Afkar Online

Carol Grainier's personal blog

Top 4 Blenders of 2016 – most appreciated by consumers

We’ve talked a lot about blenders in our past articles here, but today I’m finally bringing you a list of top 4 in my humble opinion.

I usually don’t like making these lists, simply because there are so many great models out there, it’s really difficult picking four of them out of hundreds that could qualify. The manufacturers have really picked up the pace as far as design and sheer quality is concerned, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate the winners for my lists.

It used to be much easier back in the day. We didn’t have that many manufacturers, and the ones we did have didn’t make new models so often. Now we have a flood of great-quality blenders, and I must admit I felt a bit overwhelmed at times. It took a bunch of reading and research, but I think I’ve got it.

At least I saw my old approach is still good form something. Once you find a perfect rating method for yourself, no amount of high-quality products can bring it down. I’ve established a bunch of categories in which I gave products different grades. I had to make up a lot of categories this time around simply because blenders from different manufacturers defied me so much. They simply refused to be noticeably different in certain area of performance, so I had to add one more category every time that happened. And it happened quite often. The end result was really something I can say I’m proud of. There are so many areas I’ve graded, so many performance categories I’ve rated; this could possibly be the best list of products I’ve ever compiled.

best BlenderI have one idea I want to run by you before we get to the actual list of top blenders. I didn’t know if you would be interested in seeing the whole process behind this list, so I didn’t include it here since it’s way too long to simply pass as something I slapped next to the main article. It’s actually much longer wall of text than this article can ever dream to be. It’s basically everything I did to come up with this list. The list being just a tip of the ice berg with a lot more content hiding beneath the surface. If you want to see what went through my head as I pondered on this and that related to the task at hand, you can express it in the comments bellow. If I see a lot of people who want to see the inner workings of my top list for blenders, I’ll definitely post it here in the future. It’ll take me a while though. It’s a massive undertaking, and it’s no wonder it took me so much time to gather the courage to do this. The work was pretty overwhelming, but I came out on top I think once the dust settled.

So, once more. If you want to see all the categories I’ve made for these products, all the separate grades each and every one of them had, which blender failed at what, and so on, you can shoot me a comment bellow and if I see there’s enough interest, I’ll definitely do that.

Now let’s get to our actual list. We’ve wasted enough time with idle chit-chat and it’s time to get some actual work done.

Dash Chef Digital Premium Blender is the first animal on our list. I really have to congratulate the manufacturer on making this beast, as beating all of the opponents in all the categories I’ve made really says a lot.

VItamix CIA 1363 is the second intricate part of our chart, and gave our winner a real run for its money.

Vitamix 5200 and Warring MX1000RXT Xtreme have taken 3rd and 4th place respectively, which is still an amazing success considering the competition that was breathing down their necks.

This would be the list of top 4 blenders in the said period of time. I hope you’re happy with the final results my research came by and that you will be interested in seeing the entire process behind the decision-making process.

See you soon.

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Categories: kitchen appliances, Tips

Quality aspects of a SOG multi tool

The Holy Grail of multi tools – that’s what every enthusiast out there is looking for. And most of them think they’ve found it.

best SOG multi toolsWhat handyman and users alike share in their reviews online is just not enough to really understand the lingo and reading between the lines in pursuit for that one multi tool that’s best suited for your needs.

If we want to do it right, and find what’s right for us, we’ll need a helping hand from someone who knows a hell of a lot more about them than we do. I’m here today to give you that helping hand in form of this short instruction dealing with all the different aspects of finding a multipurpose tool that will be just right for you.

Just read on, and we’ll work our way towards it as we go.

I’m a hunter and I’ve been around these bad boys my entire life and I know what I’m talking about no matter the tool you put in front of me. I have a decent number of these things in my garage too, so you can trust me when I say I know a thing or two I can share.

So, this text is fruit of my own experience and experiences of others. Combine that and you’re on your way to understanding what will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

What’s a multi tool anyway?

