There’s no doubt about it – engineers are a smart bunch! But their intellect, education level and (sometimes) offbeat sense of humor also make them kind of hard to buy for.
If you’re looking for gift ideas for the engineer in your life, keep reading. From gadgets to tools to puzzles, here are great gift ideas for engineers of all types.
How to Choose a Gift for an Engineer (or an Engineering Student)
Before you can buy a great gift for an engineer or an engineering student, it’s important to know what type of engineer they are. Are they a mechanical engineer? An electrical or computer engineer? A civil engineer?
All engineers are skilled to some degree in math and science. But what they do on a day-to-day basis varies greatly depending on their specialty.
Most of the gift ideas on this list make great gifts for engineers of all types, but some are geared more towards engineers in certain areas than others. (We’ll be sure to point those out along the way!)
Nikola Tesla is one of the greatest engineers of all time, and these Tesla Patent Prints are the perfect engineering gift for father’s day, birthdays, and holidays.
Featuring six different prints, this poster set highlights six of Tesla’s most important patents. Each design features a schematic blueprint format – something that every engineer can appreciate!
You can customize the size and color of your prints and add frames to make it an even more amazing gift.
The MOMA Perpetual Calendar is a cool, eye-catching version of Gideon Dagan’s original perpetual calendar. This small desktop calendar features the use of small magnetic balls that indicate the date and month.
Most engineers will recognize the design. But even if they don’t, it makes for a truly unique addition to any office or at-home desk.
There’s not an engineer (or math geek) anywhere who wouldn’t love these Mathematical Drinking Glasses. Detailed with graphics that indicate Pi, the square root of two, Euler’s number, and the golden ratio, each glass in the set measures 13 ounces.
But what really makes these cool is that each formula shows the precise measurement of where that number hits on the glass. For example, if you pour whiskey to Pi, you’ll have 3.14 ounces of booze in your glass.
Simply perfect for a computer engineer, the Circuit Board Business Card Case offers a unique way to carry business cards or credit cards.
Crafted from wood, this card case features a slim design with a carved circuit board on top, high-quality hinges, and stainless steel accents to protect against RFID scanners and identity theft.
This cool little case can hold up to 20 business cards or four thicker cards, such as your driver’s license, credit cards, and debit cards.
We can’t think of anyone – engineer or not – who wouldn’t love a 3D printer! That makes the FlashForge 3D Printer a great all-around gift for anyone and any occasion.
This printer can be connected via Wi-Fi or a USB cable, and the small shape makes it ideal for printing small parts. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t already have access to a 3D printer or anyone who wants to play around and make 3D objects for fun.
Keep in mind that this is not an alternative to a large, commercial-grade 3D printer (those cost thousands of dollars). But it is a cool little toy for someone looking to make small 3D items at home.
Engineer … entrepreneur … innovator … Elon Musk is all of those things and more. If you know someone who loves Mr. Musk, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future is a book they need to read.
This New York Times bestseller tells the story of Musk and focuses on his technological advancements and visions. Not only will this book make you think about the future as Elon Musk envisions it, but it’s certain to make you think about your own.
Engineers know math. And when they want to look spiffy and show off their smarts, the Math Formulas Necktie is the perfect way to do so.
This necktie is printed with numbers, symbols, and equations related to MOSFET transistors. If you’re looking for a unique gift for an electrical engineer or a computer engineer, they’ll know exactly what that means.
The neutral blue color makes it easy to pair with almost any button-down shirt, suit or sport jacket.
Need the perfect engineering gift for an architect? The Architectural Engineering Scale Ruler is it.
Designed for drafting and construction, this scale ruler set is a professional tool. It’s made from anodized aluminum with laser-etched markings. It also includes an imperial and metric conversion table, making it perfect for a variety of different types of projects.
This scale ruler set includes three rulers in one bundle. One is a traditional architect scale ruler, one is an engineer scale ruler, and the other is a standard metal ruler that anyone can use to measure anything.
No matter how advanced software becomes, there will always be engineers who like to draft plans on computation paper. The Engineering Computation Pad features a 200 sheet paper pad with five squares per inch quad ruling printed on the back of the page.
