If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably procrastinated on this year’s holiday shopping. And if you’re really like me, you have an engineer on your shopping list, and you’re struggling to find him or her the perfect gift. Well, you’re in luck because I’ve spent the last week digging around the Internet to find some ideal gifts! Some of these are simply humorous, some are down right practical, and some of them (as a non-engineer) I’d like to have myself.
I hope you enjoy the gifts I’ve come up with, and if there’s any fun items I’ve missed, be sure to include them in the comments section below!
Robotic Arm Edge: Wired Control Robot Kit
The Robotic Arm Edge is a wired control robotic arm kit that is bound to excite engineers of all ages! In fact, one of our very own engineers had some fun with this little machine a few weeks ago and documented his experience in a recent blog article. The kit can be purchased for around $38 on Amazon.
> Buy the Robotic Arm Edge
Radian Wall Clock
This 10″ wall clock might confuse some but not an engineer (or my high school calculus teacher). Plus, they’ll appreciate a good trigonometry reference! This clock can be purchased for $15 on CafePress.com
> Buy the Radian Wall Clock
Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare
The perfect gift for mechanical engineers. A complete book detailing 35 miniature weapons to build out of everyday items. Some of the weapons include catapults, slingshots, minibombs, darts, and combustion shooters. You can get this fun-filled book from Amazon for about $12.00.
> Buy the Book
Modern Marvels DVD Set
The Best of Modern Marvels DVD box set from the History Channel will provide hours of entertainment for the engineer on your list. There are 14 DVDs encompassing the 45 most popular episodes. This box set costs $85.00 on History.com.
> Buy the DVD Box Set
Classic Calculator Watch
This watch might be a little retro, but it will still win the heart of your favorite engineer! Along with keeping time, this handy watch has a built-in, 8-digit calculator, a stopwatch, and a calendar. Who couldn’t use one of those! You can purchase this gift for $18.99 at ThinkGeek.com.
> Buy the Calculator Watch
Smart String Measuring Tape
Measuring something round or odd-shaped? Then this little gadget is the perfect stocking stuffer! The string wraps around a variety of objects, and the measurement appears on the digital screen for easy reading. This handy device is available for $11.99 on ThinkGeek.com
> Buy the Measuring Tape
Engineer’s Motto T-Shirt
I’m not sure if this motto is true of every engineer (If it isn’t broken, take it apart and fix it), but I just so happen to be marrying one soon, so I asked. He said it was an accurate statement, so I’m putting it on the list! You can purchase this snazzy t-shirt from CafePress.com for $34.00.
> Buy the T-Shirt
Math Formulas Neck Tie
You won’t find this tie in the average department store! It’s a tribute to the math gods with its various equations and formulas, making it the perfect gift for your favorite engineer. You can buy it from UncommonGoods.com for $45.00.
> Buy the Math Tie
If you’re looking for a unique gift this holiday season, then you’ve just found it! These sterling silver, handmade cufflinks are bound to be the talk of the office. With their style and practicality, what more could you ask for? These cufflinks can be purchased for $150.00 from UncommonGoods.com.
> Buy the Cufflinks
Engineering Disasters DVD Set
This is another great DVD set from the History Channel for engineers or anyone who has ever dreamed of inventing something. The set contains five DVDs holding 18 episodes in all. You can purchase the set from History.com for $39.95.
> Buy the DVD Set
Tin Can Robot
Who could resist those eyes?! This little guy will be way too simple of a project for a professional engineer, but I’m guessing he’ll be standing proud on your engineer’s desk for year’s to come!
> Buy the Tin Can Robot
Subscription to Popular Mechanics
Popular Mechanics magazine has been showcasing the interesting world of mechanics since 1902, and today, the publication has over 1 million subscribers. So whether its the print or digital edition, this gift is sure to please!
> Get a Subscription
Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things
With the word “sneaky” in the name, this book is bound to excite anyone! Within the book’s 179 pages, there are 80 creative applications for survival, self-defense, and security. The book sells for $7.99 on ThinkGeek.com.
> Buy the Book
K’Nex Real Bridge Building Kit
This fun-filled kit contains 2,282 pieces used to build 7 real-world bridges, including the Firth of Forth Cantilever Bridge in Scotland, the Golden Gate Suspension Bridge in San Francisco, and the Sydney Harbor Arch Bridge in Australia. The kit can be purchased for $230.00 from Edmund Scientifics.
> Purchase the Kit
Metal Inkless Micro Pen
You never know when you might need to write upside down, under water, or up in space, which is why this pen is the perfect gift for an on-the-go engineer! You can find it at ThinkGeek.com for $38.99.
> Buy the Inkless Pen
Subscription to Popular Science
Not to be outdone by Popular Mechanics magazine, PopSci (as it’s called nowadays) has been entertaining and teaching readers about science and technology since 1872. If you have an extra technical engineer on your holiday shopping list, they’ll love this gift idea.
> Subscribe to Popular Science
Circuit Board Phone Case
The computer and electronics engineers on your list will get a kick out of this unique iPhone 4/4S case. It not only protects the phone but does so in style! You can visit Zazzle.com to find this one, along with a few other similar styles, including a motherboard design, electronics design, and additional circuit board designs. Each case sells for $39.95.
> Purchase the Phone Case
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season
I actually watch this show every Thursday, so technically it’s an excellent gift for anyone with a good funny bone. But, if the engineer on your holiday list hasn’t seen this show yet, then this DVD set is a perfect gift. The awkward social skills of Leonard and Sheldon, two brilliant physicists, will put a smile on anyone’s face!
> Buy the DVD set
Palette Drink Coasters
These coasters will make a nice edition to any engineer’s home or office and make for an interesting conversation piece, too! They come in a set of 5 and are completely made of wood. I found these coasters on DesignBoom.com for $36 with shipping.
> Get the Palette Coasters
This handy device will please any engineer with its simplistic, yet functional design. Plus, it makes getting out that last bit of toothpaste a breeze! The contraption can be found at UncommonGoods.com for $21.95.
> Buy a Tube Wringer
Tags: 2011 holiday shopping, best gifts 2011, gifts for engineers, Indianapolis, shopping guide