50 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Men

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 26, 2012 · 145 comments

in Gift Guides, Travel & Leisure

Every year since we started the site back in 2008, we’ve done an annual holiday gift guide, highlighting manly, useful, classic, and unique gifts an Art of Manliness man might want to find under the tree. This year, I wanted to do something a little different: using the same criteria to compile an edition entirely dedicated to stocking stuffers.

Stocking stuffers often get overlooked in the rush to see the bigger gifts Santa’s left. But they’re one of my favorite parts of Christmas. There’s something so fun about little gifts small enough to be stuffed in a giant sock. Yet once a man ages out of the novelty toys of his youth, it can be hard to know how to fill his stocking with things that are both neat and useful. For that reason, we’ve created this massive guide that includes 50 stocking stuffers a father, husband, or brother will find both practical and delightful. While every stocking should have one or two just-for-fun items, too many stocking stuffers are bits of junk that get thrown in a desk drawer, and then, once the feeling of guilt wears off, put in a trash can or tag sale. So the things we’ve chosen are those a man will enjoy using the moment he pulls them from his stocking and for a long time afterwards.

Of course if you’re looking for bigger gift ideas, I highly recommend checking out our past guides, where you’ll find hundreds of great ideas:

Drugstore Cologne

We wrote about six forgotten and manly drugstore colognes and aftershaves earlier this year. It was a big hit. Cheap drugstore cologne was a staple in my dad’s stocking growing up, and I remember getting my first bottle of Brute in my stocking when I was twelve. Any of the old drugstore standbys make a great stocking stuffer gift. You can’t go wrong with Old Spice, but my favorite is definitely English Leather. $3-$10

Pocket Knife

Every man should carry a pocket knife. There’s a nice Benchmade Mini-Griptilian Tanto in the Huckberry General Store that would make a great gift. It’s my everyday carry knife, but it’s kind of pricey for a stocking stuffer. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable, quality pocket knives on the market to choose from. I like this Handmade German Anchor knife from Garrett Wade ($30). Besides that particular pocket knife, Garret Wade offers several other great options. $10-$80

Pocket Ref Guide

I love a good reference book and my favorite by far is the Pocket Reference Guide, 4th Edition by Thomas J. Glover. This small, black book is crammed with just about every piece of information a man might want to know. Want to know about different lumber types? How about how to tie the fifty most common knots? Need a formula to determine the area of an oblique triangle? It’s all there in the Pocket Ref Guide and much, much more. Sure, you can find this info online these days, but this guide serves as a great book to have by the toilet so you can thumb through it while taking care of business. $8

Zippo Pocket Handwarmer

This handsome handwarmer from Zippo makes the perfect stocking stuffer for the man who spends a lot of time in the freezing cold. My dad would have loved this in his game warden days on those cold mornings checking duck hunters. For a few extra dollars you can get your Zippo handwarmer engraved. $13

Tactical Flashlight

Besides helping you find your car keys in a dark parking lot when you accidentally drop them, a small tactical flashlight can also serve as a useful self-defense tool. Shine the bright light from the tactical flashlight in a would-be attacker’s eyes to temporarily blind him and give yourself enough time to run or counter-attack. High quality tactical flashlights can cost well over $100. For most folks, that’s probably too much for a stocking stuffer. At $40, the Streamlight 88301 Protac Tactical flashlight puts itself on the potential stocking stuffer bubble. While it doesn’t emit 500 lumens like its more expensive cousins, the 88301 does offer enough light output (180 lumens) to blind an attacker momentarily. $40

Old-School Hair Grooms

For the discerning man who appreciates a nice taper and a sharp, crisp part. Old-school pomades and hair grooms can give you that handsome Cary Grant shine. Best of all, they’re cheap which makes them great stocking stuffers. I’m a Brylcreem man. A big tube costs only $7 at the drugstore and lasts for weeks. Groom & Clean is another favorite of mine. It’s not as greasy as Brylcreem and it smells great. $5-$8

Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens

I love writing with a fountain pen. It makes writing even a lowly grocery list feel like a dignified affair. Unfortunately, a decent fountain pen can cost upwards of $50. If you want the fountain pen experience without the cost (and worry of losing an expensive pen) check out Varsity disposable fountain pens from Pilot. A 3-pack costs only $8 and writes almost as smoothly as more expensive fountain pens. These make a great stocking stuffer for a man who’s been curious about fountain pens, but hasn’t had the dough to try out an expensive one. $8

Money Clip

I don’t know what it is about money clips. Even if I’m just paying for a QuikTrip taquito, I feel like Frank Sinatra when I pull it out and start thumbing through my cash. Money clips make the perfect stocking stuffer because 1) they’re small, and 2) they’re cheap. Kill two birds with one stone by getting a money clip/pocket knife combo. $5-$15

Stainless Steel Comb from Chicago Combs

A man doesn’t need much in the hairbrush department to keep his mane in order — just a comb will do. But in a throwaway culture, it’s nice to upgrade that comb from the plastic, disposable variety made overseas. Which is why I am a big fan and owner of the Chicago Comb. Made with timeless style right here in America. Constructed of stainless steel (yet comfortable on the scalp), this baby is dang near indestructible and will last forever. They’re pretty pricey for a comb, so if you’re going to pick one up for yourself or a loved one, make sure to buy it on sale in the AoM x Huckberry Holiday Store. Even then, with the price, the nice packaging it comes in, and the classic nature of the gift, it might find its way out of the stocking and under the tree. $39 (on sale)


When I asked people on Google+ for some manly stocking stuffer ideas, several folks suggested gun ammo. As a new gun owner I definitely understood why. Ammo is kind of expensive and you want plenty of it on hand for those impromptu trips to the gun range. Make sure you get the right kind of ammo, though. It’d be a bummer to get boxes of 9mm bullets when your gun is a .38 special. I’m hoping Santa drops a few boxes of shotgun shells in my stocking this year. Varies by ammo type

Shaving Brush

If you want to introduce a man to the lost art of the classic wet shave, give him a shave brush. Once he experiences the joy and pleasure of lathering up with a good old-fashioned shaving brush, he’ll be jonesing to start shaving with other classic shaving implements like a safety razor. Art of Shaving sells a good brush for $40. You can find some handcrafted shaving brushes on Etsy as well. Wherever you get the brush, make sure it’s made of badger hair, not boar hair. It produces the best lather. $30-$40.

