Issues with Freezer Temperature? Calling Appliance Repair Service in Manhattan

Freezer and Appliance Repair in Manhattan

While perhaps not as essential as other appliance units in the house, the freezer still plays an important role in the kitchen throughout the world. Be it for a little ice cream after dinner or a quick frozen snack, the freezer is an integral part of the cooking experience. For that reason, having a freezer break down can be a massive pain. For starters, the mess that it can create when everything begins to melt and food goes bad can be enough to make anyone not want to deal with the problem. When dealing with appliance repair in Manhattan and just freezers and refrigerators in general, there are a few things to keep in mind that should help out in many instances.

Freezer Too Warm

One of the most glaring issues people will experience with freezers and one of the most important issues when it comes to freezer repair is that the freezer is too warm. If this is the case, the freezer of obviously not functioning properly as it is not performing its sole task of keeping food frozen. If this has happened, there are four possible fixes that you can look into.

The first fix is an easy one and it involves the light inside the freezer. The door of the freezer has a switch so that the light will turn off when the door is shut. Yes, the light does really turn off when you shut the door. To test if this switch is working, locate it when the door is open. It is usually somewhere along the frame of the door. Simply push in the switch to see if the light is turning on and off.

If it has no effect, the switch will need to be replaced. It is always best to consult the owner’s manual for unit specific directions on replacing parts of the unit; however it is very important to remember to disconnect the freezer from any electrical source prior to doing any freezer repairs.

Issues with the Defrost Thermostat

The second common issue is the defrost thermostat. Once again, ensure that the unit is unplugged from the wall before doing any work and consult the owner’s manual to find information regarding where the thermostat is located. Once you have located it, use pliers to remove the connecters from the terminals and then proceed to remove the thermostat from the unit. Use a multitester to test the thermostat. It should give a reading of zero when cold, however if it has removed and sitting outside for some time it will have warmed up. If this is the case, the reading will show as infinity. If the readings differ from that, the thermostat is defective and will need to be replaced.

Next, there may be a problem with the defrost timer. As with before, use the owner’s manual to find the defrost timer and after removing it from the device you will need to test it. Test each connection using your multitester as with the thermostat. The reading on the 1st and 2nd connection should read zero, while the reading on the third connection will read as infinity. If you do not receive these readings, then the defrost timer is not functioning properly and will need to be replaced.

Issues with the Defrost Heater

The final part of this particular area in freezer repair involves the defrost heater. The defrost heater will need to be removed from the freezer before it can be tested. Using pliers remove the device from the unit; however do not pull on the wires to remove it. Once again, use a multitester to test the connections. Unlike before however, the connections should read more than zero, but less than infinity. If you receive any other readings the defrost heater is malfunctioning and will need to be replaced.

All of these items can be replaced on your own if you are comfortable working on the unit, however if not it is best to call a professional who specializes in freezer repair. These four devices are the core of controlling the temperature in the freezer, so if you are having any issues it is always best to check them before jumping to any other conclusions. For instance, even if the opposite of before is true and now the freezer is far too cold and the fridge too warm, check for faults in those four parts.

Calling a Freezer Repair Service in New York

If you cannot locate the problem or if you do not feel comfortable working on the machine, it is always best to call for help. Luckily, appliance repair shops are common throughout the country and there is always someone close by who will be able to assist you. If you have not used a company in the past, doing a quick online search will yield results. You can also read online reviews and find a company or individual who seems trustworthy and that you would be willing to call to take a look at the unit. An online search may also be able to answer any questions you have in regards to what might be wrong with the unit before the repairmen comes over to take a look at it. If the machine is newer, it is also important to remember that it might still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. However, if it is older it is not likely to be covered and you will likely to need to contact local freezer repair in Manhattan.

If and when the freezer stops working, don’t panic as it does not have to be too much of a headache to deal with. Keep in mind that it happens to everyone and there are plenty of people there to help you. Most people will not hesitate to pick up the phone and call a repair shop, however if you are willing and have the tools, you can always play around with it yourself and try and fix the problem. Just remember that safety is very important when dealing with appliances and you should always take the proper precautions to ensure your own safety.

Why you should choose Bear Appliance Repair for your appliance repair in Brooklyn

Bear Appliance Repair has been in the appliance repair business for years with technicians that are courteous and knowledgeable. Our prices are affordable, and our first priority is always our customers. With no work too small or too big for us, we will always be prepared to work in favor of you. All our work of appliance repair in Brooklyn is always 100% fulfillment guaranteed.

At Bear Appliance Repair, our goal is to provide our customer with the best value and better service. We will offer you the best quote for our appliance repair in Brooklyn and we are also accessible on all days in a week, even on Holidays and Weekends.

You can rely on our affordable and dedicated appliance repair service because our technicians are suitable trained to carry out the repair work of any appliance, irrespective of their model and make. Our appliance repair company is crammed with incredibly experienced, expert technicians and well-informed, gracious office staff, who provide our patrons with the finest quality work.

Who we are?

At Bear Appliance Repair, we continuously endeavor to stay well informed on any modifications in our industry, so that we will be capable of offering our customers the latest and most up to date information and services at all times.

Our well-trained technicians will always offer you a precise estimate for your appliance repair in Brooklyn and will get your approval earlier than starting any repair work. We have 95% of the most common components in our stock that are required for washers, refrigerators, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, stoves, ranges etc, regardless of their model and make..

We offer our dedicated services throughout Brooklyn and the adjoining areas, including Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island. If you come across any challenging issues with your appliances, you can get in touch with Bear Appliance Repair over your phone on any day at any time and let us address those issues so as to bring your appliance to usual working condition.

What appliances we service in Brooklyn?

As an approved, licensed and bonded appliance repair company in Brooklyn, New York, we are specialized in repairing:

  • v Freezers.
  • v Refrigerators.
  • v Washers.
  • v Ovens.
  • v Dryers.
  • v Stoves.
  • v Ranges.
  • v Dishwashers.
  • v Microwaves.
  • v Air conditioners.

We consider that the best appreciation for our technicians is client’s satisfaction.

Why you should choose Bear Appliance Repair in Brooklyn NY?

Although there are several reasons that Bear Appliance Repair happens to be the primary option for homeowners in and around Brooklyn for their entire appliance repair needs, some of the notable reasons include:

  • As a reliable appliance repair company in Brooklyn, we offer punctual, guaranteed and professional repairs on all leading brands.
  • We are the only business in the neighborhood to offer the lowest prices for repairing your appliances.
  • We do not charge you extra for evenings, holidays and weekends.
  • We offer our appliance repair service in Brooklyn on the same day of receiving your service call.

If any of your appliances have a problem, irrespective of its nature, we can assist. We even offer emergency appliance service in the neighborhood whenever an emergency exists.

Our service in the neighborhood is swift, gracious, and reliable from the time your service call is received by us. Our dedicated and knowledgeable repair technicians have been trained to pay attention, help and respond to your service requirements quickly.

Our technicians and we are Insured and licensed for your protection. We would like to make sure that you know who you have in your house and that you are entirely protected.

Bear Appliance Repair technicians are highly experienced and they have several years of field occupation behind them. We tender same day service on the majority of orders placed.

We are easily accessible in Brooklyn at all times, as we are situated at the heart of the neighborhood. Our appliance repair technicians will carry 95% of factory components in the trucks, so the majority of the jobs are completed during the first visit itself.

Above all, we offer a written guarantee for all the appliance repair work we undertake.

Whenever you are in necessity of an appliance repair in Brooklyn on emergency basis, give us a phone call. We would be glad to service your appliance requirements in a professional and in an affordable way. Get in touch with Bear Appliance Repair today to get an affordable quote for all of your appliance repairs in Brooklyn.

How to Find Reputable Refrigerator Repair in Brooklyn NY

RefrigeratorWe have been carrying out the service of finding refrigerator repair in Brooklyn for many years with technicians that are well-informed and polite. Our first priority is our customers and we offer our dedicated and professional services at affordable prices. For us, no job is too small or too big. Our technicians are appropriately trained to carry out the refrigerator repair in Brooklyn with great professionalism, irrespective of their model and make. We are 100 % dedicated to our services, so we are always prepared to work for you and our work is always 100% guaranteed.

Find Refrigerator Repair in Brooklyn, NY on all Leading Brands

At our Brooklyn-based business, our aim is to offer our clients the best value and best service. We will provide you with the best estimate for performing your refrigerator repair in Brooklyn and we are available on all days in a week, even on Holidays and Weekends, as well.

When you hire our service to fix your refrigerator, you can rest guaranteed that the job is in the hands of an approved, bonded and insured business, so you can relax or concentrate on your other usual errands. We are capable of fixing all leading brands of refrigerators, as our business is crammed with very experienced, expert, knowledgeable, gracious technicians, who supply our customers with the highest quality work. We consider that the best appreciation for our technicians is client’s satisfaction.

A refrigerator is one of the vital and most required domestic appliances in any Brooklyn, NY family. If it breaks down, all food items you preserve into it would get spoiled, so you have to fix it as quickly as possible by hiring a professional business, like us. We are the leading professional business in the neighborhood who can carry out your refrigerator repair in Brooklyn in a more professional way. When you hire our services, you will get a lot of benefits. Some of them include:

  • You will get the same day repair service.
  • There are no hidden charges involved in our services.
  • Our services are more professional.
  • We offer our work guarantee in writing.
  • You will get your refrigerator fixed at more affordable rates.
  • When you call us, you will get a quick response from our technicians.
  • Above all, we are insured and licensed providers, so you can rest assured that you will get your work done in a professional way.

Though there are several reasons that our business happens to be the primary option for refrigerator repair in Brooklyn, NY some notable reasons include:

  • We offer punctual, expert, guaranteed repairs on all foremost brands.
  • We are providing our services with the lowest prices for your refrigerator repair in Brooklyn.
  • We do not charge you extra for our services in evenings,holidays and weekends.

As we service all models and makes of refrigerators, if your refrigerator has a problem, we can assist on any day at any time, according to your convenience.

