William & Douglas 4-Piece Ravioli Maker Set

Few things are as yummy as fresh, home-made ravioli. And while with much practice one can develop the skills to make them at home without specialized tools, many of us, myself included, just don’t have the time to develop that particular skillset. So along comes William & Douglas and their nifty 4-Piece Ravioli Maker Set, looking all cool and begging for me to use them!

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All the tools sport solid hardwood handles and zinc-alloy metal cutting edges. They’re not sharp so they should be safe for the entire family to use! I would have preferred stainless steel, but in the long run unless I use them way too vigorously than I should they should last a good long time. I would advise against dishwashers, because the zinc-alloy can start to oxidize, and the hardwoods can split if that’s where you decide to wash them, but it’s not advisable by me or the company. I love the little rolling pin tool, because a full sized-rolling pin can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth, and can be overkill for a small batch of ravioli and make a disaster on the counter.

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These tools are easy to use and are ergonomic enough that making large batches won’t cramp your hands or be to taxing on the arms. And William & Douglas offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase. I liked them well enough and would recommend them for both the experienced user or novice home chef.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from William & Douglas. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Precision Tactical Systems Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

 

One of the most important and often overlooked parts of gun ownership is proper maintenance. And while it can sometimes be a somewhat messy endeavor once in a while, it is absolutely essential to keeping your firearm operational.

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Precision Tactical Systems knows this and have provided the beginner with quite a few tools to get you started down the road to proper firearm maintenance. Just in our home we have 5 different calibers of weapons, and buying a specific kit for each could run up a person’s bill quickly. Thankfully, 4 of the 5 can be partially serviced with this 27 piece kit. Unfortunately, the mops and adapters do not want to fit down the barrel of Hubby’s 5.56 rifle, and being how popular .223 and 5.56 caliber weapons are, this could pretty much disqualify this kit for a great many folks.  But, one brass brush and the thinner rods will easily fit, so it’s not like it doesn’t do some of the job. You’ll still need a way to mop the barrel, or apply CLP or oil (Hubby likes Hoppe’s #9) after. So I’d call it a “near universal” kit. The brushes are okay, and the mops drop fibers like crazy. The rods come in two sizes and can be extended to three lengths. The screw together true and shouldn’t bend or break like cheaper plastic versions would.

One other issue I ran in to was the “wooden” storage box. My first delivery the top was crushed. The thin balsa wood would have never withstood any real pressure. I notified the company and a replacement was shipped, but the replacement was crushed on top as well. This may (and probably is) Amazon’s fault, but the balsa wood it’s made from is so incredibly thin it wouldn’t take much to crush it anyways. I didn’t want to ding the company for a third, considering the likely result, but keep this in mind if you buy it as a gift or have it shipped directly to someone as a gift. The kit would make a fantastic gift for the person in your life just getting into firearms and needing a decent “jumping off” point when it comes to assembling what’s needed to be a responsible owner.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Precision Tactical Systems. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Soft Digits’ 50-In-1 Accessory Kit for GoPros & Action Cameras

It seems everyone and their brother has some sort of body cam, action cam, or GoPro. And while I finally broke down and got one too, you quickly find out that you need accessories to make the most of your action camera experience. Soft Digits wants to make that happen with their affordably-priced 50-in-one accessory kit.

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There’s a lot to like about this kit, and it has enough goodies to fit, mount or wear your action camera just about anywhere. The high-gloss plastic mounts are a little on the rigid side and I have some concerns about durability with repeated snapping in and out of the mounts, but as I’m not doing any “extreme” sporting with my camera, I’m not too worried. The elastic on a few of the body and wrist mounts have started having issues with retaining their elasticity, but that might be because their meant for smaller bodies that Hubby’s. The 50 pieces are really closer to 30 as well, because the 3M adhesive strips and other adhesive bits amount to nearly 20 of the total pieces. The lens cap/cover doesn’t fit my brand of camera housing (mine isn’t a GoPro), and a couple of the pieces don’t fit together as well as they probably should. In the end, my $30 action camera isn’t going to be a huge loss should any of the accessories in this kit fail, but I would be a little wary about a 3, 4, or 500 dollar camera being lost or damaged because one of the bits in this kit failed.