Wall Mount Bottle Opener

While most bottles have twist-off caps these days, opening them can still be a pain. A classic wall mount bottle opener placed right next to the fridge eliminates the hassle of twisting off a bottle cap, plus it makes opening a cold one a bit more enjoyable. $7

Survival Kit in a Sardine Can

This air-tight, waterproof, crushproof sardine can is packed with 25 survival items, including a fishhook, signal mirror, fire starter cube, and first aid supplies. Now, because of the variety and quality of the items in the can, this is far more of a novelty item than an actual survival kit. But it’s pretty cheap and a lot of fun; every stocking needs at least one item that’s simply designed to delight and act as a conversation piece. This fits the bill nicely. $12

Mustache Wax

A can of handmade mustache wax is the perfect stocking stuffer for the man who grew a handsome handlebar mustache during Movember. The mustache wax featured above comes from Man’s Face Stuff, a small company started by two friends in Portland, OR. They offer a variety of scents including: All-Nighter (notes of fresh pipe tobacco, sweetened coffee, and just a hint of frankincense), Gin & Tonic (smells like gin and tonic), and Stiff Breeze (spruce, sage, and just a touch of green pepper). A can of Man’s Face Stuff Moustache Wax is just $9.

Another artisan mustache wax that just came on the market is from a company called Can You Handlebar? Their selling point is that their wax is all natural and contains no artificial scents. So if you’re looking for something to hold your ‘stache during the day without having to smell it, this is your wax. A can of Can You Handlebar? is $9.


Besides ammo, cigars and mini bottles of booze topped the list of reader suggestions. If you know a guy who enjoys a good stogie every now and then, a few of his favorite cigars placed in his stocking will catapult you to number one friend/son/brother/nephew. You can usually buy cigars individually at your local cigar shop. $3-$10 for one cigar

Mini-Bottle of Booze

You can buy the same mini-bottles of alcohol that airlines and hotels give patrons at most liquor stores. Pair a mini-bottle of whiskey with a favorite cigar to create a memorable manly-vice-themed stocking stuffer.

Savage by R.A. Jones and Ted Slampyak

Ted Slampyak, AoM illustrator extraordinaire, co-authored an awesome graphic novel this year with writer and editor RA Jones (a fellow Tulsa resident) called Savage. It’s a fun read about a Wild West vampire slayer named Christian Savage who battles his own personal demons while fighting off actual demons from the infernal pit. If you like Ted’s illustrations and you enjoy a good vampire slayer tale, you’ll love Savage. You can buy a signed copy from Ted himself at his website for $16 or pick it up on Amazon.com. Check out Ted’s great Jazz Age comics too. $16


Once a staple Christmas gift for men, soap-on-a-rope has become the butt of Christmas gift jokes. For example, Bill Cosby once said, “Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.” But I think soap-on-a-rope deserves a second chance. It’s just an amazingly convenient gift, especially for the man who showers away from home. Plus, the soaps that are attached to ropes tend to be the manly smelling kind. Like English Leather. Just like Grandpa uses. $6

Tire Pressure Gauge

Maintaining proper tire pressure will keep you safe and even save you a little dough. Improperly inflated tires — and this may mean over-inflated or under-inflated — don’t handle or stop as well as tires with the correct pressure. They also increase your chance of a blow out. Plus, tires with the correct pressure have a longer life and increase your fuel efficiency. A tire pressure gauge is an essential tool in properly maintaining your tire pressure. This tire gauge from Accu-Gage is one of the best in the industry and its $9 price tag puts it in stocking stuffer range. $9

Work Gloves

You never know when you’ll need a good pair of work gloves. For a homeowner, they’re a necessity. There’s always some outside chore that requires hand protection. But even if you live in an apartment, it’s good to have a pair of gloves on hand for those times you need to go help a friend roof his house or clean out the yard of that little old lady in your church congregation. Because a pair of leather work gloves costs only $4 at most hardware stores, they’re a great stocking stuffer. A step up from the generic leather work gloves would be the gloves from Mechanix. Not only are they great for working around your yard and on your car, I can attest to their abilities to protect one’s hands during the GoRuck Challenge. $4-$11

Tins of Shoe Polish

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to be out of shoe polish whenever I actually need it. I’ll make a mental note to pick some up on my next trip the grocery store, and of course, I’ll go to the store and forget to buy some. The occasion will arise again when I need to shine my shoes and the vicious cycle repeats itself. It’d be nice just to have copious amounts of shoe polish tins in my shoe shine box so I’d never have to worry about buying a can ever again. I’m pretty sure if Santa left two or three cans in my stocking each year my wish would be a reality. At $4 a tin, it’s the perfect stocking stuffer. $4

Duncan Yo-Yo

Even as a grown man, I enjoy getting a kid’s toy in my stocking. It’s fun to have something to play with on Christmas morning and it just makes me feel like a boy again. You can’t go wrong with stuffing a stocking with an Imperial yo-yo from Duncan Yo-Yos. Besides giving a dad or uncle a chance to show off some cool tricks to the kiddos on Christmas morning, throwing the yo-yo is a surprisingly great activity for quieting the mind when you’re sorting through a problem. You can find yo-yo’s at most toy stores for about $4.


