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Reviews Written by
Bernardette Lugner (Manchester, UK)
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AnySharp Plastic and Stainless Steel Mini Chopper, Black
AnySharp Plastic and Stainless Steel Mini Chopper, Black
Price: £12.49

3.0 out of 5 stars A short sharp shock from a chippy chopper may be what you need, 29 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This little chopper works well for very small quantities of food. I have used it successfully to chop a few nuts to sprinkle on my cereal, for three or four garlic cloves, or for some fresh herbs. It takes 10-20 bangs on the knob to do the job, which does not take much force.

What you have to decide is whether it is worth getting it out and washing it afterwards for a job that you could do with a kitchen knife. If you are not handy with a knife, maybe because you have weak or shaky hands, then this will be very useful.

All the parts are well made, and can be put in the dishwasher if necessary.


Dualit 26202 2 Slot Lite Toaster in Cream Gloss Finish
Dualit 26202 2 Slot Lite Toaster in Cream Gloss Finish
Price: £49.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice toaster, shame about the warnings, 7 Jun. 2015
With so many toasters to choose from, the real reason you are going to buy this one is that, like me, you like the design. It's retro, but not silly, and the cream colour looks good in my kitchen. Controls are straightforward - brownness dial, frozen bread button (that works well) and bagel (toasts one side only). The lever works smoothly, and you can lift the toast and peek without resetting. The whole well-built design is easy to keep clean, and the crumb tray catches all crumbs and slides out properly.

Big slices of bread won't fit, but thick ones will. And it makes evenly toasted bread. The elements and mechanism look just the same as in other, less attractive brands of toaster I looked at. So far, so good.

The instructions tell you more than a dozen times that you must unplug the toaster after each use, and there are many other warnings of all the damage that this device might do to you and your belongings. Well, I, my mum, and my grandma have been using toasters for the last hundred years without unplugging them, and haven't been injured despite the occasional pop, fizz, and smell of something burning. So EITHER this really is an unusually dangerous toaster, OR Dualit have employed some lawyers who think they might escape liability for anything their products might do if they print enough warnings and restrictions on use. Dualit: Can you explain this? If so, I will at once edit the review.


Dyson DC41 Animal Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson DC41 Animal Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Offered by euroelectricals
Price: £359.00

4.0 out of 5 stars The vacuum that nature does not abhor, 5 Jun. 2015
One good reason to buy this is if you want suction power -- and boy, you get it. Even at minimum setting it is very powerful, lifting all dirt off carpets and hard floors. With the beater bar off, it got every crumb from dining room wood floor and kitchen floor tiles while I whizzed it around as fast as I could go -- two rooms in about two minutes. My fitted carpets yielded up dust and fluff that the old cleaner had left behind but the suction is so strong that the DC41 sticks hard on to close-pile oriental rugs -- the solution for these is to use the turbine tool, which also does a great job on stairs.

The DC41 is replacing an ancient DC04 that gave 14 years service and, like most Dysons, this one is a marvel of plastics engineering. Many parts look weak, but the 5-year warranty is reassuring, and I have filed it carefully away, just in case.

It is heavy to lug up stairs, but in use is easy to move around on its ball, banking to turn like a bike. When you push the handle forward the small rear wheels snap down and the DC41 stands for you to use attachments. The dust cylinder detaches with push of a button, and once you have got it dangling well into the wheelie-bin, a bigger push flips the trapdoor and it drops the dust. In fact, everything works just as it should.


Rexel Ice A4 Ring Binder - Assorted Colour (Pack of 10)
Rexel Ice A4 Ring Binder - Assorted Colour (Pack of 10)
Price: £20.16

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bright, strong binders, 3 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These brilliantly coloured plastic ring binders have a standard two-hole ring mechanism inside, and strong, flexible covers. They are 25mm thick, so will hold small amounts of A4 paperwork. The fronts and spines have pockets to hold labels, and there is an inside pocket for a couple of loose sheets or papers.

I have found them ideal for individual projects, presentation scripts, and press-cuttings. If you are punching your own paper rather than using pre-punched sheets, you will need to do it accurately. The binder is only a few mm larger than A4, so badly punched sheets will protrude.


Kingavon BB-RT338 6-LED Aluminium Flashlight
Kingavon BB-RT338 6-LED Aluminium Flashlight
Price: £2.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly OK little torch, 31 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You can pretty well double the value of this small torch by putting three AAA batteries into it, and then you get a bluish, and decently bright light from the six LEDs. The light is focused into a round, soft-edged beam by the lenses built into the LEDs rather than by a reflector. The torch is a bit slippery, but has a strong fabric loop that can go around your fingers -- it is too small to go around your wrist.

It's a useful gadget for the car glove compartment or the hall table drawer.


Philips GC3810/20 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 150 g Steam Boost, 300 ml, 2400 Watt, Blue
Philips GC3810/20 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 150 g Steam Boost, 300 ml, 2400 Watt, Blue
Price: £29.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good everyday iron, 31 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is one of a number of Philips irons which differ only slightly from each other, and it is a very competent performer. You may love or dislike the bright blue design, but I think you will be pleased by the ease of filling through the large flap, and the smooth sole plate. There is no need to press down on the iron; the heat and steam do the work.

For most ironing, the standard steam setting is fine, but there is a trigger under the grip that gives a useful blast of extra steam when you need it. You can use steam on the higher heat settings, but not on the cooler dial settings for delicate fabrics, so you slide the selector switch to off. That's where a steam generator iron would score, but ordinary steam irons have to go non-steam.

Between strokes, you will tip the iron back on its large heel, which takes a bit of effort at first, but one soon learns the technique of levering the iron backwards without straining one's wrist.

If you live in a hard water area, the de-scaling feature involves little fuss, and the chemical tablet that does the trick is permanent.


Philips Sonicare HX9004/26 Intercare Brush Heads Pack of 4
Philips Sonicare HX9004/26 Intercare Brush Heads Pack of 4
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality, durable brush heads, 17 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Of course, you can buy a much cheaper compatible brush head, but I am sticking to these. The bristles keep their texture and stiffness even after the blue wear indicator has gone all the way down. I am getting 3-4 months out of each brush.

The design of the brush means that it is important to use the recommended 45 degree angle on your teeth. If you do, the longer bristles will vibrate on the gum margin, and the shorter, outer bristles will touch the tooth surface.


RockFace All Weather Moisturiser 150 ml
RockFace All Weather Moisturiser 150 ml
Price: £4.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Squeeze, spread, scoot, 17 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a no-fuss, everyday moisturiser for men. It comes in a simple tube containing 100ml (not 150ml), and flows out easily. The viscosity is just right to spread easily on your face. I would not follow the advice on the tube to "massage" it. Just spread it quickly and carry on. There is very little perfume (good) and it disappears almost at once, so you can use it at any time in the day. It feels very pleasant after an electric shave.

Like some other low-end moisturisers, its main ingredients are water and liquid paraffin. It claims to "help reduce UV impacts" but has no SPF number, so I would not rely on it for UV protection at all.


WD My Cloud EX2100, 8 TB (2 x 4 TB) 2-Bay Pre-configured 8 TB NAS with WD Red drives
WD My Cloud EX2100, 8 TB (2 x 4 TB) 2-Bay Pre-configured 8 TB NAS with WD Red drives
Offered by DB Technology srl
Price: £455.32

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use network storage, 27 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices have been around for some years for businesses, but now are priced in the range of home users, and give you a place to store files like videos and music that are likely to be used on more than one device in your family. You can think of a NAS as a small computer with big disks, which does the job of making them available to any users that have access, either through your LAN, or over the internet. This WD My Cloud makes the setup extremely easy. The quick-start guide shows you how to plug it in to your router and start it up using any computer that is attached to the same router. This took me a few minutes, but the supplied Ethernet cable was only 1.5m long, so if you don't want the My Cloud to be very close to your router you will need to get a longer cable. A 3m cable would have been welcome. Once running, the My Cloud is almost silent, stays cool, and might as well be tucked out the way.

On your computer, you can drag and drop files on to the My Cloud and put them into private or public "shares", i.e. shared folders. So I now have all my media files in the public share, accessible from any computer in the house, iPad, smartphones and Xbox, and this took very little effort or knowhow. On each device, everything just plays. The My Cloud app on my iPad makes playing media and finding files very easy.

Inside the NAS are two high-capacity disk drives, and these are WD's high reliability Red models, meant to run 24/7. Out of the box, the My Cloud comes configured as RAID 1, that is, one of the drives mirrors the other, so you can only fill half the stated capacity of the NAS. If one drive fails, the other has your data safe. Nevertheless, you still need to back up the My Cloud to an external disk or a cloud service, in case of fire or theft or similar.

RAID 1 might well be overkill for home users, so you can alternately set up the My Cloud as one large drive (spanning) and use the whole capacity, but if either drive fails, you will be depending on your backup.

On the My Cloud, you do get a backup programme, but I found it to be clunky and have given up on it. Although it correctly picked up my music, videos, mail and most other categories, it inexplicably missed out some of my documents folders. I think if you are using Windows 7 or 8 you might as well stick with their built-in backup and restore functions for data and system images, putting them in a personal share. Mac users can stick with Time Machine, for which there is a ready-made share.

In summary, this is an elegant way to share large amounts of data on your home or small business network. I was surprised and pleased by how easy it was. All the complexity is hidden, and you and I and our families get easy access to whichever files we choose to put on our My Cloud.


Toni & Guy Men Styling Fibre - 75 ml
Toni & Guy Men Styling Fibre - 75 ml
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Solid hair styling wax, 26 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a waxy and nearly solid hair styling product, with pretty much the texture of shoe polish, but pure white. You scrape some out of the tin, rub it between your hands, and rub it into your hair. You will have to experiment to find out how much to use, and you will have to clean it out of your fingernails, too.

Once on, it does indeed let you style your hair easily, and the end result is matte and natural looking. It seemed to work best on slightly damp hair. Why it is called "fibre" I have no idea. There isn't any fibre in it. Thankfully, it is almost unperfumed.

The main ingredients are water, petroleum jelly (petrolatum) and beeswax. This is the sort of thing you would have got a hundred years ago as pomade or moustache wax, and you might like the idea of using a traditional product, and taking a little longer than you would if you used a styling gel.


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