The way I see it, for my cheapie action camera, these are dynamite. A bunch of mounts to see what works for me and what doesn’t, and a zip-up carry case that hold most of it safely (seriously, don’t try to fit it all back in with your camera, because it won’t zip closed). And all at a price that doesn’t break my bank. But if you do major adventuring or extreme sports with your camera, and invested a good chunk of change into it, you might want to get higher-quality accessories, because these are fine for the occasional casual user like me, but the serious enthusiast will be disappointed in the quality.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Soft Digits. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ozeri 360 Oscillation Tower Fan

We’ve tried a few fans from Ozeri, because let’s face it, in California, it’s not actually “cold” all that often. And this Ozeri 360 Oscillation fan is just phenomenal in almost every regard, and might even be my favorite.

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To start, this fan is whisper-quiet at it’s lowest setting, much more so than the other two Ozeri fans I have tried. There are a ton of functions controlled by either the on-fan control panel or the included IR remote control, like an 8-hour timer and 3 different pre-programmed airflow patterns. There’s almost too many choices! The remote is markedly improved over the last generation, with quick responses to the lightest touch from any angle. The 360 Oscillation Tower Fan from Ozeri also uses cylindrical motion technology with over 200 staggered micro-blades, making the operation quieter than traditional fan blades, and usually reserved for much more expensive brands. The oscillation is (of course) up to 360 degrees, with options for 60, 90, and 120 degrees as well. It’s slim and the oscillation is smooth and quiet as well, so the form factor and obtrusiveness is minimal and not attention-getting.

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However, it’s not all wine and roses. The base is flimsy, and can be terribly unsteady on carpeted floors. It also lacks non-skid or non-marking feet on the base, which can be a concern with softer natural tiles. This is really something that, at $90.79, should absolutely be included. The base needs to be upgraded immediately, because I’d hate for a fan as nice as this to be damaged by toppling over due to a poorly-designed base. Unusual, because the other 2 fans I’ve tested from Ozeri had rock-solid bases. At any rate, the value is undeniable and the operation is smooth. Assuming you can live with or work around the issues with the base of the fan, you’ve got another excellent Ozeri product.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Moderna Housewares/Ozeri.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Smarson WIFI HD Digital Action Sports Camera

You know a product is a hit when there are countless imitators and knock-offs of your innovation. Sometimes, it’s a product slapped together to cash in on a craze and it’s junk. Sometimes, it’s about making a quality product that comes in at a fraction of the price to open the market to buyers who’d never have thought about, say, an HD action camera before. Smarson isn’t the former, it’s definitely the latter.

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We got a cheap-o HD action cam this summer to play around in the pool with the dog and record the memories. Sadly, though “Bresser” claimed full HD, the picture quality was poor, with washed out color and grainy video. And that was where Smarson’s camera shined. The picture was crystal-clear in outdoor light and there was no judder with quick “action” scenes (As much action as a 12 year-old dog can muster!). And there was a host of accessories included to make mounting your camera on nearly any surface possible. At 12 mp, and full 1080p (1920 x 1080) recording (30fps), you get all the clarity of high definition recording, or you can downgrade your image to 720p and go up to 60fps for great slo-mo. you get mutiple shooting modes, (treble shot function, time lapse, continuous shooting, self-timer, and driving mode), a 170 degree wide angle lens, and a similar user interface to the industry leader, the GoPro series of cameras. And, at this price point, you also get WiFi capabilities via Smarson’s iSmartDV App (for iOS and Android 4.4 and up), which is a real bonus to me, even if the range for the wifi is pretty limited (around 10-15 feet, line of sight). It’s small but rugged, and the build seems solid, unlike the other bargain brand action cam I tried that felt flimsy and the battery cover would constantly fall off. The included lucite case is dust and dirt proof and water-resistant up to 30 meters. My pool is only 9 feet deep, so I can safely say from experience it’s solid up to 9 feet! The included 3.7v 900mAh battery is rated for as much as 90 minutes of continuous recording, Thought I’ve gotten up to three hours of off-and-on recording in one afternoon with juice left after. But never worry, the camera will run off the included micro-USB cable and wall adapter, so you’re never without juice. I also had good success with up to a 32gb micro-SD card, and on that card you could record and store a few hours of full HD videos.