Every man should carry a handkerchief. They’ve got a bunch of uses — you’ll be surprised how often you’ll be glad you have one on you. And if it’s a handkerchief with a handsome design, you’ll enjoy carrying it all the more. The Beaver Canoe design from Mollyjogger featured above is quite nice, as is their angler design. For a great selection of other manly designs, I recommend checking out the Honey Press Esty shop. $3-$20.

Monkey Socks

Monkey socks have become all the rage in the form of sock-monkey-themed everything. But before they become a delightful stuffed animal for children, they actually start out as darn good socks — made in the USA of moisture-absorbing cotton and acrylic by the Fox River Mill. Available in different colors than monkey brown too. $14 for 2 pairs

Old Fashioned Chewing Gum

Black Jack gum was first made by Thomas Adams all the way back in 1884. Made with aniseed, it was the first flavored gum made in the US and also the first gum to be offered in stick form. Adams’ company, American Chicle Co., then acquired Beeman’s in 1898 from its inventor, Edward E. Beeman. Beeman had incorporated pepsin in his recipe, a digestive enzyme, and Beeman’s became incredibly popular among pilots as an aid in both popping their ears and an antacid to settle their stomach acid during flight. Clove was another zippy flavor added by the company later on. These classic chewing gums were discontinued in the 70s and then brought back by Cadbury Adams and now make a great stocking stuffer for the man who wants to taste what Gramps was chomping on while playing stickball. $6 for a 20-pack box

Burrough’s Beard Oil

Beards can get pretty itchy and unruly when they’re first starting out. Prospector Co.’s Beard Oil not only alleviates the itch of early beard growth, but leaves your face smelling masculine with hints of freshly chopped forest and the leathered richness of a cobbler’s apron. $28

Vintage Plaid Playing Cards by Dan and Dave

Every man needs a pack of playing cards or two for busting out on a rainy day with your gal, playing poker with your friends, or hanging out over rummy with Gramps. There are a lot of stylized playing card designs out these days, but some are a little too much for me. I like something classy and traditional. These cards fit the bill; made in the USA, they come in a leatherette box, have a handsome blue or red plaid design, feature two majestic bucks as the jokers, and include some bonus extras like a crossword puzzle and a recipe for the world’s oldest known cocktail, the Sazerac. $10

Everyday Carry Items

According to the Every-Day Carry website, “Everyday Carry, or EDC, generally refers to small items or gadgets worn, carried, or made available in pockets, holsters, or bags on a daily basis to manage common tasks or for use in unexpected situations or emergencies. In a broader sense, it is a lifestyle, discipline, or philosophy of preparedness.” If you know a guy who ascribes to the EDC philosophy, nothing will delight him more than seeing some cool new pocket-sized things in his stocking. We’ve already covered pocket knives, flashlights, and handkerchiefs, but there are many more handy and neat things available. Creek Stewart, the Senior Instructor at the Willow Haven Outdoor School for Survival, Preparedness & Bushcraft, and pretty much my favorite AoM contributor of all time, carries a lot of great items in his store, like a manual military can opener, an EDC survival saw, and a mini Swedish firesteel. By the way,while it probably won’t fit in a stocking, Creek’s recently released book – Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit – should find a place under every man’s tree this year. I used its detailed, easy-to-follow instructions to finally put together my own BOB this year.

If you can’t decide on what everyday carry items to get, pick up the EDC kit available in the Huckberry General Store. Huckberry assembled an all-star EDC kit and put it on the best keyring money can buy. The kit include a stainless steel freekey with a push-to-open design, a 7 in 1 survival pod that contains paracord strings, fire starter flint and tinder, duct tape, and more, a screw key, and a tiny lighter than can be used as a candle.  A little keyring kit with a lot of useful functions that just might save your life one day. Price varies

Farkas Eye Black

In 1942, Andy Farkas became the first NFL player to don eye black on the way to leading the Washington Redskins to a World Championship. Inspired by his grandfather’s legacy, his grandson has created Farkas Eye Black. Formulated by a Yale ophathamolotgist, Farkas eye black is designed to reduce glare and improve contrast sensitivity, stay on longer, resist heat, and come out of uniforms after the game. It’s also packaged in a handsome silver tin, which can be personally engraved for the athlete in your life. $12.95 ($24.95 for personally engraved tin) Update: If you use discount code artofmanliness” at checkout, you’ll get 20% off.

Field Trip Beef Jerky

It used to be that when it came to buying beef jerky, your only option was the mass-produced , chemical-ridden, barely-edible corporate varieties available at your local gas station or grocer. These days, the beef jerky gods have been smiling upon us and many independent jerky makers have sprouted up. There are lots choices out there, and I always enjoy trying new ones. But thus far in my search for the perfect jerky, I can say with certainty that Field Trip Beef Jerky is the best I’ve ever tasted. All-natural and delicious. Try the Honey Spice! $30 for five bags

