Haus & Garten Titanium Pruning Shears

 

There’s always gardening to be done in this household, and an essential part of that is good, sturdy, sharp garden shears. Haus & Garten understands this and sent me a pair of their titanium coated pruning shears to try out, and I’m a fan, with some qualifications.

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We’ve always used Fiskars tools in our yard, because in our experience their tools are the perfect intersection of cost, quality and reliability. So Haus & Garten has a high bar to meet to get a 5 star review for their shears. For build quality, they are on par with the better pruning shears we’ve used. The cast aluminum handles are strong, and have a rubberized non-slip coating to ease hand fatigue. The rubber grips didn’t slide around on the handles either, like some of the cheaper brands. The lock mechanism is a little rough, because the rubberized coating on the handles doesn’t allow it to actuate as smooth as it should, and it’s on the smaller side so locking the shears closed without looking will take practice. It also appears to vary from unit to unit, as some don’t have the longer runner coating that block the lock mechanism, while mine did. The blade has a titanium coating that should inhibit rust, corrosion and sticking. The pivot is strong and adjustable. The action is butter smooth and the cuts are clean and sharp every time.

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Where things fall apart is price and warranty. At $29.90 they’re more expensive than the Fiskars Pro Titanium pruners at my local home improvement warehouse, and you simple cannot beat Fiskars 100% lifetime no hassle, no questions asked warranty. I’m sure Haus & Garten will stand behind their products, but I like the ability to send a company a picture of a failed product and have them send out a replacement immediately, and Haus & Garten doesn’t say that’s their policy. In fact, I couldn’t find their warranty policy anywhere, short of the mention of their “Ironclad Quality Guarantee”. So if you see the value here, than Haus & Garten’s hand pruning shears are well made, ergonomic clippers that cost more than some, but less than others.

**Promo Alert!!**

SAVE 10% OFF when you purchase 1 or more Premium Titanium Pruning Shears offered by Haus & Garten. Enter Code HGNRZX7V at checkout.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Haus & Garten. 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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MLVOC Wireless Doorbell Set (White)

Our front courtyard has a gate, and though we’ve painted the decorative scrolls around the doorbell a bright contrasting color, for whatever reason UPS, FedEx, the USPS and nearly every other delivery person seems to miss the doorbell on the gate. I can’t count the times we’ve missed deliveries or had them delayed because of this. Thanks to this MLVOC Wireless Doorbell set, that’s now a thing of the past!

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A bright white with shiny chrome trim, I don’t think anyone will be missing this doorbell unless they’re actively trying to do so. It light’s a soft blue when the button is pressed, and with the included adhesive pad, you can mount it just about anywhere. For a more traditional mount MLVOC included screws and anchors as well. For us, Hubby will probably make some kind of removable fitting so that it can be moved to paint the gate, or taken down in inclement weather, because let’s face it: though rain is uncommon in Southern California, when it does rain, it’ll soak and ruin this doorbell. What I like as well is that you can move the receiver to an outdoor location if, say, you’re doing an outdoor project or in the garage where you might not hear the normal doorbell. All you need is an electrical outlet and you’re golden. The volume is easily adjustable from the toggle button on the side of the receiver, and you can choose from a whopping 36 different chimes and tunes. The battery in the button portion is easily replaceable, and none of those tiny button cells that are hard to find sometimes, just a simple tiny 12v battery like you’d use in a car alarm fob. It transmitted easily all the way to the back of my house, and into the yard on an extension cord as well. MLVOC claims it’s good up to 1000 ft. on open ground as well, so you’re good to go in almost any residential suburban home.

There are some things we buy just to make out life a little easier, and I can safely say this is one of them. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up something like this MLVOC Wireless Doorbell Set before, but I can tell you I’m thrilled I did, and I think you will be too!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MLVOC. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ohuhu 13-Piece Watch Tool Kit

Hubby love watches. I think there’s rarely a watch he’s seen that doesn’t have the potential to be something special, but there’s always something that needs tweaking. Tweaking needs tools, and there’s kits galore out there. Anyone who likes or collects watches needs one, but most are lacking in one thing or another, But this Ohuhu kit is as nearly a s complete a set we’ve ever owned, with every tool you could imagine you’d need maintain your precious timepeices, except maybe some needle nose pliers for  stubborn pins might need some pliers.

