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Reviews Written by
C. MacPhail RSS Feed (Solana Beach, CA USA)
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MECO(TM) CREE XPE Q5 7w 3 Modes Zoomable LED Flashlight With 2 Of 14500 Battery And 1 Charger
MECO(TM) CREE XPE Q5 7w 3 Modes Zoomable LED Flashlight With 2 Of 14500 Battery And 1 Charger
Offered by TopMall
Price: $8.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good function, nice price., February 11, 2016
.
This is one of the first cheap LED flashlights I've tried. (I've used Maglite and Nite Ize LED flashlights, and Fenix LED headlamps.)

This one is slightly annoying, but very functional, and the price is right.

The flashlight I received matches the listing pictures. It is branded "HWA - WYS UltraFire."

It's also my first experience with Li-ion rechargeable batteries such as the type 14500 included here.

PROs:

- High and Low settings (plus strobe)
- Takes AA or 14500 Li-Ion batteries (see Note 1)
- Adjustable focus - very tight and bright, or broad beam.
- Super price, when under $9

OKs:

- Everything seems to work fine.
- Switch starts on bright. You might wish it started on low, or last-used brightness.
- When fully zoomed, it projects an odd square-shaped image.

- The clip is a bit harsh to handle. It seems designed for shirt pockets, not belts. You can remove it if you don't like it. But it will not mount reversed, for clipping to a hat visor. If you take the clip off, there is no hole for mounting a strap or tether.

- The flashlight head wobbles a bit.
- The charger has no owner manual.

CONs:

- The aluminum housing has some burrs or sharp edges.
- Charger does not protect against putting batteries in backwards. It looks like batteries will still make contact.

- - - Alternatives - - -

- Lots of cheap competition. Watch the features and merchant ratings. Enjoy.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: Rechargeable 14500 Li-ion batteries are the same size as AA alkaline batteries. But they are 3.7 volts (vs 1.5 volts). This flashlight adapts to whichever voltage you throw at it. The Li-ion (14500) batteries I used are 1200mAh = 4.4 watt hours. I think this is slightly more energy as most AA alkalines (1.5v x 2600 mAh = 3.9 watt hours). The flexibility is really handy. Each Li-ion rechargeable could save you $25 - $100 in alkaline battery cost over the years, and could mean 1/200 as much landfill issue. But alkalines may be needed for emergency, extended camping, etc. Beam with alkalines is less bright, but very adequate.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


MECO ME07 Cree XP-E Q5 Led Mini Flashlight Focus Adjustable 3 Mode Light Lamp Torch for Camping Hunting Hiking
MECO ME07 Cree XP-E Q5 Led Mini Flashlight Focus Adjustable 3 Mode Light Lamp Torch for Camping Hunting Hiking
Offered by TopMall
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $7.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good function, nice price., February 11, 2016
.
This the first cheap LED flashlight I've tried. (I've used Maglite and Nite Ize LED flashlights, and Fenix LED headlamps.)

This one is slightly annoying, but very functional, and the price is right.

PROs:

- High and Low settings (plus strobe)
- Takes AA or 14500 Li-Ion batteries (see Note 1)
- Adjustable focus - very tight and bright, or broad beam.

OKs:

- Nice enough price when selling for under $8

- The clip is quite large - designed for belts, not shirt pockets. You can remove it if you don't like it. But it will not mount reversed, for clipping to a hat visor. If you take the clip off, there is no hole for mounting a strap or tether.

- Switch starts on bright. You might wish it started on low, or last-used brightness.

- The aluminum housing does not have a lot of burrs or sharp edges.

- When fully zoomed, it projects an odd square-shaped image.

- The head wobbles a bit.

CONs:

- None so far

- - - Alternatives - - -

- Lots of cheap competition. I also tried a cheaper model sold by Meco that includes 2 Li-ion batteries and a charger, all for $9.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: Rechargeable 14500 Li-ion batteries are the same size as AA alkaline batteries. But they are 3.7 volts (vs 1.5 volts). This flashlight adapts to whichever voltage you throw at it. The Li-ion (14500) batteries I used are 1200mAh = 4.4 watt hours. I think this is slightly more energy as most AA alkalines (1.5v x 2600 mAh = 3.9 watt hours). The flexibility is really handy. Each Li-ion rechargeable could save you $25 - $100 in alkaline battery cost over the years, and could mean 1/200 as much landfill issue. But alkalines may be needed for emergency, extended camping, etc. Beam with alkalines is less bright, but very adequate.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


The Original Stretchy Lids - 6 Piece Set - Washable and Reusable Stretch Lids - Covers for Dishes, Bowls, Cups, Cans, Fruit or Plates
The Original Stretchy Lids - 6 Piece Set - Washable and Reusable Stretch Lids - Covers for Dishes, Bowls, Cups, Cans, Fruit or Plates
Offered by Health and Wellness Spa
2 used & new from $13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars PROs and CONs, February 8, 2016
.
Everything silicone seems to work out nicely in the kitchen. These lids work well enough, but once the excitement wears off, I'm not sure about the net benefits.