For those of you, who don’t know, a  SOG multi tool is (simply put) a bunch of different tools packed into one convenient packaging.

They’re more versatile than your dedicated tools, lighter and more practical, but there’s also the other side of the coin. They’ll do their job well, but they’ll never be able to it 100% as your dedicated tool would. To paint a better picture – a hammer in your multi tool will never be quite as powerful as the standalone tool.

But that’s a small price to pay for practically having a toolbox on your belt or in your glove compartment.

SOG multi tool review

The versatility

The first thing we’ll pay attention to is simply the sheer number of tools and what those tools actually are.

It’s not all just about the number; the main thing here actually is versatility. You can have a tool with 20 different tools offering less versatility than your average 7-8 tools piece. You’ll have to determine which tools you actually need for most of your chores.

If you’re going to use it for small house repairs, you’ll definitely want to skip some tools with sight adjustment possibilities, or fishing tools. You get what I mean.

False versatility

One more thing I need to warn you of is how certain companies like SOG build multi tools with far more pieces than they actually need and can handle.

Even if they’re all good (which is seldom the case), they’ll just jack up the price sky-high without you ever using those excess tools. A lot of people sat they found corkscrew to be quite useless, or a toothpick for example.

Think about thishaving a flashlight in your SOG multi tool sure sounds like a good idea, but all those flashlights are there mostly for show. They’re of very poor quality, and most of them will only work properly for short periods of time.

Then the day comes when you click this thing (it’s usually when you need it most) and nothing happens.

The result?

You end up with a useless piece of metal on your SOG multi tool just reminding you of the mistake you’ve made. I just have to stress how important this section is, and that’s why it’s taking me so long to get to the next one.

So, you’ll want a multi tool that has all the tools you’ll ever need for your everyday tasks. That can be an 18-tools multi tool, but also 6-7, depending on what your actual needs are. Just remember, don’t fall for the marketing hype and don’t let them take your hard-earned money for something you will not use.

The craftsmanship

The next thing to think about is overall quality of the multi tool which, most of the time, depends on the materials used.

A good multi tool has to be made of high-quality materials (usually steel) with a good finish to it.

The materials

Getting a plastic multi tool, even though it’s a lot cheaper is just asking for trouble. A proper multi tool should last you a lifetime, and even your children should have the chance to cherish it and your life through it.

If it’s starting to feel flimsy after a couple of uses chances are you’ve wasted your money. A well-made multi tool should also be able to handle all sorts of different tasks without even flinging. This especially goes for the pliers.

Pliers are often the piece that makes or breaks a multi tool, because of the pressure they have to withstand. If you multi tool can’t handle a little bit of pressure without bending or slipping from your hands chance are (you’ve guessed it) you’ve wasted your money.

Don’t kill the messenger, get a better multi tool

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Categories: Tips, tools

Ceramic hair straightener – PROs and CONs compared to titanium

Ok, I thought a lot about how to approach this article. I thought hard about whether you’ll even benefit from an article such as this, but you definitely will. You can read a bunch of ceramic hair straightener reviews online all over the place searching for the best hair straightener yes, but none of them will give you a detailed view of differences between some of the options. So, I decided to talk about ceramic hair straighteners and compare them to titanium for good measure.

best Ceramic chi hair straightenerBest ceramic hair straighteners can’t really beat titanium iteration simply because titanium is a superior material. I’ll go a bit more in-depth later, but I’ll preface the whole story by giving you this simple conclusion. There are customers who claim that their ceramic irons do a better job for them than titanium ones, but those are all personal perceptions and preferences. I don’t say people can’t be happier with ceramic for whatever reason, and there are a lot of girls out there that simply love their chi straightener; I’m simply saying that if we remove the personal experience from the equation, titanium is clearly a superior choice.

Titanium is not that vastly superior, nothing like that, but better enough to make a difference. You can also compare the prices and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Titanium models are much more expensive and are considered premium options. You all pretty much know this already, but I have to address even the complete beginner that might stumble upon this article. I saw many a times people being simply baffled by the numerous options they have at their disposal. If you don’t know much about the item you want to buy, having enough money won’t help out a great deal. It goes for hair straighteners as well as any other thing you purchased at one point.

