“Just not another tie!” It’s a common lament heard in early June as Father’s Day approaches and kids big and small ask Dad what type of tributes he might like to get on his big day all about him. Ties are the ultimate Father’s Day gift, but frankly, they’re not a very good gift.
One thing ties do have going for them is that they’re practical; most men need a tie in their lives, even if they don’t wear one very often. But if we’re talking about practical, useful gift ideas, we can do way better. So with the help of a few actual dads, we rounded up the best practical Father’s Day gift ideas — things Dad will actually use. Want more ideas? Check out our unique Father’s Day gift ideas, Target Father’s Day gifts, gifts from Nordstrom and gifts for every type of dad.
Erik Aleksi Solid Mahogany Tie and Belt Rack ($37.90; amazon.com)
So sure, “Just not another tie!” has become a bit of a running Father’s Day gag, but if too many ties is actually a problem your dad has in his life, why not solve it by buying him a wall-mounted tie rack — and, depending on how handy or not your dad is, consider installing it for him.
The Davek Traveler ($95; davekny.com)
A universal truth is that most umbrellas suck. So chances are high that Dad absolutely loathes his, which makes gifting him a high-end, top-rated, beloved travel umbrella that actually won’t break on him in the middle of a downpour a pretty genius move.
Cole Haan Osborn Plain Toe Derby ($160; nordstrom.com)
Steve Delahoyde, a father of two from Evanston, Illinois, confesses that on special occasions he looks forward to getting one very specific practical gift: a new pair of shoes. “I tend to never shop for shoes, and wear them into the ground, so when my wife gets them for me, I remember it’s nice to have new shoes,” he says.
Barbour Bedale Regular Fit Waxed Cotton Jacket ($400; nordstrom.com)
Ben Robinson, a father of two from Irvington, New York, and the founder of Stitchdown, a buyer’s guide for quality men’s footwear, says of his Barbour jacket, “I never saw myself as a Barbour guy — but the stigma around them is unfortunate. Because I use this jacket, and quite hard. And man does it look better for it.”
Velcro Wrap Tape ($15.80; amazon.com)
At the risk of peddling in stereotypes, dads love Velcro. Does this love of Velcro materialize upon the birth of a first child? We may never know, but we do know that many, many dads deeply love Velcro, so if your dad is a Velcro Guy, get him a roll of the stuff and watch his face light up.
DeWalt Glue Gun ($29.97; homedepot.com)
Adhesives, generally, seem to be popular with the dad set, if Robinson is any indication. “When all else fails, basically anything around any home can be fixed with hot melt glue,” he says. He calls this heavy-duty Dewalt glue gun “by far my most used tool.”
Grilltastic Grill Cleaner ($99.95; williams-sonoma.com)
Mike Barish, the father of two boys (and several chickens) from Flanders, New Jersey, says of the Grilltastic grill brush, simply, “I love this so much.” He adds that “a good steam cleaner for the grill is amazing.”
DrillBrush Set ($14.95, originally $18.95; amazon.com)
If your dad already has a grill brush he loves, level up his brush game with a DrillBrush set. The DrillBrush comes with three scrub brush attachments for use with a power drill, a 2-inch flat round brush, a 4-inch flat round brush and an oval brush. The DrillBrush can be used to clean everything from the bathtub to a canoe.
Kobalt 2 In-In PVC Cutter ($25.98; lowes.com)
Calling all plant dads! A very cool DIY project for people who grow things is assembling a self-watering container that can be used as a planter for flowers, herbs or vegetables. This video tutorial is fantastic — if this looks like a project your dad might enjoy, a PVC cutter is a great gift idea, since self-watering containers use PVC piping to create the internal mechanism.
Ivy Bronx Grider Solid Wood Dining Table ($316.99; wayfair.com)
Delahoyde says that buying an outdoor dining table “was one of the best things we did last summer during the pandemic.” When life moved outdoors in 2020, many people found they enjoyed it greatly, and while we’re all happy for a return to normalcy, there are some things from the depths of the pandemic that are worth keeping.
The Executioner Fly Killer Racket ($26.99; amazon.com)
Barish calls this bug zapper “the most satisfying” thing he owns. “It makes me a hero in my kids’ eyes with every kill,” he says.
The reviews of this thing are incredible and hilarious (“This is the most awesome present ever. If, like me, you seem to be a walking wasp magnet, this is probably the best invention of all time. I work with the window open and my day is now interspersed with brief flurries of ‘Wasp Wimbledon,’ so I am even getting exercise whilst defending myself.”), so if you and your dad like to share some laughs, this present will do double duty.
Huron Hair Duo ($28; huron.com)
If your good shampoo always seems to be running low a lot faster than it should be, you might have a product sneak in the family! Ditch his bottle of drugstore stuff and get Dad his own high-end shampoo and conditioner; Huron’s products are luxury quality in stripped-down, unfussy packaging.
Hawthorne Face First Starter Set ($48; hawthorne.com)
Maybe the product sneak in your family has his sights more on your eye cream than on your shampoo, and you simply don’t have it in you to try to explain the difference between face wash and an exfoliating scrub to your father. This skin care bundle by Hawthone includes face wash, moisturizer and a daily sunscreen that are designed to be a straightforward starter set for those who are new to skin care.
Vivere Double Cotton Hammock With Steel Stand ($99.99, originally $119.99; amazon.com)
Barish loves this hammock, which he says is “easy to set up, big enough for two people and super comfortable. I spend most evenings after the kids’ bedtime just lounging in this.” If you’re on the fence about this one, you should know that hammocks were an almost universal gift pick among the dads we spoke to.
Gleener Fuzz Remover ($19.99; containerstore.com)
The Gleener Fuzz Remover is a fantastic sweater depiller, and sweater dads will quickly become obsessed with the way it removes pills, fuzz and lint from sweaters. The tool comes with three changeable blades in different weights to remove pills from fine, medium or heavy fibers, and the handle is fitted with a lint remover to make cleanup quick.
RTIC Jug ($44.99, originally $51.10; amazon.com)
Practical gifts that make outdoor activities easier for parents to manage were a big hit among the dads we talked to, like this giant jug. “I love this because we all bring our own water bottles to the beach and playgrounds,” Barish says, “but this allows us to refill them on hot days or during activities that have us out of the house for hours.”