swissmemory 1GB knife
Swiss Army
The top-of-the-line Swiss Army knife with features galore.
By Columnist
updated 6/25/2005 12:41:14 AM ET 2005-06-25T04:41:14

If you’re the type of person who is planning on giving Dad a greeting card and a tie – or a set of golf balls - what’s below is not meant for you.  If you think your dad deserves the best – I’ve come up with a list of gadgets that are worth consideration.

Some dads know exactly what they want.  Some are clever enough to have given you a hint or two — whether in the form of a newspaper ad taped to the bathroom mirror — or even a upfront suggestion that a particular item might make a great Father’s Day surprise.

If Dad needs a new phone or PDA he’ll probably let you know, in advance, what premium model he wants.  Palm’s LifeDrive is their top-of-the-line PDA — and sells for just under $500.  If he’s into Pocket PCs, the H-P iPAQ hx4705 is tops at $599.99.

A new premium smart phone is something dad might want.  The Treo 650 sells for $399.99 — $449 depending on your carrier (Verizon, Cingular or Sprint.)   And the iPAQh6315/6325 sells for $599.99 and is available via T-Mobile or Cingular.

Mototola 801 Bluetooth headset
Mototola's 801 Bluetooth headset retails for $49.

If you’re looking out for his well being, then a Bluetooth cell-phone headset might be the ticket — or, in some locales where hands-free is the law, might keep him from getting a ticket.  I’ve just seen a slew of cool-looking headsets from companies like Jabra, Motorola, Nokia and others.  Prices run from about $50 to $200 or so — depending on features.

Digital Rebel XT
The Canon Digital Rebel XT has 8 megapixels of resolution.
Digital cameras are always a great gift.  Go for the gold and get Dad a Cannon Digital Rebel XT.  It’s an 8 megapixel digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera — and lets you change lenses on the fly.  There might be some cameras with a spec or two that are better – but the new Rebel XT is one sweet package.  If I were a dad it’s what I’d want for Father’s Day. The XT with a zoom lens retails for just under $1,000 — but I’ve seen it selling online for closer to $900.

Then, there are some gifts that I think should go to the dads who belong in the “For the Man Who Has Everything” category.  How about the ultimate Swiss Army knife?

The swissmemory 1GB knife contains the usual knife blade, screwdriver, nail file and scissors – but also has a mini LED flashlight, a retractable ball-point pen and a 1GB USB memory device.  There’s even Swiss Army’s Secure-LOCK software to keep your portable data safe.  Once again, you pay for your thrills — swissmemory 1GB retails for $197.

The Wine Watch French Wines
What time is it?  It's Burgundy time!
Or how about a dual purpose watch?  The Wine Watch French Wines is exactly what you might expect of a gadget with that name.  The sporty-looking watch tells time – and also classifies Bordeaux, Rhône, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Alsace and Loire wines according to vintage year as: mediocre, average, good, superior or excellent.

The watch itself has a quartz movement inside a stainless steel case.  You can find it for $69.95 at  A corresponding bottle of a nice French wine would make a good gift even better.

Sirius Sportster
Sirius Radio
The new Sirius Sportster allows you to record 44 minutes of Dad's favorite music/talk.
Satellite radios are all the rage this year.  I’ve told you about XM’s portable MyFi radio – the $299 iPod of satellite radios. It’s great.  And for Sirius fans there’s a new radio to fulfill your listening needs.  The Sportster Replay is capable of recording up to 44 minutes of programming while a subscriber is listening to Sirius.  It’s made for use in your car and will sell for $169.99.  A separate home kit will retail for $49.99.

PlusDeck 2
How about a cassette deck for his computer?
The PlusDeck 2 is a full-logic cassette deck that fits inside a PC tower drive slot.  Dad can use it to archive his old cassette tapes of 80s metal-hair bands into digital media files for playback on modern-day portable devices.  Or, he can archive his favorite audio files and streams onto cassettes for use in his trusty Sony Walkman.  The PlusDeck 2 sells for $149.99 on

For the record, any portable DVD machine, MP3 player, or iPod — or iPod accessory would make a great Father's Day gift.

Barska Travel Scope and Tripod
Restoration Hardware
...Or a lightweight, portable telescope?
For the dad whose head is always in the stars I’ve found the Barska Travel Scope and Tripod.  It’s a compact, lightweight telescope with a 70mm objective lens mated to a short tube, wide-angle refractor to view objects 20 to 87 times closer than the naked eye.  It comes with two eyepieces and carrying cases for everything.  It’s available at Restoration Hardware for $68.99.

Cold Heat soldering iron
The Cold Heat soldering iron cools down to room temperature in a few seconds.
And for the industrious dad there’s a soldering iron that promises not to burn.  I’ve told you about the Cold Heat Soldering Tool in the past.  Its battery powered (4 AAs) and cordless – plus it heats and cools down quickly.  The tip reaches 500ºF in less than 1 second and cools to the touch in a few seconds so you can put it away without any waiting.   The price is right too: it sells for $9.99 to $19.99 depending on which soldering tip you prefer.

I don't think you could go wrong giving any one of these gifts.  I know I'd welcome them.

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