And while there is plenty of bang for your buck here, a couple of things are not particularly great. At the $50 price point, you get a lot of value, and a cheap 4gb micro SD card should really be included like most action cams do at this price point, so you can go right out of the box. And while almost every GoPro accessory should work perfect with this awesome Smarson HD Action Cam, the battery is non-standard and getting a replacement or spare might prove troublesome. Also, the 1.5″ TFT LCD at the rear is soooo tiny, with the screen to bezel ratio being almost 50-50. But, again, the value here is undeniable and the quality for the price is top-notch. I feel the positives far outweigh the negatives enough that this Smarson camera earns a full 5 stars from me.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Samrson. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BU Nail Treatment Laser Device

My husband was a high school athlete who, bless his heart, didn’t understand the first thing about keeping his feet and toenails free from fungus in his locker rooms. Consequently, he ended up with a bad fungus on one toe and nail that he has tried treating with OTC creams, tree oils, prescription creams and pills, all to no avail. So when BU offered their Laser device to treat and eradicate nail fungus, I was thrilled for him.

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The thrill, as the song says, is gone. The laser does not work. The instructions were woefully inadequate and gave you no idea how long, or how many times, to use it daily. There is, thankfully an auto-shutoff. But after treating first once daily for about 7 minutes, then going up to twice, I can say with great confidence and greater disappointment there has been absolutely zero change in my poor Hubby’s nail color, shape or brittleness, or health and the fungus remains, unabated. I tried emailing “BU”, the manufacturer, but got no response to my queries. There are several other identical nail fungus lasers on Amazon that suffer from the same lack of results. But, at prices ranging from $100 to $200 or more, you expect (and are promised) results, and there are none. Save your money for a real doctor or real treatment, this laser does not work.

It’s too bad, because I’ve used lasers for home treatments from very reputable companies like Tria, so I know lasers do work for many, many maladies, but this one simply does not. In fact, a quick look at the circuit board reveals 3 bright blue LED’s, and what looks to be the 905nm wavelength pulsed laser diode, which emits infrared laserlight that is invisible to the naked eye. What’s concerning is that a 905nm laser is supposed to be a class IIIb laser product, and the label on this laser says is either a class I laser, or class 2 depending on which portion of the label you want to believe. Also, a 25w laser (as this is advertised to be) is very powerful and could produce burns, but a 25mW laser, which I believe this to be, would not. So there’s some misleading info all over the packaging, but it’s all window dressing on a product that produced no result. I can’t recommend this product, or the company that didn’t respond to any of my concerns. Sorry.

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BU. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BlazeVideo Wireless WiFi 720P IP/Cloud Camera


Normally, I do long, detailed reviews. I’m in the midst of a small personal issue, so this and other reviews for the immediate future will be brief.

This is a well-made camera. The image sensor is good and the images it produces are sharp and crisp. There is minimal lag in response times for the pan/tilt/zoom features. The app is functional and intuitive, and even if it tends to log you out from time to time. The app will also hang with prolonged viewing and display a static image. This will require a close and restart of the app. One other slight annoyance, that I have not had the time to look if I can correct, is the inversion of the PTZ controls. Up is down, left is right, etc. Counter-intuitive and very annoying. The night vision is very good, and the IR lights give better zero-light illumination than my Amcrest 720p PTZ IP camera, but this comes at a cost, because glare through a window is considerably increased, to the point of obscuring the image if it’s shining straight at the window or door. This is much more than my previously used Amcrest camera.

This is a much better built camera that others I have tested, and I would say the fit and finish surpasses the Amcrest and Foscam cameras I’ve used in the past. The antennae on the back for the wireless is a bit old-fashioned, as most of the wireless IP cameras in this price range have an integrated antennae, but it does increase the wireless range so it’s wash. The signal still drops intermittently though. You can (and I have, successfully on my Lorex IP system) connect this camera to an existing IP security camera setup via CAT5 or CAT6 cables. So if you have an open channel on your home security camera setup, this will plug and play. There is a cloud feature as well as microSD card slot for onboard storage. I feel the price is too high even if the camera is quality, for a 720p camera. if you knock $25-$30 off this, you have a solid contender here with good features and a great build.