So, plates. We’re talking about the plate material, of course. There are some combinations of ceramic and titanium, and they cost less than regular ones. Whenever you see the plates that are titanium coated or something similar, you know you didn’t get the real deal.

They’re usually much cheaper leaving the impression of you getting the deal of your life. Don’t fall for those offers unless you’re willingly buying a hair straightener with ceramic or titanium coated plates for whatever reason. But we’re talking about solid ceramic and solid titanium here, so coatings have nothing to be doing in this article.

The most important thing about the plates in your potentially best ceramic hair straightener is the heat or temperature if you prefer it that way. Your plates have to be able to deliver a decent amount of heat if you’re aiming for great results. All ceramic hair straightener reviews I’ve read that didn’t come from the users themselves were a bit too fishy for my liking, so I decided to stick with the customers. This point about temperature delivery goes double if you have thick and coarse hair. You’ll see what I mean if you try to do some straightening without sufficient amount of heat and let me know how that worked out for you. Titanium plates are simply better at heating up than ceramic ones. Not by a lot but, I stress it again enough to be noticeable.

chi hair straightener

They also distribute that heat more evenly, which provides you with higher level of safety. I know how this must sound to someone who’s new to this story. It sounds pretty simple, titanium good, and ceramic bad. I wish it was that simple. It’s not that simple this time around. If you read my articles you probably know the time when I compared some cheaper alternatives with ceramic. You can also find a lot of ceramic hair straightener reviews talking about the same thing. It’s easy there, all I had to do was to find the best ceramic hair straightener for my perceived budget and compare it to some products that were vastly inferior.

It’s not like that here. Ceramic is not all that inferior compared to titanium, I would go as far as to say it even has some upsides. It all depends on what are you really after. Ceramic is a great plate material and it will give you stunning results; so, you can ask the following question: “Is titanium really worth it, considering the huge difference in price”? I would say yes, but I’m not 100% convinced. It’s a difficult topic, and all I say must be measured like 17 times and written only once.

Even heat distribution is a great feature since it prevents the forming of hot-spots, which are a major safety concern. They won’t allow you to have a full control over what your flat iron does in terms of heat distribution. Titanium takes the cake here but again, not by a lot. So, that previous question about the price and its worth can be raised again.

Bottom line, you’ll be perfectly well-off with the best ceramic hair straightener you can afford, but you should definitely go for titanium if your budget permits it.

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Categories: hair straightener, hairstyle

Why braids are great for a vacation

Hey ladies!

Are you getting ready to leave all your worries behind and let yourself be carried away by that coveted summer breeze while sipping an exotic cocktail by the beach?

It’s more of a rhetoric question. I know we all dream all year long about those couple of weeks when we can relax completely and worry about nothing more than keeping our skin well oiled and our hair out of harms way. Having a great time is number one priority, though.

I’m here today to give you a couple of useful tips about your hair during your holiday, so that you can have the time of your life without having to deal with the aftermath consisting of damaged hair or something even worse than that.

vacation

While you’re relaxing, your hair undergoes a lot of stress, so you better be prepared to make it enjoy your holiday as much as you do. The change of climate, the sun, and especially the salt water can do a number on your hair, but the good news is it’s all easily prevented if you know exactly what to do.

My number one tip is already hinted on in the title though. Braiding your hair is the best way to start taking good care of your hair during your vacation. You have a bunch of online tutorials on how to do them, so I won’t be getting into it here. I’ll just be telling you why I think it’s a great choice.

First of all, we’ll have to deal with the salt in the sea water. It’s a very big no-no for your hair, and braiding it will help reduce potential damage. It also has the added benefit of not having to wash your hair every time after you’ve taken a swim.

braidsYou don’t want to think abut hair washing every single day, now do you? Of course you don’t, and braids will be your little helpers here.