Our refrigerator repair service in Brooklyn is friendly, fast and reliable from the time your call is acknowledged by us. Our technicians have been trained to pay attention, help and react to your service requirements quickly. Our whole staff is insured and licensed. We would like to ensure that you know who you have in your Brooklyn home and that you are entirely protected.

The cost involved in repairing your refrigerator in Brooklyn, NY relies on:

  • Direct labor costs that include planning, material purchase and job equipment, area research, set up and onslaught.
  • Cost of materials that may be essential to repair a refrigerator, including fittings and connectors.

Furthermore, the cost of fixing a refrigerator will count on the nature of the fault, irrespective of the model and make.

Bear Appliance Repair is your fast and effective Brooklyn, NY refrigerator repair service with over 22 years of experience! At Bear Appliance Repair, we’ll do what it takes to get your fridge running at a high level once again, and our office is conveniently located in Brooklyn, NY. When you contact us for a refrigerator repair, we’ll quickly address your concerns and schedule your appointment with one of our trained and knowledgeable technicians.

How to Find a Reliable Service Provider for Stove Repair in Queens, NY

GE_Profile_stoveSometimes you wake up one morning on your way to work and you discover that there is a barrier between you and your favorite breakfast. The stove burner won’t spark or it is faulty and thus you can’t prepare your quick fix, or special morning heavy; a situation that prompts you to look for a reliable service provider for stove repair in Queens. You are left with no option other than reaching out to the corn or cereals with your ice cold milk or quick coffee. Especially due to the fact that it is a place quite busy and sometime tricky to navigate, getting a firm you can trust with your kitchenware may not as it may seem, come in as bread and butter in Queens, but can rather be daunting task that demands a few considerations. The process can however be less stressful if you utilize the below pointers and guide tips.

Importance of Seeking Stove Repair in Queens, NY

When problems arise with your stove, you can either choose to fix it yourself or hire a professional technician to do the job. Doing it yourself might be effective in the short run, but you may not have the repair time, expertise, equipment, and the parts required in case replacements are necessary. If unprofessionally done, there is a possibility of faults reoccurring and leading to extra damages, not to mention your kitchen catching fire, or the appliance loosing functionality altogether. The beauty with a reliable firm for stove repair in Queens, NY is that they can fix your stove efficiently and professionally, which will save you from the possible risks, save you time and money.

  1. Start by Conducting a Research and Getting Referrals

Your friends and neighbors can come in handy as the first places to seek credible information. You never know, they too might have encountered the same thing in their kitchens. As you get a few referrals, also rely on your other friend, the internet for more research. Start by typing on the search bars, term such as “a list of best stove repair in Queens Companies.” If you know of a few real estate firms or hoteliers, you can as well liaise with them for credible referrals. From here you can come up with a list of some prospective companies ton vet based on the following considerations.

  1. Their Service Experience

How long a repair service provider has been in business will matter a lot, as more often than not, experience may be a direct translation of the level of expertise and as such their reliability for effective service and long-lasting solutions. Take precaution and only go for fully certified and registered appliance service companies in Queens. You do not want to have a newbie in the field experiment with your kitchenware. They might leave a potential hazard with you. If you manage to meet a representative from a prospective firm in person, you can ask them about training of their technicians and their experience levels as well.

  1. Their Customer Support Levels and Reputation

Just from the way a representative from a prospective firm answers your call, you can be able to summarize their service levels. Look for supportive customer service in your reliable service provider; by the way they handle your queries and concerns. How long they take to respond and how helpful they sound is highly important. A good firm will even give you directions and help you understand the various electrical requirements that will be involved. However, looking at their service history is also crucial. You don’t want to deal with a firm for Stove Repair in Queens; that has a track record of bad reputation. You can always get credible information from reviews and testimonials online. How previous customers and corporate references rate them determines how reliable they are.

  1. Consider the Cost Factor and Warranties

It would be unrealistic to say that price is not an important factor when choosing an appliance repair company. It is important to call a few service providers for stove repair in Queens and ask for their quotes to do comparisons. A good way to go about it as you make the call would be to go to the main problem direct, like “how much will you charge me to fix my stove burner that has a sparking problem.” However, it is crucial that you be on the lookout for extremely know service prices that may look unrealistic. This may suggest an inexperienced technician or pretender out to make some quick money from people like you.

Make comparisons carefully, and remember to consider quality more than price. Seek to know the rates (whether hourly, or per piece of work) and remember to ask whether there are other charges apart from the service fees as some notorious firms like hiding fees. The mode of payment is also important, s most people prefer credit cards for you can reverse a transaction if you were not satisfied by their services. You might also want to determine their warranty policies and whether they offer workmanship guarantees for their services. This is of crucial importance, just in case the appliance malfunctions after being serviced or ends up causing damages to your home, you need and insured service provider.

 

 

Oster Versa Blender Review: Priced Right For Power and Size

Oster Versa Blender Review: Priced Right For Power and Size Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

The Oster Versa is yet another in the sub-$200 blender market that attempts to use ingenuity and a few shortcuts to produce the same level of consistency and product that the $500+ Vitamix blender puts out on a daily basis. But does that effort pay off without making you pay an arm and a leg for the privilege of a cold breakfast shake every morning?

Read on in my Oster Versa 1400 series blender review to find out!

Overview

Price: $174.98 on Amazon
Available: Now
Model:
BLSTVB-RV0

Summary: The Oster Versa is a budet-priced powerhouse which may look a little awkward on some counters, but should fit right in with the techy crowd no problem.

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Priced right for its power and size.

What We Liked

  • Unique design
  • Simple operation
  • Decent power for the price

What We Didn’t

  • No locking mechanism for base/pitcher
  • Ice results were mediocre
Oster Versa Blender

Simple controls are the best to have when you’ve got messy hands

Oster Versa 1400 Series Blender Specs

 
Oster Versa 1400 Series Blender
Power 1400-Watt
Included Jar Size 1 x 64oz pitcher
Loudness Rating 83.4.3dB dry, 101.3dB smoothie, 109.8dB ice
Max Warranty Lifetime (upgradable for $)
Price $174.98
Buy Now


Design

When I first pulled the Versa out of the box, I have to admit I was a little taken aback by just how…well…shamelessly Oster ripped off Tesla with all its design accents. Everything from the base of the unit to the lettering on the side of the pitcher just scream “Elon Musk-approved”, and while I certainly can’t blame them for trying to emulate one of the best technology companies on the scene today, just a bit more subtlety here would have been appreciated. Overall I don’t mind the look, and think everything is a bit more refined than what we’ve seen on competitors like the Ninja. Less clutter, more focus on getting the job done; everything you could want in a kitchen appliance.

Oster Versa Blender

One of these things is almost exactly like the other…

At 9.3 x 10 x 17.5 inches around and just under 12lbs standing weight, the Oster Versa was just small enough to fit underneath our cabinets, and slid easily enough from where it was being stored to a place where we could actually use it on the counter. 

Between the similarly priced NutriNinja Duo and the Oster Versa, the Oster was definitely the more “sturdy” feeling of the two, with a rubberized grip on the 64oz pitcher and more of an industrial approach to how the controls are handled on the front of the unit. A lot of what’s happening here is reminiscent of the the Vitamix approach – simplicity over all else.

Performance

The Oster Versa 1400 series blender system uses – if you hadn’t already guessed from the name – a 1400-Watt motor to buzz and blend through any ingredients you send its way. A single, hefty dial handles all the manual controls, and works just as you would expect it to with a quick clockwise turn dictating the level of blending power between 1-10.

Other than that, there are just four circular buttons at the base of the dial, one for each preset: Smoothie, Soups, Dip/Spread, and Pulse. To get the blender running we only had to plop the container on top of the gear driver, which fit well enough but didn’t have any sort of locking mechanism to keep the pitcher locked to the base.

Oster Versa Blender

Ice vs. Smoothie

Personally I don’t mind this as it makes it easier to get the blender on and off quickly, but anyone with kids should steer clear of this blender if they don’t like cleaning up 64oz of spilled boiling hot soup. Seriously, even the slightest push is enough to send the entire top-half of the blender tumbling onto the floor. Again, this is fine for people like me who basically spent the first year of their cooking career living in front of a blender (15 gallons of carrot soup per night – just as fun as it sounds), but as a general rule you don’t want to buy a blender that might tip over completely if a breeze blows the wrong way.

As always when we test a new blender, we first ran it through the ice test to see what kind of consistency it could put out on a dry run. The result was about 90% fine-ground snow, however there was still about 10% left that was filled with larger chunks about the size of a pea.

When we turned on the smoothie setting, we got mixed results (pun fully intended). On the one hand when we ran the smoothie with ingredients only (kale, frozen fruit, banana and almond milk), we got a buttery smooth consistency that was reminiscent (though not quite as smooth) as what we got with the Vitamix. However once we added some ice to the mix to cool things down, we got the result you see above. Somehow many of the ingredients separated, and we were left with a chunky film of bubbles on top, and nearly empty almond milk settled at the bottom.

Loudness

Oster Versa Loudness

Of all the sub-$200 blenders we’ve tested thus far, the Oster Versa was definitely one of the quietest. Now that’s not to say it’s quiet, per se, just quieter.

We ran the Oster Versa through three separate tests to determine its loudness profile: once dry with the 64oz pitcher, one with ice, and once in the smoothie cup filled with various smoothie ingredients. Of those runs the smoothie tests was the quietest, thanks to the muffling effect of the ingredients weighing down on the blade assembly. At the peak RPM we read a dB rating of 74.6, a number which climbed to around 98.7dB during the dry run.

Unsurprisingly the ice test was the worst offender of the bunch, registering an ear-splitting 102.1dB from over 5ft away. If you make smoothies early in the morning before your family is up you might be able to get away with it without waking anyone, but it’ll probably be a good idea to hold off on that 6AM margarita until daylight hours at the very least.