PROs:

- They're stretchy, grippy, and they work.

OKs:

- The 6 'strechable' sizes work for almost every size container, but some containers require more stretch (Progresso soup, for example), and the lid is more prone to popping off.

- In microwave oven: As food heats up, one edge of the lid lifts off, because steam must escape.

CONs:

- Dishwasher safe, but how do you secure them? You may end up washing them by hand.

- Not sure how many "environment points" I get vs plastic wrap, if hand washing uses soap and hot water.

- - - Alternatives - - -

- You may find these lids elsewhere on amazon, sometimes at a better price..

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


JJRC D1 Mini RC Quadcopter Toy RTF With LED Light 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis Blue
JJRC D1 Mini RC Quadcopter Toy RTF With LED Light 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis Blue
Offered by coocheer
Price: $23.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Affordable and Fun, February 7, 2016
.
Quadcopters involve mistakes, crashes, and lost investment. This is one you can afford to lose. And it survives light crashes and hard landings quite well (about 20 so far). And it comes with 4 extra blades.

It takes several flights to learn the touchy controls. Keeping it at intended altitude, and landing gently require practice. Flying it successfully around the house…even more practice.

PROs:

- Yeah, it actually works.
- Survives gentle crashes
- Colored lights indicate front and back of copter, and warn you when power is running low.

OKs:

- The manual is goofy English, and is confusing in places (see Note 1).
- Looks and feels toy-like (what do you expect for $24?)

CONs:

- Flight time is not 8 minutes. Seems more like 2-3 minutes.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: The manual describes 3 different modes in a vague, confusing way. It also refers to 2 different controllers. Figuring out which diagrams to ignore is a bit confusing.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


Aicok 1.7-liter Variable Temperature Electric Kettle Stainless Steel Cordless Water Kettle (1.7L)
Aicok 1.7-liter Variable Temperature Electric Kettle Stainless Steel Cordless Water Kettle (1.7L)
Offered by red year
Price: $149.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice adjustable-temp kettle, January 30, 2016
.
PROs:

- 6 temperature settings
- Keep Warm function (2 hours)
- 1/2 Liter minimum (some kettles insist on higher levels, wasting energy).

OKs:

- Controls make sense. Easily figured out.
- Slight confusion with temperature lights & buttons--which goes with which.
- Yes, there are some plastic parts inside the kettle, including of course, level viewing window.
- The manual is pretty complete and helpful, even though it has goofy English (see Note 1).
- 1-year warranty (but no printed warranty comes with product).

CONs:

- No beep or click when water is ready.
- Price is maybe high (when selling for $72). Competing kettles are $30 to $130.

- - - More Info - - -

The 2-prong power cord is 30" long (or 20" or 9" if wrapped in the base's storage area).

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1:The owner manual is organized, sensible and has large, readable type. This manual has 31 warnings, but they are not groaners, they are all sensible. For example, when they say it's for household use, they list many workplace applications that are acceptable.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


[Apple MFi Certified] OLALA C2-i 6000mAh Portable Charger Ultra Slim Power Bank with Built-in Lightning Cable External Battery Pack for iPhone 6, 6s, 6s Plus, 6 Plus, 5s, 5, iPad Air 2, mini and More
[Apple MFi Certified] OLALA C2-i 6000mAh Portable Charger Ultra Slim Power Bank with Built-in Lightning Cable External Battery Pack for iPhone 6, 6s, 6s Plus, 6 Plus, 5s, 5, iPad Air 2, mini and More
Offered by OLALA Gadgets
Price: $29.99
4 used & new from $25.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Built-in Lightning cable is super handy, January 28, 2016
.
Built-in cable - It's the way to go. Compact-ify your travel life. No tangled mess or leaving behind. The built-in cable is only for late-model Apple devices, of course. You still need to carry a separate cable (included) for charging micro-USB devices (including a recharge of the power bank).

