommon Goods

Lunch Box with Cutting Board Lid, available at Uncommon Goods, $US30

Don’t send dad off to work (or school, as the case may be) with a brown bag. If you think it’s embarrassing for you, it’s definitely embarrassing for him.


A fish-shaped waiter’s key

Uncommon Goods

Deep Sea Bottle Opener, available at Uncommon Goods, $US41

A nice piece for the bar to replace that ratty old plastic thing he stole from Holiday Inn before you were born and life was good.


A 3-month Amazon Prime Subscription

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

An Amazon Prime membership, available at Amazon, three months for $US39

He’ll pick up on it. Just get him started.


An Amazon smart plug

Amazon

Amazon Smart Plug, available at Amazon, $US24.99

If the thought of talking to Alexa blew his mind, wait till he starts using these.


A coffee table book-ode to American whiskey

Amazon

“The Art of American Whiskey,” available at Amazon, $US16.07

Whether or not dad’s a drinker, there’s some deep-seated American history in Rothbaum’s collection that no one can deny.


An Anthony Bourdain cookbook illustrated by Ralph Steadman

Amazon

“Appetites: A Cookbook,” available on Amazon, $US14.89

Because, according to both Jacques Pepin and this book’s late author, no grown man should ever go without knowing how to cook an omelet.


An avocado tree starter set

Uncommon Goods

Avocado Tree Starter Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $US20

Setting these up will be almost as enjoyable as the fruits of his labour. And while it may take a while to yield, everybody wins with this gift.


The story of Bacardi, and the fight for Cuba

Amazon

Bacardi: The Long Fight for Cuba, available at Amazon, $US14.54

History and rum. What more intrigue does a dad need?


A folding bamboo laptop desk

Amazon

Homfa Bamboo Laptop Desk with Tilting Top Drawer, available at Amazon, $US35.99

Or a breakfast-in-bed tray, as he likes.


A beard care kit

Uncommon Goods

Love Your Beard Care Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $US38

Stop letting dad go out with that scraggly Jeremiah Johnson beard and get him some beard oil and balm to shape it up a little.


A Bloody Mary garnish branch

Uncommon Goods

Bloody Mary Cocktail Branches, available at Uncommon Goods, $US18

If his Bloody Mary game is ever lacking, this will surely be incentive to start bedazzling them.


Bottle locks to keep you out of the liquor cabinet

Amazon

Tantalus Bottle Locks, available at Amazon, six for $US49.90

So you can stop getting blamed for your younger siblings’ delinquency. Then again, you might be shooting yourself in the foot for this one.


A carry-on cocktail kit to take the edge off the flight

Uncommon Goods

The Carry On Cocktail Kit: The Old Fashioned, available at Amazon, $US17.49

Dad’s sick of the same old scotch and soda he drinks on his red eyes. Help him change it up a bit.


A pillow just for naps

Casper

Casper Nap Pillow, available at Casper, $US35

What’s more precious to dad than his naps? Well, besides you…


A lava pizza stone

Williams Sonoma

Italian Lava Pizza Stone, available at Williams Sonoma, $US39.99

If he’s using a baking sheet – or worse, nothing but tin foil – to make pizzas, there’s no need to discuss it: It’s time for a change.


A chambray and leather apron

Crate & Barrel

Chambray Grey Apron, available at Crate & Barrel, $US29.95

No more bacon grease stains on his favourite football jersey.


A comb for life

Amazon

Chicago Comb Model No. 1, available at Amazon, $US39

This will likely outlast his hair, but when it does, he’ll look at it as a fond memory of his long-lost locks – of which, he’ll dare not let you forget, you singlehandedly stripped him during your formative years.


A chocolate and coffee sip and taste set

Amazon

Bean Box Coffee & Chocolate Gift Box, available at Amazon, $US38

Four pouches of gourmet coffee, beans whole or ground, paired with four chocolate bars and tasting notes.


