Father’s Day 2019: Cool tech gifts your dad will love

Cool tools for Dad you won’t find at the mall
David Gewirtz’s top gift ideas for Father’s Day include some unusual and unexpected products, not just more of what Dad has already seen at his local big box store.

Forget the socks or another T-shirt!

Choose a tech gift has been hand-picked, reviewed, and tested by a gadget-loving dad. Practical and fun doesn’t have to break the bank, either, with prices starting at $8.

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Soundcore Flare +

The Soundcore Flare + has become my go-to speaker for indoor and outdoor use (my previous favorite was the smaller Soundcore Flare).

Why do I like it? What’s not to like! It has powerful speakers capable of rich, deep, 360-degree, room-filling sound. It’s got cool LED lighting that changes to the music (don’t worry, Dad can turn that off if it’s not his thing!), can run for 20 hours, it has a USB port to keep smartphones and other devices charged up.

It’s also waterproof, making it a perfect choice for pool parties… and clumsy dads!

Price: $99.99

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iFixit Manta Driver Kit

The iFixit Manta Driver Kit is the perfect gift for dads who likes to repair things… or at least take things apart to see how they work (or used to work!).

This kit is incredibly versatile, and features 112 steel bits, which is every drive style and size Dad will need for any repair. The kit also comes with two premium drivers that feature magnetic bit socket holders and silky-smooth spinning tops.

To top it off – literally – the lid on the magnetized case conveniently doubles as a built-in sorting tray.

I’ve had my kit for some time now, and it’s had a lot of use and still looks and works like new.

Price: $59.99

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Roav VIVA Pro

Does Dad have Alexa in the living room, bedroom, office, or his man-cave? If so, why not get him one he can take on the road with him!

The Roav VIVA Pro is an Alexa-enabled 2-port USB car charger for that does pretty much everything the Alexa he has at home can do, with the added advantage of being able to go on the road.

The great thing about this updated Pro version is that it is compatible with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and it features a built-in auxiliary connector, and an FM transmitter. This makes it compatible with a broad range of vehicles and in-car entertainment systems, young and old.

The twin integrated microphones provide noise cancellation and accurate voice identification, and the dual USB charging ports feature Anker’s exclusive PowerIQ technology to deliver fast charging speeds to all devices.

Price: $72.99

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Zendure X6 USB-C power bank

If Dad likes his gadgets, then he no doubt likes to keep them charged up when he’s out and about. While there are a lot of cheap and cheerful USB-C chargers out there, the Zendure X6 power bank is something special.

The Zendure X6 USB-C is a portable charger with a difference. Not only does it feature 20,100mAh of portable battery capacity, compatible with QC 3.0 and offering 45W of PD (Power Delivery) power, it features five USB ports (one of which is a USB Type-C port) offering support for charging five devices simultaneously.

That’s a lot of power it can output!

The X6 also features a super-useful USB Hub mode (compatible with USB 2.0), which allows for data transfer over the two USB-A ports. Connect the USB-C port to a compatible desktop or laptop, and you can simultaneously charge your device and sync and manage your files across the twin USB-A ports. This means that not only can the X6 charge up a range of devices, from smartphones to MacBooks, but it can also act as a data hub, so as to not clog up a port while it is being used to charge.

Price: $139.99

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iSesamo

Put an end to Dad resorting to a screwdriver to pry things apart! The iSesamo is a thin metal sheet with a non-slip handle that makes splitting open devices easy. It’ll fit into the most microscopic of cracks and take a lot of prying force without bending or breaking.

It dramatically reduces both the risk of damaging the thing Dad is taking apart, as well as the risk of putting a screwdriver through his hand!

There are a lot of cheaper clones of this tool out there, but in my experience they’re poorer quality knock-offs that bend and break easily, and I recommend avoiding them.

Price: $10

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Leatherman Raptor

I like having a quality pair of scissors close at hand, but the problem with them is that they really don’t like being used to chop things like cardboard, cables, thin metal, and the like.

I like to have something tougher. Something a bit more multi-purpose. Something like the Leatherman Raptor.

Not only does this offer a heavy-duty pair of scissors that can as happy being put to use as kitchen shears as they are industrial shears, or even medical shears.

The Leatherman Raptor also features a strap cutter, a ring cutter (handy for wire), a ruler, a carbide glass breaker, and an oxygen tank wrench (for most this will be the least useful feature).

Price: $69.95

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Swiss-Tech Utili-Key 6-in-1

The smallest multitool that I’ve owned (not much bigger than a key), yet I find myself using it all the time. It looks like a toy, but is a true performer!

Get one for Dad to keep on his keys! He’ll thank you for it!

Price: $8

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Nitecore TIP2

I’ve been a long-time user of Nitecore flashlights, and the latest TIP2 builds on the old TIP that I carried for years.

Into what is essentially the same footprint as the TIP (which is smaller than a box of matches), it crams two high-power LEDs and a battery that’s good for up to 55 hours. The flashlight has an output ranging from 1 lumen (a small glow) to 720 lumens (a powerful beam that can cut through the night out to 100 yards), and can be recharged from any USB port.

Price: $44.95

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Flir TG165 thermal camera

Give Dad the superpower of being able to see infrared! OK, I know that sounds weird, and I thought this tool was a gimmick when I was first exposed to it, but once I learned how to use it, it became a really invaluable tool for all sorts of situations, from automotive repair to diagnosing electrical and plumbing issues.

Price: $399

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Yubico Yubikey 5

Give Dad the gift of security this Father’s Day with a Yubikey 5 multi-protocol security key. He can use this to secure many aspects of his digital life, from his Google account, Facebook, GitHub, or Dropbox, and even use it to control access to his Windows or Mac.

Price: Around $50

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Soundcore Spirit X

Is Dad always on the lookout for a pair of headphones that are comfortable, don’t fall out of his ears all the time, deliver good sound, and yet are sweat proof and robust enough to survive strenuous workouts?

Get him the Soundcore Spirit X.

I’ve been through dozens of headphones over the past few years (they die from all sorts of ailments, from sweat getting in and destroying them to the cables breaking), and I’ve also had a few nice pairs that I stopped using because they didn’t fit well or were horribly uncomfortable. I’ve been using a pair of Soundcore Spirit X almost daily now for several months, and they are by far my favorite.

And they are reasonably priced too!

Price: $35.99

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.

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