When gifting an Engineer, make sure to avoid the following!
We all like to think we pick the best gifts for people. We know exactly what will make them happy, and bring a smile to the recipient’s face. How wrong we are.
Just look at the lines in department stores with people returning presents after Christmas. So we can see that not everyone has the art of gift-giving right.
We all want to be great gift-givers, someone who always picks just what the recipient wants needs or never knew they could do without.
You would think that gifting an engineer would be pretty simple, and a visit to a home improvement store would be a quick solution.
Honestly, that’s probably the easiest way to make the biggest mistake. Here are our seven steps to a heavenly gift-giving outcome.
You’ve got to know exactly who you are gifting. There are engineers, and engineers, some work on a big scale, others on a small scale, so if you are gifting something work-related, you really need to know what their job entails, and what tools they may use on a daily basis.
It’s better to discover all you can about the person you are going to gift, by not only talking to mutual acquaintances or family members but also by checking out their social media.
Often you can pick up the best clues on what to buy as a gift from their interests posted on Facebook or Instagram. You may also discover if they already have your idea for a gift.
Gifting the obvious or the common is never likely to be a success with any recipient, particularly engineers. What makes a gift special will be its uniqueness.
Try and find something that is out of the ordinary, an unusual gift, and something that the person you are gifting would not even think of themselves.
Consider presents from out of town, specialty items that can only be bought in a particular locality far away.
To make the gift special and unique how about personalizing it in some way. Either personalize it for them or make it yourself, so it is a personal gift from you.
Memories are something that lasts with us our whole lives, whereas tangible items come and go.
Often people forget that experience can have a much more lasting effect that a gift in a box.
Engineers by their very nature are inquisitors, always interested in questions and how to answer them. They also enjoy how things work, in nature and in the world in general.
So rather than giving a box, how about thinking out of the box and giving a lifetime of memories with a trip, maybe to an amusement park, or a resort.
There are lots of companies offering experiences from flying an airplane, driving a race car, to learning yoga or how to cook.
Gadgets are like tools to an engineer, only the right one will do, and there are no other options. Nowadays gifts are very often gadgets for the kitchen, home or workbench.
Although they serve a purpose, they can never be described as memorable. And once the novelty of some devices fades they can be stuffed away in the back of a cupboard forgotten about until the next garage sale comes along.
They may be a good idea at the time, but generally giving a gadget does not have much ‘personality’, either yours or of the person you are giving it to
. If you are going to buy a device then think of something outlandish as a joke gift, rather than something you expect the recipient to use regularly.
There is one present that nobody really appreciates receiving, and that is a gift card. Engineers are no different from the rest of us; they hate them too. Especially if it’s for a store, they never visit.
People buy them as a last resort when they run out ideas of what to buy the person they intend to gift
. It really shows that the gift giver lacks imagination, and really doesn’t say you think the person you are giving it to means much to you.
The practicalities of gift cards are such that unless you have picked a store where the recipient shops regularly then it may never get used, and if it has an expiry date the gift could be lost entirely.
If you really have run out of inspiration, it’s better to give cash or even a pre-loaded credit card than a gift card.
Generally buying something edible as a gift always smacks of being a last-minute purchase because you’ve forgotten the occasion and needed something quick.
You could get away with a gourmet basket if the recipient is a ‘foodie’, but if you want to keep it safe don’t think of edibles as an appropriate gift for an engineer.
The biggest no-no of them all when gifting an engineer is to give them a gift you’ve received from someone else
. You might have good intentions about gifting something, but it really makes the recipient think that it’s one of your cast-offs.
If it was not good enough for you to keep, why should they keep it? And just imagine what it makes you look like in their eyes.
If you can’t think of an appropriate item for them, what makes you feel they will be happy with a gift you considered inappropriate for yourself.
10 Practical Gift Ideas for Engineers
1. Building Blocks
Blocks may be toys that are usually considered to be for children, but they make an absolutely perfect gift for engineers too.
