February 15

11 Gifts for Mechanical Engineers

11 Gifts for Mechanical Engineers

Andoni Centino

When buying gifts for mechanical engineers, the most common thing people go for are “witty” statement shirts or another typical machinery book. This can get old really quick and most mechanical engineers have had enough of these types of gifts. If you want to go for these types of gifts, you’ll have to make sure the one you get is something really unique, or else you’ll probably leave them wanting.

Table of Contents (click to navigate)

If you’re not quite sure what to get them, try to go for unique, humorous, and/or practical. Here are some useful examples that could help get you started:

“Sheldon Cooper” Mathematics clock

Image Source: Zazzle.com

This modern mathematical hanging clock is wall hanging clock measures around 10 inches each side and was made of Grade A acrylic. Made to hang on any wall, this “Sheldon Cooper” wall clock has mathematical expressions printed on its face in acrylic to make sure that the print is of the highest quality. This gift is perfect for mechanical engineers who are feeling cheeky and playful but still want something practical. This gift is recommended for indoor use only, outdoor use is not recommended.

Product Dimensions: 10.75″ x 10.75″

Batteries: AA battery required (not included in purchase)

Price: $33

Mechanical Pencil

Image Source: Amazon

Drafting is one of the first things traditionally taught to engineers in engineering courses. As such, drafting instruments are always good gift ideas. Mechanical pencils are some of the most often used instruments in a mechanical engineer’s arsenal of drafting tools. Staedtler is a particularly good brand if you’re looking for a mechanical pencil that’s affordable, reliable, and long-lasting.

If you’re feeling extra generous, you could give your engineer other drawing supplies such as:

  • T-square
  • Divider
  • Drafting Paper
  • Compass
  • French curve

Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 0.3 inches

Product Weight: 0.64 ounces

Line Sizes: 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, 0.9 mm, 2.0 mm

Price: $11.79

Digital Vernier Caliper

Image Source: Amazon

A vernier caliper is a measure instrument used to accurately determine precise lengths, widths, or thicknesses. This is especially useful for smaller scale objects such as machine parts, planks of wood, and small hole depths.  For mechanical engineers, this is one of the most often used and important tools for them to have. It’s useful in all kinds of field work and should always be at an engineer’s side when they’re off doing work.

Digital vernier calipers are especially useful since the instrument already has a digitally accurate display that helps show the measurements. This one is waterproof as well, so it’s great for all field work conditions.

If your engineer already has a vernier caliper, you could get them a micrometer as well.

Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches

Product Weight: 13 ounces

Maximum Measuring Range: 6 in / 150 mm

Accuracy: + / – 0.01 mm / 0.0005 in

Price: $27.99

Measure King 3-in-1 Digital Tape Measure 

Image Source: Amazon

For measurements that are a bit longer or too irregular for calipers or micrometers, you’ll find that engineers will appreciate this nifty little measuring gadget extremely and find it particularly helpful. For mechanical engineers who constantly do field work and measurements, these types of measuring tools are indispensible. This is particularly useful for machine measurements that aren’t straight or typically measurable with regular tools. Diameters of pipes or large machine screws, for example, can be measured by wrapping around the string of this device and reading the measurement. It has a string mode, a roller mode, and a laser measurement mode.

Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 1.6 x 3.3 inches

Product Weight: 7.04 ounces

Batteries: Lithium metal batteries required (not included in purchase)

Price: $28.45

DJI Spark Drone

Image Source: Amazon

These last couple of years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of commercial-grade drones and unmanned aerial vehicles available in the market. Owning one of these drones has been more accessible and easier than ever. Engineers in particular are fascinated by these robots due to the technology involved.

The uses of these drones include surveillance, film making, and other recreational purposes. Most people use their drones for travel vlogs, aerial shots, documentaries, and selfies, but your typical engineer could use them for:

  • Aerial surveillance of buildings, bridges, and large scale structural elements to inspect for any potential structural flaws or failures
  • Transportation of supplies or instruments during field work
  • Testing aircraft or for drop tests

You can look through Forbes’ list of best beginner drones for a more detailed piece on which drone to get an engineer. The DJI Spark is on the list and is one of the more affordable beginner drones on the market.

Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 3 x 8.2 inches

Product Weight: 1.49 pounds

Batteries: 2 Lithium Polymer batteries required (included in purchase)

Price: $480

Sneakiest Uses for Everyday Things

Image Source: Amazon

Sneakiest Uses of Everyday Things is the type of book that isn’t just practical and highly informational, but it’s also quite easy to follow. It’s a useful guide that teaches readers transform common junk objects into incredible creations. The book can serve as a good foundation that helps engineers flex their creative muscles and brainstorm up unique ways to provide meaningful outcomes. Although it seems playful on the onset, these quick and quirky projects can become technical bases and sometimes points on inspiration for mechanical engineers to help them think up of creative solutions to various engineering problems later on. It gives engineers a chance to be creative and to think outside of the box.

If you’re feeling generous, you could also get them other books in the series: Sneaky Uses of Everyday Things, and Sneakier Uses of Everyday Things. In this third book of the series, you’ll find many different projects to experiment with all curated and explained well by author Cy Tymony, a seasoned home inventor.

Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.5 x 7 inches

Product Weight:  8 ounces

Pages: 193

Price: $10.48

Other Recommended Readings:

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • The Lego Mindstorms EV3 Discovery Book
  • The Making of an Expert Engineer
  • To Engineer is Human

Subscription to Engineering Magazine

Image Source: Engineering Magazine

One of the most long running and trusted magazine in the engineering industry, Engineering would make a great gift to any mechanical engineer. This magazine is a go-to entertainment read for most engineers and inventors in the UK and you can’t go wrong with getting your engineer friend a subscription to this as a gift. As a publication, it has been in circulation for over a hundred and fifty years.


Free to UK engineers and professionals in related industries

$83 for a 1-year subscription to UK residents

$115 for a 1-year subscription to EU residents

$147 for a 1-year subscription to worldwide subscribers

Engineer Definition T-Shirt

Image Source: Amazon

For younger engineers who have a penchant for statement shirts, this “Engineer Definition” shirt will surely be a nice gift. The shirt has the “definition” for engineer. The shirt is a crew neck shirt with short sleeves. It’s made of 100% cotton and the fabric it’s made in is breathable but heavy – perfect for a nice, cozy fit on any engineer. The fit of the shirt comes in men’s and women’s sizes, but if you’re having doubts about the fit, try to get a size that’s bigger than the usual for your friend. Amazon also has a nifty little size chart to help you out.

Price: $19.95

Math Formulas Tie

Image Source: Amazon

Continuing with the “quirky clothing items for engineers” line of thinking, this feminist engineer tie would make a good gift for any woman engineer looking to make a fashion statement and a statement against sexism in the engineering industry. It’s a white tie with the message: “Yes I’m an engineer and I’m a girl.” This tie is a good gift to any female engineer who likes quirky accent clothing items but is loud and proud of their gender.  

Product Weight: 1.6 ounces

Price: $28

Image Source: Amazon

For the business-minded, fashion-oriented, long-sleeve wearing engineer, these engineer cufflinks are perfect as a gift. Not only are they stylish, they’re also practical and can be used as quirky statement pieces.

Product Dimensions: 16 mm diameter

Product Material: Fine silver

Price: $6.99 + $4.49 shipping

Gift Cards

Image Source: Amazon

If you’re struggling to figure out what to get your engineer friend and think that giving outright cash is a bit too direct, you could always opt to get them gift cards. This way, you won’t have to be nervous thinking about whether you got them the right gift or not; it’s all up to them what they want to purchase with the gift card you got them. These gift cards for their personal indulgence could get them Netflix, coffee and snacks, engineering supplies, and even books of their choosing.

A Visa Gift Card is a particularly good choice. It can be redeemed in the U.S., both online or in stores,

Product Weight: 0.3 ounces

Price: $105.95 ($100 gift card value with $5.95 purchase fee)

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About the Author

Registered and licensed Architect from the Philippines. I have worked in an established Architectural Design firm, Interior Design firm and Design-Build Architecture company. Aside from independent architectural projects, I work part-time as an associate of Arch. Micaela Benedicto. I am adept at Autodesk Autocad, Autodesk Revit, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Sketchup. I am also adept at doing 3D renderings with V-ray.

Andoni Centino

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