What to get an engineer for his birthday tomorrow?

  • Thread starter Loren Booda
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In summary: Engineers love gadgets, but if it's just a lot of buttons and knobs and doesn't have any practical function, it's not going to do much to entertain one of them.
  • #1
Loren Booda
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My girlfriend's engineer cousin has his birthday tomorrow, her mother on the 13th, and her sister-in-law shortly thereafter. Do you have any suggestions for gifts in the $20-$40 range?
 
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  • #2
Hmmm... lessee now...
A good porn video for the cousin, since engineers don't have girlfriends...:rolleyes:
 
  • #3
Loren Booda said:
My girlfriend's engineer cousin has his birthday tomorrow, her mother on the 13th, and her sister-in-law shortly thereafter. Do you have any suggestions for gifts in the $20-$40 range?

A set of whitworth spanners, a 1 to 2 inch mic (digital), a bead blaster, a second hand lathe, a milling machine, a parts washer, cad cam software.
a second hand garage, beer, a book of engineering tables, beer, a slim line
whitworth socket set 3/8 drive, beer, no socks, or mayhaps a nice dinner out.
 
  • #4
A slide rule.

Of course, that's going to take some perusing of thrift stores and antique stores. A Post 1460 is a good general purpose slide rule that runs around $20-$50 on Ebay. At the upper end, it had better be in good condition with the leather case included. They're so common you can always find a reasonable price if you're willing to wait.

Of course, you could always go up to the $150 to $275 range and get one of the special purpose Electrical Engineering or Chemical Engineering slide rules.
 
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  • #5
Hee...I knew Bob would recommend a slide rule. :biggrin: Though, that is a nifty gift for an engineer. Any gadget...engineers love gadgets...if it's shiny, beeps, has lots of buttons or knobs, and has absolutely no useful function whatsoever, it will keep them entertained for hours on end. :biggrin:

*ducks and runs from the engineers*
 
  • #6
The Sharper Image is good for gadgety things.
 
  • #7
Moonbear said:
Hee...I knew Bob would recommend a slide rule. :biggrin: Though, that is a nifty gift for an engineer. Any gadget...engineers love gadgets...if it's shiny, beeps, has lots of buttons or knobs, and has absolutely no useful function whatsoever, it will keep them entertained for hours on end. :biggrin:

*ducks and runs from the engineers*

I will have you know that my right angled obstruction ratchet ring spanner with 12 inch extension is invaluable, but knobs and buttons will keep most engineers happy for a while.
 
  • #8
Gadgets - where else in addition to The Sharper Image?
 
  • #9
Loren Booda said:
Gadgets - where else in addition to The Sharper Image?

Is this guy a down and dirty muck under the finger nails engineer, or a paper engineer? if he is a guy that likes to rebuild engines, do not buy him a gadget, it will end up with all the rest in a forgotten draw, may be you should think more on a non work related gift.
 
  • #10
Try Brookstone as well.
 
  • #11
What books would you recommend?
 
  • #12
A Leatherman?

As for books, I'd highly recommend "Flying Buttresses, Entropy and O-Rings", by James L. Adams, on Harvard Press.
 
  • #13
www.Thinkgeek.com

all your geeky needs :P

actually they have some pretty neat things. :D
 
  • #14
Moonbear said:
Hee...I knew Bob would recommend a slide rule. :biggrin: Though, that is a nifty gift for an engineer. Any gadget...engineers love gadgets...if it's shiny, beeps, has lots of buttons or knobs, and has absolutely no useful function whatsoever, it will keep them entertained for hours on end. :biggrin:

*ducks and runs from the engineers*
Hey! I'll have you know I can transform three dimensional Cartesian coordinates to spherical ADBARV coordinates on a slide rule, both for position and velocity, a lot faster than anyone I know can do it on a calculator. How could anyone consider that as "absolutely no useful function whatsoever".
 
  • #15
Umm why do you need to get an engineer something to do with his work for his birthday? I am sure his life doesn't evolve just around engineering and he has other interests. Why don't you ask peopl that know him for ideas?
 
  • #16
How about a nice Birthday Card...
 
  • #17
We ended up getting him two books about castles in Britain, where he had just vacationed. Holy crenelation, Alfred!
 
  • #18
If you felt compelled to get him a present but waited until D-day to think about giving him a present, perhaps you should have tried to get him relatives who give a damn. Just a suggestion.

