The Verge’s favorite non-tech gadgets

Let’s admit it — most, if not all, of the people who work here The Verge I’m a gadget enthusiast. But while most of these gadgets fall into the field of technology, such as headphones, smartphones, laptops, speakers, and other electronic gadgets that we love to play with, there are some really interesting, fun, and useful gadgets out there. There are also some gadgets. We don’t usually think of it as technology per se.

So for this article, we asked our staff to come up with their favorite non-tech gadget – one that doesn’t have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or an app. Indeed, some of the things they have come up with lie on the border between technology and non-technology. For example, where does an espresso machine belong? But hey, let’s not fuss. Introducing the kitchen utensils, household tools, and personal items that we value most.

kitchen supplies

I’ve been telling myself for years not to buy a home espresso machine, but a few years ago I finally did. My only regret is not buying it sooner. I love espresso machines. It’s not very fancy, but it’s fine by me. My model has a built-in grinder and I always have it on my Olympia Coffee Big Truck. Simple, reliable, and easy to clean, you’ll always be able to make delicious espresso. I’ve been using it almost every day for about 3 years, and it’s still going strong. My latte art skills are sketchy, but that’s my fault, not Barista Express’s. — Alison Johnson, critic


All-in-one espresso machine, from beans to espresso.

Hario drip coffee decanter V60

Over the past year, I’ve become obsessed with Hario’s V60 drip coffee maker lineup. But it wasn’t until last Christmas that I finally got my hands on a decanter. It’s big enough to brew two (or three) cups of coffee at a time. Place the paper filter in the top plastic funnel, pour in the water, lift the funnel and pour out the delicious beer from the glass decanter.

I’m not going to claim that it’s as easy as using a standalone coffee machine or Aeropress. If you want to know exactly the ratio of coffee to water, you should have a scale ready to use. But for those who like the ritual of brewing coffee and want something a little more affordable than the Chemex, the V60 is a great option. — John Porter, reporter

This is a dual-purpose coffee maker that functions as both a dripper and a server. Comes with a silicone band, making it easy to handle and pour.

KitchenAid Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment

KitchenAid stand mixers are known for their reliability and classic aesthetics, but in my opinion, their greatest utility is their attachment system. There is no attachment I like more than the Fresh Prep Shredder. This shredder allows you to quickly and easily turn a 2-pound block of cheese into simple toppings for nachos, casseroles, and more. If you frequently shred large amounts of vegetables, cheese, or other items and use a standard box shredder to do so, then you should up your sleeve and pick up this attachment – you have a KitchenAid If that’s the case.

One drawback of this gadget is the price. In fact, it’s very reasonably priced for a Fresh Prep kit. I bought it on sale for about $40 (it comes with a small and large shredder, and a slicer that I’m sure you’ll never use). But there’s no getting around the fact that it’s connected to a bulky $300 mixer. Not many people use blenders often enough to justify how much counter space they take up. However, if you already have a shredder, it’s worth adding one to your arsenal. (If not, you can still get a manual version on Amazon. I can’t speak to its quality, but at least it will keep your thumb from getting bitten by the box grater.) — Mitchell Clark, News Writer

KitchenAid stand mixer owners can use these attachments to easily slice and shred a variety of foods.

Zojirushi microcomputer rice cooker

I love the Zojirushi microcomputer rice cooker. Don’t forget to soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking, and don’t forget to scrape any burnt rice bits from the bottom of the pot. Do you know what I like to do? Wash your rice the night before, press the schedule button on this Zojirushi, and wake up to perfectly cooked rice in a pot that will stay warm until you’re ready to eat. You can cook up to 5.5 cups at a time, making it perfect for making fried rice the next day. It can process different types of rice, including brown rice, white rice, long grain rice, and short grain rice. I’m also good at making oatmeal and porridge. Well, you can basically do anything you can do with a pressure cooker. With this baby, you can boil eggs, bake cakes, make soup, and steam vegetables. I splurged on Zojirushi, a high-end pant with multiple settings, but there are also plenty of affordable options that take up far less space than an Instant Pot.It also sings Shining brightly Give it to me when you’re done cooking. What’s not to love? — Victoria Song, critic

rice cooker with ricerice cooker with ricerice cooker with ricerice cooker with rice

This is a rice cooker and warmer with a capacity of 5.5 cups, which includes a steamer that can be used not only for cooking rice, but also as a steamer, and a cake menu for baking cakes.

home tools

MegaPro 13-in-1 Ratchet Driver

Yes, I’m a driver. Yes, I know you can buy screwdrivers (including multi-bit ratchet screwdrivers) from many different brands. I have 5 different things on my workbench. However, after meeting MegaPro, I knew I didn’t need to buy a 6th one.

Light and strong, grippy yet comfortable, you can easily change the direction of the ratchet with one hand, an elongated shaft that reliably reaches farther than other screwdrivers, and a satisfying opening under the rotating cup It has a hidden stash of bits that you can do. end. A double-sided bit that doesn’t require any squeezing or pinching to get it out of the handle, and a shaft with a long enough bit cavity to accommodate an impact driver extension or even a right-angle attachment. I’ve never touched a square bit, but it has a good mix of Phillips, Torx, and flats. Oh, look. He holds 12 1-inch single-sided bits and also sells an “automotive” version that has a magnetic end to secure screws. The next step will likely be to replace other inferior drivers with that one. — Sean Hollister, Senior Reporting Editor


The ratchet driver shaft is made of stainless steel and comes with six sizes of star driver bits.