Wrap Up

Overall the Oster Versa performed just as you expect a sub-$200 blender might, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Personally I was a fan of the brave design choices that the Versa goes with (no matter how much they resemble a Tesla logo), and although its smoothie performance could have a been a bit better, it was still well and above beyond what we’d expect out of a blender at this price.

If you’re stuck between the Nutri Ninja iQ and the Oster Versa, as long as you don’t need an additional food processor or smoothie cups added on top, this is definitely the model to get.

The post Oster Versa Blender Review: Priced Right For Power and Size appeared first on Gadget Review.

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How to Reupholster an Office Chair

How to Reupholster an Office Chair Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

Do you have an old office chair with worn out upholstery and a look that just doesn’t match anything else you own? Maybe it’s time to reupholster that office chair and give it a new life at your desk or in another part of the home! As long as you have the right fabric and a little bit of time, this DIY reupholster project can add years on your office chair – and actually make it look like it belongs! Our guide can help you out.

Note: This project is designed to work with office chairs that have upholstery. In other words, you can’t really do this to chairs that are made of lightweight fabric weaves, because that’s all there is. Likewise, some pleather or vinyl coverings may not be designed for reupholstering, since their surfaces and padding may be created as a single unit – trying to reupholster a leather office chair is a problem for the same reason.

The project works best when you use it on traditional offices that have separate foam padding that can be uncovered and recovered with new fabric. You’ll find out very quickly if your chair qualifies or not. If you have really taken this project to heart, we suggest heading to a garage sale or giveaway and choosing a chair that’s several years old, with either cotton or jute (cotton is smoother, jute is rougher) that can be easily removed. Synthetic cloth like microfiber and nylon can often be removed as well. Look for the telltale folds of fabric down under the corners of the seat that show the upholstery was tucked under and can be lifted away.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Office Chairs - Refurbished Chair

Prepare for your project first for best results!

The cost to reupholster an office chair can vary, but if you already have the tools you should only need to pay for the fabric costs!

  1. The new fabric: Simple, cotton-based fabrics work best for these upholstering projects. If you choose outdoor fabrics they will come with extra protection, but they will also be more difficult to work with. It’s harder to say how much you need: A half yard or so is usually sufficient, but don’t be afraid to get more in case you make a mistake or need more fabric than you thought. “Fat” quarters work best when covering office chair seats, so go bigger if possible. Keep in mind where the chair is going to be: colors that resist sun damage, have flame retardant properties, or don’t stain easily may be important!
  2. A screwdriver set: If you have an electric drill or similar device that you can use as a screwdriver, this will work even better for a DIY reupholstering office chair project. But the screwdriver head must match the bolts or screws that you see on the underside of your office chair. You may need to switch out to wrenches, pliers or sockets if necessary – but we’ve found that a good screwdriver set and a wrench work most of the time.
  3. Pliers: Needle-nose is probably best here, you’ll be surprised how much you will use them.
  4. Scissors and a boxcutter: Both come in handy when cutting your fabric.
  5. A professional staple gun: You need some heavy-duty staples for this project, so don’t skimp out and try to use the office stapler to reupholster an office chair.
  6. Space: You need some space to work with here, so clear off the floor and get ready to work. A protective sheet is a good addition as well.
  7. A protective, light foam layer: If your chair is a little hard and you want to add some more padding, consider buying a padding layer along with new fabric. You don’t need much – we’re talking about lightweight foam, maybe a centimeter thick at the most, to provide some extra support and comfort.

Step 2: Take Your Chair Apart

First, does your chair have armrests? If it does, unlatch or unscrew them first and get them out of the way. If you’re wondering how to reupholster an office chair with arms, you can usually find a way, but you’ll have to take them off first.

Next, flip your chair upside down and look for the bolts or screws that secure the base to the “seat” of the chair. You will need to detach the base fully to work on upholstering the chair. It’s best to this by unscrewing all attachments at once and lifting the base fully off the seat cushion.

There are many different chair designs, and for some you will have to detach the back of the chair at the same time as the base.

After this step is done, you should have the back and seat of the chair, typically covered by a plastic base or framework of some kind. You will need to remove this next, so look for deep-set screws and get ready to work, because these screws are typically driven deep into wood framework within the chair (we told you electric tools may come in handy). Keep careful track of all screws and go very slowly when necessary so that you don’t strip any bolts or damage any of your framework materials.

Office Chair - Chair Base

Unscrew the chair base carefully!

Unscrew the shell-like base from the bottom of the seat and, if necessary, the back of the chair. If everything has gone correctly, then this should expose the (usually) wooden surface that’s used as a brace for the chair padding and fabric. There is typically a wood base for the seat and for the back, which should be separated at this point. The upholstery should be stapled with a vigorous circle of staples or fasteners at the edge of this base.

Note: Some office chairs have fabric “buttons” inset. You can usually remove these buttons and even cover them with spare fabric pieces so that everything matches. However, be careful – chairs that include fabric buttons aren’t always easy to reupholster, since their original layer of fabric may not come off easily.

Step 3: Remove the Staples and Strip Away the Old Upholstery

Office Chairs - Chair Staples

Get ready to remove a lot of staples.

You see those staples? It’s time to get rid of them. Bring out the needle-nose pliers and start pulling the staples out. Depending on how the chair was manufactured, these staples could range from many small staples to several large metal fasteners. Either way, pry them out carefully and try to avoid damaging the wood beneath. For smaller staples the pliers are an ideal tool, but you may find a heavy-duty staple remover better for larger fasteners.

Grab a bag or box to put the old staples in once you worm them out, and work your way from corner to corner of the seat.

At each corner you will see that the fabric is folded over itself to form a tight fit. Unfold the fabric carefully as you go and spread it out. When you are finished, you should be able to pull the old upholstery off the seat. You should see that a simple foam layer or protective covering is all that’s left. When you are finished, do the same to the back of the chair if necessary.

Alternative Step: Skip Right to Installing New Upholstery

If your new fabric is thin enough and the construction of the seat and back simple enough, you may not have to remove the old upholstery – you can just install your new upholstery right on top of it. This may even work with vinyl chairs where you cannot remove the old upholstery, allowing you to completely change the look and feel of the chair.

There are a lot of caveats to this choice: the old fabric may not have the right texture, and you may not be able to get the new upholstery firm enough to avoid scratching and wrinkles. But if it’s viable, this step can save a lot of time and you will end up with a chair that has a little more protection. It works best with chairs that do not have a lot of contours and “ergonomic” shapes, which cannot easily be covered by fabric. The goal here is to create a DIY office chair cover with no sewing required, but sowing is an option if you’re desperate.

Step 4: Place and Cut The New Upholstery Fabric

Office Chairs - Chair Fabric

Cut your fabric carefully!

Take your fabric and position it underneath the seat, with the wood backing facing upward. If you have a foam layer to install, do this with the foam layer first! Fold the fabric around the seat for some measurements – it doesn’t have to be exact, but you should have enough fabric for four inches along the edges of the wood base. Once you have enough, cut your fabric.

Step 5: Attach the New Upholstery

Office Chair - Upholstery Planning

Measure and attach carefully.

This is easily the most difficult step. Because of the awkward shape of most seats and office chair backs, the fabric will not fold neatly around the base. The most important tool that you have for this process is patience.

Fold the fabric layer up and around the back of the seat. Slowly attach it, alternating sides to keep the fabric as smooth and flat as possible. Leave the corners for last. If you have a glue gun or similar adhesive option, you may want to attach the fabric with a little glue first before stapling it down.

When you reach the corners, try to imitate the folds that you undid in the old upholstery. Use “triangle” folds that wrap the fabric tightly around the corner, a little like wrapping a Christmas present. It’s a good idea to leave a little bit of give – if you pull the fabric too tight, it can create wrinkles and other problems up front. If you used glue, now is the time to leave the project for a while and wait for it dry.

Office Chairs - Reupholstered Pieces

Attach fabric patiently!

Once you have worked the fabric into a smooth fit, use your staple gun and fasten the fabric down with a line of staples at least every inch or so. There are other options, such as fabric tacks, but heavy-duty staples tend to work best here. If there’s a lot of leftover folds of fabric dangling from the base, then cut it out with your scissors so the fit is smooth.

Step 6: Reattach the Backing to Your Chair

Now it’s time to return the back to your chair with those screws that you carefully preserved. For some office chairs, you may have the option to cover these backs (usually the non-plastic kind) in upholstery as well so that everything matches, but it isn’t always necessary. Again, it’s fine to tweak you plans to fit the unique design of your office chair, since they’re all a little different.

If you have to place screws directly through your new fabric covering, don’t worry about it – just poke a hole and keep going. Remember that the fit may be a little different with new upholstery, so go slowly and make adjustments as needed.

Step 7: Continue the Process as Needed with the Other Chair Components

Specifically, if your armrests also have fabric on them, you may want to replace this upholstery as well. Fortunately, it should be just like a smaller version of the project you just did. So start unscrewing the armrests from their base and carefully peel back their fabric: They may not fully detach the way that the seat did!

Detachable neck or headrests are more complicated, since they may come with fitted fabric sleeves that are harder to replicate. You can decide if you want to tackle this project to make sure everything matches or not.

This is also the place to consider if you want to change anything else, such as casters or the color of base, which you can update with a thorough (and careful) spray paint project. Take your time, and make sure everything is just the way you want it before you move on. Perfectionists tend to spend a lot of time on this step.

Step 8: Put the Office Chair Back Together Again

Office Chair - Assembly

Put it back together again!

If the seat and back of the office chair are still in separate pieces, attach them again before moving on. Then attach the wheeled base of the chair (this doesn’t work as well if you switch up the order). Reverse the steps you used in the deconstruction and replace all bolts and screws as necessary. Test components to make sure they are safely connected, sturdy, and at the right angles.

As long as you go slowly and make sure you have all the necessary pieces together, this step should be pretty easy. When the chair is returned to its old form, set it down and test it out! Check for any loose pieces or weird angles that may need further readjustment. If there are any annoying fabric wrinkles, see if you can tuck them back into the depths of the chair. In the future, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing pants with metal buttons or other objects that can rip your new fabric while using your office chair.