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Blaze Video. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

CVLIFE Two Point Adjustable Rifle Sling


A rifle sling can be a very important, and often overlooked, accessory. Whether it’s a three-gun competition, or a home defense situation, a sling often can mean the difference between keeping your rifle at hand or taking the chance of fumbling it when called upon.

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CVLife’s Two-Point Adjustable Rifle Sling is adequate for all but the professional shooter or professional soldier who’s life or livelihood may depend on it. It is made from study enough braided nylon with “bungee” type ends that have enough give in them to be useful without being restricting or affecting aim. My Husband easily modified his to a single-point sling by clipping one end onto one of the open portions of the other, so that there’s no slide or binding. The clips are strong, if a little on the small-ish side to manipulate with gloves or large fingers, but they easily clip on to the standard sling points on my Husband’s rifle. The srping is strong with no wiggle or give either. There’s no way to simply modify this sling to accept a quick-detach option short of ripping the seams and re-sewing one in, so keep in mind that you’re limited to the clip-on style of attachment with this sling.

As I said, a perfectly adequate harness for the occasional user, or hobby shooter, and the price reflects that as well. At $9.99, it’s a perfect entry-level sling and should fit the needs of almost every casual user.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from CVLIFE. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Koram Irrigation Garden Drip Kit

I have been looking to install a drip system for vegetables and herbs for years, but so many things get in the way, I tend to put it off. When I got a chance to try one for reviewing, I was thrilled. But once it arrived, so the song goes, “The thrill is gone”.

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In the delivery box was a bag. In the bag was a myriad of plastic bits, almost 150 of them to be exact, and not a single instruction or user’s guide to be found. That’s right, Koram wants you to just intuit how this goes together or works, it seems. I’m pretty handy, I know my way around irrigation. I’ve run sprinkler lines. But to just throw 140-some odd little plastic bits in a bag and say “Figure it out!”? C’mon, Koram. You have to try a little harder than that. Suffice to say it took me a while to try this system out, because frankly I didn’t even know where to begin. Hubby mentioned after inspection that I should expect leaks, and the hose connector to eventually crack over time due to use and the unrelenting California sun. But as it stands it dribbled a little from various parts and the pressure was non-existent by the end of the run.  I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on a review of a product the manufacturer didn’t care enough about to tell me how to put it together. Koram needs to get the ship shaped up, because with a little care and help, this could be a great kit. As it is, it is not.

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  • You can find this kit on Amazon

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Koram. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

MYS Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

It might seem superfluous to have more than one set of grinders on your counter, but in this house, even two sets falls a little short. Because for us, we have 3 different salts and 4 different peppers to grind depending on the meal, so it can get a little crowded on the counter at times. What that also means is I get to compare and contrast MYS’s Grinder set versus, say, the previous set from Q’s Inn. They look alike, but do they perform alike?

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Sadly, no. Not that the MYS set performs badly, it’s just not as butter-smooth as the Q’s Inn set. There’s some binding in the grinding action, as well as a squeal or two. Occasionally they stick a bit. Other than that they function identically. What was absolutely superb was the collapsible silicone pouring spout for refilling. That’s a bonus that has unexpectedly made filling my grinders a joy instead of a chore. The julienne peeler is neat, but I have a few of those, and none of the are as dangerous. This one as sharp blades that are right out there for my soft, pink digits to get sliced and diced on, so have a safe place to store it. The included cleaning brush is also an inspired inclusion that is one of those “Well, duh!” tools that I should have had much sooner. But the meat and potatoes of this set are the grinders, and they’re decent, not great.

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The stainless steel is also slightly thinner, and not as “polished” so I would be wary of putting in salts that have high moisture content. The ceramic burrs are adjustable and should last a while. The glass bases are easy to clean, grip and use. And the included goodies are mostly awesome, but the action on the grinders, which means the most important part of the set, is lacking and problematic on my set, so I have to knock a couple of stars off for that, but I’ll add one back because the silicone funnel for filling? Inspired. And MYS states on the Amazon listing: “100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE; we aim to keep you perfectly happy with our products and want to know if there are any concerns or questions; please contact us as we will make it right!” So it’s up to you, but for my money, Q’s Inn gets my business instead.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MYS Homeware. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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