K&M Matchcase

Matchcases are designed to keep your matches (or anything else, like pills) bone dry, no matter how inclement the conditions. There’s a matchcase being featured on a lot of sites this year that is a reproduction of an old 1900 design. Problem is, unlike the original, while it looks cool, it’s being reproduced in China, and word is, the quality is terrible. You don’t know want to take chances with an item like this. So get your matchcase from the best source around: K&M Matchcases. A true mom and pop operation based in Elk River, Idaho, their matchcases are made in the US, come with a compass in the top, feature a double o-ring seal, are guaranteed waterproof to 2000 PSI, and are backed with an unlimited lifetime warranty. These are the matchcases issued to US Air Force down-pilot rescue crews, and have been a favorite of soldiers, outdoorsmen, bushcrafters, and Antarctic explorers. They make a standard-size and a long; get the long so you’ll be sure to be able to fit your stormproof matches inside (include some matches if you’re giving as a gift!). $21

Original Arbuckles’ Ariosa Blend Coffee

Getting a coffee-lover a bag of beans is a no-brainer. But which should you choose? Instead of grabbing a bag from Starbucks on Christmas Eve, try the Ariosa blend from the Arbuckles’ coffee company. Touted as the “Original Cowboy Coffee,” and the “Coffee That Won the West,” John and Charles Arbuckle first made their coffee way back in 1864, pioneering the practice of selling pre-roasted beans and putting them in 1lb sacks. Packages come with a peppermint stick, just as they did over a century ago. $16.95 for a pound

Pocket Squares

Whether tucked into a suit jacket or blazer, pocket squares add a nice pop of color — a bit of finished panache to a man’s getup. A breast pocket is naked without one. I like these silk knitted pocket squares from MS and Co. They’re a little pricey, but they’re made in the USA, packaged perfectly for a stocking stuffer, and have a nice texture. What can I say, I’m a big texture guy. If you don’t know what color to get, white is a fail-proof choice. If you’re on a budget, try one like this from the Tie Bar – white, but the blue border gives it a bit of interesting flair. $9-$35

Pocket Notebooks

We’ve extolled the benefits of the pocket notebook numerous times — they’re so handy for writing down ideas, to-do tasks, or just capturing your bored scribbling. There are a variety of great pocket notebooks out there. Field Notes are a classic, Made in America brand that have a nice vintage look to them. Rite in the Rain (available at a discount in the AoM x Huckberry Holiday store) are uber-cool because, well, you can write in them in the rain without losing your world-changing idea. And of course, I humbly suggest our Art of Manliness notebooks for recording your manly thoughts. I had a batch of these made last year and they sold out, so I created another bundle for the holidays. Price varies

Chocolate Bacon Bar

Women seem to go gaga over chocolate more than men. But put chocolate together with bacon, and tiny tots won’t be the only ones with their eyes all aglow come Christmas morning. $12

UCO 9-Hour Candles

Candles are incredibly handy for when the lights go out, and these are some of the longest lasting ever made. They burn cleanly without residue or dripping either. Might want to get a Made in America, windproof UCO lantern too, which are designed to hold the candles, and are handy for camping. $4.50

Moonshine Soap

In addition to writing bestselling cookbooks and food articles for the Art of Manliness, Matt Moore started and runs a successful men’s cologne line with his college buddies called Moonshine. With its manly, woodsy aroma, layered with hints of spice, including notes of black pepper, tobacco, leather, gin, and patchouli, Moonshine has become my go-to cologne. You can now enjoy that Moonshine scent all over yourself with their recently released Moonshine soap. They’re currently sold out, but taking pre-orders, and I was assured by Matt that they’ll be ready in time for Christmas. $11.95

Mustache Tie Clip

Once a staple of the Mad Men era, tie bars have made a comeback in recent years. It’s a simple accessory that not only looks good, but keeps your tie in place when you have to chase an enemy spy through the streets of Morocco.While you can’t go wrong with a straight, silver tie bar, mix it up and have some fun with this mustache tie bar. Made from solid brass and coated in chrome, the mustache tie bar will be bound to get compliments because everyone these days seems to appreciate the ‘stache. $35

Art of Manliness Stationery

Every man needs a set of correspondence cards in his desk for jotting off thank you notes and the like. But most of the stationery available these days is made for women. Enter the AoM line of stationery made by Page Stationery. The cards are made from quality stock and there are 25 manly letterpress motifs to choose from, such as a revolver, compass, deer, pipe, and razor. $18 (The pice is listed at $20, but the discount to $18 will appear when you check out.)

Knife Sharpening Kit

If you’re going to put a pocket knife in a man’s stocking, he’ll also need a good sharpening stone to keep his blade in tiptop shape. You might also include a slip of paper with a link to our guide on how to sharpen a pocket knife. Smith’s Sharpening Kit has everything a man needs to start sharpening his knife – a medium-grained stone, a fine-grained stone, and oil. $13

Balsa Wood Airplanes

Another fun toy to give a man in his stocking stuffer is a balsa wood airplane. They’re easy to put together and you’ll have a blast tossing them around the house. The Duluth Trading Co. is offering a squadron of 12 made by a company that’s been making the planes here in America for decades. $27

Shaving Cream

Most men lather up using some green goop from a can. These mass-produced shaving creams smell like you should be cleaning the floor with them. Share the pleasure of shaving with natural shaving creams and soaps with manly scents like almond or sandalwood. They cost more than the drugstore variety, but last far longer. My personal favorite is the sandalwood-scented shaving cream from Art of Shaving. $25

Have any other manly stocking stuffer ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

{ 145 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Juergen November 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

Hi, another great article and some very good ideas. The only one which I didn’t quite understand, is to give a loved one ammo during the holiday season that is all about love and peace. Honestly, I was even a bit shocked but I guess that’s difference between my european viewpoint vs yours in the US. Cheers.