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How To Connect an Xbox One Headset: Easy Setup for Wired and Wireless Headphones

How To Connect an Xbox One Headset: Easy Setup for Wired and Wireless Headphones Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

We know – you just got a new Xbox One wireless headset, and you can’t wait to try it out. Between you and all that sweet sound is just one thing – the setup process. But with the variety of different wired and wireless headsets on the market, setup isn’t as easy as just plug-and-play; sometimes it can get pretty complicated.

Fortunately, we have experience in setting up a number of different Xbox One headsets, from the simple to the confounding (and more than a few without much instruction at all), so allow us to break it down for you. Here’s how to connect your Xbox One headset, based on the kind of headset you’re unboxing!

Setting Up a Wired Headset

Xbox Headset - Xbox One Jack

The 3.5mm jack on your Xbox One controller accommodates most headsets.

Don’t worry, these headsets typically use your controller as a source of power and are very easy to plug in and start using.

Step 1: Turn off your Xbox One. This isn’t always required, but it’s usually a good idea, and it prevents any unexpected problems.

Step 2: Check what kind of cable connection that your headset has. There are two basic connection options: the first is the classic 3.5mm jack, and your controller should have a small port for between the handles, toward the left. The second option is the full headset adapter for the controller, which plugs into the entire bottom of your controller. Note that there is some overlap here! Some headsets come with their own separate Xbox adapters that plug into the full port, but then end in a 3.5mm jack for the headset or another headset of your choice. There’s not much difference, except that the larger adapter option is sturdier and gives you some chat/mute options right there on the controller for faster changes.

Xbox Headsets - Xbox One Adapter

Some headsets come with a full adapter for the controller.

Note: Some headsets have RCA cables or stereo chat options that require a connection to your console or TV. Those headsets are pretty rare these days (we actually haven’t tried any in years), but keep in mind that, in some cases you may need a free USB port or RCA connection to get the headset to work.

Step 3: Plug your headset into the controller according to its cable, and then try the headset on! Take this time to make any adjustments so that the fit is just right. Take particularly notice of how to control the volume and where the mute button is.

Step 4: Turn on your Xbox One and the controller. Listen for the startup and menu sounds immediately. Adjust your volume and experiment with the mute button to find out how these controls work – and to make sure that you are picking up on sound properly.

Step 5: Start up a game and see how the headphones sound! If the headphones do not work, no matter how much you mess with the volume, then we have an important suggestion for you to try: go to the left sidebar menu in the Xbox One home screen and head down to Settings. Once there, look for Devices & accessories. Head over to controllers, and check to see if the controller that you are using can be updated. Controllers need firmware updates too, and a common reason for headsets to stop working is a lack of updates that make it compatible with a new headset, especially if haven’t updated the controller before.

Step 6: Try a multiplayer game to make sure that the chat function works. You can also record your own voice in a message, send it to yourself, and then listen to it to make sure that the mic is picking up your own words, but if you have a couple friends online it’s usually easier to just link with them on a game and test it out.

Note: If you are wondering how to connect Xbox 360 headsets to Xbox One…it might be tricky. The Xbox One 3.5mm controller jack isn’t present on the 360, and this Xbox One headphone jack may limit what older headsets will fit. The good news is that it’s easier to connect a new headset to Xbox One now, no matter where it comes from.

How to Connect a Wireless Headset to Xbox One

Xbox headsets - Headset USB Receiver

Wireless receiver hubs allow headsets to communicate.

Wireless headsets are a little tricky, since Xbox One lacks true Bluetooth capabilities (no, you cannot connect a traditional Bluetooth headset to Xbox One) and developers find it difficult to create wireless headsets for the system. Adapters and workarounds have gotten better lately, and there’s hope that Scorpio will change this trend when the new console appears. For now, here’s what you need to know.

With a tether to the controller

Step 1: Most current Xbox One compatible wireless headsets need a tether primarily for audio communication – in other words, you will have one wireless connection for audio-in, and one tethered connection for audio-out. The other option is a full controller adapter for audio comes in and goes out entirely through the controller, but we don’t see as many of these. So prepare both your tether cable, which is typically a 3.5mm jack, and your wireless connection, which should be a USB attachment or stick. Turn your Xbox One and controller on.

Step 2: Connect your USB connection and pair it with your headset. There should be a pairing command button on the USB connection or the wireless headset that allows the two to successfully connect. Once again, we suggest that you know exactly where your volume and mute buttons. Start up some audio content and experiment with these buttons so you understand the sound range of your headset and can get it working. Note that if you have a full controller adapter, you can skip this step and go right to step 3.

Step 3: Now plug your tethering cable into your Xbox One controller, either in the 3.5mm jack or with a full adapter. Make sure that your mic is attached, unmuted, and ready to go. Test this mic by jumping into a game with friends, or sending a voice message to yourself. Both ways work, your goal here is to make sure that the Xbox One headset connection is picking up your audio through the controller successfully.

Note: Is your controller running low on batteries? Careful! Many tethered wireless headsets really don’t like to be connected to controllers that are also charging their batteries. If you want to charge, disconnect the headset and switch to a controller with a full battery. Otherwise, you could be inviting audio issues or even disconnections.

With a base station or adapter (no tether)

Step 1: Because of the complications involved here, it’s best to check first to see if the controller needs any updates. Head to Settings, Devices & accessories, and then controllers. Try the Update option to search for any available updates.

Step 2: Make sure that your headset is charged and ready to go.

Step 3: Check to see if your station or adapter needs to be updated. In some cases, you may need to attach the base station to your computer via USB and search for any updates. Your headset instructions should let you know if this is necessary.

Step 4: Connect the base station to your Xbox One. There should be a microUSB cable included for this. It doesn’t matter which USB port on your Xbox that you use, but one of the back ports is probably best.

Xbox Headset - Astro Headset Connection

Astro Connections

Step 5: Connect any additional cables. This isn’t always necessary, but some headsets include optical audio cables for additional sound quality improvements, and this is the best time to make these connections as well. Note: If you do connect an optical audio cable, then head over to Settings, go to Display & sound, and head over to audio output. Make sure that HDMI audio is off and Optical audio is set to bitstream out, so everything works properly.

Step 6: Turn your Xbox One on if necessary, and pair the wireless headset and the station/hub. There’s usually a “search” button on one or the other (sometimes it’s the power button) that allows them to connect. If everything is working properly, this should start up your headphones and you will begin hearing sound. Take a little time to experiment with the volume and muting controls to find out how everything works.

Note: Keep in mind that even fully wireless headsets may need tether cables for some things, like voice chat. This varies from headset to headset, so take a look at instructions for chatting before you throw anything away.

With an HDMI setup

We’ve seen a few HDMI wireless headsets appear, most notably the Tritton Katana headset, which use HDMI capabilities as part of their wireless capabilities. These are similar to the base station option, but involve a little more work to get things started.

The steps are largely the same, but when it comes to connect cables, you have a USB cable and an HDMI cable. Route your traditional Xbox One HDMI cable into the HDMI hub, and then use the new HDMI cable to route out and into your TV or receiver. Otherwise, you will get neither picture nor sound when you try using the headset.

Note on Xbox One Sound Settings

Xbox Headset - Xbox One Audio Settings

Xbox One audio settings can help you set up your headset.

We know, nothing’s worse than setting up a great new Xbox headset, only to find out you can’t hear any audio. So let’s take a little bit to talk about some important Xbox One settings in addition to checking for updates. If something goes wrong and you can’t figure out what to do based on the directions, head to these settings and see if you need to tweak them as you set up.

  • Audio output: We mentioned this section briefly, but if you head to Settings and then Display & sound, you can find the audio output section, which is divided into three parts. The first is HDMI audio, which can be either off or on. It’s usually fine left on as long as you are not using an optical audio cable, but if sound has suddenly shut down, try toggling this option. The second option is optical audio format, which you should try changing if your optical audio connection isn’t responding. The same is true of Bitstream format, which should usually be set on Dolby Digital – change it if your headset isn’t formatted for Dolby Digital sound.
  • Volume: Right by the Audio output section is Volume. There are several sections here, but you want to pay attention to the first three. Sound mixer allows you to control how much sound enters the headphones – if volume is absent or very low, your sound mixer may need some adjustment while you are setting up. Second is the chat mixer, which balances sound between chat noise and normal game noise levels. Some headsets actually have recommendations on where to set the chat mixer at, but you can experiment at will with it to see what works. Finally, there’s the Party chat output. Some headsets don’t care about this setting, but some do: make sure that it is set to “headset” while you are using a headset.
  • Kinect chat: If you have a Kinect, in the first sidebar menu where you go to Settings you should see an option to turn Kinect chat on or off. The Xbox One is pretty good about automatically turning this on or off, but if the Kinect keeps picking up sound instead of using your mix, you may have to adjust it manually.
  • Party Chat: Your mic may have become accidentally muted here. Your physical mute button on the headset should reverse the problem, but this on-screen option is an easy way to check for issues.
  • NAT Type: This is a more complicated, but in summary: your Internet connection needs to be “free” enough to connect with other people if you want to voice chat (with some variance from game to game and router to router). That’s what NAT type is about. You can find this by heading to Settings, Network, and then Set up wireless network. Your current net connection is shown here with a small section for NAT. If it is set to open or moderate, it should be fine. If it’s set to strict, this could be why you can’t chat. Take a look at how you can change NAT to be open. It helps if the rest of your party has an open or moderate NAT too – but be warned, this does involve some in-depth router work.
  • Privacy & online safety: This is worth a mention if you have a kid’s account set up for a child or sibling. There’s an option here to control how to “communicate with voice and text” which can be limited to current friends – and is automatically restricted if the account holder’s age is under 17. To fully open up chat options, this needs to be changed using the “parent” account.

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Wireless Access Point vs Router: Don’t Buy the Wrong One

Wireless Access Point vs Router: Don’t Buy the Wrong One Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

If you’ve found this page, you might be one of the many people who each year find themselves asking, what’s the difference between a wireless access point vs. router? Not as much as you might think, so read on in our guide to find out everything you need to know!

