Top Gifts for Dads

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We know the importance of giving a great gift to your go-to guy who's been there for as long as you can remember. That's why we put together a list of some of the best products we tested this year that would be great for him.

Need more holiday inspiration? Check out some of our other gift guides: Best White Elephant Gifts for Under $35Top Gifts Under $50Top Tech Gifts Under $100Top Home Gifts Under $100, and 10 Great Gifts for Coffee Lovers.


Go to Consumer Reports' 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

Cordless Drill
Kobalt (Lowe's) KDD 1424A-03
Kobalt (Lowe's) KDD 1424A-03

    Kobalt (Lowe's) KDD 1424A-03

    CR’s take: Exclusive to Lowe’s, this 4-pound bruiser is a whole lot of drill for the money. One way Kobalt keeps costs down is by giving you only one battery, albeit a potent 24-volt unit. Consider buying a second battery for larger projects and always keeping one on the charger. The KDD 1424A-03 will drill plenty of holes fast, which earns it an Excellent rating in our speed test. It’ll perform well enough to serve as a tackle-any-task option for the average homeowner.

    For more options: Best Cordless Drills of 2019

    Single-Serve Coffee Maker
    Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve Brewer SS-10
    Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve...

      Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve...

      CR’s take: The Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve Brewer SS-10 receives a convenience rating of Excellent and offers great cup-size and temperature consistency. This machine also packs a ton of features, including an auto-shutoff function, a removable water reservoir, a height-adjustable drip tray, a built-in water filter, and programming.

       

      For more options: Best Pod Coffee Makers of 2019

      Burr Coffee Grinder
      Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
      Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee...

        Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee...

        CR’s take: The Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder earns solid scores in all our grind-performance tests, including an Excellent rating for coarse grind performance (great for cold-brew and French-press coffee). This model is easy to clean but not as convenient to use as other top-performing models, because of unclear markings on its controls. The Bodum is also one of the two noisiest grinders in our tests—we’re talking loud enough that constant exposure over a long period of time could cause hearing loss. But because you’re using your coffee grinder only for a minute or two at a time, it’s more of an annoyance than a health concern. The Bistro features 12 grind settings, an auto-stop feature, and a timer.

         

        For more options: Best and Worst Burr Coffee Grinders

        Air Fryer
        Ninja AF100
        Ninja AF100

          Ninja AF100

          CR's take: Give Dad the gift of tasty food for the holidays, and hey, maybe he'll share with you. Testers found that the 3-quart Ninja AF100's electronic controls with preprogrammed settings were among the easiest to see and use of the 25 models we tested, earning it a rating of Excellent in that assessment. Cleaning the inside and outside of this fryer is fairly easy, but it's on the noisy side. The fan is as loud as a countertop microwave, so you'll hear it running. The warranty covers one year.

           

          For more options: Best Air Fryers of 2019

          Blender
          Vitamix 5200
          Vitamix 5200

            Vitamix 5200

            CR’s take: Vitamix earns an Excellent rating in predicted brand reliability, according our survey of Consumer Reports members. That means this blender will continue to produce thirst-quenching icy drinks for years to come. It’s also terrific at blending soups and can even heat the soup using the friction created by the fast-whirring blades. In our test, raw ingredients went from cold chunks to steaming soup in 5 minutes.

            For more options: Most and Least Reliable Blender Brands

            Smartwatch
            Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
            Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

              Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

              CR's take: The Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 Frontier has the sporty look of a dive watch. Its round case is made of high-grade 316L stainless steel and has a large, 1.3-inch color watch face, an ample 380mAh battery, an accelerometer, a gyro, a heart-rate monitor, and a GPS chip for fitness tracking. There’s also a built-in microphone and speaker for interacting with a voice-activated assistant and for making phone calls when the watch is paired to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

               

              For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for smartwatches.

              Smart Speaker
              Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)
              Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

                Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

                CR's take: Want to make sure Dad stays in touch? The newest version of the Amazon Echo Show illustrates how truly useful a touch screen can be on a smart speaker. The second-generation version of the Amazon Echo Show is a much more useful product than the first: A larger touch screen makes it great for reading a recipe or watching a quick how-to video, tasks that you might otherwise consign to a phone or tablet. But the Show sits on the counter at an easy viewing angle, and with its voice-command capability you can avoid touching it with messy or busy hands. The Show is also the best-sounding smart speaker that Amazon has ever brought to market.

                For more options: Best Smart Speakers With Screens

                Noise-Canceling Headphones
                Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
                Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

                  Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

                  CR’s take: The Bose Smart Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are the long-awaited successor to the company’s flagship QuietComfort 35 Series II headphones (which are usually at least $100 cheaper). The two models are almost identical in performance: Both deliver superb sound quality and noise cancellation. However, the Bose 700s are much slimmer when folded up and have updated elements, including more integration with digital assistants, touch controls, and sensors for Bose’s augmented reality apps, which enhance a listener's surroundings based on movement, or location data from a connected mobile device. These headphones keep some of the best-loved features from Bose's older models, such as adjustable noise cancellation and a mode to let in sound from your environment for situations such as a train ride, where you might want to hear announcements. They have an advertised 20-hour battery life.