Cufflinks from recycled circuit boards

Uncommon Goods

Reclaimed Circuit Board Cufflinks, available at Uncommon Goods, $US49.95

For his inner computer nerd, whether he’ll admit it’s there or not.


An Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon

Amazon Echo Dot, 2nd Generation, available at Amazon, $US39.99

The 2nd generation of the Amazon Echo Dot is less expensive, yet more compatible and compact than it’s next-generation replacement. Get this for dad while supplies last. If you don’t believe me, let one of our texperts explain.


Organic foot and shoe powder

Uncommon Goods

TrueNaturals All-Natural Foot and Shoe Powder, available at Uncommon Goods, $US23

A not-so-subtle gift for the whole family, but if there’s ever a time to let dad know that his feet stink to high heaven, it’s the holiday season.


A custom graphic map of his favourite city

Uncommon Goods

Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, starting at $US49

You can make one of your dad’s hometown, his college town, his favourite travel destination, or the place where he got engaged or married – you’re only limited by your imagination.


A guitar pick punch

Uncommon Goods

Pick Punch, available at Uncommon Goods, $US25

If dad doesn’t already play the guitar, it’s time. There is no instrument more “dad” than the ax. But, just as he loses his keys, he’ll constantly find himself in want of a pick. Make no mistake, this little tool will save him a few bucks over the years. Old gift cards and credit cards are fair game, but beware: so is your fake ID.


A handmade wooden back massager

Uncommon Goods

Handmade Wooden Rope Back Massager, available at Uncommon Goods, $US24

Dad could always use a massage, but this is for those times when no one is in the mood to give him one.


A Himalayan salt stone

Uncommon Goods

Himalayan Salt BBQ Block, available at Uncommon Goods, $US29.99

Heavy salting and charring might not be the best thing for dear old dad’s body, but it is simply rhapsodic to his soul.


Himalayan salt tequila glasses

Uncommon Goods

Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses, available at Uncommon Goods, four for $US28

More salt? Yes, we know. But if dad is anything of a tequila drinker, we’re sure there’s no better vessel from which to send (or sip) it down his gullet than these hand-carved salt glasses.


A kit to make his own hot sauce

Uncommon Goods

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $US34.95

Help dad ditch the Cholula and sriracha and tap into his creative side. Even if you’ve never seen it, it’s there. We promise.


A hot toddy spice kit

Uncommon Goods

Hot Toddy Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $US38

If he’s being a Grinch or a Scrooge, nothing will put him in the holiday spirit faster.


An exfoliating coffee scrub

Uncommon Goods

Le Labo Coffee Body Scrub, available at Nordstrom, $US44

Whether or not your father’s blackheads are shaping into braille, this scrub will leave his skin soft and smooth. As for that stubbly five o’clock shadow? Have a look at one of our shaving kits.


An eco-friendly enamel shaving kit

Napa Soap Company

Napa Soap Eco-Friendly Enamel Shaving Gift Set, available at Amazon, $US29.95

Banish the electric razor from your house by reminding your dad how lovely it is to shave with a real razor, a fine brush, and thick, frothy soap from a mug.

Also, check out our buying guide to the best shaving supplies here.


An assortment of liquor and beer nuts

Uncommon Goods

Beer & Bourbon Nuts, available at Uncommon Goods, $US30

Because no dad should ever be left with bourbon and no nuts.


A crate of ramen noodles and accouterments

Man Crates

Ramen Connoisseur Crate, available at Man Crates, $US54.99

If dad’s a ramen fiend, he’ll love this.

Check out other options from Man Crates here.


A classic French shellfish shucking tool

Opinel/Facebook

Opinel Shucking Tool #9, available at Amazon, $US20

There may be no other single gizmo that will make dad feel more like a man than a shucking tool. A classic design that hasn’t changed in, like, forever, Opinel has been making knives of all shapes and sizes for almost 130 years. This shucking tool is an all-in-one that can handle oysters and clams.