Routers

Linksys WRT3200ACM

The Linksys WRT3200ACM is still one of the best examples of what a router can do in 2017.

To start off, you can learn everything you need to know about what a router is, how they work, and the best purposes they can serve in your own home networking setup from our article How Does a Wireless Router Work? As a brief recap, for the most part all you need to know is that a router is the device that’s responsible for taking the signal you receive from your internet service provider/their modem, and splitting it up into dozens of different signals that can all be utilized by those in or around your home, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Because you only receive a single IP address from your ISP, a router is necessary if you plan on connecting any more than one computer at a time using an ethernet cable. Although they’re rare these days, you can still find routers that don’t have any wireless components on them. That said, Wi-Fi capability is a staple accessory on pretty much every router released in the past ten years, which brings us to the next point: wireless access points, or WAP.

Wireless Access Points

Wireless Access Point

Linksys is always happy to provide a visual aid for those who learn better that way.

Technically, any router with Wi-Fi onboard can be called a wireless access point, but that’s not their only definition. For example, a router can be an access point, but an access point can’t be a router.

The best real world application of this idea is the new mesh networking systems that have begun popping up as of late. Utilizing external antennas, or “access points”, these routers use multiple hops and jumps in their own network to spread the wireless signal as far as it can possibly go. The main hub is the router, however every antenna plugged in after the fact is what you would refer to as an access point.

This is useful in larger homes where the modem jack may not be in a central location, and you want to get as much signal to every corner of your house possible. Again, the router itself can also count as one of those wireless access points, but the wireless access points wouldn’t work as a router on their own.

Routers vs. Wireless Access Points

So what’s the main rub of choosing a wireless access point over a router, or vice versa? Well for one, there are two different types of systems you should keep an eye out for when choosing the right setup for your home: mesh networks, and routers with range extenders.

Range extenders are an older technology, are generally more complicated to setup than a mesh networking system, and can end up being cost comparative features-wise to more modern mesh options like the AmpliFi.

Second, you may not actually need a wireless access point extender or mesh system if the router you’re already using has large enough antennas to cover your whole home without loss of service. That said, many ISP-leased modem/wireless access point combos don’t have any external antenna in order to look more sleek in central parts of the home, leading to weaker signal that can’t get into vital places like the basement or the backyard.

Wrap Up

There can be a lot of confusing terminology that pops up when it comes to home networking, which is why it’s important that you stay tuned to all the latest news, guides and reviews popping up every day here at Gadget Review!

The post Wireless Access Point vs Router: Don’t Buy the Wrong One appeared first on Gadget Review.

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Review: The BarMax MBE Questions App

Review: The BarMax MBE Questions App Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

Need to get ready for the MBE? There are a lot of test prep options and classes out there, but we’re seeing the rise of a new type of aid – test prep apps designed to help with information-intense questions like you may find on the bar exam. The BarMax MBE Questions app from creator TestMax is one of the best examples of this growing field that we’ve seen, taking the natural advantages of a study app (mobility, ease of use, the ability to plop down for 10 minutes sessions during the day) and combining them with in-depth information and support for a test that, according to BarMax, saw a 33-year low in scores in 2016. Let’s take a look at what the app’s all about.

Price: $299.99

Preparation: MBE (Multistate Bar Exam)

Platform: iOS

Test Prep Features: Here’s What You Get

MBE Questions - BarMax Logo

BarMax’s app is clean and responsive.

The MBE Questions app focuses specifically on test prep questions for the MBE (BarMax offers other training options, but this app specifically focuses on questions), including over 1,500 real MBE questions from previous bar exams. It is designed to get you into test-taking mode, and get you there fast: one of the first things we noticed about MBE Questions is just how little time it takes to get set up and straight into question mode.

There’s a technical advantage to this as well. The app proved speedy, responsive, and never faltered while we were using it. Every tool was designed with time-saving features in mind. There’s a cost to this – the app is low on visuals and is primarily just text on a white background – but MBE questions don’t lend themselves to visuals anyway, so this isn’t really an issue.

Jump in, and you find a variety of different timed tests that you can approach in different ways. Tackle all the multiple choice tests at once, pick a particular subject, or try one of four past OPE exams with real questions. All questions are permanently available once you purchase the app.

Question by Question

MBE App - BarMax Test Question

In-depth questions add great value.

MBE Questions includes between 200 and 300 questions on specific subjects, along with OPE (online practice exams) tests divided into 100 question sections. Start a timed test, launch into the first question, and several basic components emerge:

  • Study mode vs. Test mode: You can switch between the two if you don’t want to be scored for a particular session. Study mode is particularly valuable, because it offers explanations for most right answers and many wrong answers as well. Not just one-liners about why you guessed right/wrong, but in-depth paragraphs about the correct legal interpretation that could just be the most valuable part of the whole app. Use study mode often if you want to improve.
  • Timer: You can see the timer, both in numbers and bar progression.
  • Comments: The comments are particularly interesting. They allow you to field particular questions and comments to the community about the question you are currently on, divided into recent and active categories. While these comment sections vary in quality – some complaints and discussions are valid, others are basically white noise – they are an invaluable addition as a whole, and promise to grow more useful as the BarMax community grows. The BarMax team can also swoop down on these questions and provide more specific information, although this isn’t a guarantee.
  • Starring: You can star any particularly difficult or interesting question for later review.
  • Skip to question: This allows you to skip to a particular question on the list immediately.
  • Review: This shows you your overall performance on the quiz section. It allows you to see your overall score, and skip to any particular question you had.

Interface and Design

With so many options for unveiling additional information or answering further questions, the interface could have been a real problem on a more cluttered app. Fortunately, you should have no trouble navigating MBE Questions. The tools are laid out with clear, rounded buttons and icons that are easy to find and natural to use. If you have experience with any apps at all, you will have no trouble finding your way around here. Again, part of this is due to the text-on-white nature of the app, but it again proves to be a feature, not a bug, when test prep is foremost on your mind.

However, we did find that the app works best on a larger screen, such as an iPad, where it’s easier to see full questions and access tools without fumbling. You can use it on a smartphone screen in a pinch, but the experience isn’t nearly as fluid.

Customization Options

MBE Questions - BarMax Phone App

BarMax offers plenty of analytics.

When you first log into the app, you are asked to create a quick profile, which identifies, among other things, both when you’re thinking about taking the exam and what state you are taking the exam in. You can change either of these at any time. For now, it doesn’t appear to do much – this is MBE prep, after all, not state-specific prep, but it is encouraging to note that could eventually be a feature within the app.

You also have the ability to turn message board notifications on or off, and to show or not show how others answered the quiz over time. But the true value of the customized experiences lies within the Analytics section. Here the app breaks down, by subject, how you are doing at the various quizzes, and what answers you seem to have trouble with. This is particular valuable if you run through every subject, because you can then check what area of law you need to brush up on the most before test time.

When it comes to the questions themselves, there are currently three categories to choose from. A general multiple choice section allows you to attack all the questions at once. A subject section divides the questions into different areas of law, such as Civil Procedure, Crimes, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts. Each icon includes its own built-in timer animation that shows you how much you have left for a particular section. Finally, there are the four current OPE tests to choose from.

Support

Current support is excellent compared to the average testing app. BarMax, via TestMax’s resources, appears to have an active team available to answer questions both the community as a whole and to individual users. At any time you can head to the sidebar menu and click on Support, which immediately opens

We are curious to see how support continues over the life of the app. The BarMax team has proven adept at keeping users informed on a question by question basis, but as issues of law evolve over time, the app will need new tests and questions to keep up. There also seems to be a lot of room for expansion into deeper, more customized questions over the life of the app, which could add plenty of value over time.

Final Word

The BarMax MBE Questions app is a sign of the future. In many ways, it renders other types of test prep obsolete (with the exception of standbys like in-person tutoring and discussion). The speed and ease of use make it ideal for a busy law student who only has short period of time to whip out the app and go through a few questions before getting on to their next responsibility. The combination of analysis, online discussion and real IPE tests cement the question: why would you want to study any other way?

It’s too bad that the app is only available on iOS for now, but this also seems to be the reason for its strengths: The speed, respond, and super-tight interface management are all signs of an app expertly designed for a specific platform. It will hopefully come to other devices in time, but it’s also easy to see why its release is limited to iOS.

Additionally, for its price, it’s best to grab this app early and use it often to get the most value of the training features. The excellent review and explanation tools won’t be much good if you never use them, so it’s in every test-takers best interest to get familiar with the app as quickly as they can.

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How to Setup a Wireless Router

How to Setup a Wireless Router Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

With so many new routers hitting the scene last year packed to the brim with features like 802.11ad transmission and mesh range extenders, figuring out how to setup a wireless router isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. Buying the router is only half the battle, and knowing how to set up your new device is imperative to getting your home WiFi network up, running, and secured in 20 minutes or less!

Things You’ll Need

  1. A wireless router
  2. Ethernet Cable
  3. An internet modem
  4. An internet subscription

Setting Up a Wireless Router

1. Getting Things Hooked Up

The first step in any router setup is to pull everything you need out of the box, and take stock of what you have to work with. If you’re buying your router brand new it should come with its own 3ft (or more, in some cases) Ethernet cable that you can use to hook up to your modem.

how to setup a wireless router-box

Check to make sure you have all the parts you need when you first pull the router out of the box.

Once you have everything unpackaged, plug in the router to a wall, preferably in a space that’s close enough to your modem so the cord you have can reach. If you’re worried about range from the modem or don’t have mesh extenders, you can buy 25ft Ethernet cables off Amazon for only $7.99.

2. Choose Your Setup Platform

After the router runs through its bootup process, you should see a new WiFi network in your vicinity that’s named after the manufacturer themselves. For example, a router made by Netgear might have “NETGEAR-39” as the network that you can connect to from the device of your choosing.