Why does it matter that it’s printed on the back? For you non-engineers out there, it’s so that you can use the grid as guidance without the gridlines being prominent in your drawing or blueprint.
Do you know a chemical engineer who likes to unwind after a long day with a cocktail or a shot? These Chemistry Shot Glasses are perfect for chemical engineers, chemistry students, and lovable nerds of all kinds!
This set of four shot glasses features two beakers, one conical flask, and one round flask. It’s the perfect housewarming gift or birthday gift for the chemist who already knows how to mix chemicals and is ready to learn more about mixing drinks.
Related: The 38 Best Gifts For History Buffs
By the nature of their work, engineers are always solving brain teasers, which is precisely what makes this Metal Wire Puzzle Set an awesome gift.
From STEM students to seasoned professionals, puzzles make a great gift – and this one is tricky enough to keep you entertained for hours on end.
These games cause you to practice concentration and focus on the task at hand. They also help to improve creative thinking and boost your IQ. And we don’t know a single engineer in any discipline who wouldn’t want to do that!
A fun gift for a housewarming party or as a stocking stuffer, these Circuit Board Coasters are perfect for use in any house, apartment or office.
These coasters are made from durable plastic and feature cool, colorful circuit board graphics. Some of the components are even made from the waste of old materials. They’re eco-friendly, they’ll protect your tables and desktops from water rings, and they’re ideal for any engineer or computer expert.
Civil engineers spend a fair amount of time outside and on job sites, making these Weatherproof Notebooks a must!
These spiral notebooks feature treated paper that won’t disintegrate and get destroyed underwater, sweat, grease or mud. Engineers can jot down notes on the job, write down reminders, or make observations in the rain. They’ll never have to worry that their important thoughts won’t withstand the elements.
The little notebooks make cool gifts for just about anyone who likes to spend time outdoors. Whether you’re shopping for an engineer, a writer or a hiker, these notebooks will definitely come in handy when you come up with genius ideas in the rain.
Looking for fantastic gifts that aren’t necessarily in the nerdy, quirky, scientific vein? We can’t think of a single engineer in any industry who wouldn’t love this Personalized Badass Engineer Survival Knife.
This versatile knife features an engraved rosewood handle, a three-inch stainless steel blade, and a thumb flip for one-handed use. It’s ideal for an engineer that also enjoys camping, hiking, hunting or other rugged activities.
It comes with a nylon pouch with a belt loop so you can attach it to your belt and keep it close at hand on your hip.
Most electrical engineers and mechanical engineers will agree that a soldering iron is one of their go-to tools. But this isn’t just a soldering iron; this is a complete Soldering Iron Kit with all sorts of other useful tools inside.
Packed inside a convenient carry bag, you’ll also find five soldering iron tips, a stand and a de-soldering pump. It also includes a magnifier, solder wire, anti-static tweezers and screwdrivers.
This kit includes everything needed to solder chipboards, mobile devices, and small electronics. With 21 individual pieces in the kit, this gift can be used for all sorts of household projects, engineering and otherwise.
It’s no secret that engineers love to put things together. And that’s just one reason why we love this Leonardo Da Vinci Model Kit from National Geographic.
From kids to professional engineers, anyone can find enjoyment in putting together these 3D wooden construction models. The set features not one but three individual models of Da Vinci’s famed ballista, bombard and catapult.
This battalion model set has everything you need to put together some of Da Vinci’s famous inventions. Inside you’ll find laser-cut wood, sandpaper, and the rubber bands needed for assembly.
It also includes 15 projectiles and 18 paper targets so you can test your model once it’s all put together.
Searching for a witty gift for an aerospace engineer? This funny Aerospace Engineering T-Shirt is a great way to show that they’re a little bit smarter than the average person.
This tee shirt features a blueprint and schematic print and comes in a comfortable short-sleeved silhouette with a crew neckline. It’s available in sizes to fit women, men, and kids, making it a great option for any professional engineer or aspiring one.
