General Purpose Tools

Cool Tools 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Mark’s Picks


Favorite gift ideas from the editor-in-chief of Cool Tools

This month and next month, we are presenting a series of gift suggestions selected from the pages of Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities (which itself makes a great gift), and from the website. This week: Mark’s picks.

The rules to Tenzi ($14) are simple: everyone starts out with 10 dice and the goal is to roll your dice as fast as you can until all of them show the same number. Every time you roll, you are allowed to set aside any dice that match your desired number. When all ten of the dice show the same number, you shout “Tenzi!,” throw your hands in the air, and gloat while the other players gnash their teeth. An opitonal deck of cards called 77 Ways to Play Tenzi ($10) makes Tenzi so much more fun that I think the company shouldn’t sell the dice without the cards. – Mark Frauenfelder

I’ve used the Foot Log ($20) for about three months and have found it very helpful in easing discomfort related to plantar fasciitis (heel pain). Thanks to the Foot Log and stretches and exercises I learned from the previously reviewed Fixing Your Feet, I’m back to running after a two-month hiatus. – Elon Schoenholz

I have been using the Prop ’n Go ($36) for over three years and I keep finding new ways to use it. It is an adjustable bed holder and lap stand for iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, tablets, laptops, and e-readers with multi angle control. – Marcel Dufresne

The Chemex coffee maker ($47) is superior because glass is easy to clean and does not hold odors like plastic or even stainless steel. The price is very reasonable for a tool that can produce a full body, full flavor, no bitter after taste cup of coffee! – Joe McGowan

The OXO Angled Measuring Jigger ($7) is made of stainless steel, so it’s virtually indestructible and easy to clean. Inside it has an angled surface with all the measurements — in both tablespoons and ounces (and half ounces) — so it’s easy to get an accurate measurement. The spout also makes it easy to pour into you shaker or glass of choice. – Julie Anderson

Want more? Check out Kevin’s 2015 Picks, as well as our 2014 Gift Guide and our 2103 Gift Guide!

-- The Editors of Cool Tools 11/30/15

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