Gift ideas tend to get a little boring when you’re shopping for a no-nonsense sort of brother-in-law who just likes stuff he can use. Sure, you could probably just wrap up a roll of duct tape and call it a day, but where’s the fun in that? Here are a few gifts that are more unique but still very useful.
If you’re going to do something, do it the right way. That goes for buying a knife too. The last thing you want is to be in a life and death situation and have to say, “If only I had a fine-toothed miniature saw and I knew what time it was.” This pocket knife has you covered on both fronts. The only way we could imagine this knife being more loaded is if they added a miniature cannon or gave it time travel capabilities. The perfect gift for the survivalist who likes that extra layer of security against that “what-ifs”.
Since the dawn of time, chaos, terror, and death have periodically rained down from the sky. Only the lucky were spared. But now we have weather radios, so you can go inside instead of dying. This one also conveniently charges your phone so the next hurricane doesn’t have to interrupt your game of angry birds.
The perfect gift for the person who’s always getting lost in the dark, tripping down the stairs on their way back from the bathroom, or struggling to summon The Batman, the light from this flashlight is visible from five nautical miles away. They’ll never need to fear the Joker again!
It’s no longer reasonable to allow your writing utensils to do single duty. These days, a pen that does nothing but write is a child’s toy. Actually, it’s even worse than that, because kids know better than to write by hand, what with all the voice recognition apps they have within arms reach at all times. That means pens are functionally useless. Let that sink in a minute. But not this pen, because it’s also several other things that can help the user accomplish something important. This is no gimmick. It’s a revolutionary tool, and the world will never be the same.
There’s no substitute for hard work and a craftsman-like approach to getting things done. So when you sit down at your desk, it’s great to a have a little reminder that it’s time to roll up your sleeves and have at it. This message comes through loud and clear with a desktop toolbox. It’s also a great way for the hopelessly messy to clean up that atomic catastrophe of a workspace. No organization involved. Just gather all the junk into your arms and toss it into the generous confines of this stylish vessel where no one can see it. Sometimes appearance is everything.
Make sure that they’re never caught short (of battery, at least) with this pocket-sized power pack that is perfect for their portable devices. This charger harnesses the power of the biggest battery in our solar system so they should never have an excuse for not returning your call.
You may think a battery is a battery, but oh Lordy! would you be wrong. Most batteries suffer from a host of fatal flaws: they’re single use, too often unreliable, and frequently inhabited by evil spirits, just to name a few. Eneloop, on the other hand, has fully cracked the battery code. These are the Cadillacs of the rechargeable battery world. The standard Eneloop is a badass little powerpack in its own right, but the Eneloop Pro is where the real party is at, offering a high capacity battery that can be recharged up to 2,100 times. Now that’s a sweet little hot dog.
When caught in life’s most dire situations, sometimes you must rely on the kindness of strangers as a last resort. But sometimes strangers turn out to be murderers, or worse. That’s what technology is for. This portable charger can be a literal life saver when stuck on the road with a dead battery. And what’s more, it doubles as a charger of electronic devices as well, eliminating boredom and the need for possibly nefarious “good samaritans” in one fell swoop.
If your brother-in-law is the studious type, consider giving him a good book to immerse himself in. Just don’t go with anything too mundane, no one needs another scenic landscapes coffee table book. Here are a few ideas that are a bit more out of the ordinary.
As you’re probably aware, life has the ability to present far more than 100 unique deadly situations. However, for anyone looking to become death-proof, these 100 skills are the perfect place to start. This Navy SEAL penned survival guide offers up the most essential tricks and techniques to foil the grim reaper and his various earthly minions wherever and however they may haunt the reader. From battle-tested death maneuvers to everyday survival and evasion strategies, this book has what it takes to take any average Joe or Jane from “dead meat” to Badass Street.
When he’s not whipping up beats and ghetto-smooth flows, it turns out Snoop Dogg is busy whipping up tuna casseroles and birthday cakes. Who would have thought? But then again, given his chosen pastimes, it’s a good bet that he’s hungry more often than the average human. A holy fusion of soul food, classic dinner dishes, and Cap’n Crunch, there’s something for everyone in these pages. Time to get down on some dogg food.
Different people learn in different ways. Not respecting those differences is a major reason the public education system has failed us so terribly. Some people learn visually, some learn by mimicking, and some learn by beer. This book is for the last group.
People love venturing into nature for the near mystical experience of being connected with our pre-civilized roots. We feel a strong, implacable pull toward wild places like the desert and the forest. The problem is, nature really just wants to eat you. This book tells you how not to let that happen.
