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Unusual Gifts for Men: Cool, Weird and Different Gift Ideas for Guys

Updated on March 23, 2012
Chris Telden profile image

For Chris, choosing gifts is like writing a story: By matching the character to the gift, you learn more about people and what they value.

Some men are easy to buy gifts for - just throw a tie in a box, and you're done. But others require that you put in some extra effort. For guys who are unusual, intelligent, or just different from the rest and like out-of-the-ordinary items, the gift should be uncommon, too. Here are some wonderful gift ideas for men who march to the beat of a different drummer. These great offerings are ideal for giving to a man on his birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, anniversary, retirement, or other special occasion.

And if your father, husband, brother, son, coworker, or friend is especially picky, don't forget you can always default to an gift card - then he can get anything he wants for himself.

Cheap Guy Gift: Colonel Conk's Shaving Soap

Different Birthday Gifts for Men

An inexpensive birthday gift for a man that reeks of thoughtfulness - and bay rum - is this aromatic set of shaving soap bars. Many men like to pamper themselves when it comes to their daily ritual. If he hasn't tried this soap already, he might just get hooked on it. And you get credit for giving him an unusual gift!

Weird Presents

I'm a big science fiction fan and I know many guys who are, also. I also know that a lot of them know all the movies, but have neglected the books. This is a great chance to expand a man's horizons with an unusual birthday present.

For a fellow who likes science fiction or who likes to read, give him the taste of some of the best science fiction ever written as a birthday present.

If he is a young man or an older man who doesn't already have a large collection of scifi, try some of the older classics that he's unlikely to have read.

My personal recommendation is for one of the following, all of which are featured here:

  • One of the volumes containing the short stories in my article on the best science fiction short stories, linked to above.
  • The hard-to-find, but definitely fantastic novel called What Mad Universe by author Fredric Brown. It's fun and funny and perfect for guys celebrating a birthday, garnished as it is with purple aliens and parallel universes.
  • A volume containing the best of science fiction, like The Science Fiction Hall of Fame V. 1 linked to on the left. I've read that one, and it's a stupendous collection. Chances are, he hasn't read all the stories, and some of them are not available elsewhere except in rare out of print editions of the original magazines in which they appeared.

Unusual Book Gifts for Him: Science Fiction Books

Men Who Love Cooking

The old stereotype of men not knowing their way around a kitchen is so out of date.  Many of my guy friends know more about cooking than I do - well, cooking meat, at least.  So many guys cook these days out of necessity or pleasure and really enjoy it. Naturally.  It's food - what's not to love?

My husband is a case in point. He's cooked for himself most of his life, and he's a big fan of - let's face it it - bacon grease. He uses bacon drippings to make pies, fried chicken, and other yummy treats. The grease strainer/keeper is great for storing fat to be reused, and it makes a great inexpensive gift for the guy who swears by lard or low-carb living.

And check out the rather unusual cooking books for men, including the fabulous Eat What You Want and Die Like a Man: The World's Unhealthiest Cookbook.

Offbeat, Funny Presents: Cufflinks

For the guy who occasionally must dress in a shirt that uses cufflinks, but isn't exactly into serious and staid formality, try some of these funny cufflinks. Even if he's not really the sort of guy who tends to joke and kid a lot, but just has a strange sense of humor, he'll get a real kick out of the burger and fries cufflinks.

Uncommon Present for a Handyman Who Likes Practical Things

A man who's a hobbyist and likes to putter around the shop will love the Leatherman Wave tool. My husband, the inveterate eccentric handyman, owns a Wave Leatherman, and swears by it. I can't count the times I've seen him pull it out to tighten a screw, change a battery, cut open a package, or do more serious work with one of the many tools in this compact gadget. It's very good quality and he's had it for years. I highly recommend it as a gift for a man who likes out-of-the-ordinary gifts that are actually useful.

Update: He's just suggested another idea for lower budgets - a really cool manual screwdriver (see left). It's not too expensive, it's got rave reviews, it doesn't take up too much's called the Megapro 15 in 1 Multi Bit Screwdriver.

For a Businessman...Be Unique

The absolute hardest man to buy for is one who you know nothing about or who already has everything he wants.  This is often true of a male coworker, boss, or employee. All you know of them is they like money.   Well, it's a starting point.  Unfortunately, it's tacky to give money to a man who already has plenty of it - besides, giving money, unless it's a sizable amount, makes your own budget look puny.

So why not give him money "in the future?" Many people are investing in gold these days. No way will any man who likes money be disappointed in a gold bar or silver bullion, no matter how small. Have you seen the price of precious metals lately?

Gadget Gifts With a Twist

These gadget gifts have been hand selected because they're not your everyday noise-canceling headphones or iPad or whatever.

The GPS navigator is a tad pricey, but perfect for a really special occasion like a milestone birthday or retirement or for employee recognition or even a Boss's Day present for the boss.

And the working watch cufflinks are funny, cool, and as gadgety as he could ever hope for. Imagine someone asking him the time at a formal occasion, and, James-Bond-style, he checks his cufflinks...


Men and sports go hand in hand like, well...women and sports.  I mean, really - it's not like women knit all day or never watch football.  But, ahem, forgetting the issue of stereotyping, some of the hardest men to buy for are sports lovers.  And it's odd, because there are tons of not just sports memorabilia, but sports-themed gifts, like a soccer-ball shaped chair that carries.  Too many to list here, alas.

Car Lovin' Men

For car lovers, check out some of the more humorous selections, like the baking pan shaped like a classic car and the DVD of the popular 1980s TV show, Knight Rider.

For real buffs, the books are some of the more unusual specimens that belong in the library of any true automobile lover.

Weird But Awesome Tunes for Guys Who Like Music

Music Lovers

Music is a tricky gift to give to anyone, but it can be done. Think weird and obscure. It's hard to get weirder than They Might Be Giants and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, the haunting, clever and elaborate theme from The Exorcist. But it's some of the best music around and would make a great present for a man who's not exactly run of the mill but who likes music.

But if you're afraid his tastes are too eclectic, not eclectic enough, or so perfectly eclectic that he already has these albums, try some musical note novelty socks, the noise-cancelling headphones he probably really would like, or a book on music history.

So How Do I Know...?

You might want to know how on earth I came up with this list. Well, although I am female, a large portion of my friends are guys. And many are not your everyday guys. Basically, I kept my male friends and acquaintances in mind when I chose the suggestions on this page. For example, just some of my male friends include:

  • An anthropologist
  • A mathemetician
  • A science fiction buff
  • A camper/hiker
  • An artist
  • A southern good 'ol boy
  • A chemist
  • A computer programmer

One thing I do know about my guy friends - they hate, I mean HATE to get things that are useless. Cutesy things or big, bulky things that take up space that they never use. Unless they're joke gifts. Those are allowed. (I once, as a joke, gave my brother some bulk toilet tissue.)

If the guy who's the recipient of the present isn't a friend, but a husband, family member, or coworker with eclectic tastes, it's still a good idea to give something that's unusual - and by that I mean not the first thing off of the sales rack at Target. Something personal. Giving a different, out-of-the-ordinary gift to a man is not just catering to his personality - it shows him you've put real effort and thought into what you're getting him.

For more awesome suggestions targeted for men, also try:

See the author's disclosure statement regarding compensation for this article.


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