Which brings us to the next step: picking your setup platform. While the traditional route of using your desktop or laptop to setup the router is still a solid way to go, many of the bigger manufacturers like Linksys and Netgear have begun turning to mobile platforms as an easier way to get you up and running in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours it used to take in the old days.

No matter which platform you choose though, the steps beyond this point all remain the same, so don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything if you choose to go desktop over mobile, or vice versa.

3. Connect to the Network

Once you’ve found the new wireless network on the device you plan to use, it’s time to connect. Although this isn’t true for older routers, pretty much any made in the past five years will start out as a WPA2-protected network. To find the default password for it, either consult your router’s manual, or flip it over and look on the bottom.

Many routers will include both the default SSID and the password somewhere on the router itself, as a backup just in case you lose your documentation at some point in the process. It should look something like the example below, found on the Linksys 3200ACM which we had the pleasure of reviewing earlier this year (and also topped our list as the #1 Top Wireless Router for 2017).

Once you’re connected, the process of getting your router through its actual configuration process will differ, depending on the manufacturer. We’re going to go through the general steps that all routers will ask you to complete, as well as go over a few of the features you should have enabled, but unfortunately there’s no way to write a master guide on the setup steps from here because they vary between different hardware makers and software approaches.

4. Enter New Credentials

how to setup a wireless router

Look for the barcode panel underneath your router for the default credentials

Although it may be tempting to simply leave your router at the configuration it came with out of the box and call it a day, we recommend changing both the default SSID and password to something unique to your home. Oftentimes, prospective hackers will look for networks that carry default SSIDs (NETGEAR-39, for example) as easier targets than those with more complicated names, as a default configuration shows that not much effort must have been paid to the rest of the setup, making it all that much easier for them to get in.

Another option is to stop publicly broadcasting the SSID altogether, a good move for the especially security conscious among us. Again, how you actually do this will change depending on the router dashboard you’re using and the platform you’re connecting through, but consult your user’s manual to find the location of these settings and learn how they can be toggled on or off accordingly.

5. Enable Extra Features

As we’ve already mentioned a few times (and this will be the last, we promise), the exact extra features you’re going to get from your router are going to be wildly different depending not only on the manufacturer, but also the cost tier of the router you’re trying to setup.

Read More: Top Wireless Router for 2017 – The In-Depth Buyer’s Guide

Some of the more common features we can comment on, however, include things like the option to turn your router into a home-based media server (check the back of your router for a USB port, this is the first indication). Others like parental controls and firewall configurations are a must for big homes with a lot of people who browse at the same time, and if your router comes with choices like phishing filters and DDoS protection, this is also the time to get it enabled so you don’t have to come back and worry about it later.

6. Connect to Your Modem

how to setup a wireless router-internet

Your router may read either “Internet” or “LAN”, depending on the model

Once the router has been properly configured, it’s time to get it online. Depending on your ISP (Internet Service Provider), you may have one of two separate kinds of modems: those with WiFi, and those without. Modems with no internal WiFi will connect directly to your router with no problems, and all it takes in this case is cycling the modem (unplug for 30 seconds, then back on), and then plugging the Ethernet cable from the “Internet” port on your modem to the “Internet” port on the back of your router.

If you have a modem with internal WiFi, you might need to either disable the internal WiFi first (again, consult your user’s manual for the exact directions on how to do this), or run it in what’s called “Bridge Mode”. Bridge Mode allows you to transfer the wireless responsibility over to the router, rather than sourcing it from the modem first. This is most common in fiber optic and DSL modems, however there are still a few select cases where cable broadband providers might have given you a modem which will only work on an external router when Bridge Mode is enabled.

7. Test for Proper Operation

Once the modem is plugged in and all the lights are flashing green (both on the modem and the router you’re hooked into), it’s time to test the connection. Using either a mobile device or a computer, you can start out by simply visiting Google.com as a nice starting point. If that loads without any problems, you can then move into more acute testing scenarios, like running it through SpeedTest.net to see what kind of speed improvements you’re getting off your brand new router!

Another good test to run before you pack up, is for range. To do this, simply grab a phone or tablet that’s connected to the router, and roam throughout your home while keeping an eye on the number of bars you’re getting at any given time. Run more speed tests from the outer reaches of your property, and if for any reason you’re not getting a good signal in vital areas of use (the living room, for example), you have a few different options available. The first (and most obvious), is simply to move the modem and the router to a more centralized location of your home – as long as there is a jack you can plug into nearby.

If that’s not an option, you might want to invest in newer “mesh networking” systems like the AmpliFi HD, which uses a series of external antennas that can plug into any standard electrical socket and boost your router’s signal by 50% or more in optimal use scenarios.

Summary

As much as we would have liked to have been able to delve deeper into the many extra features and options you’ll find on some of the top routers on shelves in 2017, there are simply too many different options and configurations out there to cover in a single post! That said, this guide should still give you the basics of everything you need to get your router out of the box and onto the internet, at a level that both protects your family from hackers and increases your wireless speeds in the places where you need them most.

The post How to Setup a Wireless Router appeared first on Gadget Review.

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Best Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker: Pour Yourself a Fresh Cup With Our Top 3

Best Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker: Pour Yourself a Fresh Cup With Our Top 3 Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

If you’re looking for quick, affordable coffee-making devices, you need the best Hamilton Beach coffeemaker. These models are famed for their ease of use and low prices. They also tend to be compact and highly adaptable to different coffee-drinking preferences. This makes them excellent office or workroom coffee makers.

When it comes to the top Hamilton Beach coffee maker, the Hamilton Beach 49980A 2-Way ($54.43) is an easy recommendation for the busiest locations. Anyone can use this simple coffeemaker, but it can easily switch between a 12-cup carafe and a separate thermos/cup pouring option for different preferences. It can also use either soft pods or coffee grounds, depending on your setup, making it affordable and versatile.

Best Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker

  Hamilton-Beach-49980A Hamilton-Beach-12-Cup Hamilton-Beach-49970
Hamilton Beach 49980A 2-Way Hamilton Beach 26201 Digital Coffee Maker Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup
Rank #1 – Editor’s Choice/Best Hamilton Beach Two Way Flexbrew Coffee Maker #2 – Best Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Coffee Maker #3 – Best Hamilton Beach Single Cup Coffee Maker
Amazon Rating 4andhalf-stars 4stars-new 4stars-new
Capacity 12 cup, single serve 12 cup 12 ounces
Strength Options Regular, Bold Bold, Regular Melitta coffee pods only
Timer 24 hour, 2 hour automatic shutdown Programmable clock with 2-hour automatic shutoff Auto shutoff only
Price (as configured) $54.43 $47.08 $16.99
Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now


How We Choose the Best Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker

How do we judge the best Hamilton Beach coffeemakers, when so much is dependent on the beans and the style of coffee people prefer? It’s true, a lot of decisions in coffee come down to preference, but there are still specific things we look for when making calls about the best models on the market.

For example, one important specification for coffee makers is extraction – or how much coffee the machine extracts from the grounds on a single pass. Many coffee makers have problems with overextraction, or extracting too much essence from the grounds, which leads to an acidic, sharp taste that true coffee fans will avoid at all costs. Fortunately, Hamilton Beach coffee maker models have one of the best “total dissolved solids” ratios in the coffee making business, at around 1.27 – 1.30 percent – where overextraction starts to become a problem in the mid-1.30s. This is mattering less now that coffee makers are turning to pods and cups, but for traditional brewing and filtration methods, it’s still an important measurement.

We also care a lot about ease of use. We look for simple buttons and screens that make it very easy to program and control your coffee maker. Hamilton Beach coffee makers fall into the highly traditional category here: they offer a few small buttons and a small timer screen that takes up as little room as possible. Within that framework, we looked for settings that were easy to understand and use.

Wondering how to clean a Hamilton Beach coffee maker? Ease of use also extends to prep and cleaning, so we also considered what carafes and water tanks were the easiest to take out, clean, and replace easily. A smooth latch design, without any crevices for coffee to hide, is important when cleaning your Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

Speaking of the carafe, how well does it work? We looked for carafes that were easy to hold (no one likes spilling hot coffee) and quickly pour into a mug, as well as replace without slipping out of the coffee maker by accident. About that hot coffee: for those who like truly hot coffee, heat needs to be between 190° and 200° Fahrenheit when it is poured, so that’s the range that we look for. Heat retention is also important in a Hamilton Beach coffee maker – we give weight to carafes that have heating plates and insulated designs to keep coffee warm for as long as possible (without coming too close to burning it in the process).

Finally, we looked at price. Here Hamilton Beach coffee maker models really shine, making it easy to find competent coffee makers below $50. They may not have a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but they still get the job done when you need a cup of coffee on the go.

Why You Should Buy a New Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach coffee maker models make excellent first-time coffee machines, or last-minute replacements. If you are moving into a new space and don’t have a coffee maker or a lot of money to purchase one, these models make excellent choices – plus they are relatively small and can easily fit onto tiny counters without taking up too much space.

Or perhaps your office/home coffee maker suddenly broke down, and you’re facing the prospect of a whole lot of grumpy people unless you can come up with an immediate replacement. Here, the right Hamilton Beach coffee maker models can come to the rescue with a simple coffee machine that you don’t need to save up for or spend time studying complex features to purchase. Sometimes, the easiest way to get something done is still one of the best.

#1 Pick Hamilton Beach 49980A 2-Way – Editor’s Choice/Best Hamilton Beach Two Way Flexbrew Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach coffee maker - Hamilton Beach 49980a

A versatile model ideal for busy areas.

Price: $54.43 | Capacity: 12 cup, single serve | Strength Options: Regular, Bold | Timer: 24 hour, 2 hour automatic shutdown

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A 2-way coffee maker perfect for busy areas.

This Hamilton Beach coffee maker is not only highly affordable, it’s also immensely useful, thanks to the dual operation of both the full pot and thermos settings. The coffeemaker has options for both a single serve option, and a 12-cup carafe with an included warming plate to keep the coffee hot. Either can be filled, which means that people who just want to pour a cup of coffee can do it, and people who brought their own thermos or mug can simply put it down on the alternative stand and brew themselves their own, private pour. The single serve option has its own mesh filter that can use either pre-packaged soft pods, or coffee grounds, so it’s highly flexible. It’s an ideal solution for a busy, high-traffic area where a variety of people need their coffee fix and have personal preferences.