A bad stomach virus will elicit fewer groans than this book. When your sense of humor has calcified into something like petrified wood, it’s time to beat people gently into a stupor with it. This is the perfect instructional guide to doing just that.
Houses are great, but they don’t run themselves. There’s a million and one ways to ruin your property value, break important stuff, and blow yourself up. Don’t let someone you care about go blindly into that death trap.
Written by James Bond himself (or, you know, an actual real-life spy), this eye-opening book is packed full of genuine, practical tips for self-protection, and is a great present for any loved one or friend. Guaranteed to come in handy during a kidnapping, mugging or zombie apocalypse, you might just save their life one day.
For thousands of years, humans have relied on the sublime art of taxidermy to remember their deceased animal companions, and to turn the roving beasts of the wild that they have felled with their own hands into game trophies. Taxidermy is like a three-dimensional photograph, not only capturing a moment in time, but telling a story with a single image. When done skillfully, it produces noble, enthralling, and emotionally moving symbols that mark our experiences and interactions with the rest of the animal kingdom. But like anything else, there are some real freaking hacks out there. This is their book.
For the Hungry Brother-in-law
If you don’t know what to get him, you can’t go wrong with food. It’s the most delicious gift. Ever tried eating a book? If your brother-in-law is the type who’s willing to try anything, we’ve got some interesting ideas he can gnaw on.
Lobsters have many, many great qualities, not least among them are their nutritional and flavor profiles. But they’re dumb as dirt, exceptionally slow, and don’t drive. So if it’s inconvenient for you to go all the way to the ocean to find the best lobsters, you’re going to have to get someone to mail them to you. Thankfully, lobster mail is now a reality.
Bunster’s Shit the Bed Hot Sauce is a mix of super-hot chilies and healthy superfoods (like goji berries and apple cider vinegar). It’s also a crowdfunding phenomenon and a painfully delicious gift for any health-conscious masochist you might know. There are lots of gourmet hot sauces out there, but this one is unique and strange in a way that true hot sauce connoisseurs find irresistible. Their mouth is bound to have a love-hate relationship with this stuff.
It’s an underappreciated fact of the animal kingdom that all of its members can be made into jerky. Except maybe insects and jellyfish. And Sasquatch — but that’s only because you’ll never catch him. Everything else is fair game for the jerky racket. And once you’ve tried Buffalo Bob’s full array of exotic jerky offerings, you’ll understand that jerkyhood is perhaps the highest state that animals can achieve — like a sort of physical enlightenment. But delicious.
When was the last time you were truly challenged by your nuts? That’s the idea behind the Death Nuts line of super spicy peanuts for crazy people. This isn’t a “sit in front of the TV and relax” brand of nuts. This is the “Oh God, what was I thinking, why do I make so many bad choices” peanut. The culinary equivalent of self-flagellation. Except taking the Death Nut Challenge doesn’t earn you any points with God. Just a good hour of blinding pain that you didn’t even know was possible.
Leisure and Fun
All work and no play makes your brother-in-law a dull boy. Recreation and relaxation are the good parts of life. No one looks back in the end and wishes they had spent more time working. Here are some great gifts for a brother-in-law who leads a life of leisure, or perhaps needs to loosen up a bit.
Go big or go home. Wait, they can do both with these giant yard games! They’ll supersize the fun at backyard parties with these larger than life versions of the games we all played growing up. All sorts of giant games are available including checkers, chess, Connect Four, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Jenga and more.
We can’t emphasize this enough: you ride the motorized cooler full of drinks to the party, you drink its contents, and then you WALK it back home. Nobody wants to be the guy on the news who got arrested for drunk driving an empty cooler. So stay safe.
They’ve survived this far living outside the bubble, but why push their luck? Give them this insanely fun inflatable bubble ball, and hope they’re inside it the next time they do something indescribably stupid. A great way to insulate themselves against life’s hard uncertainties.
So many of your household appliances would be better if they weren’t fixed in place. Wouldn’t you sometimes like to bake in the backyard? Do the laundry on your roof deck? And what about the toilet? Wouldn’t you like to…well, never mind. For now, we’ve got the inflatable hot tub. Move it, deflate and store it, set it back up and inflate it in three minutes whenever it’s needed.
Turn any room into a game room without ruining the elegant vibe they’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Foosball is a game of the people, making the great sport of soccer accessible to everyone, even the tragically out-of-shape and terminally uncoordinated. And old school tabletop games like foosball give people a real world gathering place, so they can get off the damn interwebs for a while and learn how to engage in face-to-face communication. It’ll be awkward at first, but they’ll get used to it. Speaking of which, this table makes a great conversation piece.
