December 3, 2022

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The Verge's Favorite Non-Tech Gadgets

The Verge’s Favorite Non-Tech Gadgets

Let’s admit it – most, if not all, the people who work here at the edge A fan of smart gadgets. But while most of these gadgets are tech-themed — headphones, smartphones, laptops, speakers, and all the other electronic equipment we love to play with — there are also some really interesting, fun and useful gadgets that we have. You don’t usually consider it a technology per se.

So, for this article, we asked employees to devise their favorite non-tech gadgets—things that don’t have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or an app. Admittedly, some of their findings sit on the border between tech and non-tech – where, say, do espresso machines belong? But hey, let’s not be thorough. Here are the kitchen gadgets, household items, and personal items we cherish most.

kitchen tools

I spent a lot of time talking about buying a home espresso machine, but I finally got it a few years ago, and the only regret I have is not buying an espresso machine so soon. I love my espresso machine. It’s not great, which is fine for me. My model has a built-in grinder, which I keep with an Olympia Coffee Big Truck. It’s simple, reliable, easy to care for, and makes consistently good espresso. I’ve used it almost every day for three years now, and it’s still going strong. My latte art skills are sketchy, but that’s on me, not Barista Express. – Alison Johnson, reviewer


Over the past year, I’ve fallen in love with Hario’s lineup of V60 drip coffee makers. But I didn’t finally get one of their pots until last Christmas, and it’s big enough to make two (or even three, all at once) cups of coffee at once. You put a paper filter in the plastic funnel on top, pour some water, then lift the funnel out to pour your delicious drink out of the glass carafe.

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I wouldn’t claim that it’s anywhere near as simple as using a stand-alone coffee maker or even an Aeropress, and you must be prepared to use the scale if you want to get the ratio of coffee to water just right. But if you’re someone who loves the ritual of making coffee and wants something a little cheaper than Chemex, the V60 is a great choice. – John Porter, reporter


Hario V60 Drip Coffee Carafe

Two-in-one coffee maker is a drip and server at the same time. Equipped with a silicone strap for easy handling and pouring.


KitchenAid Stand Mixers It’s known for its reliability and classic beauty, but for my money its biggest benefit is the attachment system. And there’s no attachment I love more than the Fresh Prep Slicer, which allows me to quickly and easily turn a 2-pound block of cheese into an easy topping for nachos, casseroles, and more. If you find yourself often turning large quantities of veggies, cheese, or anything else into small pieces, and you’re still using your standard box shredder to do so, please do yourselves a favor and pick up this attachment – if you have KitchenAid, it’s.

The downside to this tool is the price. It’s actually quite reasonable for the Fresh Prep group; I got mine on sale for about $40 (they come with large and small shredders, plus a shredder which I’m sure I’ve never used). But there’s no way around the fact that it’s strapped into a massive $300 blender that many people won’t use often enough to justify the amount of counter space it takes up. If you’ve got one already, it’s worth adding a shredder to your arsenal. (And if you don’t, there are already Handmade versions are available on Amazon. I can’t speak to their quality, but you should at least keep your thumb safe from the bite of a box grater.) — Mitchell Clark, news writer


I adore my Zojirushi Micom rice cooker. Do not soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking, and do not forget to scrape the scorched pieces of rice from the bottom of the pot. Do you know what I like to do? Washing the rice the night before, hitting the Zojirushi’s schedule button, and waking up to a pot of perfectly cooked rice that stays warm until I’m ready to eat. I can cook up to 5.5 cups at a time, which is excellent for making fried rice the next day. It can handle multiple types of rice – brown, white, long grain, short grain, you name it. They are even good at making oatmeal and porridge. Hell, he could do anything a pressure cooker could do. I can boil eggs, bake cake, make soup, and cook veggies with this kid. I bragged about getting a fancy Zojirushi pant with multiple settings, but there are plenty of affordable options that also take up less space than an Instant Pot. as she sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Me when I’m done cooking. Can’t you love him? – Victoria Song, reviewer


Zojirushi Micom Rice Warmer

This 5.5-cup warm rice cooker not only cooks rice but also comes with a steaming basket to double its steaming power and prepares a cake menu for baking cakes.


Home tools

Yes, it is a screwdriver. Yes, I realize that you can buy screwdrivers (even multi-bit mounting screwdrivers) from any number of brands. I have five different ones on my workbench! But once I met MegaPro, I knew I would never need to buy a sixth.

