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Every time a gift-giving occasion rolls around, I try to search for gift ideas for my husband. I never seem to find a list that fits him at all. This year, I thought I would write my own in hopes of helping someone else struggling to find a good gift guide for manly husbands. You know, husbands who aren’t defined by their beard, aren’t into grilling or wearable tech, and are way past basic outdoor gear.
These are gifts for the hardworking man who comes home smelling like diesel fuel. Gifts for the man who can drive a bulldozer, who spends hours on a bush hog, and who doesn’t take his truck in for an oil change or to get the tires rotated, but does it himself. Gifts for the man who has dirty fingernails and spends the day working outside. If your husband knows more than most employees at Lowe’s and Home Depot, this gift guide is for you. If you never fear for your safety at night because your husband is sleeping beside you and you know nothing can get through him, then this list is for you. If your husband has you so prepared, equipped, and trained that even when he is gone you never get scared at night, then this list is definitely for you! I don’t know what to call men like these, but I sure am thankful for mine! I’m sure you are too!
When I decided to write this post, I went straight to the source. I asked my husband to send me a list of gifts for men like him. The following is that list, plus a few additions of my own he didn’t think of himself.
To start things off, we have a list of gifts that will fit in his pocket. I call my husband’s pant’s pockets his “Mary Poppins pockets”. They are an endless abyss full of useful gear.
This may seem like an odd gift, but it is one that could save a life. My husband has recently been made aware of the Stop the Bleed campaign. We now have tourniquets in all of our vehicles and first aid kits. If your husband is into outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, hiking, shooting, etc.) or has a lifestyle (like farming or construction) that comes with a level of risk, a tourniquet would be a great practical gift. My husband recommends buying tourniquets from North American Rescue, which is located in our state, South Carolina. You can buy their tourniquets on their website, or for a few dollars cheaper on Amazon*. Check out Stop the Bleed and NAR for more information about tourniquets, the current research, and training.
Behind his pen and Sharpie, the item he uses most often is his pocket flashlight*. You may be thinking who needs a flashlight with a phone in your pocket, but let me tell you this little flashlight is super convenient. My husband uses it all the time. He has given them to pretty much all the men in his life and all of them have been quick converts. Men from all walks of life, not just the farmer/ship’s mate type. His dad is an architect and my brother-in-law is a nurse and they both get tons of use out of this little flashlight*. If your guy likes practical gifts, this is a no brainer. It will quickly become a daily pocket staple.
This one is more for whoever does the laundry in your house. My husband needs a tissue in his pocket 24/7. It wasn’t long after we got married that I got super fed up with picking tissue fragments out of the washer and dryer. My solution? I purchased these tissue sized handkerchiefs* for my husband. They have been great. If one gets washed in his pocket, it’s no big deal, now it’s clean. He bought into using these pretty easily too. He seems to like them better. He tends to carry around one tissue for I don’t even want to know how long (ick) and these hankies hold up a lot better than a tissue. For an added touch, you (or your older child) could try your hand at embroidery and add his initials to them. I ordered my husband a nice handkerchief with his monogram from Etsy and gave it to him at the same time as these. Well, the second batch of these*. We now have quite a collection. 3 sets I think.
Leatherman Wave Multitool
PSA from my Husband: If the gifts on this list sound like a good fit for your husband, then he probably already has a Leatherman. So, make sure to check before you make the purchase.
Another tool in my husband’s actual belt. Literally, on his belt every day. This Inspector Gadget style multi-tool* has everything a manly man could need. 18 different tools are packed into this “knife”. Check it out*.
Side note: If you are looking for a good pocket knife for your man (or yourself), I recommend Kershaw knives. I’ve had this one* for years and love it!
Continuing on our “gifts that fit in pockets” theme…
Magpul iPhone Case
Does your husband still have an iPhone SE? Not the new one that just came out that is not the same size as the original (really, Apple?), but the old one from years back. Yes, mine too. This has been his go-to phone case* for years and years. He likes that it doesn’t add bulk to his phone, fits in his pockets nicely, and is a little grippy. The fact that it is “olive drab” doesn’t hurt either. He loves it and I can’t imagine him getting anything else, but it doesn’t offer quite enough protection in my opinion. As evidenced by the cracked screen he is sporting these days. However, he has used this case for years and this is his first cracked screen. He buried a phone with the bulldozer, but no case would have helped in that situation. They have cases for newer phone models too*.
Moving on from pocket-friendly items… let’s talk about books.
I asked my husband for a book recommendation and he immediately said The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander*. It is a leadership book where a former Delta Force Commander applies what he learned in combat to everyday life using stories from his time in Delta Force. My husband has been loaning this book around to all his friends.
I recently gave him Elisabeth Elliot’s book The Mark of a Man: Following Christ’s Example of Masculinity*. He read it and liked it. Elisabeth Elliot wrote this book as a letter to her nephew, similarly to how she wrote Let Me Be a Woman* (one of my favorites) as a letter to her daughter.
I could give you a ton more. My husband is a big reader. Let me know in the comments if you would like more book recommendations for husbands and I’ll see what I can do!