Your hair will also be more resilient to sun causing it any sort of damage if it’s braided, so another point for braids right there.

Of course, many of you will be afraid of your hair falling off if it’s braided for prolonged periods of time, and you would be absolutely right. But for braids to cause any damage to your hair, they would have to be kept on for a very long time, which you won’t do.

The aim is to keep this hairstyle only during your vacation, and as much we would want it otherwise, they don’t tend to last all that long. So, keeping your hair braided during that period will have absolutely no negative impact whatsoever.

The last thing that’s left for me to say is simply to wish you the best of times during your vacation hoping that it was made at least slightly better by the few tips you’ve just received from me. Have fun, and don’t forget to send me a postcard 🙂

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Categories: hairstyle, vacation

Essential tools for a DIY bathroom renovation

Bathroom renovation is one of those home projects nobody really likes or wants to do, but when the time comes you really want to be equipped with the right set of tools.

Renovating your bathroom can cover a wide range of projects; you can go for something minor, such as simply replacing some part with something new, whether it’s a vanity change or due to something not functioning properly. Other cases feature full overhauls, which include tinkering with tiles, plumbing, and so on. Whichever you decide to do, you definitely need a right set of versatile tools to get the job done correctly and to everyone’s satisfaction. That’s why I’m here today, to give you a complete list of all the tools necessary to what’s ahead of you without any major, tool-related headaches.

renovation tools

So, let’s stop wasting time here, and let’s dig straight into the meat of the matter. It’s time to talk about some specific tool choices.

Common tools

The first thing you’ll have to do once you’re dead set on renovating your bathroom is pretty much gutting it and returning it to its basic position. That also includes removing all the fixtures, so you already know a lot of different tools will simply have to be involved.

Removing toilets, lights, and toilets will pretty much require the use of a good set of wrenches, handy pliers, and definitely a solid screwdriver. That’ll keep you covered if your project is not all that large in scale. If it is, however, you will have to bring some bigger guns to this showdown. You’ll want a sledgehammer, a regular hammer, utility knives, and probably some pry bars. If I had to name one tool that’s a workhorse of your average amateur bathroom demolition-man, I’d have to say that’s your reciprocating saw. It’ll speed up your work like you wouldn’t believe. It’s great if you’re into removing you bathtub or even demolishing a certain wall that has long overstayed its welcome. Plastic sheeting, some drop cloths, and a number of trashcans are just a good idea and convenient things to have lying around while you do your work.

Drivers and drills

Certain jobs you’ll have to tackle at one moment during your projects will definitely have you reaching for some power drivers and drills.

You’ll probably have to drill countless holes through all sorts of materials ranging from wood, through drywall, inevitably reaching to concrete. Hammer or power drill will do that work for you in no time, and save you a lot of time and effort in the process.

A good power driver is just a perfect thing to compliment your power drill. You’ll drive those screws without any effort whatsoever, after you‘ve done your drilling part in the same manner. It’s a deadly duo that leaves little to chance and makes the whole endeavor run without a hitch.

diy tools

Specialty tools

What are we exactly talking about here?

Well, depending heavily on the very nature of your renovations you might end up having to do some tasks involving some bathroom tiles. No matter what kind (stone, ceramic), you’ll need some sort of specialty tools in order to install them the way they were meant to be laid out. I’m primarily talking about tool made for cutting the tiles. You want your tools to be able to make very clean, precise, and accurate cuts. Wet saws, snap and score cutters, and angle grinders would be the specific tools you’ll want in this situation. They are the most commonly used tools when it comes to this sort of work, and they’ll serve your purposes perfectly.

 

All that it’s left now is to have fun and enjoy your new bathroom.

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Categories: DIY, tools

5 reasons I always carry a multi-tool to fishing trips

It’s a warm Saturday morning, and luckily enough, I am at my favorite fishing spot only to realize I am missing something. Well, my day is ruined, and I am left with no other option than to go home.

Why?

