Industrial engineers have unique interests and can be tough to find the right gift for. They tend to want things that are practical, functional, and unique. Being an engineer myself, I wanted to assemble what I think are the best gift ideas for industrial engineers.
Finding the perfect gift for an industrial engineer can be time-consuming, but I hope this gift guide helps you finish your gift shopping faster than ever and brings a smile to an engineer’s face. Show them you understand their passion for engineering and support them when they geek out over your perfect gift.
This list is a compilation of my favorites from around the internet. Some are our own Genius Lab Gear inventions and some we’re just jealous we didn’t think of first! Some external links in this page are from affiliates, which means that any purchase of the items after clicking the link will result in a small monetary referral fee paid back to Genius Lab Gear at no cost to you. We appreciate your support which allows us to continue inventing and testing the best tools for engineers on the planet!
1. The Pocket Engineer: Wallet Ruler and Unit Conversion Reference
The most practical and unique pocket tool for any industrial engineer. It’s the size of a typical credit card and packed with functionality and information that an industrial engineer will need on a daily basis both in school and on the job. The laser-cut and laser-engraved stainless steel has a thick black enamel coating to prevent scratching and stand up to years of abuse. It’s one of the best inexpensive gadget gifts that any engineer will geek out over. You can order directly through our site or on Amazon with the links below.
You can also add a custom logo to this for events, networking, or promotional giveaways! Custom orders start at 100 pieces - just email us for more info.
This high-accuracy digital caliper is a perfect present for industrial engineers. It’s a tool every engineer should own in their arsenal. It can be used to measure length, depth, as well as exterior and interior scope. This specific electronic digital caliper can measure both inches and millimeters and has an extra-large LCD display for quick and easy readings and conversions. It also features a resolution of 10 microns and an accuracy of up to 20 microns. Now your favorite industrial engineer can have a handy tool to use in inspection, welding, machining, and engineering environments, thanks to you!
We recently launched a full line of science and engineering-themed word magnets and of course made a set specifically for engineers! Each specialty pack comes with 144 tiles carefully designed by a PhD in that field for technical accuracy and tacit absurdity. These make for a funny engineer gift for the lab or office that lets them express their technical side but isn't work-oriented.
4. FLIR ONE Gen 3 - Thermal Camera for Smart Phones
If you have the budget, this FLIR thermal imaging camera is an amazing tool that an industrial engineer would find plenty of uses for. Primarily it can identify hot spots where insulation is cracked, fluids are leaking, or components are overheating, perfect for a job in manufacturing. But they can also just have a lot of fun around the house and in the kitchen exploring the thermals of your world. Many people buy this and make their money back in heating/AC bills by looking at their doors, windows, and walls for gaps or poor insulation.
Be sure to get the correct version (for Android or iPhone). If that’s out of your price range, a handheld infrared point-and-shoot thermometer is also extremely useful for finding hotspots, even though it doesn’t have a digital display or data collection.
An engineer's regular day can be so mentally draining that they have little time to unwind. And, like everyone else, they need some quiet time and a few laughs to relieve stress after a long day. Introducing the 101 Engineer Jokes for Engineers! A book filled with 101 jokes that an engineer can definitely relate to!
Another tool that industrial engineers use is the tape measure. Regular tape measures can be inaccurate and awkward to use. Fortunately, those problems can be solved with a newer technology called laser distance measurement. It’s truly a perfect gift for an industrial engineer! We love that it’s accurate up to 65 feet, fits inside a pocket, and it provides live measurements that adjust as you move closer or further from the target.
7. Magnetic wristband for hands-on building and repairs
Thismagnetic wristbandis a cheap but extremely handy add-on that is universally loved by mechanics, machinists, and industrial engineers who like to build or fix things. Mine has helped stop my constant clumsiness dropping tiny screws or misplacing my drill bit heads.
We all know engineers love building things. This is the perfect gift for a retiring engineer about to have more time for hobby and DIY projects. It includes a great selection of screwdriver bits, precision screwdrivers, a hammer, tape measure, pliers, and utility knife to get the job done. It’s an excellent value for the money.
9. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer
The Toyota Way is that one perfect book for an industrial engineer that explains Toyota's global reputation for quality and reliability, as well as its management principles and corporate philosophy. For an industrial engineer who usually works in manufacturing, a book from one of the world’s greatest manufacturers is a rare gem where they can gather information on how to improve processes, build quality into workplace systems, and find low-cost but reliable alternatives to expensive new technology.
10. Rocketbook Matrix cloud-connected reusable paper notebook
This is my favorite clever invention. It was inevitable.Rocketbook finally solved the problem of merging your hand-written notes into your favorite digital services. You simply use their app to take a photo of your pages of notes and the QR code and marked symbols on each page trigger the app to send the digitized page to any of the 9 pre-set digital destinations you choose. This includes OneNote, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox and even specific emails. Want a shortcut to send notes via email straight to your colleague or boss? This is what you’re looking for.
The Rocketbook Matrix is my personal favorite because it's designed for more technical work. It's got 30 pages of graphing paper and one regular lined page for taking notes, plus a built-in ruler on the inside cover. Did I mention they are resuable? Use their "Pilot Frixion" pens and then wipe the page with a damp cloth after uploading your notes to use it all over again (and win one for the environment!).
Mechanical pencils are an essential daily tool for engineers on the job and in the classroom. But in the new digital age, engineers often find themselves using touchscreens as well.
That’s why my new favorite is the rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil, (0.5 mm). This one turns from a pencil to a stylus on the fly, and also ensures the tip isn’t poking holes in your pocket all day like most other models. This is truly the top-end mechanical pencil and will make a special gift.
Staedtler is another brand much-loved by engineers. This model is cheaper and will last a long time, but just isn’t convertible to a stylus. You can’t go wrong with either one.
12. LED Flashlight Gloves
These LED flashlight gloves are an excellent gift for an engineer since they can be used for everything from home repairs to working on machines in the dark or in other confined spaces where a little more light would be a huge help. It’s like having an assistant holding a flashlight for you! These cool flashlight gloves are made of stretchy fabric and lengthened velcro straps for a snug fit!
Industrial engineers often use computer-aided design (CAD) in devising efficient ways in manufacturing and production to eliminate wasteful processes. But during long hours of designing, a regular consumer mouse becomes frustrating to use due to poor sensitivity. This mouse called Spacemouse from 3Dconnexion solves that issue. It’s a tool made for engineers and designers that delivers intuitive, effortless, and precise 3D navigation in CAD applications. It’s a super helpful gift for your favorite CAD engineer!
For an industrial engineer who wants to spend more time with their kids and get them engaged in STEM, a great approach is working on small engineering projects together. KiwiCo came up with a line of project boxes for different age groups and subjects. You get a new project box every month and can pause or cancel any time. They are often made of laser-cut wood which you assemble with included electronics to make things like a trebuchet, an adjustable desk lamp, or an automatic pencil sharpener!
TheEureka Crateis targeted at ages 14+ (below), so it's perfect for high school students and can also be a ton of fun for a passionate engineer who loves hobby projects. If these are too advanced, try theTinker Crateinstead!
Tests for certified engineering licenses like the PE and FE can seem daunting but they are critical in many engineering careers. Luis Duque, a civil engineer who passed the PE on his first try and hosts a podcast called Engineering Our Future, is dedicated to teaching study skills and career skills for young engineers. Luis also launched a very affordable study skills email course to help engineers actively preparing for their FE or PE exam. If your engineer is close to graduation or approaching their PE exam, gifting them this course would be a huge help.
16. Engineer’s Gift Bundle ($39.50)
If you can't decide by now, I can still help! Consider this decision made. I put together aEngineer Gift Bundle just to make it easy for you. It includes the Pocket tool and Word Magnets from above, plus a few fun science stickers. You'll save over 20% by bundling them together, so grab this and you can stop your search here!
The collective voice of over 1000 women shows they are disproportionally affected by the “unisex” or “male-first” approach to lab coat design. This article reveals quotes from these women on the challenges they face in the lab and some ways we can fix this.