Cartman Aluminum Sports Shovel

A small folding utility excavator probably won’t be of much use until you own a small two-seater vehicle that gets stuck in the mud with shocking regularity. After many snowy mornings of struggling to dig the car out of the parking lot with what I had on hand, I decided it was time to consider my options. Selling my car for a more reasonable car suitable for Midwestern winters was out of the question. However, a small shovel that can be easily folded up for storage and quickly extricates your car from snow and mud can be a good compromise. — Kaitlin Hatton, eCommerce Social Media Manager

This lightweight shovel adjusts from 25 inches to 32 inches to help you dig out from under the white stuff.

Virco Laplander folding saw

Five years ago, I needed to purchase a folding saw as a prerequisite for joining a volunteer search and rescue team. Until then, the humble hatchet is a more versatile tool for the outdoors, pounding wood until your arm inevitably gets tired and you’re about to tip over after just a few swings than you’d like to admit. I always thought of it as a tool that could be used for. Things changed when I got Virco’s affordable folding saw.

Since then, I’ve been hooked on this little device. The 7-inch serrated blade conveniently folds into the handle and pops out instantly, allowing you to effortlessly tear through everything from hardwood to plastic without selecting additional tools. It turns out to be faster and more efficient than an axe. Also, since you’re not swinging an ax, you don’t have to worry about your accuracy being less than ideal. There’s also a convenient safety lock on the handle, so you can toss it in your backpack without worrying about your gloves, expensive rain jackets, or other SAR (search and rescue) gear getting shredded. It’s an elegant tool for a more civilized age, and I’m here for it. — Brandon Widder, Commerce Senior Editor

A versatile folding saw with a 7-1/2 inch blade for cutting wood, plastic, or bone.

I’m not much of a tool or knife guy, but I unashamedly love my Leatherman Wave Plus multitool. My wife gave it to me as a birthday present a few years ago, and I’ve used it almost every day since then.

It has more tools than I need (18 in total), but the locking straight knife (great for opening cardboard boxes), needle-nose pliers, and mini screwdriver are the ones I always use. Whether I’m taking apart my weekly box of products from Amazon, Target, or Walmart, or installing a new smart light switch on my wall, Leatherman is always the first tool I reach for to get the job done.

It also works as a great fidgeting tool when you’re sitting at your desk. It’s really fun to expand and close repeatedly. Be careful not to pinch your fingers when doing this, as I did it this time, and I’m likely to do it again in the future. — Dan Seifert, Associate Editor


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

personal belongings

Thinoptics keychain reader

If you live long enough, it’s very likely that you’ll need reading glasses at some point. I reached that point a few years ago, very reluctantly. After realizing I was cross-eyed far beyond what was healthy, I accepted my fate and bought reading glasses. But that created a new problem. I often misplaced things, forgot them in my bag, or left them in the taxi. Until I got my ThinOptics reader.

Since they are made of plastic, they cannot technically be called glasses. And they don’t have earphones. It fits perfectly on your nose, like Ben Franklin’s specs. But it folds up into a small flat case with a small keychain loop so you can hang it on your backpack. So, even if you forget your glasses at home, accidentally sit on them, or (as happened once) leave your glasses on the subway, without spending the day he’ll be able to use your Pixel smartphone or Mac Pro. It turns out there’s always a way to read the screen. Desperate squinting. — Barbara Krasnoff, Reviews Editor

The shatterproof lenses fit over the bridge of your nose and can be folded and stored in a case that attaches to your keychain.

Kiya black steel nail clippers

Listen, you cut your nails every few days. Would you like to experience the most pleasant nail cutting experience? Made from steel, the famous Japanese brand Kiya clippers cut beautifully and cleanly, and the plastic shell catches most trims. Keep your fingertips clean! — Kevin Nguyen, Features Editor

traditional clock

There are few non-tech gadgets and things I love more than watches. My small collection is mostly modest, with no luxuries at all, but I can’t help but think about, read about, and write about watches. Traditional watches are almost an unnecessary tool these days, but they are one of my favorite ways to accessorize what I wear and how I feel. I admire the craftsmanship and design of all types of watches and how they tell an interesting story or pull something out of me.

My gold G-Shock? When it’s not sitting on my desk chiming on the hour, I wear it with a black denim jacket and Dr. Martens boots when I want to feel fancy. What else are his two and a half G-Shocks (he sometimes wears his wife’s Pikachu Anniversary Girlfriend’s Baby-G?) I admire their ruggedness and streetwear looks. My Seiko SKX013? This is my first “real” automatic mechanical diver, not too big for my delicate wrist, and with as much style as there are NATO straps (although my (mainly sticks to black). My $15 Casio F-91W? It’s pretty unassuming, but it has a sordid history. A reissue of his hand-wound 1960s Timex Marlin? Digging into the mid-century numbers reminds me of some of the classic Timex watches my father owned and left behind.

I may no longer need the watch, but it’s an illogical purchase that continues to bring me years of joy and emotional value. — Antonio G. Di Benedetto, Commerce Writer

A casual digital watch with an alarm, chronograph function and night light.

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