On the note of preferences, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker also comes with two strength options, regular and bold, along with basic programming that allows for control over a 24-hour cycle. This includes a 2-hour automatic shutoff to help save energy. There aren’t many other options here, but Hamilton Beach coffee makers aren’t about stacking multiple programming features, they’re about getting you coffee fast and reliably, and this model does just that. Plus, for fans of traditional coffee makers there’s nothing new to learn, which is a big advantage when replacing a coffee machine for multiple people.

This Hamilton Beach coffee maker model is clearly ideal for both offices, and any personal users who prefer using their own tall thermoses but hate pouring a full carafe into them. It’s also worth noting that this is probably the best-looking HB model we’ve seen, with a curved profile that’s well-detailed with stainless steel pieces. However, it’s important to note that this model can only brew one side at one time – you’ll have to switch back and forth between carafe and cup, so it’s best to fill the carafe first.

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#2 Pick Hamilton Beach 26201 Digital Coffee Maker – Best Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach coffee makers - Hamilton Beach 12-cup

A traditional coffee maker with a modern twist.

Price: $47.08 | Capacity: 12 cup | Strength Options: Bold, Regular | Timer: Programmable clock with 2-hour automatic shutoff

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A simple, highly affordable large-carafe coffeemaker ideal for no-nonsense coffee.

Don’t need the single serve option? Then this HB model has you covered with its basic 12-cup carafe. It’s the same basic design that has been unchanged for decades, but updated with a more modern design, and more compact than ever (7.41 inches wide) so that it can fit in tighter spaces. The design includes a swing-out brew basket with a release catch and a removable water reservoir…as well as the interesting addition of a swivel base with little wheels that make the model easy to turn around for maintenance.

When it comes to adjustments, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker model has options for brewing bold, regular, or brewing 1-4 cups individually for filling mugs. There’s also adjustable “keep warm” functions, a programmable clock, and pause/serve options for putting the machine on hold. Just the basics, but the basics are done well, and that’s exactly what certain buyers are looking for.

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#3 Pick  Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup – Best Hamilton Beach Single Cup Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach coffee maker - Hamilton Beach 49970

A personal, travel-friendly coffee maker.

Price: $16.99 | Capacity: 12 ounces | Strength Options: Melitta coffee pods only | Timer: Auto shutoff only

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A single cup coffee maker for those who need one.

Two important things to note. First, some people need a private coffee maker for their own apartment-based cup of joe in the morning. Or they may need a small travel coffee maker for business trips or for setup in a secondary location (study rooms, etc.). Either way, there’s certainly a place for such a small, 12-ounce Hamilton Beach coffee maker, especially one that works as well as this.

Second, while there are no timer set options here, this Hamilton Beach coffee maker more than makes up for it with affordability. How many other new coffee machines can you find for $16.99? It’s a great option if you don’t have any extra money to spend on coffee. Of course, note that it’s specifically designed for use with Melitta coffee pods. No coffee grounds here, and no, K-Cups will not work, so you will have to invest in some new soft pods.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker

Design

  • Hamilton Beach coffee makers tend to be small and oblong. The top models we picked all have stainless steel accents, which makes it easier for them to match modern kitchen appliances. It’s something to think about if you want everything to match.
  • Design also affects use. Look at how the carafe is positioned, how the water tank is refilled, and how you have to hold your hands to push the Hamilton Beach coffee maker buttons. Sometimes these small details end up being the most important on a machine you use every day.

Timers

  • We picked models that have programmable options for 24-hour periods with an automatic shutoff to help save power and avoid wear-and-tear. This is really basic – coffee makers should always have features like these.
  • More advanced timers that offer smartphone control and sensors can be useful, but Hamilton Beach coffee maker models are more about saving money than adding tech features.

Brew Time

  • Just how fast is the brew time? You don’t want to wait around for your coffee! Around 15 minutes is usually the maximum in today’s busy world, and we prefer coffee makers that take less time than that.
  • Single use coffee making options are a bit different, since you just slam a pod in and go. We included models for this option too, which makes delays a bit moot, and may be a solution for you.

Strength Options

  • Two or three strength options are often useful when working with traditional Hamilton Beach coffee maker filters and grounds. Plus, if a lot of people use the coffee maker, they can pick their preference from pot to pot.
  • However, keep in mind the issue with overextraction that we mentioned above – traditional drip coffeemakers often struggle with overextraction, so sometimes lower strength options can improve taste.

2-Way Options

  • Our top pick is a 2-way, which means it can fill a carafe and a single-serve mug as needed. This is a great solution for offices and other places with multiple coffee drinkers.

Mobility

  • You may not think much about mobility, but it can come in useful. Our third Hamilton Beach coffee maker pick is small enough to pick up at ease, while our second pick actually comes with wheels for quick adjustments.

Related: Best Coffee Maker with Grinder 2017

Mistakes to Avoid

Not considering size and use: A 12-cup carafe is important when the coffee maker is going to be used by a lot of people – a single serve option is best suited for just a few people. If you need a carafe larger than 12 cups, you’ll have to search more carefully. Consider how much coffee the machine will go through, and then make sure you have a coffee maker that can meet demand.

Assuming coffee will last beyond two hours: Hamilton Beach coffee makers, like many coffee makers, come with an automatic shutoff after two hours. This shuts off any warming features too, which means that the coffee will quickly go cold. Of course, it may be unlikely that a pot will last that long anyway, but it’s something to think about in busy areas. These coffee makers are not really suitable if you want a pot of coffee that lasts for the whole day, or stays warm indefinitely (a thought that hardcore coffee fans would find unpalatable anyway).

Forgetting about the water tank: Water tanks need love, too! Regularly clean and rinse these tanks if they are present. They have a big impact on taste, and you really don’t want them getting dirty. Also make sure they are filled, or that programmable timer isn’t going to do you much good.

Not buying extra pods: A couple of the Hamilton Beach coffee maker models we picked have options – or requirements – to use Melitta coffee pods. Yes, you should always use Melitta brand in this case, because other pods may not work. Melitta pods are fairly inexpensive, so it’s a good idea to stock up on them.

What Else You Should Think About

After looking for the best Hamilton Beach coffeemaker, you may want to take a look at our piece on how to descale pod coffee makers, an important step for all single serve coffee machines that helps prevent problems with build-up and clogging. Yes, coffee machines need maintenance too! For more options, you may want to take a look at our lists for the best drip coffee maker and the best Cuisinart coffee maker too, just to expand your options.

If you’d like to expand in an entirely different way and consider your own espresso maker, there are many speedy espresso machines on the market. The consumer-friendly Nespresso machines are particularly popular, but there are a variety of home espresso machines to look at as well, including hybrids that can also make coffee.

The post Best Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker: Pour Yourself a Fresh Cup With Our Top 3 appeared first on Gadget Review.

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Best Charcoal Grill

Best Charcoal Grill Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

Fans of traditional grilling need the best charcoal grill to practice their craft – it’s really that simple. But what should the best charcoal grill focus on? Should it be highly portable for on-the-go parties? Should it be a hybrid that can handle gas fuel as well? Just what is the best charcoal grill on the market? It’s time to find out.

In the end, the top place went to Weber’s Original Kettle 22-inch grill, both for its classic design and affordability. Sometimes it just doesn’t get any better than a simple, effective kettle shape that concentrates heat while still being easy to clean. Plus, with 363 square inches of cooking space, this Weber can still handle larger grilling tasks. But we made sure to highlight other types of grills for different missions, so take a look at all the winners!

Best Charcoal Grill

  shark-rotator shark-rotator shark-rotator
Rank #1 – Editor’s Choice/
Best Charcoal Grill
Under $100
#2 – Best Gas
Charcoal
Combo Grill
#3 – Best Portable
Charcoal Grill
Amazon Rating five-stars 4andhalf-stars 4stars-new
Cooking Surface 363 square inches 420 square inches
primary
120 square inches warming
tray
157 square inches
Portable Semi-portable Semi-Portable Portable
Weight 31.8 110 18
Ash Catcher Aluminum dish Grease Cup No
Price $99.00 $329.99 $34.99
Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now


How We Choose the Best Charcoal Grills

What is the best charcoal grill on the market? How do you even judge something like that? While charcoal grill performance does depend on the user, there are still plenty of ways to decide just how effective the best grill is.

We started with size and design, looking for grills that could fit in a variety of places, with simple and effective designs that make them easy to use. This is particularly important when it comes to placing and lighting charcoal, where different designs have a noticeable impact on heating and the time it takes to ready the grill.

Versatility is also important: grills that can be easily used in multiple areas, or for a variety of different purposes/cooking techniques scored high on our list, while grills with multiple heating options also did well. Closely related is ease of use: What features does the grill have to make it easier to operate? If you’re wondering how to use a charcoal grill, you don’t want confusing instructions or unfriendly components. Ash catchers, simple latches and buttons, and clear designs all help you starting cooking with no trouble and manage your grill (with minimum burns).

The highest rated charcoal grills also offer you the right features for the right price: One of the advantages of going charcoal is that grills tend to be more affordable. We looked for models that didn’t overcharge for features that you don’t need, and extra-affordable prices for mobile models.

Related: EZ Grill Review

Why You Should Buy a New Charcoal Grill

Isn’t it about time your grill had a specific purpose? Don’t just buy a grill to have one – buy the right model for your life and where you actually want to grill. Nothing will change a grill from a rarely used home accessory into a favorite cooking companion like switching to a model that includes features you actually need, like the option to switch over to gas, or super portability for tailgating.