This is what Indiana Jones played with in his backyard when he got old and stopped chasing treasures in the third world. It’s just as fun, and nobody’s going to try to pull your heart out with his bare hand at the other end. Of course, you also won’t get rich, but you’ve gotta take the good with the bad.
Good luck convincing them this isn’t an acid flashback. This remote-controlled fish will be a welcome break from conventional pets that need feeding and only stay in the air for a few seconds. Holds enough helium to turn any house party into a chipmunk colony.
Speed is dangerous, but some kinds are more dangerous than others. This one is mostly just fun. But be careful: once they’ve experienced the feeling of flying around the track, the engine roaring like a wild beast, the smell of smoldering rubber in the air, they may never quite be the same.
Tech and Gadgets
Guys like gadgets. Also widgets, gizmos, and thingamajigs. If your brother-in-law is the type of overgrown kid who always needs new toys, we’ve found some cool gifts that will tide him over until he gets that new Tesla.
At a certain point, when you have too much stuff, more things just don’t do it for you anymore. At that point, if you’re smart, you start investing in superpowers. And trust us on this: every single man on the planet was a kid once, and every one of those kids wanted the power to see in the dark. To go where other humans cannot, to walk among the wild nocturnal animals as an equal, and to hide from their parents. They may not need to hide from their parents anymore, but that doesn’t make night vision any less awesome.
Nobody wants to be forced to act responsibly at a barbecue. That defeats the purpose. Yet the grilltender holds everyone’s happiness hostage to his attention span. After five or six beers that doesn’t work so well. This wireless grill thermometer will send an alert to your phone that the steak you’re ignoring is ready for your mouth.
Some day soon, we’ll all have portable movie projectors installed in our fingertips. Until then, you have to carry one of these in your pocket. Not too bad of an option, considering that this tiny box gives whoever holds it the power to turn any plain old wall into a high-quality theater screen. Just dim the lights, push a button, and project virtually any movie known to man via Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon Prime Video. A convenient and powerful way to keep the masses in one’s thrall.
Phones actually have more germs on them than a typical public restroom. This smart cleansing machine might not eliminate the dirty content sucking up the data on their phone, but it will be sure to return sterile swiping to their wired existence. Personal device hygiene should not be overlooked by today’s touch-screen fanatics. A high-tech disinfectant, this ingenuous accessory will decontaminate wireless communication and restore cleanliness to the digital age. Oh, and it also charges while it cleans!
Like the fairy godperson they never had, this smartphone-compatible homing device will always be there when they need it most. Think of the far-ranging implications of ending the problem of lost keys for good: it can save them from missed social dates, get them to work on time, and spare them the toxic neurological effects of chronic frustration. It may seem like a small gesture, but helping a poor soul stop losing their keys can be a life-changing gift indeed.
With professional quality drones now becoming affordable, the average schlub can make cinema-quality videos for the first time in history. Those epic sky shots that used to be exclusively available to Hollywood-level film crews are attainable for anybody. All it takes is a simple drone copter like this one armed with a professional quality video camera. And this thing brings all kinds of mischief within the user’s reach, even the kind that might land them on the news. What more inspiration could a bored tech nerd need?
A great piece of meat is only good if you cook it right. And unless you’re going to crawl in the oven with it, it’s going to be hard to monitor it second-by-second so that you know the right instant to take it out. The meater uses wireless communication to signal that dinner is ready. Just like your primitive ancestors.
A long time ago, in the distant past, kids used to put baseball cards in the spokes of their wheels to turn their bikes into motorcycles. We’ve come a long way since then. Now, we modify our bikes to actually make them self-powered, not just sound like it. The GeoOrbital Wheel is super easy to install - just remove the front wheel of your bike and hook this thing up in its place, and the next thing you know, you’re leaving the other bikes in your dust.
If your brother-in-law is a joker, he might consider a good laugh the best gift of all. Which is great, if you happen to be a genuinely funny person – then just go with jokes. But for the rest of us who may lack that natural comedic talent, here are a few funny gifts that are sure to do the trick.
Pepper is an in-your-face spice, and its essence has nothing to do with subtlety. Here is the perfect vessel for the preeminent seasoning at the table. Let this beautifully crafted ebony grinder tower over the other lowly flavors, including its eternal rival, salt. Any other symbolism we’ll leave up to your imagination.
