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Cooks, sports guys, gadget gurus will enjoy Father's Day

Story Highlights

• Survey: 7 in 10 people will give Dad a card; 4 of 10 will take him out to dinner
• "Barbecue is huge this year" because of infrared technology, Lowe's rep says
• Other gift ideas: GPS gadget, gaming hardware, lawn tractor, electronics
By Linda Petty
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(CNN) -- One shopping expert says that most gifts for Father's Day will fit in one of four categories.

"You're the barbecue guy, you're the golf guy, you're the gadget guy or you're the sports guy. And if you're not one of those guys -- you're not really getting a gift -- you're getting a necktie," says reporter Allison Kaplan, who writes a column on shopping for Pioneer Press.

This Father's Day, many dads could be learning a new way to barbecue.

"Barbecue is huge this year because infrared technology is where it's at for dads this year," says Lowe's spokeswoman Jennifer Wilson. "One of the biggest sellers is a Jenn-Air four-burner with a 40-burger capacity -- it's got a lot of meat to it -- no pun intended."

It's also got a price tag of $999. That's tiny when you consider shoppers are expected to spend close to $10 billion for Father's Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey.

Not all dads will be getting high-end gifts.

About seven in 10 people will give Dad a card, and four of 10 will take him out to dinner, the survey found. More than one-third will be giving Dad some sort of apparel.

One popular gift for the golf guy is the Dremel Golf Cleaning Kit, according to Jean Osta Niemi of Home Depot. Cleaner clubs mean better ball control and accuracy, according to the store.

The store's Web site also has a category for weekend warrior dads who declare war on broken things in the house and need the tools to fix them.

Some shoppers went a different direction, reports a salesman at Best Buy.

"A hot item has been GPS systems, especially with families heading out on vacation with Dad usually doing the driving. A lot of the moms and kids have been coming in and getting Dad a GPS system for his vehicle," says Mike Kingrey.

Not even the drought across the country has quenched the male need for powerful ways to control the lawn. One woman ordered a tractor from Lowe's to deliver as a surprise to her husband.

"These are their toys, regardless of whether or not grass is growing. The John Deere zero-radius turn is really what we're seeing as a popular item because it gives Dad that sort of landscaper's tool in his own back yard," Wilson said.

About 12 percent of shoppers say they will be giving Dad home improvement or gardening tools, according to the NRF survey.

And when Dad's tired of working in the home or yard, he may be able to play a game.

For a couple of years, shoppers have been buying gaming hardware such as Xbox 360s or PlayStations for dads.

"The gaming industry keeps getting geared more and more toward adults -- mostly the males. A lot of dads are big gamers now," says Kingrey.

Consumer electronics or computer accessories are expected to account for almost 18 percent of Father's Day sales.

At the of his exciting day, Dad could use some of the top gift choices from Sharper Image. He could put on a pair of the store's "Noise-cancellation Headphones" while sitting in the "Ultimate Human Touch Robotic Massage Chair."

But if he wants to enjoy his new flat-panel television or home theater system, Kingrey suggests you give Dad a break and also buy the store's professional installation package.

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