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Open the included zippered nylon carry case and you’re greeted to a collection that seems complete enough to finally fix things on your watches you needed to get to but always left by the waysides for lack of a tool. All the tools seem eminently useful and decent enough that`you could feel confident enough to tackle any watch fix or DIY addition with little problem. You have pin pushers, bar spreaders, a case holder, a back wrench and everything you’d need to effect minor watch repairs or just change the battery. And while the tools aren’t what I would consider “watchmaker” quality, they’re perfectly adequate for enthusiasts like Hubby. At only $19.99 you get plenty of value, but I have to mention that’s because it’s Ohuhu, experience tells me you’re completely on your own if something goes wrong with any of the tools. The action on the case wrench is a little rough, and mine didn’t lock, so the chances of the “teeth” slipping and damaging your caseback is high. And could be detrimental of you have a glass, or exhibition, back. Other than that, it’s a decent tool set.

You get a pretty good value for your money with this kit, so if you’re just changing a battery every couple of years, or swapping out straps, this kit will pay for itself with it’s first use. If you’re looking to modify your watches regularly, or needing to do regular maintenance, you’re better served buying individual tools and building a quality kit.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ohuhu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Motion Sensor Light Pro’s Socket and LED Bulb Set

I try to stay up on the latest tech and innovations int he home goods department. Sometimes, I see a product that screams “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?!” and sometimes, ones that just make you scratch your head and wonder what the manufacturer was thinking. This one falls somewhere in between.

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I get the point of motion sensor lights, and I very much like them. I like the idea of LED lights, and the real-world savings is undeniable. Combining the two would appear to be a no-brainer, and yet the realization left much to be desired. For starters, it’s large size made it unwieldy in the one place I thought it would work the very best: The bathroom as a nightlight. Alas, our wall socket is too close to the medicine cabinet, making this an impossibility. But, for the few moments it was there, it worked just liked I imagined it would. Be careful to tune the sensitivity/range of the motion sensor, lest it be set off every time someone passes by the door. Other than that, I can’t imagine any other wall socket that isn’t at ankle height and that makes it fairly useless for me. I did like that the controls are such that you can fine tune the length of time it’s on, the distance at which it “picks up” movement, or just for “dawn to dusk”.

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The problems I had with it are the overall usability (I don’t know many people with wall sockets at a height that would make this useful) and the lack of a polarized plug. The LED light it self is a bright, harsh blue-ish almost fluorescent light, and I did switch that out for a soft white LED, which immediately improved the quality of the light. But the included light came on almost instantly, didn’t flicker and was plenty bright.

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Connect with MSL Pro:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from MSL Pro.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ulteri Zante Hand-Held 5-Setting Shower Head

I’ve tried out a couple of different shower heads, and while one was pretty sub-par, one was pretty nifty, so I needed a tie breaker, and Ulteri’s Zante hand held shower head seems to fall squarely on the “nifty” side. With 5 functions: shower, waterfall mist (my favorite!), gentle bubble, power massage, and water drop, there’s a function to fit every person in the house!

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At their heart, there’s not much difference between this hand held shower head and many others, in that they function in about the same way. What it then comes down to is ergonomics, quality of materials and quality of build. The materials on this Ulteri Zante are of decent quality and should last a reasonable amount of time. I like that it comes with both a scale filter for hard water and a flow restrictor for folks who like in areas that have water use restrictions in place. It also comes with a small roll of teflon pipe tape for installation, and requires no tools to install, though one could use a pair of pliers and a washcloth to do a final 1/4 turn to make sure the various connections are nice and tight. But be careful not to overtighten, as the connection collets on the mount holder are plastic and could split if turned too tightly.The stainless steel 60″ hose is plenty long, and because it’s stainless steel, should adequately resist corrosion. It then comes down to quality. I love the “mist” function, and it’s the first shower head I’ve owned to have one. What I hated was that, no matter home much of the teflon tape hubby put on the wall pipe, the plastic mounting attachment would dribble water. We started with the standard 6 or so wraps. Leak. 10 times around. Leak. 15 times around…you guessed it, it still leaked. Just a small dribble, but in California every drop counts. So 4 tries and numerous re-wrappings, we ran out of the provided pipe tape and accepted that it will dust dibble a little. It’s got plenty of power and the head is large with ample spray.

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At $26.99, it still falls into the “budget” category and if you can live with the dribble, the mist function has to be seen and experienced to be believed. Overall, if you need one, you could do worse, but I also feel you might do better for the same money if you can find one that doesn’t dribble.