Juergen – Netherlands

2 Johan Ekelund November 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

Could I be so bold to suggest Shirt Stays??
One of the most useful style accessories that unfortunately seems to been forgotten about hence we are trying to bring them back.
RealMenRealStyle like our updated version. http://www.realmenrealstyle.com/dress-shirt-stays-hidden-wrinkle-protection/

3 Chris November 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

What a great list! Thanks Brett and Kate, keep up the excellent work.

4 HandySam Creations November 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

I’d take the wall mount bottle opener a step further and spruce it up with a vintage beer can cap-catcher.


Though it may only fit in the largest, manliest of stockings.

5 Xander November 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

I approve! I’d love to get me hands on some of those.

6 Don November 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

My 19 year old son was asking me last night want I wanted for Christmas. I had a few ideas, but this list is a better idea generator. A link has been sent to him. Thanks!

7 Sebastian Albrecht November 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

I keep browsing the net for some gift giving inspiration and I found this site full of good suggestions. Actually, they’re leading me to some ideas of my own: paperweights, corkscrew or beer opener, cellphone case, eyeglasses case…

8 twoeightnine November 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

Had no idea Ted did the illustrations here. I used to drink with him in Old City, Philadelphia.

9 Caleb November 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

Awesome article!

10 Chris November 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

Dude, the list is awesome, and I might get something off of this for my dad/father-in-law. But Curlz for the title font? Really? This is a man’s site, not a 13 year old girls.

Graphic Designer rant done.

11 Ken November 26, 2012 at 11:15 am

Collar stays! Can’t tell you how many shirts I have where one or both of the stays have not stayed. Would love nothing more than finding a box of Brooks Brothers’ plastic stays ($9), or the pricier steel ones if you don’t plan on getting through TSA checkpoints easily.

12 Steve November 26, 2012 at 11:15 am

I use about a dozen of these every day, and quite a few more on a monthly or so basis. Love those Varsity pens–great ink flow for disposables! Great gift ideas AND reminders to guys of the stuff they should have and use regularly–if not the specific brands, but the idea behind them. Forwarding, FB’ing, and tweeting the heck out of this article.

13 Kjell Stenberg November 26, 2012 at 11:30 am

1) Harmonica or Kapo (http://us.playhohner.com)
2) Floating Magnetic Pen (http://www.addisoncollection.net/vr-m-bs.html?gclid=CPbRsbiT7bMCFexAMgod1VUAGw)
3) cool USB stick (e.g. car, lego, etc.)

Stuff for dads w/ kids:
4) Sugar-free lollipops (for toddlers)
5) Baseball or other Anime action cards
6) Vintage model car (could be snap-tite kit)

14 Christof November 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

Great stuff, could we follow this up with 50 gift ideas for women? I’m sure many of us try to be discerning with our gifts to the ladies in our lives, and are always looking for new ideas.

15 Andrew November 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

Damn, that is a lot of masking to do for one post. Great ideas though and definitely appreciated!

16 Walt November 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

Cigars? Really? I guess real men get cancer.

17 Andrew November 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Walt, if you are afraid of the occasional cigar giving you cancer you should probably just stay inside your bubble anyways to avoid the many carcinogens you are likely to be exposed to every day.

18 Brock November 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Great article, but I agree with Christof. I think most men know what men would like, and would benefit a lot if you got an inside source to write about what they should buy for women.

19 Dylan November 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Great list Brett! Gave you tried Damn Good Beef Jerky? It’s from my hometown of Stillwater New York and it’s sort of our only claim to fame…I recommend checking it out!


20 Scott L November 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love the “Ammo” suggestion. Specific types by caliber are already on my Amazon wish list. And, for those like our European friend, Jurgen who are concerned about the spirit of Christmas, I have ammo for my firearms to protect and provide for those who I love. It’s not out of any sense of hate or unnecessary violence. Hopefully, manly men who frequent this site understand the reality of evil in the world and can understand this distinction between love and hate when so many others don’t.

21 Aaron November 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Don’t forget the AOM books!!

22 KK November 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Some good stuff listed.
I might add:
Cornhuskers lotion (perhaps the only manly hand lotion)
Shoe Goo
Casio 4-91W (at <20 alost disposable)
Smart wool socks

23 thehobbster November 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Great post! Thanks for the ideas.

24 Kevin McLinn November 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Duct tape is missing from the list.

25 Tyler M November 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Only 42 ya cheat! ;)
Besides that, great article.

26 Brett McKay November 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm


Now now good sir. We counted each of the EDC items separately. That brings it to 48, and there are a couple of mentions within mentions that bring it to 50.

Thanks sir! We’re going to highlight the books separately in a post later this week.

27 Curtis November 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Enjoyed the list — reposted on Facebook. Sent to my wife. It also gave me some ideas for my in-laws and dad. Another gift that my wife gives (we often squeak by during the holidays…heck, every month) me are homemade coupons for various things I like. Some are…well, you know…things only she can do for me. :-) Others are ways to show she values me. I know it’s overdone, but I love the coupons!

28 Jenn November 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Most men may know what they would like in their stockings, but I’m sure there have got to be more women than me that frequent this site. This list is awesome! My boyfriend’s roommates will be sooo jealous of his stocking this year.

29 Donovan November 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I love it. Several of these were on my list I gave my wife and kids
Cigars, chocolate, amo. Really great stuff and yes would love to see a women’s list.Thanxx

30 John G November 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Great post! I’m going to share the facebook link just so my family can see it. I don’t see much on that list I wouldn’t enjoy having and using.

There is only one thing I would add to the list. I carry a tape measure in all my coat pockets. It’s one of the handiest items to keep on hand. A couple years ago I was in a hardware store and an old timer pulled a two foot folding boxwood rule out of his pocket. I’ve lusted for one ever since. I’m pretty sure they can still be had from Garrett Wade or Lee Valley.