Continuing into the practical gift genre…
I recently converted from a Sonicare toothbrush to a Quip electric toothbrush*. It has been over 6 months, and while there was an adjustment period, I am pleased with the switch. I like the slimness of the toothbrush, the holder/travel case, and the affordable refill plans. For $5 every 3 months you get a new head and replacement battery for your toothbrush automatically in the mail (not required). This is great. No guessing when the last time you changed your toothbrush head, no spending time trying to find the best deals on replacement heads (I think the cheapest I found Sonicare heads was $6/each), and no going longer than you should because you’re waiting on a sale (guilty!). Well, my husband is on his third Sonicare toothbrush since we got married a little over 3 years ago. When his Sonicare gave out this last time, I gave him my handle and I switched to Quip*. It is on its last leg now and I already have a quip toothbrush waiting for him when it does give out. Sonicare provides a superior clean with less effort, but the expense and reduction in quality make Quip my choice. Quip* is an acceptable step down from Sonicare and other electric toothbrushes like it, but a big step up from a manual toothbrush.
Referral Offer: Free $5 Refill when you use my link!
The Necessities: Food and Water
My husband took on a huge project in 2018. It required very strenuous physical labor and a 2-hour commute every day. It took him almost a year to finish it and he did an amazing job. I have never seen him more exhausted and I’ve never been more proud. I will have to dedicate a whole post to this project at some point, but for now, it is just an intro to the next two gift ideas. I purchased the next two items for him during this project and they served him well.
What dad doesn’t need a manly lunch box? My husband was pleasantly surprised when I got this one* for him. He had been using my nice lunch box and getting it all dirty. This is more his speed than my floral one. He, of course, got a green one, but it doesn’t look like they sell it anymore. This same brand has this new model that looks good though. This lunch box* spent a year doing its thing and taking a beating and it is still in good usable condition, however, my husband doesn’t use it much anymore now that his project is over.
In addition to a lunch bag, a large water jug is a summer must-have for the hard-working man. My husband was a slow Yeti covert just like me. He, also like me, thought it was a marketing gimmick. Fast forward 3 years and several Yeti products later and he is a reluctant convert. While we both think most of their products are a little over the top, we do like their drinkware. I got him the big 64-ounce jug and it was literally life-sustaining on his project. We used these big ice cube trays* to fill it with ice each morning. The ice lasted all day and he was able to refill it as needed and have ice cold water all day, even in the middle of a hot South Carolina summer. I don’t think he would have survived without it. He just pulled it out to start using it this summer. We did purchase a straw cap* for it to make drinking from it easier. He didn’t actually use the internal straw though, he just tilts it up to drink. If your husband works outside in the hot summer months, I highly recommend a Yeti jug. Unfortunately, they retired this model. They have a new half-gallon model* though that actually looks more functional. They also have a 36-ounce option* that would probably work well too if you refilled more often.
Pro Tip: I usually order direct from Yeti. They have free ground shipping and sometimes their prices are better, so make sure and check. You can also add an engraving. I won’t get a commission if you do, but that’s ok. 🙂
Now, moving into the spoil your husband category…
Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul
My husband grew up in Colorado where his family loved having a real fire in the fireplace as much as possible. As a result, he is no stranger to splitting wood. Every year, when we go visit, he still spends a morning or afternoon splitting a huge stack of firewood for his parents. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the need for firewood in South Carolina is mainly for outdoor fires on summer nights. Regardless, every self-respecting man owns a good splitting maul, so he put this particular, really nice, splitting maul* on his gift list. I gave it to him for our first married Christmas. He used it this week actually and commented on how nice it is to use. *Bonus* Watching your husband split firewood is pretty hot. Just saying…
You can’t go wrong with a nice scotch (unless your husband doesn’t like scotch or he doesn’t drink). Is there a nice bottle of Scotch your husband has been wanting to try or own? If you don’t know your husband’s version of a nice Scotch, you could always go to a nice liquor store and tell them what your husband does like and ask what they would recommend. My husband recently tried Lagavulin and wasn’t a big fan at first, but it grew on him and now he would be very happy to have a bottle of his own. Personally, the only scotch I genuinely enjoy is Aberlour. That probably means it is a good one for husbands who are interested in dipping their toes in the world of scotch.
The next best thing…
I am sure you know of one piece of equipment your husband would love to upgrade. You know, that item that seems to always need upgrading. I wouldn’t go this route unless you are familiar with what your husband has already and what he wants next. These types of items can be like trucks, don’t buy your man a “Chevy” when he is a “Ford” man. Or Toyota in my case. You know your husband and likely already have an idea of what this item would be for your husband. If not, ask him. He will probably love to tell you all about it. Maybe the gift could be a “coupon” to upgrade an item of his choice?
When I asked my husband for ideas for this post, this last one surprised me. He usually isn’t a getaway type of guy. Since he works away from home half the year when he is home he usually wants to be home. I say all that to say, your husband may secretly want a night away with you too. Give Grandma a call to watch the children and see if you can find a nice B&B nearby and get away for the night. This might pair well with the splitting maul. 😉
Well, there you have it. The gift guide for the man who comes home smelling like diesel fuel.
What would you add to the list to help other wives? Let us know in the comments below.
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