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Connect with Ulteri:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ulteri and Alsanta.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Garden Products Direct: Premium Goatskin Leather Gardening/Rose Pruning Gloves #Review #GardenProductsDirect

 

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Having a large amount of rose bushes is wonderful and the blooms in Southern California are well enjoyed into December and even sometimes beyond, if the temperatures remain warmer. The one thing that always makes a task easier, is having the right tools to perform it. I have used many garden gloves and one thing many gloves do not provide, is enough support and protection where a thorn from a stem could penetrate. I end up getting stabbed and poked with even gloves on the first use. I have used all materials from the self-curing rubbers, to nylons that have extra thread support. Most I end up using for digging and planting when they fail against even protecting me when I trim the dwarf citrus trees. If they can’t protect me against those thin thorns, my roses are better trimmed bare handed than having to deal with ill forming gloves.

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I was sent a pair of rose pruning garden gloves from Garden Products Direct. These are different to those I have found in the “big box stores”, which tends to think ladies just plant pansies and daisies, so we need zero protection from those thorn-less varieties. Most gloves in stores are thin with beautiful designs and colors, however they really just may keep your hands and nails clean when a manicure is not the only thing I am trying to save. I’m looking for overall protection and finally found a pair that may just be up for the tasks I complete. The premium gloves from Garden Products Direct have:

  • Heavy-Duty but still remain soft so you can bend digits and be able to grasp everything from thorny stalks to soft blooms you want to save to create a vase arrangement.
  • Made with 100% goat grain leather and extra long sleeves, which are made from cowhide. This sleeve/cuff provides extra protection when having to trim between branches.
  • The gloves are designed for working hands, so they remain smaller along the fingers and wrist, but still provide enough dexterity to be able to grasp tools from shovels to clippers.
  • The glove’s material also produces lanolin, which keeps hands hydrated and soft when worn and used.

Retail Price Point: $23.99 and that is the same price point for sizes small through large via Amazon.  The gloves are Unisex and I found the size small fit my hands and arms perfectly.  Due to having short and smaller arms, the glove is loose and longer (goes past my elbow), but I can easily fold the cuff at the end to provide a form fitting that is customized to my size.

 

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Verdict:

The gloves being made from natural leathers/hides will have a odor but nothing out of the norm, and I pretty much associate it with the scents you get from leather-goods, like from wallets, purses, and jackets made of such materials. This is to be expected and it’s not a chemical laden scent, so that was welcoming and was easy to air out by leaving them out overnight in the garage. I ordered a size small because my biggest gripe with gloves has been fit. The fingers are always too long and wide with my former gloves and this ends up frustrating me when I am trying to grasp because I lose that “real feel” when it comes to gardening. I end up over manipulating plants when planting because I lose dexterity when fabrics remain stiff but too thin to even prevent dirt granules from entering and soiling both the inside of my glove and hands. The gloves from Garden Products Direct fit perfectly and allowed my fingers to bend with ease while still remaining protected from dirt and sand. Nothing seeps in because your hands and arms remain protected. I was able to trim bougainvilleas, that tend to be bushy and full of thorns with ease. When I removed the gloves, my hands were spotless and soft. No dirt under my nails and nothing even made it through where the stitching meets, because the gloves are well stitched and made with quality in mind. I shop many stores from nurseries to garden centers and have never been able to locate gloves of this kind. I have found many that look like these, but once you feel them and see how they are stitched to the materials used, they are just gloves that are not made with manual labor in mind. I don’t walk around with a basket filled with flowers to plant and just need protection from soft dirt. I’m the kind of girl that trims palm tree branches, fights with the seed pods Sago palms produce, trims back over 35 rose bushes every winter and the type that does not let rose blooms die on the branch. This means every 3 days, I am even out past sunset trimming roses because even though I love nature, I have the worst seasonal allergies, so I trim when the winds die down a bit. The last thing I need, is frustrations caused by the tools I use and this includes protection type products like gloves. The gloves from Garden Products Direct came with zero frustrations and I must admit that the perk of having zero thorn pokes, jabs, scratches, and punctures is a nice thing that I am not use to experiencing. I admit the gloves not only kept my digits clean from dirt but it was nice removing the gloves and not finding dirt under the fingernails of the fingers I use more when pruning. Even my palm had no abrasions from the clippers because when you start cutting branches, poor fitting gloves cause rubbing, which causes calluses and even blisters. I had none of that, so these work just like they should!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Garden Products Direct.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ohuhu Solar Landscape Lights, 8-Pack

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I’ve been trying to “finish” my landscaping for the last, oh, lets say decade or so, and while some areas are just the way I want them, others seem to be a continual “work in progress”. Like in the area of lighting. While the old standard of running a bunch of low-voltage line everywhere was fine in places, how many of us have electrical outlets 40 feet from the house?! And the longer you run low-voltage line, the dimmer the farthest lights get. Solar lights seemed to be my savior, but until recently they were very utilitarian, lacked any real flair, and didn’t stay lit long. And they were expensive. Then Ohuhu came in to save the day again with their 8-Pack of Solar Landscape Lighting, all for only $27.99? Sounds too good to be true!