How about giving him some of your time, and a nice experience (maybe an appetizer and a drink or two at a nice place) or at least SOMETHING to show that you care?
 
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  • #19
BobG said:
Hey! I'll have you know I can transform three dimensional Cartesian coordinates to spherical ADBARV coordinates on a slide rule, both for position and velocity, a lot faster than anyone I know can do it on a calculator. How could anyone consider that as "absolutely no useful function whatsoever".
Sorry, I didn't actually even mean it that way. The bit about useless gadgets was a separate thought from slide rules, I just didn't put in a sufficiently large space between those thoughts to indicate they were separate. :redface: o:)
 
  • #20
Micrometer, Chalk, and an Axe. Trust me, he'll get it.
 
  • #21
turbo-1 said:
If you felt compelled to get him a present but waited until D-day to think about giving him a present, perhaps you should have tried to get him relatives who give a damn. Just a suggestion.

How about giving him some of your time, and a nice experience (maybe an appetizer and a drink or two at a nice place) or at least SOMETHING to show that you care?
Gee, that's kind of harsh.

I've forgotten my own birthday before. Seriously. Someone at work said happy birthday to me in the morning and my first impression was, "What the heck are they talking about?". My second impression was, "Oh, that must be why my daughter invited me over to her house for dinner tonight."

I think people should just celebrate their birthday on the nearest holiday. It would make it easier to remember. Dang! Now that you mention it, my wife's birthday was Tuesday. I probably should have called her.
 
  • #22
BobG said:
Now that you mention it, my wife's birthday was Tuesday. I probably should have called her.
:smile: :smile: :smile:

Damn it, is everybody after my badge now?
 
  • #23
Loren Booda said:
My girlfriend's engineer cousin has his birthday tomorrow, her mother on the 13th, and her sister-in-law shortly thereafter. Do you have any suggestions for gifts in the $20-$40 range?
Well, if you won't give him a screw or a shaft or anything of that nature, you might try to get hold of a planimeter. That is a cool invention.
 
  • #24
BobG said:
Dang! Now that you mention it, my wife's birthday was Tuesday. I probably should have called her.

Her lawyer hasn't called you?:bugeye: :-p
 
  • #25
The same thing you can get any man, ever. FOOD!
 
  • #26
A pirated autocad 2007 cd... its unlimited and cheap of course

Danger said:
Hmmm... lessee now...
A good porn video for the cousin, since engineers don't have girlfriends...:rolleyes:

Yes indeed, i myself am a undergrad engineer and have few girls in class... i guess engineers don't have a love life
 
  • #27
Get him a queen CD... duh
 
  • #28
I'm surprised that Arildno didn't suggest that (and ask for an address).
 
  • #29
The birthday brunch went well at one of the upscale restaurants in Potomac, Maryland. I was the youngest of seven, having a great time with the oldest - she's my girlfriend's and the engineer's aunt. At age 92, she had been a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin - psychology, I believe. Her sister, my girlfriend's Mom, is super great to me. They treat me like family, going on four years. (Both of my parents died last millennium.) I'm not ready for a wife, though - when will I? The gifts seemed more a passing acknowledgment compared to the simple kindnesses present.
 

Related to What to get an engineer for his birthday tomorrow?

1. What are some gift ideas for an engineer's birthday?

Some gift ideas for an engineer's birthday could include tools or gadgets related to their field of work, such as a new set of screwdrivers or a 3D printer. You could also consider getting them a book on a topic they are interested in or tickets to a lecture or conference related to their profession.

2. Should I get a practical or a creative gift for an engineer?

This ultimately depends on the personality and interests of the engineer. Some may appreciate a practical gift that they can use in their daily work, while others may enjoy a more creative and unique gift that allows them to explore their interests outside of work.

3. Is it better to get a physical or digital gift for an engineer?

Again, this depends on the individual preferences of the engineer. Some may prefer a physical gift that they can hold and use, while others may appreciate a digital gift such as an e-book or a subscription to a software or online course.

4. Should I ask the engineer directly what they want for their birthday?

If you are unsure of what to get for the engineer, it is always a good idea to ask them directly for their preferences. However, if you want to surprise them, you could also ask their colleagues or friends for gift ideas.

5. Are there any gifts that engineers typically do not like?

It's always best to avoid getting a gift that is related to their profession unless you are certain it is something they would appreciate. Other than that, it's always a good idea to avoid getting overly generic or thoughtless gifts, as those may not be as well received.

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