31 Dean November 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I prefer boar brushes to badger. Boar scrubs the face better and is better for hard soaps.

32 Kyle November 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Just a couple of alternate ideas for you on things you have in there already.
1. Uco makes a great little candle lantern that I’ve become quite fond of since I bought one from Huckberry a little while back. They’re inexpensive enough for a stocking: http://amzn.com/B004VIXTHI

2. My EDC flashlight has become (after going through more than I or my bank account would like to admit) the Streamlight Microstream. It’s a single AAA battery, which means it’s easy to find a new one when you manage to burn through the battery in it (which doesn’t happen as often as I expected) and is bright enough to find the widget you dropped under your desk. Plus the clip is this clever little thing that goes either way and therefore can clip on the brim of a baseball cap to make an impromptu head light for working with both hands. At ~$17, they’re going in all the stockings I stuff this year. http://amzn.com/B00143JZ08

33 Brian O'Keefe November 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I was so happy to see you mention Mechanix work gloves. I discovered these at Lowe’s a few years ago and now I buy them by the bundle. I wear them for yard work, when using my chainsaw and manual wood splitter, when hunting, and even to play basketball or football outside when it’s cold. I can actually pick up drywall screws with them due to their dexterity. Highly recommended!

34 Alan November 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

A note on ammo. My state, IL, requires a FOID (firearm owner identification) card to purchase any ammo. A better option may be to see if the favored gun range offers gift certificates. This would also allow someone to put it towards a new gun or to modify a current gun. A good gift is something the person wants but may not buy on their own. Ammo is socks of the gun range.

35 John November 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I have had the bacon chocolate. I love bacon. I love chocolate. I love maple syrup + bacon.

That is one of the nastiest candy bars ever made. It tastes like they added burnt crunchy bacos to the chocolate. Do not buy it. IMO.

36 Griff November 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I have a wedding coming up and have only a few ideas for not-lame groomsmen and best man gifts. Any ideas? Some of these I’m considering too, but I’d like to get each guy something different if I can. Show them I actually put some thought into their gifts for their contribution to my wedding.

37 Matt November 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Another suggestion to look at for knives is the tried and true Opinel, known as the “peasant’s knife”.

38 Kevin November 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I second the Opinel pocket knife as a classic manly gift; I have given a few of those out in my time.

This year, I am making a few Altoids Tin Survival Kits, referenced in a previous post to give away to the men in my family. They are easy to make, cheap, and very thoughtful, given the personal touch required.

39 Noah November 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm

this list is great, but I need to know what to buy my wife. I feel like a man should know how to do that, could you make an equally bad ass list for the women folk?

40 Gerald November 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

“Cigars? Really? I guess real men get cancer.”

Beef makes you fat, sugar gives you diabetes, guns kill people… f***ing without condoms makes women pregnant…

Its a mans world ^^

41 John November 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Cigars can also be used strictly for the scent. While I may not smoke them, some make for a very manly type of incense. Mother used to do that.

I’ll keep my mouth shut on the beef and sugar, however. Haha.

I’ll stick to the notebook, and a fine pen.

42 Bruce Allan West November 27, 2012 at 12:45 am

Nailed it! Perfect list! Were my wife to buy me each or any of these gifts for Christmas, I’d be a very happy man.

43 Brad November 27, 2012 at 1:05 am

I can’t agree more with the Varsity fountain pens! I love writing with fountain pens but as a student carrying around my nice pen is unfeasible. A perfect compromise!

44 campbell November 27, 2012 at 2:19 am

Love it will go well with my pickled partridge

45 Leo November 27, 2012 at 2:33 am

Perhaps consider a classy but not too expensive watch. I received the Timex Expedition for Christmas, recommended in a previous Christmas list. It has been fantastically convenient, and I have grown so accustomed to it that I feel uncomfortable without it. This is truly a fantastic list.

46 Jeremy November 27, 2012 at 4:12 am

Surprised the Hoppes #5 air freshener didn’t make the list.
@ Kyle, thanks for the recommendation on the micro lantern, I’ll have to look in to that.

47 Martin November 27, 2012 at 4:17 am

Great list. Was surprised there were no mini multi-tools on the list like the Leatherman Squirt, Gerber shard or Gerber Curve.

48 TJ W. November 27, 2012 at 4:27 am

Hey Brett,
what GORUCK Challenge class were you part of? I signed up for one this February, and I think it’s cool that we’ll both be GORUCK Tough.

Also guys, check out the Hidden Tailor as a replacement for shirt stays!

49 Nick November 27, 2012 at 7:03 am

This list is beyond awesome. It’s got everything from practical items to just classy stuff that doesn’t cost too much. Thanks for the suggestions!

50 Carrie B. November 27, 2012 at 7:10 am

Thank you thank you thank you! I have a manly man in my life this holiday season and these ideas are exactly what I’ve been looking for….awesome site, awesome post…love what you’re doing!

51 Catherine November 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

Great list! Bought a bunch of these things for my boyfriend.

52 Cary November 27, 2012 at 11:07 am

I can remember as a kid, giving my dad some of these things for Christmas. He was a high school principal, and I can remember him getting socks from students. The cologne’s, such as the English Leather, all came in gift sets. What wonderful memories of manly gifts given to my dad. Thanks.

53 Sunnyside November 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

Etsy has some very manly pincushions. DIY guys darn socks and repair their clothes, and I’ve found a masculine pincushion to be an unexpected and welcome gift!

