I usually hate men’s gift guides. They’re either full of gimmicky rubbish (can we please give up on whiskey stones already?) or super cool, super expensive stuff that I could only justify putting on my own gift list if I found out that Richard Branson is actually my uncle. There’s no middle ground – nothing that I actually want that my friends and family could actually afford.
That’s why I’m keeping this guide super practical. These are quality gifts that would last you well beyond January. They’re things you’ll use every day, which I think is important in a gift.
In hindsight, I kind of dropped the ball on the inexpensive criteria. Things got a little more expensive than I hoped. But most of these products are small batch or handmade, so I think your friends and family will appreciate why they’re paying a little extra.
Shokunin Kitchen Knives
We’ll take it as a given that you want a Best Made axe. We all do. I want one for display and another that I actually use. But use it when? I can’t remember the last time I cut anything with an axe. I can’t even remember being in a situation where I thought, “Gee, this would go a lot better if I had an axe.”
So I’m adjusting my expectations this Christmas and turning my blade lust to this set of four Shokunin Kitchen Knives. These knives are super sharp – literally and figuratively. They’re made in Japan to Best Made’s high standards, so you know they’ll pass the mustard if you get a craving to put on a bloody apron and deconstruct an entire sow.
Misc Goods Co
It doesn’t matter whether it’s scotch, brandy or raspberry cooler. Drinks just taste better when you’re sipping them from your very own flask. I’m not big on stainless steel flasks though. Even the plain ones just look like they’re waiting for someone to slap on a big old Johnnie Walker or V8 Supercars logo.
Misc Goods Co have really stepped the quality up with their ceramic flask. It really is the classiest way to drink on the sly in public. The lustrous white ceramic is offset by leather and brass accents. Your liquor is held in place with an actual cork stopper. They’re like little baby stoneware growlers – so cute!
Derby City Money Clip
General Manufacturing Co
Are you still carrying your cash around in a wallet like some sort of animal? We’ve all moved on to money clips now. This Derby City money clip is a seriously good-looking clasp for your cash. Made of white or standard brass, it’s got a bit of an art deco feel to it that I really appreciate. The good people at General Manufacturing Co suggest it can take up to 20 notes. 20 notes? Do I look like Rockefeller? As long as it holds my license, Medicare card and Subway loyalty card, I’m set.
Man, I love a good backpack. My partner thinks I need to adjust my swagger when I wear one, but I don’t let that get me down. (Apparently I look like a kid excited for his first day of kindy).
My next backpack is going to be a Topo Design Daypack. It looks classy on the outside and has heaps of room on the inside. There’s enough special pockets, clasps and hardware to make it practical, but not so many that you start feeling like you’re packing for some tactical assault mission. The daypack is available in olive, clay, navy or black and, if you’re really confident, you also have the choice of two different camo patterns.
Waxed Canvas Wall Pocket
Peg and Awl
I’m not a neat person. My desk always looks like it’s just been turned over by crims. On bad days, it looks like the police came through afterwards and dusted for prints. It wasn’t a problem when I worked in an office, but my stationary organising skills are putting some serious strain on my relationship now that I work from home.
This waxed canvas wall pocket could keep me from becoming single. There’s a pocket or slot for everything. The design is inspired by the form and function of antique work aprons, and it actually looks good enough to be hung on the wall. There’s four or five pocket versions, depending on how much junk you have. I’m probably going to get two five pocket versions and hang them side-by-side.
Well, that’s what I hope Santa packs in his sack for me this year. I hope it’s what you’re after too.
Have you seen anything awesome that should be on this list? Let me know.