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This 8-Pack of Solar Lights is a simple and affordable way to provide accent lighting all around your yard, your pathways, your garden, and even your driveway, all without ever having to worry about whether the cord will reach an electrical outlet. They’re weather resistant, so your sprinklers should give them no issues. The units are made entirely of plastic, and the stakes aren’t the strongest, so don’t try putting them in any particularly hard ground. They have a single, bright white (almost blue) LED that shines bright enough to give a decent halo of light around them. Ohuhu says they’re good for up to 8 hours on a full charge. And while the looked nice and initially lit well and stayed lit throughout most of the night, I found as time went on that the lights dimmed quicker and quicker, and went out earlier and earlier. Hubby broke them down and might have come up with a reason why: The rechargeable battery used to power the units is a paltry 600 mAh nickel-metal hydride AA cell. That’s a really low powered battery, and despite Ohuhu’s claims of “dusk ’til dawn” capabilities, there’s very little chance of that being possible with so small a battery. But, placed in a full-sun area, you are looking at a good 4-6 hours of really attractive light, anywhere you want to place it!

So while I think there’s some room for improvement, this last generation of solar lighting has really changed my tune as to it’s viability and usefulness around the house and yard. Ohuhu continues to surprise me with the quality of product you get for the money, and the Ohuhu 8-Pack of Solar Landscape Lighting is no exception! And Ohuhu’s
30-day Money Back Guarantee & Full 12-month Replacement Warranty means there’s really nothing to lose!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ohuhu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

MegaPro Original 15-in1 Screwdriver, Model 151NAS-CS

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There are tools that are essential to any home, toolbox, or tool drawer, regardless of gender, skill level or ability. It’s a screwdriver. And there are some folks that would have you believe that any old screwdriver will do, and that  they’re all the same. I’m here to tell you, they are not. MegaPro is a company that helps prove that a good tool makes the job at hand easier. This could quite possibly be the #BestScrewdriverEver

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See, when we first moved in, we didn’t have a bunch of tools. We set about slowly building up what was needed as the need arose. I bought hubby a cheap set of Stanley screwdrivers, and mentally checked “screwdriver” off the list. Then came, time and again, where that 5-pack of tools came up short, time and again, or failed. The phillips heads peeled and became useless. The corners off the flat heads chipped off. The handles cracked when dropped. There was much swearing heard and many became ballistic missiles, final resting places unknown. Over and over we had “cheap” sets fail, and worse, cheap “6-in-one” screwdrivers from the big box stores drop bits, cam out have a ratcheting gear fail. If you know our pain, I’m here to tell you It’s time to stop hurting, swearing, flinging, and rebuying. MegaPro makes, quite possibly, the last screwdriver you’ll ever own. With a handle manufactured from Triax 1120 (an engineered nyloan/ABS resin), a solid alloy steel shaft, EZ guide collar and palm-saver cap, this unit puts function and form on a level playing field and let me tell you, it functions. I once bought Hubby a nifty $30 Craftsman “all-in-one” screwdriver. It had fancy features and a supposed “warranty”. It rusted, failed, and Sears, much to our chagrin, didn’t live up to the warranty. We were stuck with a crappy, non-functional $30 paperweight. MegaPro’s 151NAS-CS is guaranteed for life, and is made to last for a lifetime. It’s solidly built, easy to hold and use, and doesn’t weigh a ton. The ergonomics are solid, and there’s no hand fatigue when used for long periods of time. And it’s made in the USA, made to the highest standards, for the home DIY’er or the professional tradesman. And it’s best feature, hands down , is the hollow-handle storage compartment that holds up to 6 double-ended bits that are made to the same exacting standards as the MegaPro itself. Simply pull on the tail cap, and in one easy action out slides the 6 tempered steel bits, ready to switch and swap without having to dig around in your pocket, tool bag or box. It comes pre-loaded with the most popular sized phillips, flat, torx and square heads, and the shaft itself can be used as a 1/4″ hex driver, too!

