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diywannabe (UK)

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Vax V-125A All Terrain Upright Carpet Washer
Vax V-125A All Terrain Upright Carpet Washer
Price: £199.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly engineered, and very cheaply made, 24 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We spent a lot of time comparing reviews before deciding on this model as it seemed to be the best option.

In use it certainly removes a lot of dirt - the waste water tank is proof of that - and it has a good capacity. This is good for general carpet care, but we found it achieved less with deeper stains, and only lightened these a little. In a house with a dog it did do a good job in lifting hair from the carpet that a normal vacuum cleaner had left behind.

The real problems start in that this feels very cheaply put together - it is a lot of thin wobbly plastic, and it was not long before a key clip simply snapped. The claims of 'heated cleaning' are meaningless - you just put warm or hot water in it; it has no heater of any kind. The machine has a separate section for the cleaning fluid and mixes this when you pull the trigger. Unfortunately this also failed on ours - when we rang Vax it was clear this is a known problem.

Cleaning the machine is also very difficult - cleaning out the tanks and in particular the brush heads takes longer than cleaning the carpets; there are lots of awkward plastic channels and corners for muck to get caught in.

Over the course of two years we suffered a number of failures with this machine to the extent that we finally got fed up and decided to get rid of it. These come with a six year warranty, but frankly having something much better built that you do not have to get repeatedly repaired would be much better.

It is difficult to recommend this.

Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-on (Multi Colored)
Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-on (Multi Colored)
Offered by Debenhams
Price: £43.40

3.0 out of 5 stars Old school toy, old school assembly...!, 20 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Our 18 month old absolutely loves this, in relatively short but frequent goes.

She first tried one that had seen much better days in a friends garden, and was so keen on it that we decided to buy one for her.

Even with the reviews on here I was surprised at just how difficult the assembly is - frankly the days of putting toys together with hammers and punches should be long gone: it is just not what people expect now. Given how big a seller this is it should have been redesigned - which it would be easy to do - to be push fit, or frankly fully assembled.

As it is, the instructions supplied (April 2017) were slightly out of date as they include mention of steps that are not needed - horn assembly etc- and you still need to be very confident in your hammer skills to assemble the wheels and axles....

I would say that if you can put up with the assembly this is a great toy, and a lovely item for garden play.

Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Advanced 26inch Anvil Lopper 8160RS/09
Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Advanced 26inch Anvil Lopper 8160RS/09
Price: £24.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Cleared a garden more akin to a forest...., 20 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We bought these when faced with clearing a front and back garden which had been untouched for many years, leaving rhododendrons up the house gutters and brambles so well established we wondered if they were enchanted.

This ploughed (well, OK, cut) through everything we turned it to, and for this type of heavy clearing work was a much better option than the narrower cut bypass type.

They are relatively compact, and do not extend - both points in their favour for us, but important to know when selecting what will work best for you. In our case we cut longer sections down and then trimmed these with the loppers repeatedly into bag size pieces.

They give a good clean cut, although we were surprised that the blade picked up a nick quite easily as it was only being used on timber, but not to the extent that we would lower the rating.

Thoroughly recommended, and a really nice addition to the garden tool shed - if we manage to cut back far enough to find it that is...

Curver Pet Dry Food Container, 54 Litre
Curver Pet Dry Food Container, 54 Litre
Price: £39.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the Curver brand, 20 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We have wanted to find a good container capable of storing a big 15kg bag of dog food neatly and cleanly for some time, and this looked just the job, but the reality was not up to the expectation.

Although cleverly designed to look like metal (and it looks good in the pictures in particular) it is a very lightweight and cheap feeling plastic. Although well packaged, ours arrived badly scratched to the plastic which is not very robust.

A clever design with air seals and a food scoop clipped in to the underside of the lid is again let down by the material this is made of - the very rigid (and again cheap and flimsy feeling) plastic makes it difficult to clip/unclip and we did not feel this would last long at all in routine daily use.

Overall this feels more like a £10 item not up to the Curver brand name or the £40 cost; as ours arrived already scratched we returned it for a refund and will now look elsewhere. We were very disappointed and would suggest that if you are considering this you shop for it on the high street where you can try before you buy to make sure you are happy with the build quality.

Dryrod Damp Proofing Rod Cutter
Dryrod Damp Proofing Rod Cutter
Offered by Safeguard Europe Ltd
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Stanley knife is more versatile for this task, 21 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Dryrod Damp Proofing Rod Cutter
I am a big fan of the Dryzone Dryrod damp proofing system - it is the quickest, cleanest and effective of the various methods we tried during the back to brick renovation of our Victorian house - but you do not need a special cutter for the rods.

Not only do the rods trim to length easily with a simple Stanley knife, which will almost certainly already be in your tool kit, but we found that it was most effective to trim the rods to length after inserting them into the wall, ie slice them off exactly flush with the wall surface. This is because even with accurate drilling and trying to clear the drilled hole as best as possible you will always have slight variation in the length of rod you can put in; trimming off afterwards makes sure of the perfect fit every time, and that is most easily done with a Stanley knife.

Save yourselves a few pounds here and remember the old story about the Americans and Russians trying to find a writing implement that would work in space; NASA spent a huge number of taxpayer dollars and engineering hours inventing a special type of pen and ink. Russia sent pencils. Sometimes it is just the simplest plan that is the best.... 😀

Honeywell ST9400C 7-day Electronic Programmer with 2-channel
Honeywell ST9400C 7-day Electronic Programmer with 2-channel
Offered by Happy Harry Trading
Price: £64.99

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Third time lucky?, 13 Jan. 2016
We had a Honeywell ST9400c programmer installed together with a new boiler in 2011, but returned home one day in 2013 to find the whole thing shut down and the house freezing cold... The original installers came out and eventually were able to diagnose the problem as a faulty programmer so they replaced it with another identical model....this lasted until December 2015 when the override function stopped working and then once again we came back to a cold home...

After quite a bit of Internet research, it seems that Honeywell had a known bad batch of these, but they have also suffered problems since.

To check if yours is one of the original bad batch, check the serial number on the back - 1037 to 1139 (which means made between week 37 of 2010 and week 39 of 2011) is the known bad batch; that included the original programmer we had.

Our second programmer was not in this batch, but the fault we found has also been shared by others online. We found a stop gap solution on the Internet which is that disabling the backlight means the programmer works again (!). To do this press - and OK buttons at the same time for eight seconds to enter set up mode then set parameter 2 to 0 and switch the programmer back to run.

Programmers should not need stop gap solutions of course, nor should you have to replace them every two years so I contacted Honeywell on 01344 656200 and after sending them proof of purchase and a photo of the second failed programmer they are sending out a free replacement. They were very open that they knew about the problems which is why they are replacing them outside of the normal one year warranty. They also told me they are confident the latest ones do not have the same problems...

Hopefully it will be third time lucky but after having to change two of these I do not feel able to give this more than three stars, but I would rate Honeywell's response more highly than this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2016 7:15 PM BST

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, but the case design needs tweaking, 5 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The choice of cases and screen protectors for the iPhone 6S seems bafflingly large - particularly when many 6S cases are really just iPhone 6 cases sold under a different listing. After trawling through numerous reviews I decided to opt for this combination, figuring that at under £15 if it did not work out it would not be too much of an expensive mistake...

I have had two sets of these; unfortunately the first set had an optical flaw in the screen protector glass so was returned to Amazon for a refund and Anker subsequently - very kindly - sent me a free replacement by way of an apology which was good of them.

Both the Tough Shell case and GlassGuard screen protector are available separately, but buying them packaged together saves five pounds and also increases the confidence that these should work together perfectly...which they nearly do, but not quite...

The Anker picture showing '360 degree' protection is slightly inaccurate - the picture show the lips of the case higher than the screen protector, but it is the other way round. This means if you put the phone down on the screen side it rests on the glass screen protector, not the case edges. The difference is really small, but the case design just needs a tweak to correct this; Anker acknowledged this and will hopefully change this in later versions.

Individually, both these items are good -

The case is a simple rubber and plastic design, it fits well, and unlike other reviewers I found the original Apple power cable to fit through it easily although the second replacement case did seem to be a much stiffer fit for the same power cable - I suspect that that there are tiny manufacturing tolerances between each case and some are just an easier fit; again, something that would benefit from Anker looking at. Without the screen protector fitted, the case edges sit proud of the screen which protects the screen if you place it face down. On its own the case deserves 4 stars.