Perhaps in an elaborate joke on us all, Prank-O has managed to create a profitable business selling empty boxes. The boxes aren’t meant to remain empty, however. Prank-O encourages people to “disguise your gift in a stupid box.” So, for example, you have actually bought a very nice gift for a friend, but put it in a box that claims to contain an Earwax Candle Kit, or Bacon Scented Dryer Sheets. Imagine the look on that poor friend’s face when they think you have given them something really ridiculous, stupid and disgusting. And the relief when they realize it’s just a joke.
Your friend or loved one may have already started to suspect something about the inherent absurd futility of life. If not, then perhaps you can inform them with this gift, which is an extraordinarily apt illustration of the horrifying predicament in which we the living find ourselves. Doing exactly what it says on the package, this box has no purpose other than to instantly turn itself ‘off’ when you try to turn it ‘on’. Despite being useless, we have to admit it does have a certain charm.
Not everyone has had the time, genetics, or inclination to cultivate a big hairy belly. That doesn’t mean they should miss out on the chance to flaunt a big hairy belly. This lifelike bag allows man, woman, or child to experience the glory of dadbod-ness. The adjustable waist belt ensures that this manbelly will stay snug no matter what their size, and the roomy, multi-pocketed inside makes this a very functional man pouch.
There are few human features as noble and worthy of regard as the hair-adorned man-chest. But modern clothing conventions often make it difficult to display this emblem of male virility in the many social situations, especially among respectable company. Luckily for all of us, some intrepid clothing designer has figured out how to right this travesty. The hairy chest shirt is the solution to one of society’s most pressing problems. If we can solve this, imagine what breakthroughs are just around the corner.
Everyone who grew up during the golden age of game shows dreamed of one day standing atop the glorious Plinko board, dropping metal biscuits and watching them bounce earthward in the direction of a richer destiny. But since few will ever experience that magnificent moment, we have a smaller, more realistic version for the drinkers of the world. This is Plinko for the people, and we call it Drinko. Because if they can’t end up richer at the end of the day, at least they can end up drunker.
This killer accessory is hardly a gag gift. The recipient of this fine headwear will be commanding respect on the racquetball court and sopping up sweat in style while weed whacking the front lawn. There’s something irresistibly strapping about mullets, and there’s no doubt they’ll reemerge as a hairdo trend if not in this decade, certainly the next. Of course, the lucky stallion that’s sporting this feathered mane has to have the proper attitude to match and that just can’t be taught, so give wisely, my friend!
The sounds of imaginary laser gun battles has filled homes across the world since the freakin' 1970s. Did the audio effects creator on the original Star Wars movie, Ben Burtt, have any idea the sound he used for blasters, the sound of a rock hitting a radio tower's support cables, would be mimicked for decades by millions of hyperactive kids and adults? Unlikely, but it was a genius idea anyway. Here's a gift that appeals to the interplanetary freedom fighting kid in all of us.
Some guys need a beer at the end of the day to wrap things up, or maybe halfway through in some cases. If this sounds like your brother-in-law, then a beer-themed gift is a no-brainer. The great thing about this category is there’s almost no way you can go wrong, so feel free to get creative. Here’s a few gifts that may hit the spot.
The beer world has truly exploded with breweries over the last decade-plus, which is great for anyone who likes trying new things. However, this proliferation of choice has a dark side. Dyed-in-the-wool beer lovers now face overwhelming anxiety every time they go to pick up a six pack or fill up a growler. The Craft Beer Club removes this pain point by making the necessary choices for all involved, so beer time can go back to being the sweet revelation it used to be.
Alright, enough pussyfooting around. Are you gonna open that damn bottle or not? This authentic 50 caliber shell will definitively end the standoff with any stubborn bottle cap, no matter how strong a fight it’s willing to put up. The Bottle Breacher is made by and supports veterans, and might pique the interest of an ex-military or historically-minded recipient. Using an actual bullet to crack open a well-deserved beer at the end of the day is surely a much nicer use for it than originally intended.
Having to repeat yourself is such a bore. These comfortable foam sandals leave a clear message behind you, so you can give the command without opening your mouth. Trips to the beach will get a lot cheaper and easier now that your minions know exactly what to do.
Sure, some DIYers like to be hands on, but in your heart of hearts, you know that if you offered to make beer easier, nobody’s going to turn you down. Because turning down easy beer is like turning down free beer - it’s the kind of decision your reputation never quite recovers from. With everything we have to do in a given day just to hold our hectic lives together, being able to push a button and create beer almost seems too good to be true. But it’s not. Good lord, how could life get any better?