It also comes in a variety of neutral colors that are easy to pair with any jeans, pants, or shorts.
This pocket-sized ruler and conversion tool may not seem like much to the average person, but it’s packed with formulas, conversions and other information that mechanical engineers and engineering students use on a daily basis.
Made with laser-engraved stainless steel and black enamel coating, this scratch-proof tool will stand up to just about anything fieldwork throws at them. And at only $13, it’s also practical for your budget. Win-win!
The Rocketbook Matrix Notebook allows engineers to send their hand-written notes to their favorite digital services. All they have to do is take a photo with the app, and they can send it to any one of the nine pre-set destinations (including OneNote, EverNote, Google Drive, Dropbox and more).
And as if that wasn’t enough to geek out over, the pages are reusable and can be wiped clean once all the information has been uploaded. You may not be the genius who invented it, but just about any engineer will think you’re smart for giving it to them.
Great for mechanical engineers or any engineer that likes to build things, this magnetic wristband will keep them from dropping or losing track of all those small but important parts that help keep things together. We’re not saying they can be absent-minded or clumsy or anything…but if the wristband fits…
You may not know what calipers are, but they’re an absolute must-have for any mechanical engineer. To put it simply: they take precise measurements of small objects so that they can be checked for fit tolerances, recreated in 3D modeling and other stuff that we normal folks don’t deal with.
This set from Mitutoyo costs a little more, but these are the calipers most used in Universities and industry labs. So if you want to spoil or impress your favorite engineer, this is the way to go!
If you know a mechanical, robotics or electrical engineer, chances are they can use a good soldering kit for those pet DIY projects. This one from Hakko is often recommended by experienced engineers, and while not the most economical, it is built to last. Something any engineer can appreciate!
This nifty FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera gives engineers a thermal view of the world surrounding them. Especially handy for mechanical engineers, it can be used to identify hot spots where parts may be overheating, fluids may be leaking or where insulation is cracked.
They can even use it to low their electricity bills by identifying leaks around windows and doors. Techie and practical – just the kind of gifts engineers like!
If you have an electrical engineer in your life, they’re sure to appreciate this precision tool kit. Standard screwdriver tips are usually too big for the type of sensitive electronics that these engineers work with.
But this 119-piece precision kit will give them every kind of tip they will need and comes with non-conductive mini-tweezers and mini-crowbars to help them avoid shorting out electronics with metal tools. A gift that will definitely light them up!
For small electronic repairs and DIY projects, a good multimeter is something that every electronic engineer needs to measure current, voltage, capacitance and resistance.
This one from respected brand Greenlee will make it easy for them to troubleshoot problems and identify failed parts.
26. Gin Making Kit
Homebrewing is just good old-fashioned chemistry which is why it makes sense that many chemical engineers are fascinated with alcohol production.
Give them a fun way to put their knowledge of formulas and reactions to use with this gin production kit. They might just invent a genius cocktail!
Is the engineer in your life mystified by the instinctive art of cooking? Help them bring more precision to their culinary craft with Culinary Reactions. This book explains the chemical reaction behind recipes and helps them to make adjustments with science.
Great for chemical engineers or any other scientist that relies more on logic than their gut.
28. rOtring Mechanical Pencil (800 retractable mechanical pencil)
Even though we live in a digital world, aerospace engineers still need a good mechanical pencil to draw precisely. This pencil from rOtring is a great option because it works as both a pencil and stylus for when they’re working on a touchscreen.
It’s also retractable, and the hexagonal shape will keep it from sliding off their work table. Now that just makes good sense.
This space-age cocktail shaker will make a truly stellar addition to the bar of an aerospace engineer. Crafted from stainless steel, it looks like it’s ready to launch to Mars at any given moment. Mixology may not be rocket science, but it may be a close second.
For aerospace engineers or anyone obsessed with aviation, Microsoft flight simulator makes for a truly exciting gift. Would-be pilots can man dozens of aircrafts and even land in real airports all around the world. At any given moment, they can fly off into the wild, blue yonder – at least virtually speaking.