I’m having trouble putting together my fishing line. This is what used to happen before I realized the magic behind carrying multi-tool to fishing trips. It might sound like I am exaggerating, but the truth is, owning a multi tool is like being able to access all your working tools via a mobile phone. I’m telling you, the day I got mine was the day that changed everything. Not the choice isn’t easy…Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox and with a few of top rated models. So I wanted to share that before I made the decision to take my friends advice and see what multi tools were rated as best in the reviews of Morry Banes.

The man knows everything there is to know about these pieces. Moving on…

What does this mean?

You don’t have to worry about leaving something behind; you don’t have to carry every item separately in the name of working tools, and most importantly, fishing multi-tools makes a fishing experience fun. To get a clear understanding why fishing multi-tools receive much credit from fishermen and fishing fanatics, here are some of the reasons why I always carry a multi-tool to fishing trips.

fishing

1. SMALL BUT EFFECTIVE TOOLS

Most of the time I tend to assume the importance of other tools apart from my fishing line and reels as part of my baggage during fishing trips. The truth is, this habit made my every fishing trip a nightmare, and if I wasn’t a fishing fanatic, I would have probably looked for a new hobby to cover my holidays.

Thinking of it, saving myself all the trouble meant carrying every work tool I had in my closet. Okay, fishing should be fun and moving the whole store to my favorite fishing spot isn’t. A multi-tool simply makes it easier since it is smaller and easier to carry. With my multi-tool, I can do all the maintenance and repair by myself. I can simply put my fishing line and reels together, replace broken parts and more without having to worry about an accident occurring.

2. THE SHEER VARIETY

My worst nightmare in the previous years before I got myself a fishing tool was moving back and forth in the name of forgetting a simple tool. I would get bored even before reaching my favorite fishing spot. Well, I don’t have to worry anymore, why? Fishing multi-tool has everything in one place, meaning that there is no chance I will regret not carrying anything. This makes my work easier and the best part, I don’t have to prepare early to avoid missing out.

  1. VITAL FOR EMERGENCIES

These pieces are useful for anything from putting together a fishing line and a reel to making simple repairs, fishing Multi tools gets the upper hand. I came to realize that being a pro fisherman requires some skills a part of from just fishing. You should be able to deal with small repairs since they are likely to occur. The fact that most of that you might find yourself alone in your fishing spot leaves you with no option but to be able to deal with breakages and other inconveniences alone. Why not save yourself all the trouble by simply having a fishing Multi tool in place?

4. LIGHTER BAGGAGE FOR YOUR FISHING TRIP

Having a multi tool means having every tool in one place. A multi tool itself is small, simple and most importantly fits perfectly in a backpack. Light baggage is also convenient for travel since, I don’t have to worry about wasting lots of energy carrying every big and bulky tool I have in my closet in one backpack.

Fishing multi-tools also doesn’t require a large storage area, meaning that I can simply put it in one of my back pack’s pockets without having to worry about additional weight. The light weight is also vital for travel.

5. SAFE FOR TRAVEL

Carrying more than one tool itself is a risk. You can easily get injured by simply tripping and falling. Most fishing tools are hard and sharp meaning that they can easily pierce, prick or cut a skin during contact.

Fishing Multi tool, on the other hand, is small and the best part is that it has every sharp part safely hidden. The design itself makes it safer to carry around and use safely. Most of the pieces in this tool are small, and the best part is that they are always attached in one place reducing the risk of injury.

fishing multi tool

SUMMARY

In summary, having a multi tool for fishing trips is vital for a better fishing experience. It is the only way to counter inconveniences and the fact that that it is small but, has everything in place makes it safer for traveling. Owning a fishing multi tool is also one of the best ways to pack your bag. You don’t have to worry about weight, risks and more since all the useful tools are packed in one place safely.

The other thing that makes owning fishing multi tool fun is that they exist in various designs for your choosing. You can find what you want by simply going over several brands in the market.

I can’t exhaust all the reasons why I always carry a multi-tool for fishing trips, but what we must agree on is that fishing multi tool is a must-have for a better fishing experience.

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Categories: fishing, tools