The screen protector covers the screen completely, and is the curved edge type, so once fitted feels as though it is an original part of the phone. Unfortunately the one I received had a flaw in the glass in the middle of the screen and because this is a 'fulfilled by Amazon' item rather than 'sold by Amazon' the only option is to return it for a refund and then raise a new order to buy it again rather than simply be able to ask for an exchange. To cut a few emails short, Amazon collected and refunded the faulty one and Anker then sent a free of charge replacement via Amazon. That is great customer service, even if it does take a few days to sort out.

The screen protector on its own would score 5 stars; it really does feel like part of the original phone, and there is simply no comparison with they stick on type protectors, or the glass ones which do not go all the way to the edge of the phone. This sets the standard, and I was so pleased with it I have also now purchased the equivalent iPad version to replace a stick on protector that was starting to bubble.

Anker have said they will look again at the design of the case and adjust the upstand so that the protection matches their picture. In the meantime this is still a good combination if you do not mind the screen protector being ever so slightly proud of the case.

SolarCentre Helios Solar Spotlight
SolarCentre Helios Solar Spotlight
Offered by SolarCentre®
Price: £24.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Initially fantastic, but not so sure 6 months on..., 3 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We purchased one of these earlier this year, together with some other solar centre lights, to help illuminate a garden path after dusk for safety.

As with most of the reviewers we were initially delighted with this - the solid weight of the whole unit just makes it feel in a different league to the more typical cheap solar garden lights. Coming with the option of both ground spike and wall fixings also helps the flexible use for this. We found it charged well, gave an excellent amount of light for the path and lasted long after dusk, in fact we were so pleased we quickly decided to buy another identical one.

Six months on, we are not quite so convinced.

Short winter days will never charge solar lights perfectly, but both of these are in an open south facing spot and even after a bright day we now find both of these to be quite dim, and they do not last very long at all after dark. It seems the rechargeable batteries in these may not be fully up to the mark - they should not need changing after only six months. For safety, we have now added an additional couple of battery powered motion activated Mr Beams lights to the path to make up for this and fitted these with rechargeable batteries.

We have also noted that the light casings have both faded from black to light grey which suggests that the materials used are not perhaps as stable and substantial as our first impressions suggested.

Because of the reduced performance after only six months I can only grade these as 3 stars.

EzyDog Zero Shock Dog Lead, 48 inch, Black
EzyDog Zero Shock Dog Lead, 48 inch, Black
Offered by EzyDog UK
Price: £23.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent product from EzyDog, 3 Jan. 2016
This is the fourth EzyDog item we have now bought and we have been very pleased with all of them.

This is well made, the neoprene lining to the handle is a real plus, especially in cold and wet weather, and the length is good. The main selling point though is the elasticated section in the lead which benefits both dog and owner in reducing neck/arm pull.

We purchased this to walk our large Labrador alongside a pram - the length works well for this, and the elasticated section really does help to limit sudden shocks from jerking the pram.

So why not five stars? Only because of two very minor points -
1. The 'traffic control' loop is a handy idea, but even with our tall Labrador I find this too low - I have to stoop to use it which is not ideal for proper control.
2. The lead clip feels less substantial than the lead - not flimsy exactly, but a heavier duty item would be an improvement.

If EzyDog could move the traffic loop further up (or even better add a second one to suit different height dogs and owners) and put a better clip on this I would happily give this 5 stars.

Thoroughly recommended.

Shabby Chic Framed Vintage Paper Art Hearts Mini Picture in White Frame - great gift for engagement, wedding, first anniversary
Shabby Chic Framed Vintage Paper Art Hearts Mini Picture in White Frame - great gift for engagement, wedding, first anniversary

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the thing for a first anniversary, 30 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As 'paper' is the item of choice for the first anniversary (a nice way of breaking you in gently to the cost of gifts - building up to rubys, diamonds etc!) I was delighted to be able to give this as a special token.

It is well made and nicely presented and now takes pride of place on a shelf, which shows it off well; we thought it too small to hang on the wall, but that is simply personal preference.

Highly recommended.

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