Yes, the Stirling Engine is definitely pricey, but it’s like the ultimate desk gadget for aerospace engineers. Fueled by ethanol, the engine converts thermal energy into mechanical work and spins the propeller around at high speeds.
A definite turn-on for gearheads!
32. Laser Pointer
Help your engineer avoid technical difficulties during presentations with this reliable laser pointer. It’s the most powerful laser pointer that can be legally sold in the US and features USB connectivity that’s compatible with many different types of computers and software.
It also features a USB rechargeable battery, volume control to prevent those awkward loud blasts and a notebook clip so they can secure it to their pocket, which does look slightly cooler than having a pen in there.
When it comes to engineers, not just any pen will do for recording their field notes. A little rain or a chemical spill can wash away their important observations in seconds. Luckily, these Micron Pens from Sakur are made with water-proof, chemically stable and fade-resistant ink.
In fact, they’re even trusted and used by museum curators and other professionals around the world because of the long-lasting quality of the ink. Available in assorted colors, they bring note-taking to a whole new level.
Safety glasses are indispensable for some engineers, but they don’t always have to look so nerdy. These aviator-shaped safety glasses with side shields will make them look at least slightly cooler and are also coated for superior scratch protection. If nothing else, they’ll look better from the neck up.
Architectural and mechanical engineers will get a kick out of this 2-foot model of the London Ferris Wheel. The build is pretty straightforward, but with 1800 parts that include rods and connectors, it should give them a few hours of zen time.
The set even includes a motor that makes the Ferris Wheel turn. How cool is that?
These unique LLBFeel Cufflinks bring a scientific edge to fashion and feature a spirit-level bubble that actually works. Available in green, red and blue in case your engineer wants to combine it with their tie. And for those individuals that are a little socially awkward, they also make a good conversation starter.
This Magnet Cube isn’t just any ordinary desk ornament. It’s a super desk ornament! Made from neodymium, it’s the strongest rare earth magnet that exists. A fun way to impress anyone fascinated by the elements and also help them keep track of their change.
No, this is not a robot you can program to bring you breakfast, but it’s still a heck of a lot of fun. Controlled with an app on your cell phone, the user can drive and play lots of different games with the Sphero Mini Robot Ball. It also includes traffic cones and bowling pins to create your own obstacle course.
It is a great way for engineers to break from their work while still giving them a little challenge.
Many aerospace engineers probably dreamed of being a test pilot or an astronaut at some point in their lives. Make them feel like a hero with this Levi’s MA-1 Flight Jacket that will keep them warm, features plenty of pockets and make them look a lot cooler than they probably are.
And let’s not forget about the ladies. This pared-down version of a flight jacket will keep them on trend without going too over the top.
Nothing gets engineers more excited than cool gadgets – especially one as useful as a solar power bank. The Big Blue Solar Charger supplies enough electricity to power a cell phone, tablet and other USB devices for those times when your science nerd wants to live off the grid.
The CupFone is another handy gadget that engineers will appreciate when they’re out in the field. It will keep their cell charged and visible and is compatible with just about any cup holder and phone (even when they’re in a protective case).
The tilt and rotation can be adjusted, and you can remove the phone with just one hand. A truly smart gift!
43. NixieTube Clock
If you have the budget, there are few gifts cooler than this Nixie Tube Clock. Even though neon-filled tubes were eventually replaced by LED technology, these retro lights are still fascinating.
Handmade with authentic Nixie tubes from the Soviet Union, they display hours and minutes and should last for years. The cold war may be over, but this nod to 1950s tech is still a winner.
Do you know an architectural engineer? If so, they’re sure to appreciate these coasters with designs from architectural icon Frank Lloyd Wright. The stone is absorbent, which is great for sweating drinks. And they’re also lined with cork so they won’t scratch the furniture. Now that’s good design!
You may have never heard of water rocketry, but there’s a good chance that the engineer in your life has. The StratoLauncher can launch a soda can 350 feet into the air. Now that’s what you call a blast!