                  For more options: Best Noise-Canceling Headphones to Buy Right Now

                  Noise-Canceling Headphones
                  Sony WF-SP700N
                  Sony WF-SP700N

                    Sony WF-SP700N

                    CR's take: The Sony WF-SP700N delivers dependable noise-canceling and audio quality. They feature controls to turn noise-canceling on and off, and to activate a monitoring mode that amplifies sound from your environment. The controls also let you access digital assistants, accept calls, skip tracks, and play or pause music playback, though there’s no integrated option for volume adjustment. The advertised 3-hour battery life is short but not unusual for true wireless models, and this one has a quick-charging function as well as a carrying/charging case with a built-in battery that can recharge the earphones twice before you need an outlet. 

                    For more options: Noise-Canceling Headphones on a Budget

                    Stereo Headphones
                    Grado Prestige SR325e
                    Grado Prestige SR325e

                      Grado Prestige SR325e

                      CR's take: The Grado Prestige SR325e is the company's flagship model, and it's a sound-quality champ, according to our testers. Keep in mind that the open-back ear cups—a design choice intended to add clarity to the audio and give it a more natural feel—aren't meant to block sound from bleeding in or out. That means they’re best for quiet environments where you won't bother your neighbors and they won't bother you.

                      For more options: Best Over-Ear Headphones

                      Instant Camera
                      Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
                      Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6

                        Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6

                        CR's take: Make every day #ThrowbackThursday for Dad with a fun instant camera. Though smaller in size, the square Instax prints from this camera are the closest thing we found to the Polaroid pictures we all remember so fondly. It also offers shooting modes that make things fun, whether that’s a selfie portrait (a mirror on the front of the camera helps you frame the shot) or artsier double exposures. On the downside, we found it hard to not overexpose images, even when using the camera’s Darken Mode. But overall, this camera makes a great gift for Dad.

                         

                        For more options: Best Instant Cameras: How Six Would-Be Polaroid Replacements Stack Up

                        Action Camcorder
                        Kodak PixPro SP1
                        Kodak PixPro SP1

                          Kodak PixPro SP1

                          CR's take: Despite its diminutive size—perfect for throwing in a vacation bag—the Kodak PixPro action cam is rugged enough to withstand a 7-foot drop and water-resistant to a depth of 33 feet. The 2-plus hours of battery life per charge put it among the best in its class. The camera comes with a 1.5-inch LCD and an image stabilizer to counteract shaky hands, not to mention vibrating handlebars. According to our testers, the camera delivers good photos and video. And there’s a nice extra: the ability to capture photos at 10 frames per second in burst mode.

                          For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for camcorders.

                          Mirrorless Camera
                          Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 w/ 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. Power O.I.S.
                          Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 w/...

                            Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 w/...

                            CR's take: This top-rated camera model earned a CR recommendation by delivering high image quality and performance. It can capture ultra-high-definition video at 30 frames per second, is fast enough to fire off 12 frames per second in burst mode, and has an excellent swiveling touch screen.

                            For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for cameras.

                            2-in-1 Laptop
                            Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Core i5)
                            Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Core i5)

                              Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Core i5)

                              CR's take: This 12.3-inch, 2-in-1 detachable laptop is new to CR's ratings as of November. Compared with the previous year's Surface Pro model, its updated Core i5 processor shows faster speeds in our tests, suitable for complex school or office work; however, you might notice a lag when performing media editing or playing video games. The display is bright, has wide viewing angles, and shows lifelike colors. Battery life is reasonably long at 10.5 hrs in web-browsing tests, and at just 2.4 pounds, it's lighter than typical laptops of this size category. And of course, there’s something to be said about the versatility of being able to remove the keyboard to use it like a tablet.

                              For more options: Best Laptops of 2019

                              Tablet
                              Amazon Fire HD 10 (32GB)
                              Amazon Fire HD 10 (32GB)

                                Amazon Fire HD 10 (32GB)

                                CR's take: The Fire HD 10 is the highest-scoring Amazon tablet in our ratings. The 10-inch screen is bright and crisp, and has a wide viewing angle, meaning it’ll stay sharp even if you’re not looking at it straight on (which makes it ideal for watching movies and TV shows with multiple people). The screen is also ideal for reading. Comic book fans may especially be interested in the Fire HD 10 because it can display a single full page in almost the same size as the print original. Amazon owns Comixology, a digital retailer and subscription service with more than 100,000 comic books and graphic novels available for download. This tablet boasts an impressive battery life, too, delivering 11.1 hours for browsing the web or watching movies.

                                For more options: Best Tablets of 2019

                                Wireless Speaker
                                Sonos One SL
                                Sonos One SL

                                  Sonos One SL

                                  CR's take: The Sonos One SL is the company's new entry-level wireless speaker and the least expensive speaker in the Sonos line. It replaces the existing Play:1, which was similar in size and price. The One SL is essentially a Sonos One smart speaker without the microphones that allow it to listen for a wakeword. The One SL is slightly less expensive than the One, its smart speaker sibling. Our testers confirmed that the One SL sounds almost identical to the Sonos One, and its sonic performance is also quite similar to the now-discontinued Play:1, which scored a single point less in its Overall Score than the new speaker. 

                                  For more options: Best Smart Speakers of 2019

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                                  Noise-canceling headphones Rated
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