What do you buy for Christmas for someone who’s interested in electronics? Check out these Christmas gift ideas and get the shopping over with.
Last year I received three boxes with a lot of resistors and capacitors from my family. And I absolutely loved it!
I guess a box of resistors and capacitors isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…
Instead, here are some Christmas gift ideas from me that I think every electronics-interested kid, adult or grandparent would love.
A Kit For Soldering
The first Christmas gift idea on my list is a kit for soldering. A kit comes with instructions, a circuit board, and all the necessary components for building the circuit.
This is something that almost everyone loves, electronics enthusiast or not. My old partner Elias and me created kits for a Christmas party a few years back. We placed soldering irons and kits on a table for anyone to solder. And people loved it! Even those who had never done anything like that before.
Check out some of the Velleman Kits for inspiration.
Also, Boldport is a membership club that sends out a kit every month to its members. I haven’t tried it myself, but a friend of mine told me it was very good.
Note that a kit requires soldering. And soldering requires a soldering iron and some solder. For someone who’s dedicated to electronics, a $40 soldering station could be a good investment. For someone who’s just starting out, a $7 soldering iron might be a better option.
Arduino Starter Kit
Arduino is a microcontroller board that’s very popular. It has a microcontroller that is very easy to program compared to many other boards.
You can use it to build robots, your own weather station or an automatic door for your cat.
I love the Arduino because it is so easy to program. That means you can quickly build fun projects. A couple of years back I actually built a universal remote control live in front of an audience in Oslo in about 15 minutes.
This is the type of Christmas gift someone who’s very into computers would love.
The Arduino Starter Kit is a good choice for getting started with Arduino. If your budget allows it and you’re buying a gift for someone who’s really dedicated, consider upgrading to the Arduino Deluxe Bundle.
Oh, how I love my tools. While growing up, my father had a workshop in the basement filled with tools for doing electronics, woodwork and more.
The last few years I’ve traveled the world. And because some tools are heavy, I can’t bring them all on my travels. Having lots of tools available will probably be one of the main reasons for me settling down at one place very soon.
But, since I basically build electronics all the time, I still carry some tools with me on my travels.
Here’s some tools I always carry:
My dad taught me a trick about buying tools once. Or actually it was about buying screw bits for a drill, but I think it makes sense for tools in general:
Don’t buy expensive tools the first time. Buy a range of cheap tools. Some of them you will rarely use and the cheap quality will be good enough. If a tool breaks, you buy a new and better quality version of that tool only.
I love books. Especially non-fiction books. And electronics books are great Christmas gift ideas. It doesn’t matter whether your prospective gift-receiver is a hardcore electronics professional or a total beginner who doesn’t know what a resistor is. There’s a book for that.
The Electronics Bible
The Art Of Electronics has been called “the bible of electronics”. It is not a “Getting Started” type-of-book. It contains a large collection of theory and circuits and serves as an awesome reference for electronics.
At almost $100, this book is a bit expensive. But for someone who’s really into electronics, it’s definitely worth it. I bought this book about ten years ago, and it’s been really helpful both in my studies and in projects later in life.
Click here to buy it from Amazon.
Be warned that this book is heavy. Both literally and physically. And I don’t recommend it as a book for beginners.
So, what to get for someone who’s never done anything with electronics before?
The Starter Book
Well, I can’t write book recommendations without shamelessly mentioning my book Electronics For Kids.
I published it this summer (2016), and it has been very well received. With five stars on Amazon and mentions in magazines like the Wall Street Journal, GeekDad, the Huffington Post, the official Raspberry Pi Magazine and many more.
Don’t let the “For Kids” title scare you away if you’re technically not a kid anymore. This is for “kids” of any age. From 10 to 100 years old. The projects in the book is a great way for grand-parents to spend time with their grand children.
Electronics For Kids is available from:
What Christmas Gift Ideas Do You Have?
What do you think would be a great gift for an electronics hobbyist? Or what would you love to find under the Christmas tree this year? Let me know in the comments field below.