The kit is fairly easy to assemble and has a cable and lever system that can be operated from 10 feet away. It also comes with a set of Stratofins that will facilitate slower lifts and give the crowd a better view. But don’t worry, the cans will fly just as high.
Great for engineers with kids or who are just kids at heart.
With all the formulas, designs and DIY projects they have on their mind, engineers can be busy and absent-minded. If they’re the type that walks away from their coffee until it gets cold, this Ember smart mug will keep it at the perfect temperature until they finish their work or finally remember that they made themselves a cup of joe. Genius!
Yes, engineers work on a lot of serious projects. That’s why it’s nice to give them something a little more whimsical from time to time. This 3D puzzle has 221 plywood pieces that provide enough of a challenge without making them want to bang their head against the wall.
It even includes a winding music box to put inside, making for a good few hours of entertainment and a pretty cool desk ornament.
If you really have the big bucks to spend, the Schwinn Folding Loop is sort of like the transformer of bicycles. The lightweight frame has 20-inch wheels and will fit riders from 56 inches to 74 inches tall. And amazingly, it can be folded into a nylon carrying bag!
Mechanical engineers and just about any other type of engineer are sure to appreciate this clever design. It’s also a good way to get them to step away from all that math and move their bodies! And that may be the greatest gift of all!
What Are the Best Gifts for Engineers?
If you’re looking for awesome gifts for an engineer you know and love, make sure you know what their focus is. Mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, aerospace engineers … they all do different things! So if you really want to give an impressive gift, make sure you understand the nuances of what they do.
In general, you can’t go wrong with a mathematical gift. Almost all engineers know and understand math to an advanced degree, so math-inspired gifts are almost always a hit!
Just remember this:
Even though you may not know the difference between a differential equation and an aspect ratio, your engineer does.
You might also be interested in: 30 Best Gifts For Preppers [That They Won’t Want to (or Can’t) Live Without]
48 Best Engineer Gifts:
- Tesla Patent Prints
- MOMA Perpetual Calendar
- Mathematical Drinking Glasses
- Circuit Board Business Card Case
- FlashForge 3D Printer
- Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
- Math Formulas Necktie
- Architectural Engineering Scale Ruler
- Engineering Computation Pad
- Chemistry Shot Glasses
- Metal Wire Puzzle Set
- Circuit Board Coasters
- Weatherproof Notebooks
- Engineer Survival Knife
- Soldering Iron Kit
- National Geographic Da Vinci Construction Model
- Funny Engineer T-Shirt
- Pocket Engineer Wallet Ruler and Unit Conversion Reference
- Rocketbook Matrix Cloud Connected Reusable Paper Notebook
- Magnetic Wristband
- Mitutoyo Digital Calipers
- Hakko Digital Soldering Station
- FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera for Smartphones
- Royace 119-Piece Precision Electronic Tool Kit
- Gin Making Kit
- Culinary Reactions
- rOtring Mechanical Pencil
- Rocket Shaped Cocktail Maker
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Stirling Engine with Propeller
- Laser Pointer
- Chemical Resistant and Solvent-Proof Pens
- Aviator Safety Glasses
- K’nex Architecture: London Eye Ferris Wheel
- LB Feel Classic Cufflinks
- N52 Neodymium Magnet Cube
- Sphero Mini Robot Ball
- Levi’s MA-1 Flight Jacket
- Rothco MA-1 Flight Jacket for Women
- Big Blue 28W USB Solar Charger
- WeatherTech CupFone Universal Cup Holder
- NixieTube Clock
- Frank Lloyd Wright Coaster Stone Set
- StratoLauncher IV Deluxe Tilting Water Rocket Launcher
- Ember Temperature Controlled Mug
- Robotime 3D Music Puzzle
- Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
Jessica Hestonview post
After 15 years in the fashion industry, this Philadelphia native ditched her corporate career to focus on writing full time. Jessica is a TV junkie, whiskey lover and true crime addict. She finds inspiration from Broadway musicals, Hitchcock films and The Beatles. She is happily married without children, which she credits as the reason for her professional success, youthful attitude and solid eight hours of sleep every night.view post