Go Beyond Socks and Ties With Father's Day Gifts Under $20


Dad may say he wants only to fire up the grill this Father's Day, but surely he'd appreciate a thoughtful present. Having trouble finding a cheap Father's Day gift that won't get buried in his closet or sent back to the store? With the holiday coming up on Sunday, June 16, we've compiled a list of memorable yet affordable ($20 and under) ideas to consider.

For the penny pincher:

Did you get your frugality from your father? Help him save money -- and his skin -- with the Blade Buddy ($20 on Amazon), a product that keeps disposable razor blades sharp for months. Given that those pricey little cartridges are typically thrown out after only a week or so, this cheap Father's Day gift is not only good for Dad's wallet (and yours) but also good for the planet. The brand alleges that razor blades and packaging account for 2 million pounds of waste each year.

For the Sunday funnies reader:

Cartoonist Jeffrey Brown has followed up last year's popular Star Wars: Darth Vader and Son with a new book, Star Wars: Vader's Little Princess (less than $9 on Amazon). Whether you're the son or a daughter of a Star Wars fan, one (or both) of these hardcovers makes a fitting and cheap Father's Day gift. Darth Vader is portrayed as just like any other father dealing with lightsabers and the Force. In the new book, he tries to keep Princess Leia from spending too much time gabbing with her friends via R2-D2 hologram and forbids her from wearing that famous metal bikini in public.

For the griller:

With this cheap Father's Day gift, a dad who always takes charge of summer barbecues can grill indoors, as well. The Cuisinart Sandwich Grill ($20) specializes in grilled cheese but can also cook omelets, fruit tarts, and French toast. Reviewers on Amazon say the green light on top reliably lets the user know exactly when the food is done, so it doesn't burn, and the nonstick cooking plates require no added grease, making for more healthful meals. The manufacturer offers a limited three-year warranty.

For the handyman:

If you always call on Dad to fix a leaky sink or help hang a picture, make sure he comes prepared with the Craftsman Evolv Homeowner Tool Set ($16 at Sears). The carrying bag contains a claw hammer, slip-joint pliers, an adjustable wrench, a torpedo level, a snap-off knife, a tape measure, and a screwdriver with 16 bits. All the tools are covered by the brand's lifetime guarantee.

For the mediaphile:

Even cheap tablets cost a couple hundred dollars, but good, old-fashioned magazine subscriptions are usually a bargain. Make this cheap Father's Day gift more meaningful by selecting titles that cater to your dad's hobbies and interests. With the coupon code MPSBIG, you can get 12 issues of Car and Driver for $5, 10 issues of Men's Health for $15, 24 issues of Outside for $20, or 26 issues of ESPN The Magazine for less than $9 through MagazinesUSA. Choose one or two that will keep Dad occupied and content whether he's waiting at the airport or relaxing at home.