In the weeks leading up to the holidays, we’ll be presenting a series of gift suggestions. This week: Cool Tools editor Mark Frauenfelder’s favorite tool reviews from recent years.
Bialetti Stovetop Percolator ($28) “I originally bought this classic Italian coffee maker for camping, but the coffee was so good I use it every day. It is so simple to use and the result is superb.” — Angus Miller
Golden Mean Calipers ($35) “Aside from just wandering around with my kids and having them put it up to just about everything (‘Dad! this has a golden mean in it as well!’ — I’ll never get tired hearing that) you can also use them to bring some simple relational beauty and balance into anything physical that you make.” — Eric Warner
Fagor 3-in-1 Multicooker ($100) “The Fagor is also a slow cooker and a rice cooker. Because it is so versatile, I use it almost every day. The throw-everything-in-the-pot-and-push-a-button approach has broadened my cooking horizons. I’ve made rib roast in the slow cooker that had my in-laws coming back for thirds.” — Mark Frauenfelder
Victorinox Swiss Army Manager Pocket Knife ($25) “This has been in my pocket for nearly 2 years. This compact tool has all the useful stuff you expect from the line of Swiss Army knives: blade, scissors, tweezers, file, bottle opener, and separate flat-head & Phillips-head screwdrivers. What makes it a must-have is the retractable ballpoint pen.” — Sean Singh
Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press ($36) “I’ve used this tool for about 10 years and it’s still going strong. It’s probably the best garlic press in the world. It’s constructed very robustly from stainless steel; it has an unusual lever-action which is far superior to the one-to-one action of most garlic presses; it opens up easily and is trivial to clean.” — Stuart Wray