PROs:

* Built-in Lightning cable
- Nice build quality

OKs:

- The 2" Lightning cable slides out and back in easily.
- Charging does not Auto-start. You need to press a button.
- Glossy finish attracts fingerprints and makes it a bit slip-slidy.
- 4 pinhole status lights are subtle, yet plenty bright

CONs:

- Maybe a bit expensive when selling for $30

- - - Alternatives - - -

- PowerJet Pocket Power Bank - 4600mAh includes built-in Micro-USB and Lightning output, for (usually) less money. But it lacks a universal USB-A output.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


Running Belt, SANREN Practical and Durable Running Belts/Runner Belt/Waist Packs for Apple iPhone 6, 6 plus, Samsung Galaxy - Outdoor Running and Fitness Expandable Weather Resistant Waist Pack
Running Belt, SANREN Practical and Durable Running Belts/Runner Belt/Waist Packs for Apple iPhone 6, 6 plus, Samsung Galaxy - Outdoor Running and Fitness Expandable Weather Resistant Waist Pack
Offered by SanrenDirect
Price: $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice quality. Well-designed., January 27, 2016
.
Pros:

- Comfortable, easily adjustable, and stays in place while running
- Lots of pockets and compartments within pockets
- Holds items snug to body so they don’t bounce around
- Reflective piping and hole for headphone cord are nice touches

Cons:

- Not quite as lightweight as some other running belts like SPIbelt. Overall I think this is a nicer product but it does add a little bit of bulk.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.


Haus & Garten Compact Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears
Haus & Garten Compact Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears
Offered by Haus & Garten
Price: $34.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely engineered. Professional quality., January 27, 2016
.
I've used Corona Classic bypass pruners ($17 - $20) for many years, and also some cheap lightweight pruners.

These are a delight to use. Super sharp. They seem to have good ergonomics and very good engineering. They look and feel like professional quality.

But almost any new pruner is a delight, because it's razor sharp out of the box. Not like your current pruner that's done thousands of cuts since it was sharpened. These look like they'll hold up over the years, but it's hard to know.

PROs:

- Very sharp
- Titanium coated blade
- Grip are large & comfortable (vinyl coated aluminum)
- 10% lighter than Corona Classic
- Large red grips make them harder to lose

CONs:

- Expensive (when selling for $38)
- No warranty stated with the product or amazon listing

- - - Tip - - -

The blade lock can also be set for partial open vs full open. Partial open is very nice (less hand fatigue) for most cutting (1/2" diameter or less).

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2016 9:39 PM PST


Haus & Garten Enduro Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears
Haus & Garten Enduro Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears
Offered by Haus & Garten
Price: $36.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely engineered. Professional quality., January 27, 2016
.
I've used Corona Classic bypass pruners ($17 - $20) for many years, and also some cheap lightweight pruners.

These are a delight to use. Super sharp. They seem to have good ergonomics and very good engineering. They look and feel like professional quality.

But almost any new pruner is a delight, because it's razor sharp out of the box. Not like your current pruner that's done thousands of cuts since it was sharpened. These look like they'll hold up over the years, but it's hard to know.

PROs:

- Very sharp
- Titanium coated blade
- Grip are large & comfortable (vinyl coated aluminum)
- 10% lighter than Corona Classic
- Large red grips make them harder to lose

CONs:

- Expensive (when selling for $38)
- No warranty stated with the product or amazon listing

- - - Tip - - -

The blade lock can also be set for partial open vs full open. Partial open is very nice (less hand fatigue) for most cutting (1/2" diameter or less).

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2016 9:41 PM PST


Aztech 2 Pack Toner Cartridges Replaces Brother TN450 TN-450 TN420 TN-420 Black, High Yield (2,600 pages)
Aztech 2 Pack Toner Cartridges Replaces Brother TN450 TN-450 TN420 TN-420 Black, High Yield (2,600 pages)
Offered by AZ-TECH
Price: $17.08
2 used & new from $17.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Print quality is perfect., January 18, 2016
.
It installs without any problems, although there are some tabs on the front that differ from genuine Brother TN450.

The print quality is perfect. Crisp and black.

Nice to pay about $12 per cartridge vs $45. It looks like other TN-450 compatibles are in the $10-12 range.

The Aztech brand is not on the box. It appears to be someone else's generic toner product.

It comes with good instructions, except the type is crazy small.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


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