Father's Day Gifts Dads Don't Want — and What to Give 'Em Instead

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Make His Day

Father's Day: the day to remind your favorite dad, grandfather, uncle, spouse, friend, or brother with kids that they're loved and appreciated. Only this year, let's skip the coffee mug and T-shirt — dad already has plenty of those — and get him something he truly wants and can use regularly. Stuck for inspiration? Read on for some suggestions of what to buy dad this Father's Day (and what to skip).

Price and availability subject to change.

RelatedFather's Day Gift Subscriptions Dads Will Love

charcoal grill

What He Doesn't Want: A Cheap BBQ Grill

This year, the first day of summer falls on Father's Day, and there's no better way to kick off the season than with a barbecue with the family on a brand new grill. But cheap grills won't last more than a season or two and don't provide the kind of steady, even, high heat that serious grilling enthusiasts want or need.

RelatedThese Gorgeous Grills Belong in Your Fantasy Outdoor Kitchen

Weber Summit E-670
Home Depot

What He Really Wants: Weber Summit E-670

$2,950 from Home Depot

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Weber commands strong owner loyalty, from the inexpensive and iconic charcoal kettle grills to this pricey propane grill. It has six stainless-steel burners that produce 60,000 BTUs, as well as a 12,000-BTU side burner and a separate burner for searing, plus an infrared rotisserie and a smoker box. The Summit E-670 is available in stainless or black stainless steel, and a natural gas model is also available.

Related: 11 Hot Tips to Make Your Grill Last

Bartender tools
Cesare Ferrari/istockphoto
Bartesian Cocktail and Margarita Machine

What He Really Wants: Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine

$350 from Amazon
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Now we're talking. Upgrade those at-home happy hours with the Keurig-like Bartesian, which makes preparing an expertly mixed cocktail as easy as pushing a button. Fill the four glass chambers with the booze of your choice, insert a flavor capsule, choose drink strength, and the machine does the rest. 

Related: Boozy Gifts That Don Draper Would Endorse

Maintenance DIY tools in tool bag

What He Doesn't Want: A Home Tool Kit

If dad's a practical, hands-on kind of guy, he's probably already got a workshop full of screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, hammers, and power tools. A brand new tool kit is likely to contain items he already owns, and the hardware found in cheap multipiece tool sets is often of lesser quality.

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Leatherman MultiTool

What He Really Wants: Leatherman Wingman Multitool

$60 from Amazon
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A multitool is handy to have for any quick-fix situation your favorite handyman will face, and it will take up next to no space in his glove compartment or center console. This one has 14 tools, including a knife, pliers, a screwdriver, and a wirecutter.

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Egg slicer and boiled eggs on the saucers closeup

What He Doesn't Want: Useless Kitchen Gadgets

Whether or not dad is a whiz in the kitchen, a gift of random cooking gadgets is unlikely to improve his culinary skills... and the kitchen drawers are probably already loaded with little-used tools already (egg slicer, anyone?).

Related21 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Get Rid of Right Now


What He Really Wants: Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

$25 from Amazon
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Bring the drive-thru home with a morning sandwich maker. The dishwasher-safe set takes your own fresh ingredients — like eggs, English muffins, ham, bagels, or sausage — and turns them into an effort-free breakfast of champions.

RelatedThe Greatest Breakfast Sandwich In Every State

Publish a Book

What He Doesn't Want: Another Book

Dad may be a voracious reader, but he's probably already got a pile of books in his to-read pile and a library card full of books on hold. Unless there's a specific title he's been dying to read, skip the Father's Day gift of yet another book and think more creatively.

Related27 Most Beautiful Bookstores Around the World

Kindle Paperwhite

What He Really Wants: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

$130 from Amazon
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The 300 ppi Kindle Paperwhite provides a crisp, clean 6-inch display for dad's e-books at a hard-to-beat price. She'll never have annoying glare on a sunny day, and the battery provides weeks of juice. There's also a built-in light that's adjustable for reading in any environment, no matter how bright or dim.

RelatedClever and Creative Gifts for Book Lovers

A Better Wallet
3-in-1 Card Case

What He Really Wants: 3-in-1 Card Case

$95 from Coach
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Instead of a traditional wallet, consider this sleek card case. Its super-slim design is ideal for travel or running errands (like going to the gym) when carrying all of your cards is impractical. Made of calfskin leather, it has three slots for credit cards and an ID, plus a money clip on the back.

Related: Gifts for Men Who Have Everything

'Best Dad Ever' Mug

What He Doesn't Want: A Ceramic Mug

So dad drinks a lot of coffee (or maybe tea). But if he's anything like most of us, he's already collected way too many mugs, many of which are just gathering dust in the back of the cabinet.

Related: Perk 'Em Up with These Great Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Coffee Subscription Box
Trade Coffee

What He Really Wants: Coffee Subscription Box

$15 and up from Trade Coffee
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A coffee snob loves nothing better than discovering local roasters and sampling their beans. Traveling across the country isn't terribly practical these days, so why not let the roasters come to you? Trade Coffee subscription service works with 50 noteworthy roasters like Cuvee Coffee in Austin, Caffe Vita in Seattle, and PT's Coffee Roasting Co. in Topeka, Kansas.  

Related: Subscription Box Gifts That Keep the Giving Going

Feetures Socks
Tommy John
Tommy John

What He Really Wants: Tommy John Second Skin Boxer Briefs

$36 from Tommy John
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If you're determined to go the utilitarian route, at least splurge a little bit. Happy buyers say wearing these super-soft Tommy John boxer briefs, made of a non-pilling micro modal, is as close as it gets to wearing nothing at all. They also have a stay-put waistband to help prevent any chafing or other discomfort. 

Related: Gifts for Him Under $50

Restaurant gift cards
Joel Carillet/istockphoto

What He Doesn't Want: Restaurant or Retail Gift Cards

Gift cards are a practical gift for anyone you don't know well, but they fall flat when you're gifting your nearest and dearest. Even if you give your special someone a gift card for their favorite restaurant or store, it doesn't require much thought — and if you're married, it's basically like shuffling money around.

Related: Engraved Gifts That Will Make 'Em Remember You

Hot Air Balloon

What He Really Wants: Virgin Experience Gift Card

$50 and up from Virgin Experience Gifts
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Still a gift card, but with a twist: You're giving a once-in-a-lifetime experience of their choice. Virgin offers everything from romantic hot-air balloon rides to wine tasting to the chance to get behind the wheel of a race car. In other words, something way more memorable than a dinner-and-a-movie date night.

Related: Memorable Experiences Worth Giving