THE FIRE WIRE: Favorite Gadgets, Tools & Gizmos

I have always loved gadgets, gizmos and tools. For the last 6 years, I have had the pleasure of reviewing and writing about all kinds of helpful and time saving devices. One of the perks of writing this blog is when UPS shows up with packages and I have no idea what is inside, only to discover the next cool gizmo. It’s like Christmas for me every week and I am always thankful! With that said, here are 10 favorites of mine from the past few years that I still use and enjoy today!

Zibra Open It

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This was the first device sent to me for review and I still use it every week!The Zibra Open It Universal Package Opener ($12) is designed to open all types of retail packaging. This universal tool offers you a sturdy safe way to open clam shell packaging with ease and snip those pesky wire twist ties and plastic zip ties. This handy tool also offers you a box cutting blade that is neatly hidden in the handle with a safety locking feature and a small screwdriver, perfect for getting into those battery compartments on toys.

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Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger

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Hotel rooms and airport terminals never seem to have enough power outlets to charge all the devices today’s traveler brings along. Now you can add outlets and peace of mind on business trips and vacations with the Belkin Mini Surge Protector ($24.99).This new design features three AC outlets and two powered USB outlets – perfect for MP3 players and mobile phones.

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Kelvin.23 Urban Multi Tool

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The Kelvin.23 Urban Multi Tool ($30) is super functional, compact, rugged, ergonomically correct and styled for urban living. This device is perfect for small apartments where space is limited; it’s like having a toolbox in your kitchen drawer!

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With the Kelvin, you can hang pictures, you can tighten up a loose ceiling fan, you can measure small spaces before buying furniture too large for them. No more running around the house, trying to remember where you last used the Phillips head. Everything you need is in the Kelvin, just waiting to help out with your next project.

Gerber Fit Light Multi-Tool

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The Gerber Fit Light Multi-tool ($41) is a toolbox that fits in your pocket. Available in orange or slate blue, this sleek clever device contains 10 handy tools that you will use every day. Under the compact, colorful housing you will find tweezers, bottle opener, micro cross driver, micro flat head driver, scissors, fine edge & serrated Blade, interchangeable large cross and flat head driver. The large components lock for safety. Also included is a powerful 25 lumen LED light, strong enough to be used as a stand alone flashlight to light your way on the darkest nights.

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UE Boom Speaker

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The UE BOOM wireless speaker ($200) offers 360-degree immersive room filling sound in a compact stylish battery-powered device.

At a weight of just above one pound, and just over a half-foot long, these cylindrical speakers are also made to go anywhere, easily slipping into most bags. The handsome device is coated in an acoustic skin (available in a range of colors) that makes it resistant to water and stains. Other features include wireless connectivity with a 50 foot range, 15 hours of battery life and the ability to chain multiple speakers together through the free UE BOOM app (available for iOS and Android) to play them in either stereo-to-stereo mode or traditional left/right stereo mode. Oh, and for such a small speaker, the UE Boom sounds awesome with room filling clear sound! One of my favorites from this year!

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FiftyThree Pencil

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Fifty Three, the company that brought us the Paper app for the iPad has introduced their take on the artist’s stylus, the Pencil ($50-$60). Available in either graphite or walnut, and inspired by the shape of a carpenter’s pencil, this stylus sports a range of features that let you create digital art more easily. Palm rejection makes sure that Paper doesn’t pick up the presence of your hand while you work, while the built-in eraser lets you simply remove mistakes. Bluetooth connectivity, a month of battery power, and a highly sensitive tip make it wonderful to work with every time. The Walnut version contains magnets that let you stick the Pencil to your iPad Smart Cover for convenient carrying.

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WORX SD SemiAutomtic Driver

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The WORX SD SemiAutomatic Driver ($40) is the most convenient cordless screwdriver ever. There’s always a pesky loose screw somewhere around the house, and your screwdriver never seems to fit – until now. The WORX SD stores all the bits you need directly in the tool, so the bits never get lost and there’s no more wasted time fumbling around for the right bit. Plus, the 4V MaxLithium battery stays charged for up to 1 year, so your WORX SD is always ready!

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Apple TV

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We use our Apple TV ($99) everyday to watch movies, Netflix, listen to music and check out family photos! The small device features 1080p programming including iTunes movies and TV shows, Netflix, Vimeo, photos and more in HD. With iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play their favorite movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and watch them instantly on their HD TV. The new simpler, refined user interface makes it easier than ever to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music with iTunes Match right from iCloud. With AirPlay users can stream or mirror their favorite content from their iPad or iPhone 4S to Apple TV.

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Energizer LED 3 in 1 Tripod Flashlight 

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Powerful & Portable, the Energizer LED Tripod light ($30) is a handy multi purpose tool that’s ideal for the home, garage and workshop. The pivoting head is designed to spotlight specific areas. The light contains foldout legs for hands free applications. To light up larger spaces, switch on the side panel for bright and powerful area lighting. Up to 150 lumens of area light for up to 100 hours or 100 lumens of focused beam for 10 hours.

Little Giant Select Step Ladder

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The Little Giant Select Step Ladder ($199) is the only multi-position stepladder with independently adjustable sections that create a 5, 6, 7 or 8-foot stepladder and can be safely used on stairs or sloping ground. Easy to use rock locks and a select grip handle allow you to telescope the legs of the ladder to increase or decrease your desired height. If your job requires you to stand on a ladder for a long time you will appreciate the extra deep rungs and comfortable built-in standing platform!

This lightweight ladder weighs only 23 pounds but can hold up to 300 pounds yet it is small enough to store in a pantry or closet for easy access.

The Select Step comes with a unique top cap known as the AirDeck Safety System. This combination magnetized utility tray and safety handrail stores in the base of the ladder when not in use. The AirDeck contains slots and holes to store your tools, a tray for screws and nails and a fitted tray for paint containers plus a handy rail for added stability.

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Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

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