54 Nathan H November 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Might I be so bold as to suggest you add a bar of Potomac Chocolate to your list. Potomac Chocolate is gourmet chocolate at its finest. Handmade by an award winning chocolatier who has been featured on NPR. http://vimeo.com/41566805#at=0

55 kat November 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Depending on the man, video games :)

56 Matt D. November 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

One thing I just told my wife to pick up for me is 100 ft. of 550 paracord. you can do anything with that stuff!

57 Brian November 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

My favorite stocking stuffers are the ones that are handmade. Even a simple “get out of chores free” coupon from the kids puts a big fat grin on my mug.

58 Melanie Grace Phillips November 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Hey that’s the shoe polish I use for my jump boots!

59 Andrew November 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Once again, the Art of Manliness comes to the rescue! I wasn’t sure what to get my dad. I’m getting everyone something relatively small as I’m strapped for cash this year. Of course, dad being dad, he insists I don’t have to get him anything, and he’s tough to buy for in the first place. Then, BOOM! Read your list and think “Duh! Coffee!”. Doesn’t sound like much, but I have some ideas how to make my small budget stretch and get the old guy some Java to keep him going in the morning. Thanks!

60 Jesse November 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

The ammo promotes peace through deterrence. I would love to see ammo in my stocking.

61 Jeff Marsh November 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm

How about adding a good Bay Rum to your gift list? I agree about a shaving brush and shave cream in a tube, but why not a wooden shave bowl as well?

62 Joe November 28, 2012 at 1:19 am

Any folding pocket knife from SOG would be welcome in my stocking. But a cool, manly, Made In USA gift for all knife lovers is a diamond sharpening stone from http://www.dmtsharp.com

63 Mike November 28, 2012 at 2:30 am

Thanks for the great ideas! If anyone is looking for something to give a sports fan, I’d recommend a baseball wallet (http://baseballwallet.com/). I’ve given several as gifts and they’re always a big hit.

64 Kelly November 28, 2012 at 3:09 am

As an avid yoyoer, I was presently surprised to see a good ol’ Duncan imperial on the list!

If you’re more into some serious yoyos with ball bearings and high precision metal. I would suggest checking out One Drop Yoyos from Eugene Oregon. David and Shawn manufacture all of their yoyos in house all in the US.


65 Matt November 28, 2012 at 3:10 am

This is an excellent list, good sir! And I know my wife read it.

So, while I realize this is a “man’s site,” I know a lot of women read this site, and Kate is a contributing author…it would be really handy to have a stocking stuff list for ladies! I can think of a few things my wife would like, but not necessities, like work gloves/tire gauge/etc. for women. I think chivalry and good husband-ship are essential parts of manliness, and I for one would like to be a better gift giver when it comes to the most important person in my life.

66 Lynne November 28, 2012 at 4:56 am

You missed the classic old school mustache wax – Pinauds Clubman. Comes in tubes, smells like lemon pledge until it dries, Available at decent drugstores for a bit over $4. Online @drugstore.com.

67 Mike November 28, 2012 at 4:57 am

I have those fountain pens and they are actually pretty good. I bought them because I was considering getting a fountain pen but had never used one, so I needed a cheap alternative. After getting these, I’m not sure I’ll ever spend my money on a fountain pen, because they write quite well.

68 John November 28, 2012 at 8:15 am

This list is a great idea. Just wondering would you have a list of manly stocking fillers for young boys aged 7 – 12 i.e. my 2 nephews/Godsons. I’m one of those “cool” uncles you blogged about recently! Thanks, John (Ireland)

69 Jake November 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

@ Brett and Kate, I’m definitely in agreement with @Cristof. As manly men, we should definitely try to be discerning in our gifts and stocking stuffers to the ladies in our lives. Any suggestions on that front would be appreciated.

70 Richard November 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

A metal shoe horn. Attractive ones (be they normal or long-handled) can be obtained for easily less than $20. Save a little wear and tear on your shoes and socks.

71 Derek November 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

Great article! I, however, recoil whenever I see articles mentioning “Art of Shaving” items. Hardly manly…they tend to lean toward the “metro” male. While they have a great marketing approach, I find their stuff to be over-hyped and too effeminate. Ask your barber what he recommends. Where I get my shaves/haircuts, he doesn’t use Art of Shaving stuff

72 House of Skunk November 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

A tip for those with limited funds: The AOM items are certainly the “highest and best” use for your dollars ~ and a printed copy of this list in their stocking can make for fun conversation over Christmas morning eggnog. Certainly Santa would then bring our AOM friends an even broader subscription audience. It’s a Hat Trick waiting to happen.

73 Erik A November 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I have to agree with everyone suggesting a ladies stocking stuffer list. Thanks. Btw great list.

74 Max November 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I bought my husband some MTodd Candles, with names like The Bad Boy and The Adventurer, they’re manly enough for him, but smell great to me.

75 Jim November 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Art of shaving products are very overpriced for their quality. You can get a shaving brush for under $15 online or at Target (just avoid VDH equipment). For shaving creme buy CO Bigelows shaving creme for 5 or 10 dollars at a Bath and body works.

76 Adam November 29, 2012 at 5:17 am

Would you believe a single Varsity pilot fountain pen is £22 in England. Even English Leather aftershave is £24. Definitely emigrating when possible.

77 Matt P November 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

Another good idea is a small wooden box. I have always found these useful for controlling my collection pocketknives, EDC flashlights, keys, etc. You can usually find some for sale (or possibly free) at your local cigar shop.

78 Jessica November 29, 2012 at 11:35 am

I love the money clip pictured here, but I can’t find one that’s as tricked out as this one. Any suggestions?

