When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.
If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. "By the way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.
If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.
Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.
You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.
Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years. Real men drink whiskey or beer.
Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink - they are earthy.
Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink. You get the idea. No one knows why.
Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.
Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sears' Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. "From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.")
Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook - but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"
Tickets to a Hockey/Football/Basketball/Baseball game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.
Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why - please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.
It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.
Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manila rope. No one knows why.