2018 Gift Guide: Weird but really useful gadgets
DS212 2-channel pocket oscilloscope
See it now:DS212 on Amazon
Smaller than an iPhone, the DS212 at first looks like a bit of a toy, but it is in fact a very decent 2-channel oscilloscope that is handy for diagnosing problems with low-voltage electrical gadgets (good up to 40 Volts).
Instructions are a bit scant, so getting to know how to use it can be a bit of an adventure -- Google is your friend -- but once you have the basics down, it is pretty straightforward.
These can be found all over Amazon from a variety of sellers priced at around the $110 mark.
Good bit of kit.
Nitecore VCL10 multifunctional car gadget
See it now: Nitecore VCL10
The Nitecore VCL10 is a multifunctional car gadget, incorporating:
- a 2.4A QC 2.0 and 3.0 compatible USB charger
- stainless steel glass breaker
- emergency and warning light
Designed to slot into the cigarette lighter adapter, the Nitecore VCL10 is extremely compact and easy to keep to hand.
Pitaka MagWallet UE
See it now: Pitaka on Amazon
Leather wallets really don't last very long with me, so I was keen to see how the switch to a carbon fiber wallet would work. Quite well, is the answer to that question.
The Pitaka MagWallet UE is rugged and durable, yet smart, and features a built-in anti-RFID and anti-degaussing technology to keep cards safe.
And importantly for a wallet, it's quick and easy to use, and doesn't flap open and dump your stuff everywhere like a traditional wallet.
Lume Cube Air
See it now: Lume Cube Air
At first I couldn't imagine why I needed a Bluetooth-enabled LED light that I could use via an app as a flash for my smartphone.
Then I tried the Lume Cube Air and realized just how superior it was to the built-in flash on my iPhone, especially for video, but also for photography that needed a little bit more lighting than the flash could handle.
I especially like the fact that the Lume Cube Air is durable and waterproof, and on a full charge it is good for a good 2.5 hours. The daylight LED also offers what feels like super natural lighting, and each Lume Cube Air is kitted out with a tripod attachment and a magnet.
Swiss-Tech Utili-Key 6-in-1
See it now: Swiss-Tech on Amazon
The Swiss-Tech Utili-Key 6-in-1 is the smallest multitool that I've owned, not much bigger than a key. I have one attached to my car keys, house keys, and I have a couple in the office, and I'm surprised how often I turn to them.
- Flat screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Micro-sized screwdriver (perfect for eyeglasses)
- Straight blade knife
- Serrated blade knife
- Bottle opener
See it now: OptiVISOR on Amazon
The Donegan OptiVISOR is a hands-free, headband binocular magnifier that's super useful when your eyes are just not what they used to be. (Well, mine have never been awesome, so I've used one of these for years.)
I like the brand because there are loads of different lenses available, along with loupes and even lights.
USB rechargeable AA/AAA lithium batteries
Koogeek rechargeable EMS smart massager
See it now: Koogeek
I work out quite a bit, and at my age, aches and pains are normal. I find that I get a lot of relief out of using electrical muscle stimulation to relax tired muscles and work out the knots and kinks.
The Koogeek rechargeable EMS smart massager is a wireless electrical muscle stimulator can relax muscles, reduce fatigue, and relieve muscle pain. At first it looks like a toy, but I love how small and compact this gadget is, and that I can recharge it from any microUSB output. And it works very well.