Whether you’re choosing for a Yankee Swap with a price limit, looking for stocking stuffers, or simply have limited funds at your disposal, the cheap Christmas gift is something of an art form. There are millions of things that can be had for short money, but that doesn’t automatically make them good cheap gifts. Even with a small budget, you can find something great or, at the very least, entertaining.
When compiling this list, we set the price cap at $25. That’s a good threshold for Yankee Swaps and Secret Santa exchanges, and allows some wiggle room in the definition of “dirt cheap.” Sure, you could hop on down to the dollar store and pick something out that would assuredly be cheaper, but unless you’re working an angle of some kind, it’s unlikely to touch the heart of the person you’re buying for.
We looked for a good mix of practical, fun, and perhaps unexpected gifts for men across a spectrum of interests. Whatever the man on your list is into, you’ll either find something below or be inspired to consider things you may not have before. Either way, there’s sure to be something of use to you among these 20 items.
If you haven’t yet, you might consider starting a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime now so you’re covered during the shopping season. This will ensure quick and cheap shipping as the deadlines get closer. We published this in early December, so at the time of this writing you’ve got some time left, but this will come in handy if you decide to return something and need a replacement. The deadline for free Prime two-day shipping is December 22nd, and you can check out the rest of the shipping deadlines here.
Got a man or two on your shopping list this year? Here are the top 20 dirt cheap Christmas gifts for men.
1. Casual Garb Hoodies For Men
Just sliding in under the price cap at the time of this writing thanks to a half off sale, these ringspun hoodies make a great gift for just about anyone. I practically live in a hoodie half the year and wear one whenever I get the chance. This of course means that they wear out fast, so I always have a few in rotation. This one is made of 55 percent cotton and 45 percent polyester. Sizes run from extra small to XX-large, and you can choose from 11 different colors to suit any preference.
Price: $24.99 (50 percent off MSRP)
2. Anker SoundCore Nano
Portable Bluetooth speakers are everywhere these days. The quality has improved on them as the price has continued to decline, which means that it’s feasible for someone to have one in every room they might want to play music. Garage, workshop, kitchen, bathroom — you name it. We briefly touched on the SoundCore Nano in our cheap Bluetooth speakers post because Anker makes some fine examples of the genre. This is the newer version, which still packs three watts into a single driver that offers surprising definition. It measures two by two by one inch, so you can toss it in a pocket. Choose from five colors (black, gold, gray, pink, silver) for this nifty device that will play four hours on a full charge.
Price: $15.99 to $20.99
3. ‘The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild’ by Dave Canterbury
Doesn’t everyone wish they had a little more survival knowledge? I know I do. This is ostensibly a trail cookbook, but goes the extra step of teaching you how to hunt and gather food in addition to preparing it in rustic conditions. Great for survivalists or anyone who wants a more authentic camping experience. Canterbury has a few books in this series you might also consider:
- Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
- Bushcraft First Aid: A Field Guide to Wilderness Emergency Care
- Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
All would pair nicely with the tools we put on our best stocking stuffer list.
Price: $11.55 in paperback, $12.99 on Kindle
Buy The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild By Dave Canterbury here.
4. A2S Paracord Bracelet K2-Peak Survival Gear Kit
Speaking of survival tools, here’s just such an example. In fact, two examples, as this is a two pack of five-in-one tools on adjustable or sized paracord bracelets. The tools include a compass, fire starter, whistle, and knife that doubles as the fire scraper, in addition to the 12 feet of paracord that makes up the bracelet itself. The cord has a minimum breaking point of 550 pounds, which should just about get you out of most close calls. The inner strands of the cord can be used as tinder, fishing line, or as mending string. You can get different color combinations including black, green, green camo, sand camo, orange, pink, and red.
5. Halston Z-14 Cologne Spray
Is the man on your list on the hunt for a new scent? Try this offering from Halston. Originally released in 1974, this is a classic leather and wood forward scent, with additional notes of cypress, vetiver, cedar, and amber. If you decide you love it, they make a matching deodorant.
Price: $21.90 for eight ounces
6. Roco Minimalist Aluminum RFID Blocking Wallet
Looking a like a cross between a money clips and a phone case, this minimalist wallet has a very futuristic look. It has modern function, too, with the high grade aluminum blocking RFID readers, which keeps your credit card data safe. Included in the package are two bands for varying thicknesses depending on how many cards are to be carried. Slim down the wallet situation with this inexpensive gift.
7. The Beardly Man All Natural Beard Oil
It’s 2017. That mean, yes, you can get away with having a full beard and fit in just about anywhere. But it also means that, for crying out loud, you gotta condition that thing. Fortunately, it only takes a couple of drops a day of this light oil to condition nicely without feeling greasy. Choose from five different scents: Renegade (cedar and leather), Tail Gunner (whiskey), Privateer (rum and lime), Pathfinder (pine, citrus, frankincense), and Gentleman (Acqua Di Gio by Georgio Armani).
8. Donner Dt-1 Chromatic Guitar Tuner Pedal
Does the man in your life play guitar? Get him in tune with this simple but effective pedal tuner. Designed to take up very little room on the pedalboard, this is a true bypass chromatic tuner with a simple display. No frills, but should do the job for a good long while. You can even upgrade to the DT Deluxe, which has a more modern screen and more accurate tuning. Both work with standard Boss-style power. If you want to grab a few more pedals for your guitarist, check out our best cheap effect pedals post here.