For an oyster-specific knife, my personal favourite from spending a few months behind an oyster bar is the Dexter New Haven Blade that’s available on Amazon for $US12.


Adjustable silicone bands for organising

Amazon

Packbands Adjustable Straps, available at eBay, three-pack for $US19.95

A solution to anything and everything from tools and loose wires to poorly packed suitcases.


An emergency pizza rescue kit

Uncommon Goods

Pizza Rescue Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $US15

For when delivery pizza doesn’t quite deliver.


A faux succulent Bluetooth speaker

Amazon

Succulent Speaker, available at Amazon, $US13.97

No matter how black his thumb, there is no way he can kill this thing (at least, we hope).


A folding multitool for his inner chef

Uncommon Goods

A Chef’s Portable Multi-Tool, available at Uncommon Goods, $US32

His campfire meals can only improve with this thing along for the trip.


A refreshing aftershave

Uncommon Goods

Proraso After Shave Lotion, available at Amazon, $US14

Help dad feel fresh and clean. He’s getting old. Also, check out our buying guide to the best shaving supplies here.


A soft pretzel and beer mustard making kit

Uncommon Goods

Pretzel and Beer Mustard Gift Set, available at Amazon, $US32.99

Dad deserves a pretzel made with love, even if he has to make it himself.


Cube-shaped steel drink chillers

Uncommon Goods

Brookstone n’ICE Cubes Stainless Steel Drink Chillers, available at Brookstone, six for $US9.99

Those big whiskey rocks can be heavy, if altogether unnecessary. Here’s a more refined, pared down option to chill his spirits.


An illustrated book on sushi

Uncommon Goods

“Sushi: Jiro Gastronomy,” available at Amazon, $US10.19

Inspiration for dad in the kitchen, or maybe just sushi smut.


A key finder

Uncommon Goods

Tile Mate Key Finder, available at Amazon, $US39.99

A compact key tracker for your hapless car-key-losing fool of a dad is honestly a really thoughtful and practical gift.


A money clip full of tools

Uncommon Goods

Credit Card Multitool Wallet With Money Clip, available at Amazon, $US19.99

If dad’s a tool guy, he can’t possibly not appreciate having one of these on him at all times. If he isn’t, and if he never even uses the thing, it will at the very least make him feel like he’s MacGuyver.


Bison-down trail socks

United By Blue

United By Blue Bison Wool Socks, available at United By Blue, $US38

Socks might seem boring to you now, but wait till you’re a dad. Socks like these will be worth their weight in gold.


A nearly indestructible fishing rod

Uncommon Goods

Ugly Stik Elite Fishing Rod, available at Amazon, $US49,95

If dad’s the kind of guy who breaks things (aren’t all dads?), this is the fishing rod for him.


A set of Waterford whisky glasses

Uncommon Goods

Marquis by Waterford Double Old Fashioned Glasses, available at Amazon, four for $US39.95

Your dad’s a classy guy, and even if he’s not, he should be drinking from crystal – if not platinum – by now, if for no other reason than all the years he’s had to put up with you.


A pair of durable stainless steel pint glasses that keep drinks cold for hours

Uncommon Goods

YETI Rambler Stackable Stainless Steel Pint Glasses, available at YETI, two for $US49.99

More things he can’t possibly break or kill.


A sandalwood-scented starter shaving set

Macy’s

The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Starter Kit, available at The Art of Shaving, $US30

In case you’ve been looking for a way to let dad know that it’s time to shave that patchy, salt-and-pepper-coloured thing that is growing on his face.


An outdoor fondue set

Uncommon Goods

Outdoor Fondue Pot, available at Uncommon Goods, $US39.99

For “rugged” weekends in the great outdoors.


A huge custom cardboard cutout of your lovely face

Amazon

3-Foot Cardboard Face Cutout, available at Amazon, $US44.99

Lest he forgets his one and only pride and joy.

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