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A bad tool makes every job a nightmare, while a good tool makes every job a joy. MegaPro makes not just a good tool, but quite possibly one of the best tools Hubby’s every owned. He has complete and utter faith in it, and it comes out and goes with him for every job or task, big or small, because he knows it won’t fail him. And this isn’t some fly by night, here-today-gone-tomorrow overseas company with no history or integrity; This is a company with 20 years of history and innovation. This is a company that will stand behind every product they sell 100%. Hubby’s grandfather had a saying, “The cheap comes out expensive”. Sure, you could buy a few cheap sets of screwdrivers for the same cost as a single MegaPro. But for me, and my money, I’d rather buy once, buy well, and know when it hits the fan, our tools will not fail us or let us down. Buying once and well means buying a MegaPro.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MegaPro.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ohuhu Solar Multi-color String Lights

 

Some things you buy just because they are fun, or cute, or just because. Like these little solar lights from Ohuhu. bright vibrant LED’s with a multi-function control and solar powered? Sounds like fun, and they are. When we first moved in, we repurposed Christmas lights into all the artificial plants in the house to try to liven things up. And they worked for a while, until the bulbs burned out, or the strings inexplicably went bad. Making sure the plant was close to an outlet. It was all the hassle of Christmas lights all year round. We swore that was the last time we did anything like that.

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And then Ohuhu sent us these adorable little lights, with their super long-life LED bulbs and their solar power panel meaning we weren’t bound to a light socket or always buying batteries. Fifty bright lights in four colors on a 21 foot sting with two separate functions (Constant On and Flashing). What’s not to love? And lest you think that these little flower-shaped lights are like the old rigid, sharp, worse-than-death-pain-if-you-step-on-them light shrouds of our youth, these are a soft, foldable plastic that will never cause you to curse they day you were born. And while they are waterproof and suitable for the outdoors, I don’t know that I’d leave them out there for any extended period of time. That soft, malleable plastic tends to yellow quickly (sometimes even brown!) in long-term direct sunlight exposure. It can even get brittle. Also, though they are solar powered and need no plug on the wall to power them, they do use a rechargeable 1.2V 600MA NI-MH battery and temperature extremes are not any battery’s friend.

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I thought these light were just so cute, and with them you’re set for any kind of decorating, with a stake to stand the solar panel if you so desire. I do wish there were more than just the two functions, but at this low price point it just doesn’t seem feasible. I do also wish they had a bright white version as well, but I can see these lights coming in very handy for all manner of special occasion. They lasted almost 8 hours on their initial charge, so you can count on them going into the wee hours at your party. In the end these are a neat addition to any home’s decor and can really add a refreshing splash of color to an otherwise drab room. Another winner from Ohuhu.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ohuhu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Mysonder Plastic 24″ Level Review

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When it comes to keeping things “on the level” in this house, eyeballing it wont do. What with my projects, pictures, mirrors, and even our range, needing to be straight, we turn to levels of all shapes and sizes. 6 inch, 1 foot, 5 foot…you name it, we thought we had it. Then Mysonder offered us a 24″ level to try out. Talk about not knowing what you need until you’ve got it!

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Where a 5 foot level is overkill but a 6″ one won’t quite cut it, the 24″ Mysonder jumps right in and says “No worries, I got this!” Made of lightweight injection molded plastic in the most popular “I-beam” construction, it’s durable without being heavy, drop resistant without worrying about cracking tiles, and perfect for in-home small tasks, like laying a few tiles in an entry way, hanging a new accent mirror, or even, as I mentioned, leveling our oven. Why would that be necessary, you ask? Well, our new KitchenAid range has an “AquaClean” feature where you put a small amount of water in the pan at the bottom and cook the grime and grease away! Buuuut…it must be level to clean properly and not spill. So my Mysonder level can in very handy here, as out 5 ft. level would have just rested on either side of the counter, and our 6″ level would have not given us a true reading of the entire range.

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My (admittedly minor) issues are that Amazon sells a competitor’s product, made of a more durable powder coated aluminum, for 4 dollars less. Anyone who has used levels knows there is flex in plastic. It’s minuscule, but it’s there. No such problem with aluminum. Also, the finish of the product is a little sloppy, especially where the plastic was punched for the level bubbles. You could do much worse for $12.99, but with careful shopping, you could do better too, it seems. So it’s up to you if you feel like lightweight plastic, the Mysonder is perfectly adequate for almost everyone.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Mysonder.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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