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2016 Father’s Day Summer Gear Gift Guide

Father's Day and summer arrive together for a reason — because dads love the outdoors and getting gifts to equip them for the yard.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

There are those safe Father’s Day gifts anyone can grab, and they’re solid choices. Every dad needs ties, cologne, tools and all of the other male essentials. But, there are some prime gift options out there that fathers would revel in, even if the more traditional gift givers don’t think to jump on the opportunity.

As guys, we are not allowed to engage in such ignorance when shopping for tokens of affection for our dads. To that end, the good people at Lowe’s offered some off the beaten path Father’s Day gift items for testing that every man would want even if some of the uninitiated don’t realize how essential they can be.

Also: Memorial Day Outdoor Gift Guide: Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

Are any of the following options life or death? No – unless dad lives on an isolated ranch in Saskatchewan. What Father’s Day gifts are? You’re not giving dad a kidney, hopefully. These are items to add more convenience or a little extra enjoyment to a father’s life. We tested them all and can sign off on all of them with the commentary included below. 

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Troy Bilt 6250 Series 6,250-Running-Watt Portable Generator with Engine: A good generator is something few people think about buying until it’s already needed and nowhere to be found. This Troy Bilt model uses Briggs & Stratton OHV engine to produce 6,250 running watts and 8,500 starting watts whenever the power goes out or dad wants a little more civilization while camping.

The 6250 Series’ 8.5-gallon fuel tank promises a run time of up to 11 hours if run at an average 50% load rate. The whole family can plug in to four 120-volt household outlets and one 120/240-volt 30-amp locking outlet. All of the outlets come with rubber covers against the weather and circuit breaker protection.

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Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker | Charcoal Vertical Smoker: You can up the ante for dad’s grilling game with this weber smoker. It’s a charcoal vertical unit using a 481-square inch cooking area. It’s designed for yard use and small gatherings, making it ideal for dad’s prepping a single family meal. Initial inspection shows it’s made sturdy enough to last a few summers even with heavy use.

pressure

Greenworks 1,600-PSI 1.2-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer: Dirt covering cars, hiding in garages, clogging gutters or clinging to walls won’t escape the blasting power of this compact pressure washer. Blasting away at 1600-PSI, it’s designed for home use with a 13-amp motor and a turbo nozzle.

Note: Of all the items assembled here, this washer requires the most care while assembling. The multiple hose connections and precise joints required to maintain water pressure won’t let the user by with a half-hearted job.

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Kobalt 80-Volt Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 18-in Cordless Electric Chainsaw: This is a chainsaw. Only certain men need a chainsaw as part of their daily lives. But, every man wants a chainsaw. You can’t go wrong giving dad a chainsaw for Father’s Day. You can’t go wrong buying yourself a chainsaw for any day.

This cordless electric model from Kobalt uses the same 80-volt battery that powers the tool maker’s lawn mowers. One charge should offer about 150 cuts before a 30-minute power charge is needed. Offering a 30-inch maximum cut diameter and an electric chain brake for safety, the Kobalt tool uses an auto-oiler system to maintain chain function.

And, it’s a chainsaw.