General Purpose Tools

Cool Tools 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Top Sellers of 2018

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Top sellers for 2018

The editors of Cool Tools have curated a number 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: the top selling tools we reviewed this year!



“As soon as I tried this cardboard cutter ($8) out, I was super impressed. It goes through double-wall (e.g. refrigerator box) cardboard like butter. But if you grab it by the wrong end, stick it your pocket, etc. you won’t slice your hand. Because it uses a sawing motion to cut, there is much less of a feeling like a runaway blade could slice her leg (why yes, that is custom stitching on my pants, how observant). That said, just because the sharpness is a different format (micro-serrations as opposed to a single sharp edge), you could still saw your hand open real good, so we had a good discussion on how to use it safely.”– Mark Frauenfelder



I started using these pocket microscopes when I found people using them at a gem and mineral show. I thought at first these were kids toys because they were pretty cheap. I bought one so I could inspect stones and mineral closer during the show, but found that they were fun to play with.” — Joe Kouba



“The Disposal Genie ($9) covers the gaping, menacing hole of the garbage disposal while still letting liquids and smaller food pieces through. No more worries about accidentally dropping a fork, measuring spoon, or chopsticks down the disposal. You can also safely run the disposal with the genie sitting in its hole, so no need to remove it.” — Deb



“I love the OXO Silicone Sink Strainer ($8) because: 1. It catches all of the detritus matter in my sink, 2. It sits cleanly on top of the drain, 3. It’s easy to clean as it’s made of silicone and can be easily turned inside out to “pop” the food off it, 4. It never fills the sink with water because it’s not a stopper!” — Robert Schlaff



“A $10 first aid kit that’s surprisingly complete – it will treat stings, cuts, scrapes, burns, and remove splinters.” — MF



Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs ($10) are very waxy and almost look like candies … some type of caramel, but they’re white colored and I find them to block sound much more effectively than any type of foam ear plug … I definitely reuse these ” — Tim Ferriss



“I used to hate cleaning windows. The cleaner stinks, there are always streaks, and it uses a bunch of paper towels. Thanks to the Spiff Cloth, however, my whole perspective on window cleaning has changed. With this magical cloth, you can make every window and mirror in your house streak-free and beautiful with just water.” — Abbie Stillie



Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities is a highly curated selection of the best tools available for individuals and small groups. Tools include hand tools, maps, how-to books, vehicles, software, specialized devices, gizmos, websites — and anything useful. Tools are selected and presented in the book if they are the best of kind, the cheapest, or the only thing available that will do the job. This is an oversized book which reviews over 1,500 different tools, explaining why each one is great, and what its benefits are. Indirectly the book illuminates the possibilities contained in such tools and the whole catalog serves an education outside the classroom. The content in this book was derived from ten years of user reviews published at the Cool Tools website, cool-tools.org.” — KK



“My microspatula ($7) is one of the tools I reach for most often in my house. As an archivist, microspatulas are standard issue tools in my profession. They are useful for a variety of careful, fine-motor tasks that come up when handling manuscripts, photographs, or rare books. At this point in my career I rarely have an opportunity to do to the detailed, careful work that requires a microspatula, but at home I’ve used one several times a week for over a decade. It’s a perfect tool for situations that require something strong enough to apply a little force but gentle enough not to break stuff.” — Mike Rush



Total Shaving Solution ($16): Just put 3-4 drops – no kidding… that’s all it takes – into the palm of your hand and rub over your face. Wet generously with water throughout the shaving process and you’ll find that the razor literally glides over your skin. ” — Scott Goldman

Want more? Check out our other 2018 Gift Guide picks as well as our our 2017 Gift Guide, 2016 Gift Guide, 2015 Gift Guide, 2014 Gift Guide and our 2103 Gift Guide

11/30/18