When is Father's Day? That's easy: It's Sunday, June 20 — so coming up very soon.
But here's a much harder question: Just what in the world should you buy your dad this Father's Day?
It's always difficult to come up with genuinely good Father's Day gift ideas. Why? As consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow put it, most dads are "still better givers than takers," and the idea of pampering or splurging on them is prone to making many dads feel awkward and uncomfortable.
The best approach to buying Father's Day gifts for your dad — or grandfather, spouse, or other father figure — is to keep it simple and spend your money wisely. Also, follow the golden rule for all kinds of gift-giving by being thoughtful about who he truly is and what he'd really like, as opposed to buying him a gift you feel he needs.
Best Father's Day gifts: Ideas for 2021
With that in mind, here are some fun and practical gift ideas for different kinds of dads. Most if not all are available with fast shipping from Amazon, so you can order them at the last minute.
Gifts ideas for dads who love the outdoors
These binoculars are from a top brand (Bushnell), and they're the perfect size to bring on any hike or camping adventure. As a bonus, they're totally waterproof and won't fog up. Nearly 80% of Amazon reviewers give them a five-star rating too.
Alternately, check out our list of the best binoculars, which include recommendations for models that are particularly good values, or good for stargazing or viewing things at a distance in low light.
Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock: From $26.95
Here's the #1 bestselling camping hammock at Amazon, where it has a perfect five-star rating based on over 29,000 reviews. At less than $30, it's also super affordable.
JBL Clip 4 Portable Speaker: $69.95
The JBL Clip 4 is the perfect Bluetooth speaker to take on the go — on hikes, bike rides, the beach, just hanging around the pool and much more. It features a built-in carabiner that clips easily onto a backpack or bike, and a 10-hour playback time that should be more than sufficient for most adventures.
Upgrade your dad's camping chair with this portable, fold-up rocker. It comes with a carrying bag and is perfect for the backyard or tailgating, in addition to the campground.
If your dad's favorite outdoors spot is his backyard or pool, give him a pair of recliners for ultimate relaxation. This set of chairs from Best Choice are the #1 bestsellers at Amazon in the "Patio Lounge Chairs" category, and they come with a weight capacity up to 250 pounds.
Grizzly 15 Cooler 15 Quart: $149.99
Your dad would probably never splurge and buy himself a top-notch cooler from a brand like Grizzly. But that's a great argument for you to buy one for him for Father's Day.
Gifts for dads who love gardening and home projects
There's something incredibly satisfying about blasting away dirt and grime with a good pressure washer, and this Greenworks model has a lot going in its favor. First off, it uses battery power, so there's no worrying about cords or gas. It's also surprisingly powerful and affordable for an electric pressure washer, with a rating of 2,200 PSI and a price that's usually just under $300.
This set of five tools has durable, no-slip grips and is made of aluminum, so they won't rust or bend. They could be exactly what your dad — and his garden — needs this summer.
Undeniably one of the best flashlights you can buy, the Olight S2R Baton II is small, powerful and incredibly practical for any project or adventure where low light or darkness may be an issue (think: camping). It's got a conveniently rechargeable battery that lasts up to 60 days without needing a charge, features a great variety of different lighting modes, and comes with a magnetic bottom so it can be stuck to parts of a car or appliance while your dad is working.
Kim Yuan Leather Work Gloves: $15.99
Your dad will be happy to have these all-purpose leather work gloves while tackling almost any kind of chore. Some of the gardening pros we talked to said they're ideal for landscaping and many other rugged jobs.
A cordless drill and driver is probably the most important tool you can get. So get your dad one from a top trusted brand, like DeWalt.
Sun Joe 8: $79.56
The Sun Joe offers great versatility in a chainsaw. It can attach to a pole for trimming branches overhead, and be detached from the pole for smaller jobs — including the chopping down of brush and even mid-size trees. Operates via corded electric power, which some people love because you don't have to deal with gas.
Father's Day gifts for dads who love to cook
This cast-iron cookware set is classic and functional in the kitchen or over an open fire in the great outdoors. Pro chefs rave about Lodge dutch ovens, skillets and pans, including one pan that's great for making pizza.
Charcoal, gas, or pellets? There are pros and cons to each kind of grill, but the consensus is that you'll get better flavor using pellets or charcoal. If your dad has loved to cook — or at least grill — for a while, he's probably most comfortable with charcoal, which is still the standard and adds that smoky taste to anything he wants to sear or smoke. This Masterbuilt model was named one of our best grills for your money by barbecue pros.
Your dad's grilling tools are probably overdue for replacing. Here's a solid set with everything he'll need for the grill.
Delicious and 100% fair trade organic, the Grounds & Hounds Single Origins pack comes with three 12-ounce bags of whole beans from a trio of countries known for bold and rich coffee: Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and Colombia.
Ooni Karu Outdoor Pizza Oven: From $359.99
This outdoor pizza oven comes highly recommended by pizza-making connoisseurs, though, frustratingly, it's been periodically out of stock at Amazon lately. Snag one when you can, and dad will be able to churn out each crispy, thin-crust pizza to order in just 60 seconds.
Fred Pizza Boss 3000: $16
Sometimes, you just want to give your dad a cute and goofy gift that makes him smile. And yes, the Fred's Pizza Boss 3000 might look like a mini circular saw but it actually functions well as a pizza cutter — it has a near-5-star rating at Amazon, based on over 3,300 reviews.
Gifts for dads who love fun, games and family nights
Give family movie night a serious upgrade this summer with the addition of a portable projector like this model from Anker. The Mars Nebula II has a battery that lasts three hours and features built-in 10-watt speakers. Basically, it's what you need for hosting simple impromptu backyard movie parties, with no cords or hassle to deal with. If the price tag seems a bit high, consider the Anker Nebula Capsule projector, which is smaller and has less powerful speakers — and costs about $250 less.
Cheap cornhole sets just don't cut it. They're too small, or flimsy, or the bags are too light and don't toss just right. GoSports makes a variety of backyard game sets, including top-rated solid wood cornhole sets in a choice of regulation ($127) or tailgate size ($100).
This Stiga model is one of our absolute favorite ping-pong tables because it comes from a top brand and features a aluminum composite playing surface that's incredibly durable and offers a better and more consistent bounce compared to other outdoor tables. Equipped with wheels, it's super easy to fold up and store too.
Paper airplanes are cool. And this "paper" airplane takes things to the next level. Yes, paper is still the material that keeps this plane afloat. But it comes with a motor, frame, propellers and remote control capability from your phone, giving dad the possibility of piloting the plane with loops and barrel rolls on flights that last up to 10 minutes before needing a recharge.
The pun could be the mother (or father?) of all dad jokes. So get your dad this pun-filled card game and (sorry!) let the pun begin!
Monopoly: Pixar or Lord of the Rings Edition: $25 to $40
There are so many different editions of Monopoly, and there has to be one that will put a smile on the face of the dad in your life. Perhaps he's an old-school video game kind of guy? Then he'll love the of Super Mario Bros. edition of Monopoly, complete with vintage pixelated game tokens. Or maybe he's more likely to quote Mr. Incredible or Gandalf. In that case, you'd want to go with a Pixar or Lord of the Rings version, respectively.
Perhaps your dad is more of a Star Wars geek? Try this special version of Risk. Just be ready that whenever you invade his territory in the game, he's inevitably going to quote you-know-who and say: "I AM your father."
Rollers Backyard Game: $49.95
Here's a backyard or beach game you might not already have, and it's kind of like bocce and bowling, which are all-time favorites for dads.