79 Brandon November 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm

As a kid I loved getting fishing lures and other things for fishing and hunting in my stocking, and still love it today. If you have a fisherman in your family you can’t go wrong with a pack of his favorite hooks, sinkers, or lures to name a few.

80 Todd November 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Not only have you helped give me ideas for my dad and bro, but you’ve helped give me ideas for my own requests!!

81 G.M. Schooley November 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Great article! Love the zippo hand warmer, I have never heard of such a product. Also love the cigar idea, always a good choice, especially to share with someone.

82 Jessie November 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Love, love, love this article! I always have no trouble coming up with stocking stuffers for women: makeup, nail polishes, gloves, fashion jewelry, Victoria’s Secret underwear (for the men out there undies to women are like tools for men, you can never have enough!), but I can never come up with stocking stuffers for the men in my life! This list is A+! Thanks for making this year’s list about the notorious stocking! :)

83 Toby Barnett November 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Have to disagree with the list as it appears to be for the’old guy’. Why not have a few items for today’s younger man.

84 Paul November 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I wouldn’t mind getting a suit brush in my stocking. I just learned about their existence on AoM and realized that I could have saved a bunch on dry-cleaning bill and extended the life of my suits.

85 Mari-Bella November 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I’ve got to second the Pocket Ref Guide……every guy needs one of these. I had no idea the wealth of random knowledge I was missing out on without this little guy in my life. I just purchased 4 from Amazon after seeing this to give out as gifts this year.

I also need to second Max’s comment about the MTodd candles for men by Marie Todd. I stumbled across the Bad Boy and Seducer a couple weeks back and man it makes the studio smell great. The ladies seem to love them too and its a great alternative for not having a fireplace. http://www.marietodd.com/home-fragrance-collections/mtodd-collection
I think they are available on Amazon too, but they are having a 50% sale this week on the their website. Think I might load up on a few more.

Thanks for the awesome suggestions AoM!!

86 Wendy December 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

Mystical fire, changes the color of the flames, also gold canyon candles sells scented fire starters for all you pyromaniacs

87 Tracy December 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I quite enjoyed this list…BUT I think it’s intended for ol’ timers. I didn’t know they still made Brylcreem…lol. My husband would NOT be happy with Brylcreem, soap on a rope, beard oil, hankies, etc…lol….it would definitely be a good joke. Booze, c.d.s, chocolates, and beef jerky, work though.

88 Jake December 2, 2012 at 12:18 am

It’s funny, I’m only 17, but I’d love to get pretty much anything on this list. I guess I am an old fashioned guy!

89 Stooko Davis December 2, 2012 at 1:42 am

Tweeting this article!

90 Gerald December 2, 2012 at 1:56 am

Problem is if you already have nearly all of this. ^^

“Where I get my shaves/haircuts, he doesn’t use Art of Shaving stuff”

Classical Shaving as new marketing approach? Gimme a break. There is still so much nononsense stuff available around the world. Black plastic jars from china dont make anything special.

also always great gifts are the zippo lighter (or the fake ones tuned up with a new butane-gas inlet)

and almost all other quality every day use items… Even socks… (we all have a pair with holes we still use, dont we?)

91 Claus December 2, 2012 at 2:09 am

“A man doesn’t need much in the hairbrush department to keep his mane in order — just a comb will do.”

No, it wont, a real “military style” hairbrush (by Kent for Example) is also highly recommended. Brushing of Dust and dandruff from the hair. unwrenching it and stimulating the perfusion of the scalp..

these brushes arent all that cheap… so they sure are a great gift. Most men dont own a good “manly” hairbrush.

92 Bill December 2, 2012 at 11:23 am
93 Sandy December 2, 2012 at 9:19 pm

A NEW idea to add to the list: POKER FLASH CARDS. I just bought a set of these for my husband and I’m sure he’s going to love them!
When I bought them off the website last week I used promo code “holiday15″ and got 15% off, you could try and see if it still works!

94 Ashley December 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Thank you for this amazing list! I am pretty creative, but have been struggling to put together a manly gift for my mister for our first Christmas together. I wanted him to feel special with gifts actually catered to him. This will do the trick! :)

95 Christi December 3, 2012 at 10:06 am

Amazing ideas!! I was looking for some stocking stuffers for my husband b/c that’s his favourite part of christmas morning, and this list gave me SO many good ideas. Thank you!!

96 UncleSim December 4, 2012 at 12:18 am

Don’t try taking the pocketknife every man should have into a govt building. The security illusionists at the Federal bldg recently confiscated my pocket tool, which contained a small blade, saying it violated the rules and would be melted down.

97 Nate December 4, 2012 at 1:16 am

Great list. Especially the ammo suggestion.
“An armed society is a polite society…”
- Robert Heinlein

98 Jake Winspen December 4, 2012 at 11:46 am

Where’s the Barbasol. It’s been tradition in our family for years. Along with handsome PJs and Deerskin Choppers.

99 Jessie December 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Thank you! I’m sure my Manly husband will love these gifts! Some of them he already has, things issued to him from the army. He already has many pocket knives/gerbers, he’s already got a cool watch with a compass on it. He has many tactical flashlights. But I loved the ammo idea. He’s an avid hunter. Might I also add some other ideas to the list? Maybe some hunting related items. Like scent blocker, face paint, duck calls…etc.

100 cbmurphy December 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

My best idea was to buy Schwarzenegger’s memoir, make it hollowed-out book and load it with dated Arnie memorabilia. I’m only following through as my son’s frat house is decorated in “Arnie” and I thought this would be a fun coffee table item. Inside is a gun-shaped lighter and Arnie playing cards. (It’s a lot of work though).

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter