Friday, February 27, 2015

Conair Infiniti Pro Styling Tool


Conair Infiniti Pro Styling Tool

This is a nice hair dryer.  It is significantly more powerful than the current model my wife was using.  The volume of air seems to be 30% to 50% greater.  I did clean the lint out of the old one to insure I was getting a fair comparison.   The dryer has a five year warranty although they want you to include $5.00 if you send it to them for warranty repair.  In general,  I find that policy of requiring the customer to pay for shipping and handling on warranty repairs repugnant.  Not just Conair but any company that does that.  

I did not find the dryer significantly quieter than the dryer currently in use.   I plugged the dryers in side by side and my decidedly subjective sound test determined that there was not a significant difference in noise level between the old dryer and this dryer.    Although in all fairness the current dryer was purchased primarily because it was supposed to be significantly quieter than normal.   Personally I find all of them grossly loud but being  bald I don't need to suffer through that inconvenience.   

Engineering wise, the brushless motor should provide longevity.   The casing seems much more durable than the current hair dryer.   That casing may be the reason it did not seem any lighter than the claimed 18% decreased weight from a conventional AC motor hair dryer that Conair claims.   The old dryer feels much flimsier than this unit.  

This dryer appears to offer greater durability and a higher air flow than my wife's older (approximately 1 year) dryer.  Although pricey the durability factor may offset the higher cost.  The Amazon link below gives a lot more detail on the product.  

From the Vendor:
A brushless motor works with a combination of magnets and electronics to drive the motor; ionic technology for smooth, shiny hair and up to 75% less frizz
5,000 Hours of life - 10x longer than an AC motor dryer; dries equivalent to a 2,000 watt professional dryer
Cuts drying time by 70% with faster airflow and less heat to minimize heat damage
Up to 40% less noise with patent pending noise reduction technology
Heavy gauge, professional quality line cord for extra durability and 18% lighter than standard a AC motor hair dryer


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Columbia Men's Tall Glennaker Lake Packable Rain Jacket


This is a light weight rain jacket.  It zippers well which is my main complaint about my old jacket.  Even with the hood packed in the collar, the lines of the jacket are nice.  I particularly like that it is available in a tall.   I hate buying stuff in a size that is too large just to get the length I need.  The fit on this jacket was spot on.   I also like the inside chest pocket that is designed to allow the jacket to be crushed and pushed into the pocket.  They call it a packable pocket.  I don't see myself doing that but I do like the inside chest pocket for general use.   The jacket also has a draw string bottom which is another good feature.   I think there is a lot of bang for the buck in this jacket at $37.00 on Amazon.   I saw some reviews complain about sweating in the jacket.  Since it is fall and chilly I have not noticed that.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bionic Body by Kim Lyons Bionic Resistance Tube, Red, 70-Pound


This tube has considerably more resistance than any of my other tubes.   There seems to be an assumption that you know what to do with it if you buy it.   Since I have a competitor's resistant band kit that included handles and work out guide I know what to do with this.   I think it might behoove the vendor to add a note that handles are needed to use this on Amazon.  The box the tube came in notes that handles are needed and sold separately.   I did a quick look on the website noted on the insert in the package.  A search of the topics did not find bionic or tube so a cursory search does not show any information or exercises for the tube.   There are plenty of other sites that provide resistance band or tube exercises so this will still work well for you provided you buy their handles or you have handles you are already using.   Quality seems to be very good, the lack of attention to detail on the website for exercises and the lack on Amazon of noting the need for handles prevents me from giving it five stars. 

From the vendor:
  • High quality double-coated latex for consistent resistance
  • Tear resistant material for a safe workout
  • Adaptable for a wide variety of different exercises
  • Compact and travel friendly
  • Includes one resistance tube


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

KitchenAid KBLR42CRYL Streamline Ceramic Casserole, 4.2-Quart


This is one heavy ceramic casserole.   If weight is a measure of quality in ceramic cookware, this has got to be near the top in quality.   It feels durable and looks very useful.  It is a good size, I'd think for a family of four.   It is a bit large for a family of two unless you like leftovers.   I'm not an expert on cookware so I don't know if the price is reasonable at $79.99 on Amazon
but the quality sure seems like it is there.  I think I have found our new lasagna pan.

From the Vendor:
Durable Commercial Quality
Microwave and Freezer Safe
Vibrantly Colored Finish
Dishwasher Safe
Oven Safe Up To 500 Degree


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Holmes Group HAP3000UV-TU Tower Air Purifier, Mini

This is a five stage air purification system.  I did not expect to be impressed due to the quite reasonable price of $50 at Amazon.  This air filter starts with a coarse pre-filter, then has a HEPA type filter for particulates like pollen, then a carbon filter for odors and an ion filter and finally a UV bulb as a germicide.   I find that quite impressive for such a low cost filter.  

The fan settings are high and low.   The high is very quiet and the low is almost indiscernible.   Personally I sleep better with a little "white" noise so I like the high setting.  Of course that means it draws more air and theoretically will give you cleaner air based on volume alone.   I also like that there is a pictograph inside the filter compartment showing the correct order of the filters.   The instruction set does the same thing but in reality the instruction brochure will be tossed in a drawer and effectively disappear. 

The carbon filter is the only one that it is recommended for relatively frequent replacement at three to four month intervals.  A four pack of filters can be had for $10.00 so Holmes has kept the consumables reasonably priced.  The small size is also a nice feature. 5.9 x 7 x 13.2 inches. 

This appears to be an excellent value for the money.

From the vendor:
  • Permanent Filtration for hassle free operation
  • Incorporates UV technology for germ killing power
  • Carbon and PCO filter for odor elimination
  • Digital Control Panel, 3 speed settings, 8 hour timer
  • Slim design and integrated handle allow flexibility in placing the unit throughout the home; recommended for small rooms
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

IRWIN Tools VISE-GRIP Pliers, Long Nose Ergonomic Multi Plier, 8-inch (1902419)


I think with a lot of use this angled head might be of value.  I know that the straight head needle nose can be laborious if you are working in an electric box particularly when balancing on a ladder. 

My first thought on the lanyard was not positive but then I pondered the number of times I have dropped tools and had to get down from where ever it was I was standing and get them and I revised my opinion. 

The wire cutters and pliers aspect worked fine.  I found the angled head a bit cumbersome but I suspect with use it would become very valuable.

I wasn't thrilled with the wire stripping. Again I think it was centered on the angled head and it was a different wrist movement to strip the wire.   I would think with practice it would probably be fine. 

The quality of the tool seems top notch.  Considering the price I suspect that the most frequent buyer will be someone who must use a tool such as this on a daily basis as it is pretty pricey for the DIY crowd at $55.00 on Amazon. 
 

From the Vendor:
62-degree angled head provides a more natural feel and reduced wrist strain. Includes wire stripper, wire crimper and spanner.
Induction-hardened cutting edges cut the toughest materials. Coated for superior rust resistance.
The handles feature a 3-component molded grip contoured for optimal cushion and control, allowing the user to make more cuts comfortably.
The exclusive hook and lanyard system lets you attach pliers to help prevent accidental drops and provide easy retrieval from pouches or pockets.

Made in Germany. Backed by the IRWIN lifetime guarantee.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Perfect Fitness Resistance Band Kit


This is nice quality. The bands seem to work fine.  The attachment for the door so you could affix the bands to a stationary position did not work that well.   It presumes a rather loose fitting door.   I tried it on five of my doors before I found one of my doors that had a loose enough fit for the piece to work.   That is a minor inconvenience.  

The exercises need to be downloaded from the vendor's web site.   They took three sheets of paper, printed double side.   In this day and age I suppose it is reasonable to assume everyone has access to an Internet connection and printer but I think for the cost of a couple sheets of paper, the exercises should have been included.  Again, not a major inconvenience for someone with Internet.

As all exercise gear, it will only be good if it is used.   The concept is solid and the exercises are not too demanding. 

·                        Includes 2 resistance bands (10lbs & 15lbs)
·                        Total body workout
·                        Mesh storage bag and door anchor included
·                        Free online workout guide


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.
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