6 Great Gifts for Mechanical Engineers/Students 2019

Updated on September 22, 2019
suramyakh profile image

I'm an engineer, and I found all of these items to be humorous or useful—sometimes both!

Original Mechanical Engineering Gift Ideas
Original Mechanical Engineering Gift Ideas

Welcome to My 2019 Mechanical-Engineering Gift Guide!

I'm an ex-student-now-graduate who survived college studying mechanical engineering!

When it comes to buying gifts for engineering students or graduates, most people go for either lame T-shirts or boring machinery books or guides. C'mon, people! We love clothes, and we love practical experiments, but not every time—and we don't always want something with gears on it. And if t-shirts and books are the last-minute gifts you feel you must resort to, then we'd like to get a really cool one.

This article basically reflects my gift wish list. I studied mechanical engineering in college, and these gift ideas come from the heart.

Mechanical engineers are cool, right?

Aren't mechanical engineering students and engineers cool?

See results

What Should I Get a Mechanical Engineering Student or Graduate?

Below, I have explained what kind of gifts students like me want and what they don't like. I've also provided some examples for you to choose from.

Don't get me wrong—an iPad is surely an awesome gift, but at what cost? You can give a much more frugal and overall better gift by putting a little thought into the gift and by considering what the person you're getting it for really likes. Below you will find gifts organized into the following categories:

  1. Unique and funny
  2. Technical and geeky
  3. Cool and humorous
  4. Must-read books
  5. Other miscellany items

What Gifts Are Hot and What Are Not

Sneaky uses of everyday things
How to become a mechanical engineer
Mechanical Gears
Micrometer, Vernier caliper
A self-rotating compass
Shirt that reads "I'm a ME. What's your superpower?"
Shirt that reads "Real Women Marry Engineers" (eww!)
Cool Toys
Quadcopters, drones
an iPad
Machinery Guides
How To Select Gifts for Mechanical Engineers

1. Unique Mathematics Clock

A math clock
A math clock

A Math Clock

When I first saw this clock, I knew that same instant that I had to buy it. And with such a good name (Sheldon Cooper Clock), I felt the math nerd inside me getting really excited.

It's been hanging on my bedroom wall for almost two years now, and apart from the very judgy, geek-shaming looks from some of my cousins, it has received ultra-great reviews from my peers and friends.

What is your budget?

What is the budget for your gift?

See results

2. Mechanical Pencil

Note: Highly underrated gift!


If you believe me, a mechanical pencil is a very thoughtful gift for an engineer. I started using one my very first semester and have been using it even after graduating. I will probably use it for life—there isn't a single day I don't use a mechanical pencil.

Tip: Choose 0.5 mm for the size. It's the standard size for many engineering drawings.

Another useful stationery supply for an engineering student would be a package of drawing supplies, such as:

  • A3 papers,
  • drafter,
  • T-scale,
  • divider,
  • compass,
  • French curve,
  • and all things that people use to draw.

3. Vernier Caliper

A vernier caliper (or a scale) is an instrument that is used to determine the most accurate unaided measurement. For a mechanical engineering major, it is one of the must-have devices because there will be at least one event in a day where such a measurement is necessary for field work.

I recommend this digital vernier caliper. Be it for school projects, office works or even DIY projects at home, a vernier caliper is a mechanical engineer's best friend.

If they already have a vernier caliper, a micrometer is another useful option.


4. Drones and Quadcopters

The use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles have increased tremendously in recent years. With engineering students usually learn to build these flying "robots" in their first semesters, they are quite fascinated by quadcopters.

Apart from surveillance and recreational purposes like travel logs, documentaries, and drone selfies, quadcopters are being used by several fields for:

  • gathering bridge and structural surveillance close-up pictures of any structural flaws,
  • transporting supplies,
  • testing aircrafts, etc.

One can rest assured that these small quadcopters are gifts that never fail to impress a mechanical engineer.

5. Useful and Practical Books

Because engineers never stop learning

We like Unique Books!

Let's face it: a family doesn't consider their children engineers unless they repair some of the broken stuff at home. One of my biggest regrets from my early college days is not reading this book: Sneaky Uses of Everyday Things.

Cy Tymony's book has sold millions of copies and has become a handbook for everyday makers, fixers, and engineers. It brings out the creative side of you—a very useful trait for a mechanical engineer.

Sneaky Uses of Everyday Things
Sneaky Uses of Everyday Things

Sneaky Uses of Everyday Things is a practical and easy-to-use guide that helps one transform everyday common objects from A all the way up to Z. The book is a foundation to brainstorm creative ways to use ordinary things to provide a meaningful output. These quick and convenient outcomes help build an "engineering" and technical base—which can be a prototype for something larger and more valuable later on.

Creativity and the ability to think outside the box is one of the greatest qualities of an engineer at any stage of their career can have.

This book is followed by two others:

  1. Sneakier Uses of Everyday Things and
  2. Sneakiest Uses of Everyday Things

Other Books for Engineers

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

6. Gift Card for Their Personal Indulgence

Why a Gift Card?




More Snacks

College Supplies

(Audio) Books of Their Choice

$100 Visa Gift Card (plus $5.95 Purchase Fee)
$100 Visa Gift Card (plus $5.95 Purchase Fee)
As a student, I have always struggled to buy more of my personal stuff. The level of college study required did not leave me enough time for a well-paying job and the library job was not enough. I have also never expected to get any unique engineering gift as a present from my family as they obviously don't research on the internet. A gift card is the best gift they can get me.

A gift card of any kind will undoubtedly be useful for a student to buy whatever they want—be it their favorite chips or another cool, geeky stuff. At least you won't be nervous thinking whether they like your present or not.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Surem Khulkar

    What gifts did you buy for engineering students in 2019? Let me know below!

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      Post Comment
      • profile image


        2 years ago

        classic non-digital calipers are so much cooler and ipad advice is utterly off! without mentioning kuru toga even...

      • Mike Bolger profile image

        Mike Bolger 

        2 years ago from New York, NY

        As a professional engineer myself I believe that mechanical pencil and vernier caliper are actually a simple but very cool idea as a gift.

      • tanjilovi profile image


        3 years ago from Bangladesh

        What about some cool tools like multi point sockets and screw drivers ???


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