How to find cool gadgets for dads
You’re probably here in search of the perfect gift for your dad. Some cool gadgets for Father’s Day, maybe, since he seems to be into them. But “gadgets” can be a pretty extensive category and there are very few people, if any, who can be said to like them all. What kind of gadget would be good for a dad? Because what’s cool for one generation is not necessarily what the previous one gets enthused about — heck, it’s hard enough shopping for friends and coworkers, and those tend to be the same age as ourselves.
There are a lot of cool gadgets for dad out there, but to pick something he’ll actually use you have to take a few things into account, and not just buy the first thing that’s for sale. Most middle-aged men tend to have a large number of interests and hobbies or to take special pride in their job. What are these where your dad is concerned?
How we choose the best gadgets for dads
Even if you’re aware of all this, it’s notoriously easy for a dilettante to slip and buy the wrong thing when niche products are concerned. What might seem like a good brand or product to an outsider could be famously derided within a hobbyist community.
That’s why our first advice is to look at what other people with the same interests have to say, what are their comments on the particular product you have in mind. Besides this, we have some general rules you should consider when looking for great gadgets for dad.
Mature men tend to have a different attitude towards brands than younger people. While the brand is indeed very important for them, they tend to scoff at brands that construct that construct around outside factors rather than the quality of their product.
We recommend you avoid brands that overemphasize the lifestyle part of marketing, that go out of their way to sell the image of their ideal consumer, of the type of person that would be interested in their product and what qualities he or she might have. (Certain famous gadget manufacturers are particularly guilty of this.) Your typical dad has his own identity, which was provided by his career and community, he doesn’t need one marketed to him.
What a typical dad does look for however is dependability. They are attracted to brands who made a name for themselves for producing quality items. Personal experience with a product matters the most in this regard, and they tend to be particularly loyal to brands that served them well in the past.
Your dad’s favorite manufacturers might not produce the gadget you have in mind. The second thing to look for is quality. Needless to say, don’t buy the cheap sort made from less reliable materials.
While some dads might not be aware of the fame some less-than-trustworthy brands made for themselves, he will most certainly wake up to this when the product stops working. Besides, trying to skim a few bucks off the gifts for your parents is a pretty underhanded thing to do.
Most parents of grown children come from a time when the vast majority of consumer goods weren’t specifically designed to break off after a few years of use, so they generally expect them to last for a fair while. So go for the premium, if you can afford it. Dads are typically pleased by items they can hold on to since the thought that they own “good stuff” is very satisfying to them.
Obviously, you’ll need to buy something of use to your dad, or at least something he’ll derive some joy from using. We tend to see gadgets as over-expensive toys, but this shouldn’t necessarily be the case.
As we already mentioned, look to his interests and hobbies to get ideas for over-expensive toys, but he’ll equally appreciate if you take things such as his profession into account, and actually buy something practical.
Think about a smartwatch — on which he could connect to the internet on the go — if he often works away from an office, or the latest heavy duty laptop if he is a construction or marine engineer. It doesn’t even need to be expensive, just a little practical item — like a novelty flashlight or a staple-free stapler — that will help him out at work but he didn’t even know it existed.
You could, of course, go for something of everyday use, which comes in handy to almost anybody, like a nifty new garage opener, a pocket multi-tool, the latest Swiss Army knife, a toothbrush that stores its own toothpaste, microwaveable socks (for keeping your feet warm), etc.
If yours is the type of dad that appreciates little gestures, he’ll be very content with such apparently trivial and very affordable items. After all, older generations tend to be financially better off than their kids and can buy their own pricey electronics.
We recommend however to stay away from borderline toys/desk toys, such as Buckyballs or the transfer of kinetic energy pendulums you see in movies. They might seem impersonal since they offer very little practical value for anybody.
What to avoid
Dads are a pretty diverse group, and their taste in gadgets, both electronics, and novelties, encompasses a very wide range. Hence, it might be more helpful to know what *not* to buy for a typical father. This, of course, applies only to most circumstances and some of it might be so obvious as to appear condescending to the reader.
Commercially available drones and any other remote controlled flyers are obviously off your list since they look too much like toys, even if not marketed as such.
Another safe bet is audio equipment, such as speakers, subwoofers, and headphones. If a middle aged man is interested in this sort of stuff, he’s likely to have his own semi-professional equipment by now.
Any smartphone or tablet that does the same thing as his own, but a little better. While essential for modern living, these aren’t really tools that people of previous generations feel the need to upgrade, as long as they do their job properly. A father might perceive your gift as a comment in regards to the quality of the product he owns.