Holiday Gift Guide for Nerds, 2022

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Aka, these are a few of my favorite things. This is a list of stuff I absolutely love. If you have someone in your life that’s ALSO a nerd of some kind, they’ll likely love one of these things too.

For Tech Nerds

Apple Airpods Pro 2

The Airpods Pro seem to have hit exactly the right niche for headphones, and the second generation makes them even better. They’re not best sounding headphones money can buy in absolute terms, but they sound VERY good. They don’t have the absolute best noise cancellation, but the noise cancellation is still VERY good, they automatically connect and switch between all your Apple devices, they’re relatively affordable in terms of good sounding headphones with noise cancellation, and they’re so small you can have them on you at all times.

Keychron Keyboards

Just all of them. I have the K8 at home with my Mac Studio and the K4 at work with my Macbook Pro docked. Keychron makes a huge variety of mechanical keyboards in both the classic mechanical keyboard style and some ultra portable compact mechanical keyboards. They’re compatible with both MacOS and, if you have bad taste, Windows. They come with both keycaps so you can either have a Command Key or a Windows key, etc. You can choose from a bunch of different mechanical switches depending on if you like clicky or soft keys, and they’ve made me hate every other keyboard in my life. I’m legitimately considering getting one of the ultra-portable models for travel because I’m so spoiled my Macbook Pro’s admittedly pretty good keyboard feels like trash now when I use it undocked.

HiWe Magsafe Wallet

I tried the official Apple Magsafe wallet and loved the concept but didn’t like the execution. The Apple wallet is nice as an object, but the functionality wasn’t there for me. The magnets were kinda weaksauce and the very tight leather card wallet only really held like two cards. I did, however, really like that I could stick that on my phone and never be caught without my wallet when I ran into a store for something. I ended up trying this much cheaper knock off, and I like it a LOT more. The tension in this one comes from stretchy fabric sides that ensure your cards don’t fall out, but they have enough give to put 3-4 cards in their comfortably and retrieve them easily. It doesn’t hurt that it costs about 1/3 of what the official one does. If you know someone with an iPhone 12 or newer, they’ll probably like this a lot.

Anker 713 USB Type C Charger

Like some of my other pics, this charger isn’t the absolute most powerful one you can buy, but it’s a great all around charger. It has one USB C port and outputs 45W, which is plenty for most everything. It will fast charge your iPad and your phone, and it will charge your computer as well unless you happen to be training ML models or something. If you have like a 16″ Macbook Pro with the M1 Max and you are frequently training ML models or rendering 3D objects while away from home, you might want to go with something more powerful, but this one is relatively cheap, small enough to toss in any bag, and will fit the needs of nearly everyone.

For Kitchen Nerds

Anova Sous Vide

I tend to do a lot of Sous Vide cooking. It’s well suited to a busy life. As long as you can find some time on a weekend to prep and vacuum seal stuff, you can have some very tasty dinners with very little effort. If you’re not familiar with Sous vide, you basically vacuum seal food in a plastic bag and then toss it in a water bath that maintains the temp you set. This cooks the food perfectly and it very forgiving on time. A steak will be done in about an hour, but you can leave it in the sous vide for at least 4 hours and it will not be overcooked. I recently did carnitas in mine and they came out amazing. The best part is, if you have the stuff bagged up you just toss it in the sous vide and your cooking is done other than assembly.

Oxo GoodGrips Radial Pepper Mill

This is just straight-up the best pepper grinder. It’s the only one that seems to be made for cooking, not for eating. Most pepper grinders give you a pathetic amount of pepper. They’re fine for adding a little pepper to your food, but they’re exhausting and annoying when trying to grind a lot of fresh pepper for a rub or for cacio e pepe. Not this bad boy. This dude will grind you a couple of tablespoons of fresh pepper in absolutely no time. My first one lasted 8 years of constant use, and I only had to replace it because I damaged it myself, through no fault of the product. I immediately ordered another to replace it, because like I said, it’s the best. Also I highly recommend trying some Kampot Pepper in it. If you buy this combination of pepper grinder and pepper, you’re going to want to savagely beat someone if they offer you some of the pre-ground stuff. This stuff CHANGES you.

Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife

This thing is a workhorse. A good chef’s knife covers the vast majority of things you do in the kitchen, and this one offers a huge amount of bang for your buck. The blade arrives very sharp and holds an edge really well for a long time. The handle is comfortable and easy to clean. The 8″ size is a great all-arounder. If you know someone who’s just moving out for the first time or just starting to take an interest in cooking, this will set them on the right path. If you really want to be their favorite person, pair (haha!) it with the matching paring knife. That combination will cover every basic kitchen task and last a very long time. According to my Amazon history I bought my chef’s knife in 2010.

Oxo Good Grips Cutting Board

You can’t use those knives on your counter, and please don’t use them on a plate or anything glass. You need a cutting board. The OXO cutting board is cheap, lasts forever, dishwasher safe, a good size for most stuff, and even has channels around the edges to catch liquid runoff if you’re cutting a juicy fruit or carving meat. You literally cannot own enough of these. I just ordered another when I visited the page to get the link.

That’s all I can think of for now, I’ll update this post if anything else comes to mind, but I think I have some pretty good suggestions so far.