Light and sturdy, the handle is yet comfortable, the ratchet is easy to change direction of the ratchet with one hand, with a long narrow shaft that reaches farther and more reliable than other drivers, and a concealed crumb stowage pleasing to open under its rotating cup on the end. The double-sided bits that don’t need to be pressed or squeezed out of this knob and shaft are long enough to fit my impact drive extensions or even a right angle attachment. I’ve never really touched the square cut, but it has a nice mix of Philips, Torx, and Flat. Oh, look at that – they’re selling too “Auto” version It will have 12 one-sided 1-inch bits and have a magnetic end to attach to screws. Looks like I’m going to replace my other drivers with the following drivers. – Sean Hollister, Senior Reporting Editor


Folding mini utility shovels don’t seem very useful until you own a small two-seater that gets stuck in the mud with shocking regularity. After many snowy mornings spent trying to get my car out of its parking lot with everything I had on it, I decided it was time to explore my options. Selling my car for a vehicle that makes more sense and is better suited for midwest winters was out of the question. However, a mini bucket that collapses easily for storage and allows me to quickly salvage my car out of snow or mud is a good compromise. – Caitlin Hutton, Director of Social Media E-Commerce


Five years ago, I had to purchase a folding saw as part of a prerequisite to join the search and rescue team I volunteered with. Before that, I’d always considered the humble hatchet a more versatile outdoor tool, something I could use to hit wood until my arms inevitably tired and almost deflected after fewer swings than I’d admit. That changed when I picked up Bahco’s budget-friendly folding saw.

At that time, I became fascinated by the little device. The 7-inch serrated blade easily folds into the handle and flips in an instant, allowing me to shred everything from hardwood to plastic without having to pick up additional tools. I’ve found it to be faster and more efficient than an axe, and I don’t have to worry about my accuracy being less than ideal, since I don’t swing it. It even has a convenient safety lock on the handle, so I can slip it into my backpack and not have to worry about ripping my gloves, my expensive rain jacket, and the rest of my search and rescue gear. It’s a neat tool for a more civilized age, and I’m here for it. — Brandon Widder, Commerce Editor


I’m not a tool person or a knife person, but I have an unabashed love for my Leatherman Wave Plus multi-tool. I received it as a birthday gift a few years ago from my wife and it has been used almost every day since then.

There are more tools than I really need (18 in total), but the straight lock knife (excellent for opening cardboard boxes), needle-nose pliers, and small screwdrivers are what I make use of all the time. Whether I’m unboxing from weekly arrivals from Amazon, Target, and Walmart or installing a new smart light switch in my wall, Leatherman is always the number one tool I get to get the job done.

It’s also a great fidget tool when I’m sitting at my desk – it’s really satisfying to unfold and close frequently. Just be careful not to pinch your fingers when doing this, as I did and I probably will again in the future. – Dan Seifert, Deputy Editor-in-Chief


Jatherman Wave Plus

Leatherman Wave Plus is a pocket-sized multifunctional tool with 18 different tools and a 25-year warranty.


personal purposes

At one point or another, if you live long enough, it is very likely that you will need reading glasses. I got to this point – very reluctantly – a few years ago. Once I realized I was staring a lot more than was healthy for me, I accepted my fate and bought a pair of reading glasses. But this led to a new problem – I kept misplacing things, forgot to put them in my bag, or left them in taxis. I even got a pair of ThinOptics readers out.

They cannot technically be called glasses because they are made of plastic. And they don’t have earphones. They sit on your nose as if they were Ben Franklin’s specifications. But it folds into a small flat bag with a small keychain loop that I can hang in my purse. So when I leave my glasses at home, accidentally sit on them, or (like before) leave them on the subway, I know I always have a way to read my Pixel phone or my Mac Pro’s screen without spending the day in a desperate squint. — Barbara Krasnov, Review Editor


Listen, cut your nails every few days. Why not get the best nail clipper experience you can get? Made of steel, Japanese brand Kiya clippers make nice, clean cuts, and the plastic sleeve will pick up most of your trimmings. Keep your fingers tidy! – Kevin Nguyen, Features Editor


traditional watch

There are quite a few non-technical gadgets and items that I love like watches. While my small group remains modest and free from any extravagance of luxury, I can’t help but think, read, or even write about hours. Traditional watches are mostly an unnecessary gadget these days, but it’s one of my favorite ways to accessorize what I’m wearing or how I feel. I admire the craftsmanship and design of all kinds of watches and the way some tell fun stories or get something out of me.

Mine Gold G-SHOCK? when it isn’t Sitting next to me at my desk To chime the clock, that’s what I wear with a black denim jacket and a pair of Dr. Martens shoes if I want to feel glamorous. My other two and a half G-Shocks (I sometimes wear my wife Baby-G . Pikachu’s Birthday)? I admire their toughness and roving look. Mine Seiko SKX013? It’s the first “real” robotic diver that isn’t too big on my cute wrist and has as many designs as the amount of NATO straps I throw at it (although I often stick with black). 15 USD Casio F-91W? It is very modest, but it contains notorious history. My hand wind is in the 60’s Timex Marlin Reissue? I dig their mid-century numbers, and they remind me of some classic Timex watches that my father owned and left behind.

Watches may not be necessary anymore, but they are pointless purchases that continue to bring years of joy and sentimental value to me. – Antonio C. Di Benedetto, commercial writer