Engineers have a wonder about them similar to children and tend to get great joy out of any kind of building.
Building blocks of any kind are something that can help an engineer get back to basics and destress in a fun and creative way.
2. Drone Kit
Again, engineers are all about building stuff and love to see how things work. That is why a do-it-yourself drone kit is a perfect gift. Drones are tons of fun for just about anyone, but engineers will get even more enjoyment from them, especially the drone kits.
They get to put it together on their own, seeing how each part fits together and works to create the end product that provides a ton of fun and entertainment.
3. 3D Printer
If you really want to impress the engineer in your life, a 3D printer is an unbeatable gift. A 3D printer is able to literally print things in 3D.
You can use them to print practically anything you can think of from a spoon to an action figure and so much more
. Seriously, this is every engineer’s dream gift. With a 3D printer, they will be able to create almost anything they can imagine.
They can build, work, and play to their heart’s content with this amazing device that you are guaranteed to get plenty of thanks for.
We aren’t just talking about jigsaw puzzles, although those are lots of fun too. There is an entire world of different types of puzzles out there. From wooden puzzles and puzzle boxes to puzzle balls and puzzle cubes, there are endless puzzle products out there.
These make an excellent choice for engineers because it is something that is very hands-on that challenges them to have to think and work to get to an end result which is something that engineers truly enjoy.
5. Rocket Launch Kit
Here is another great hands-on gift that is a wonderful choice for any engineer.
They love working with their hands and creating things, so getting to build a rocket from the ground up will certainly be a total blast for them.
Not only do they get to have the great fun of building the rocket, but then they get the sweet satisfaction of launching it and watching their hard work soar.
6. Robotic Arm
Yes, this is a real product and it makes a fantastic gift for an engineer. From simple to very complex, extremely realistic to very basic, there is a very surprising number of different robots and robotic arms out there on the market today. These can be a super cool and fun gift for an engineer.
They will enjoy all aspects of it from the simple novelty of it to the inner workings of all the parts put together and programmed to do what they do.
You can choose something with a simple pincer grip that could pick up their soda for them to something with almost a human-like range of motion. Who knows – maybe it will even help them with their work.
7. Perpetual Motion Desk Toy
We have all seen the classic perpetual motion desk toy with approximately 5 silver balls hanging side by side.
You lift the ball on the end and as it slams into the other balls, the energy quickly transfers through each one to where the center balls remain still and the ball on the opposite end swings up and then back down to repeat the process over and over.
It turns out that there are tons of different similar toys that all work in different ways using perpetual motion. These are great things for an engineer to keep on their desk or near their workspace.
They can be a great thing to play with while they try to get their creative juices flowing and make progress in their work.
8. A Good Desk Chair
Most engineers end up having to spend a lot of their time sitting down at a desk. This can certainly end up becoming uncomfortable over time. A great way to combat that is for them to sit in a really high-quality chair that will allow them to sit comfortably, even for extended periods of time on a regular basis.
There are plenty of wonderful options out there to choose from and the engineer in your life is sure to appreciate the thoughtfulness of your gift.
If you’re looking for a really nice practical gift that will be perfect for both work and play, get your engineer their own tablet. They can use it for all sorts of things from goofing off to getting hard work done.
It’s the perfect thing for them to take along with them wherever they may go so that they always have quick access to their work and an easy and quick way to jot down any important thoughts or ideas they have as well.
10. Model Kit
Finally, one more really great choice of gift for an engineer is some kind of kit. There are lots of great options to choose from. You can get a plane, helicopter, ship, or car.
There are plenty of different size choices and different models with different amounts of detail as well.
This is a great gift for an engineer since they get to sit down and do meticulous yet rewarding work that leads to an end result that they can be proud of.
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Engineers are incredibly hard-working, and a thoughtful gift can be just the perfect thing to show how proud you are and appreciative of their work.
If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, rest assured you’ve come to the right place.
Look through our gifts for engineers guide and see what you find. We’re sure you’ll have names crossed off your list in no time. Start shopping today!