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The best tech gifts for dad this Father’s Day

How to buy dad a tech gift without being cliché. 


Molly McHugh


Posted on Jun 14, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 3:27 am CDT

Despite the recent “lady tech” trend, electronics have typically been associated as something men like. Girls like jewelry, boys like computers. Women go shopping, their boyfriends play video games. There’s no shortage of gender-biased examples here.

That’s why, traditionally, Father’s Day has been a perfect opportunity for electronics companies to peddle their products. Get dad the TV he deserves! Show you love him with a new subwoofer! Nothing says “thanks for being my dad!” like a drone!

The tech-for-dad-day gifts fall into three categories: Geeky tech dads, stupid tech dads, or manly tech dads. Apparently dads are either Arduino board-toting super nerds, completely inept geriatrics plink-plunking at keyboards, or buff, iPhone-obsessed middle-aged bros.

But your dad doesn’t have to be a he-man of the nerd variety; he doesn’t have to be a CNET-obsessed Glasshole to want a “tech” gift. He doesn’t have to be a drooling idiot who can’t figure out the difference between Google and a browser.

He can just be a normal person who likes, you know, cool stuff that requires the Internet, a charger, and/or batteries.

Old slide scanner

This device takes film slides, scans them, and saves them as JPEGs. Film slides are quickly becoming obsolete, and while I personally love the nostalgia of using a View-Master to look through my family’s photos (yep, they still have them), being able to digitally save the stuff as a backup system to post online is incredibly useful. Someday all the View-Masters will be gone (and I will sob) and we will need a way to reformat these memories. There are a few options out there that will do the trick.

Bye forever, VHS

Along the same lines as the scanner, you should get all those VHS home movies converted. It’s time. No one even has a VCR anymore. Here are a few services that can help.

High-tech vacuum cleaner

OK, maybe this is just me, but don’t dads effing love awesome vacuum cleaners? No? Just my dad? Well, my dad is awesome, and you’d be lucky if yours was anything like mine. He. Loves. Vacuum cleaners. Not just any old vacuum cleaner. A beastly vacuum cleaner. Maybe a vacuum cleaner that calls itself “the future of vacuuming” and has been heralded as the “Tesla of vacuum cleaners.” That should work.

Beer-making machine

If you have a lot of cash to burn and your dad likes beer, then just go ahead and buy him a PicoBrew Zymatic. I’m not yet 30 and the idea of spending hours pouring liquids from one tub into another makes me want to put on a Snuggie, grab an industrial-sized pack of Twizzlers, and hunker down. I just do not see my dad putting up with homebrewing on the regular. PicoBrew’s Zymatic combines the fun of making beer (because it ends in creating beer that you can drink and that is beer) with the fun of not slaving over hot kettles for hours. Homebrewing zealots, please get at me about how I’m a lazy-good-for-nothing product of the machine.

Home improvement

Seriously, every home being built today should be required to have USB sockets. But if your dad lives in a home without this totally necessary utility, it’s not all that hard to do yourself.

Image via nixternal/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jun 14, 2014, 11:31 am CDT