10 cool and useful gadgets that make great last-minute gifts, all under $50

The holidays can be an expensive time of year, not to mention stressful. And this year there are all sorts of COVID-related stresses and uncertainties.

With the idea of reducing the workload somewhat, I’ve compiled this list of cool and useful gadgets for less than $50.

I know that everything on this list is good quality and will last the test of time because everything here has been thoroughly tested to ensure quality and long-term durability.

A superb wireless charging kit

CHOETECH 5-Coil Dual Wireless Charger

Charge two devices simultaneously using this 5-coil wireless charging pad. Also, the 5-coil design means that it’s harder to drop a phone on the pad, get the alignment wrong, and not get a charge.

I like this kit because it comes with an 18W charger, so you don’t need to buy a separate one for the pad (which is annoying as it adds to the price).

$35 at Amazon

Always have tools with you

Leatherman Micra Keychain Multitool

Still one of the best keychain multitools out there. Touch, reliable, well-made, awesome warranty, and a great selection of tools!

I have one and I’ve been using not — and using it hard — for many years, and while it’s looking a bit rough, it works like new.

$29 at Amazon

A line about why it makes a good gift

YubiKey 5 NFC

The perfect tool for securing your digital assents. Everything from your social media accounts, email, password manager and much more can be secured by this one hardware key.

I’ve been using these for well over a year now, and not only have they streamlined my online security, they’ve also been super reliable.

$45 at Yubico

A pocket full of tools

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife - Huntsman

There are a lot of different Swiss Army Knives out there (and take my advice — don’t bother with the cheap clones), but for under $50, this Huntsman is probably the best. 

It offers a well thought out selection of tools, and yet is compact enough to slip into a pocket. Manage not to lose it, and this will give you years of service.

$40 at Amazon

A line about why it makes a good gift

Fisher Space Pen

The best pen I’ve ever owned, and I’ve had one for years, and despite trying other pens, I keep coming back to this one. Tough, comfortable to use, writes well on almost every surface, and it comes with an unconditional warranty (just don’t lose it!).

It’s one of those things that just works.

$24 at Amazon

Good tools always makes any job easier

Wera Kraftform Plus 160i/6 Insulated Professional Screwdriver

A set of the six most popularly used screwdrivers. And these aren’t any old screwdrivers, these are insulated and tested to protect against accidentally touching live domestic wiring.

They also come in a nice wall-mounted holder.

A great set that’s perfect for home use.

$28 at Amazon

Light the way ahead of you

Liteband ACTIV 520 Wide-Beam LED Headlamp

Most headlamps emit a beam of light. This one is different. Instead, the ACTIV 520 emits a 210-degree wide flood of 520 Lumens. It has five settings — high, medium, low, red light, and pulse — and can run for up to 32 hours from a single charge of the 1800mAh lithium ion battery.

The whole package is comfortable, and weatherproof to IPX4 standards.

$49 at Amazon

The building blocks of a smart home

Gosund Smart Plug, 4-pack

At a little over $6 a smart plug, these are a great way to schedule things that happen in your home. Just bark a command at Alexa, Google Home Assistant, or using the app, and you can take control of power outlets in your home.

A very cheap and simple way to transform a home into a smart home.

$25 at Amazon

Need more gift ideas?

Check out our ZDNet Recommends directory or Holiday Gifts hub for some more inspiration. 

Our sister sites also have the following gift guides: 

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