9. Dremel 7300-N/8 MiniMite 4.8-Volt Cordless Two-Speed Rotary Tool
You don’t have to be a woodworker to have a need for a Dremel. They’re incredibly handy in a wide variety of situations. I use mine all the time and I confess, I’m not altogether that handy. I’m constantly surprised by how effective these are, especially when it comes to cutting things. This one happens to be cordless, which is a nice touch, and includes eight different attachments for cleaning, grinding, and sanding. This one has two speeds, 6,500 and 13,000 RPM, which I can tell you from experience will cover just about all applications. Worth every penny. The 290-01 Engraver also fits under our price cap.
Price: $21.11 (15 percent off MSRP)
10. Dante Men’s Leather Ratchet Dress Belt
As much as I love my rough-hewn, handmade leather belt and variety of custom belt buckles, there are days I wish it fit a little better or was just more formal. This belt solves both of those problems. For one thing, it looks slick, with you choice of 32 different buckle styles. For another, there are 38 adjustments for the perfect fit. You can even take the buckle off and trim the belt to be tailored perfectly. To top it all off, it ships in a gift box — perfect for Christmas.
11. Roaring Brook Dairy Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit
With apologies to our lactose intolerant readers, who doesn’t like cheese? It goes with everything, it’s great by itself, and even makes a fine dessert. With the addition of a gallon of milk, you can make up to four pounds of mozzarella or chevre one pound at a time. The kit provides everything you need to make the cheese. A great introduction to the hobby or just to give someone a better understanding of how cheese comes to be.
12. Darice 27 Piece Acrylic Painting Set
Whether you choose the acrylic or watercolor option, these painting sets come in under budget and are perfect for anyone who wants to try their hand at painting. These aren’t high-end paints by any means, but these kits provide all you need to get started with a new painting hobby including 27 (or 34 for watercolor) paints, palette, palette knife, brushes, cup, painting medium, a pencil for sketches, and a wooden case to carry it all in. Toss in some cheap canvases and they’ll be ready to go. You could also opt for the 80 piece Deluxe Art Set, which has a little bit of everything.
Price: $20.62 for acrylic, $23.21 for watercolor
13. Lodge Nokona Leather Hot Handle Holder
If the man in your life is fond of cooking and accordingly uses cast iron pans, this simple gift could improve their cooking experience. This leather holder is made of the same sort of leather they use on baseball gloves. It slips onto the handle and provides protection against heat up to 600 degrees F. Choose from this basic model or the spiral stitched version, which still fits in the price cap.
Price: $13.36 (17 percent off MSRP)
14. ‘How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home’ by Charlie Wing
As I mentioned before, I’m not that handy. That didn’t keep me from buying a house and it won’t keep me from buying a rental property in the future. Fortunately, this handy visual guide helps anyone to understand the goings on in the average home. It’s great for the very experienced as a quick reference as well as the totally green homeowner.
Price: $18.78 in paperback, $13 on Kindle
Buy How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home by Charlie Wing here.
15. KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener
Without a doubt, this is my favorite kitchen gadget, which is saying something for a kitchen that includes an Instant Pot and an Aeropress. I like a very sharp knife and this simple gadget does the job. Simply run the through the coarse side three times, then through the fine side three times and you’re good to go. It’s ostensibly for the kitchen, but it will work on just about any non-serrated blade for which a quick sharpening will do.
16. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018 Deluxe Wall Calendar
Yes, it’s true that no one really needs a paper calendar in this day and age. But it’s tradition to hang one up in the garage or workshop sporting scantily clad ladies. What better source than Sports Illustrated, of course? If you wanted something a little more vintage feeling, try a pinups calendar.
17. Mothers Wheel Brush
Whether or not the man in your life is a car guy, chances are they’ll still want to take care of their car. This single brush is far below the price cap and features soft bristles that can work themselves into tight spots. You could even add in the contoured tire brush, detail brush set, and wheel and tire cleaner and still stay under budget. For more ideas like this, check out our best car cleaning kits post here.
18. Evecase 12.9 – 13.3 Inch Laptop/Tablet Messenger Bag
With the increasing prevalence of tablets, Chromebooks, and small Macbooks, people are generally carrying smaller computers these days. This messenger bag is perfectly suited to the task, with a padded storage area for laptops up to 13.3 inches. The entire bag is water resistant, including an inner neoprene lining that also absorbs shocks in case of a drop. There is a smaller and a larger size, too.
19. Hanes “I’m Thinking” Men’s T-Shirt
Here’s a shirt for a man who is either indecisive or perhaps who is a father who has to decide if his beloved offspring will be allowed out for the evening.
Price: $5.00 – $17.95
20. Amazon Echo Buttons
Is the man in your life totally enamored of his Echo device? Extend that love affair with these yet-to-be-released Echo Buttons. They turn any Dot, Echo, or Spot into a game hub with the buttons as buzzers and other input mechanisms. The LEDs on the inside change color depending on the game mode, of which there are four, with one of them being a football trivia game. Though they’re not released yet, if you choose two-day shipping during checkout, Amazon is currently indicating that they’ll arrive in time for Christmas.
Need more ideas for your Christmas shopping list? Check out our Gifts category for posts from our whole team throughout the season.