Additionally, if you just moved to a house with a yard, deck, or space large enough to grill, you may be looking at purchasing a charcoal grill for the first time. Why not start with the best? Of course, the opposite problem also applies: If your charcoal grill is 5-10 years old, it may be growing grimy, rusted, and generally unpleasant to use. The best charcoal grills are affordable replacements for old models, and if you grill frequently it’s worthwhile to upgrade!

#1 Pick  Weber Original Kettle 22-inch Charcoal Grill – Editor’s Choice/Best Charcoal Grill Under $100

Best Charcoal Grills - Weber Kettle

Look familiar? When you think charcoal, you think Weber. 

Price: $99.00 | Cooking Surface: 363 square inches | Portable: semi-portable | Ash Catcher: Aluminum dish | Weight: 31.8 pounds

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Traditional is hard to beat with this affordable grill that still gets it all right.

What is a charcoal grill, really? Practically speaking, it’s a vehicle for your briquettes (or pellets, etc.) that provides fast, effective heat, with an easy method for holding food while it cooks and controlling the application of heat. Grills that enable this process with minimal distractions are the grills that you want – and that’s where Weber shines.

The Original Kettle Web grill hasn’t changed in decades, because it doesn’t have to. Everything in this simple, effective design is made to help you grill with charcoal, with minimal fuss and cleanup. It just works.

Behind that classic, minimalistic design are features that haven’t needed much improvement for so long, because they already function so well. The aluminum ash catcher is effective and easy to clean as long as you keep up on it. The rounded design is perfect for concentrating and controlling heat for a quick warming process and effective cooking without any cold spots.

The ventilation system is probably one of the weakest points of the model – with the slide-open system that’s still a little too flimsy – but it’s still the cheapest way of offering simple smoke/ventilation control out there.

Also, keep in mind that this model is more portable than it may seem at first glance. Those durable wheels make it easy to haul around the yard, and even move from house to house with a little deconstruction. Not only is this the best Weber charcoal grill we could find, it’s also one of the most affordable large grills on the market (albeit without high-tech smart features), so it won’t be outside of anyone’s price range. What’s not to love?

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#2 Pick  Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner – Best Gas Charcoal Combo Grill

Best Charcoal Grill - Char-Broil Gas2coal

A gas grill that can switch to charcoal for cooking sessions.

Price: $329.99 | Cooking Surface: 420 square inches primary, 120 square inches warming| Portable: Semi-portable | Ash Catcher: Grease cup  |Weight : 110 pounds

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Switch between gas and charcoal – with plenty of room for larger meals.

Gas grills have completely revolutionized the industry, and there are always going to be grillers who appreciate the speed and ease of using a tank of gas instead of heating up charcoal. But what happens if you want both? What if you prefer some foods grilled with charcoal, and others with gas? You turn to this Char-Broil model, which can handle both.

The Gas2Coal, as the name implies, allows you to switch between gas and charcoal. You cannot use them both at the same time, but you can customize your cooking method based on the meal. Ordinarily, the grill is gas. If you want charcoal, you insert a simple charcoal tray, light the briquettes with the gas grill, and allow them to heat up. There’s no ash catcher, but like other gas grills the model does have a grease cup to catch drippings.

Also, despite the size – 420 square inches of cooking space with a 120 square inch warming shelf – this model also has large wheels that make it more mobile than you may expect. Lower the arm trays, and it can fit into smaller corners. However, the size and gas capabilities do increase the price noticeably, so you’ll have to pay quite a bit more to get this hybrid option fired up on your back porch.

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#3 Pick  Marsh Allen Cast Iron Hibachi Charcoal Grill – Best Portable Charcoal Grill

Best Charcoal Grill - Marsh Allen Cast Iron Hibachi

Small, affordable, and well-crafted – what’s not to love?

Price: $34.99 | Cooking Surface: 157 square inches | Portable: Yes | Ash Catcher: No  |Weight : 18 pounds

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: This fold-up grill is perfect for grilling away from home.

Are you in the market for a highly portable grill that you can use for camping, tailgate parties, or other places where there’s not a lot of room? Hibachi style grills are exactly what you need, and this Marsh Allen model is one of the best that we’ve seen. The cooking surface is only 157 square inches, but the whole thing folds up for super-simple travel and use.

If you’re wondering how to start a charcoal grill like this, it doesn’t take much work. Unfolded grill easily expands: there are two small grates, each with their own iron handle for control and placement, that you can use to cook a variety of meats at differing temperatures. At the bottom of are two adjustable air vents for control burn rate.

Grilling on the go is never especially easy, but it’s a whole lot more fun with a Hibachi grill like this on your side. The only issue is its size, which may be too small for a larger gathering. Of course, at $35, you could easily get two of them and assign someone else to the other grill.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Charcoal Grill

Durable Coatings

  • Look for protective coatings for the outside of the grill that make both cooking and cleaning easier.
  • One of the few but welcome improvements to the classic Weber grill has been the porcelain enamel and extra-tough nylon handles. Coatings that make it easy to wipe away soot and grease are a big plus.

Aluminum Parts

  • If you are wondering how to clean a charcoal grill, it begins with choosing the right components. In addition to those welcome enamel and ceramic coatings, looking for aluminum dishes and other pieces that will 1) resist rust and 2) make cleaning even easier.
  • Stainless steel works, but it isn’t quite as resistant to rust as aluminum, and steel grates can be tough to clean off at times. Cast iron is often favored by traditionalists, but it’s one of the hardest to keep clean, so if you go with our third pick then make sure you take care of it and don’t let it rust!

Warranties

  • Our top Weber pick has a 10-year limited warranty. Our Char-Broil hybrid pick comes with different warranties for different components.
  • These types of warranties help make sure that if something goes drastically wrong, you can at least work to get the grill replaced.

Extra Space/Shelving/Storage

  • Extra space is always welcome – and we’re not just talking about grilling space, although that’s great.
  • Look for warming shelves and side trays where you can put dishes, lighter fluid, and tools. Grills aren’t always good at providing much extra space, but the best charcoal grills tend to offer a little extra space to put these things down while you’re working.

Safety Features

  • What’s the best way to start a charcoal grill? The frequent answer is, “Whichever way doesn’t burn off your eyebrows.” Seriously though; safety is important, so keep an eye open for designs that easily contain charcoal and help you control the heat with no surprises. Remember that – except in rare exceptions – you’ll also need to vent hot smoke while using the grill.

Related: Best Chef Knife 2017

Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t forget about grilling experience: If you don’t know how to use a charcoal grill, don’t buy one…at least not yet. Learn what you’re doing first. Learn how long to cook chicken on a charcoal grill, along with burger patties, hot dogs, and other common foods. Learn how to put out a charcoal grill, and how to clean a charcoal grill properly too – all things that benefit from experience. If necessary, choose a smaller, cheaper model while you learn more about your own grilling skills and what sort of model will work for you in the long-term. Charcoal grilling isn’t much like gas grilling or cooking on the stove.

Don’t ignore space requirements: Too many people buy grills without really thinking about where to put them. With small Hibachi models that’s not a problem, but if you buy a standing grill you may want to do some measurement first to make sure it really will fit on your deck or balcony.

Don’t forget local codes: Speaking of where to put your grill, know that most apartments and condos have rules against using even the best charcoal grills on balconies or anywhere near the buildings. Know the rules before you buy!

Don’t avoid cleaning the grill: Grilling works much better if you clean the grill every time afterward. This is a common mistake many grillers make, but that grease and ash will just get harder to clean if you leave it on, and lower the lifespan of your grill over time.

Think about more foods than just meat: When buying a grill, think about what else you will cook on it – not just burgers and steak, but also corn, toasted breads, zucchini, string beans, and much more. Pick a grill that has room for all the food you’ll cook!

What Else You Should Think About

If you’re looking for the best charcoal grills and smokers for cooking and aren’t sure where to start, you may want to read up on cooking charcoal and learn about how to find the best charcoal for grilling. The same is true if you aren’t sure how to light a charcoal grill: If you don’t have much experience, take it slow and learn the proper steps before you begin.

To keep up on the latest grill and smoker picks, Gadget Review covers other grilling news you may be interested in knowing about. If you prefer more indoor styles of cooking, you may want to check out articles like the best over the range microwave, as well.

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Chevy Bolt EV Review

Chevy Bolt EV Review Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

Enter on a beautiful sunny day in in California. The would be camera pans down over a dealership and follows a customer inside. The customer walks in and inquires about the Chevy Bolt EV. The salespersons replies back with “Chevy Volt?” in affirmation. This, for the most part, sums up my experience when talking to people about the Chevy Bolt, save for those that joined me on a trip a few weeks ago to Palo Alto, California to drive Chevy’s first long range all electric car. That all being said, I’m happy to report that the moniker is perhaps the biggest crux of this all electric car. So keep reading my review of the Chevy Bolt review to learn everything, or most things you need to know when buying this 100%, no gasoline car.

Overview

Range: 238 miles on a single charge
Model: Bolt
Availability: Feb 2017

Summary: The first long range all electric car that won’t destroy your bank.

What We Liked

  • Price/range ratio is unlike any other car on the market
  • Excellent driving dynamics
  • Android Auto and CarPlay

What We Didn’t

  • Small trunk-ish (16.9 cubic feet)
  • Styling and design language is close to a mini-van

What You Should Know About the Chevy Bolt

Range is just over 200 miles. You’ll get more with a mindful foot, though the car does a remarkable job of managing energy consumption through gauges (plus you can hand brake with a paddle behind the steering wheel). Fear not about outside temperature issues, at least to a large degree, as Chevy has leveraged the power of liquid cooling to manage the battery cell’s temperature and in turn provide an optimal atmosphere. Range anxiety will kick in when there is around the 20-30 miles left in the “tank”. And the reason I state that is because I believe the Bolt’s computer does an admirable job of predicting range. Which is to say at no time in my day of driving did I see the range bounce around, though it wasn’t often that I was flooring it.

Chevy Bolt EV

It seats 5, though 5 adults could be a bit of squeeze.

It seats 5, though I’d imagine it could be a squeeze with 5 adults. But 4 of us went to SFO in it with no problems. I sat in the back behind the driver who is probably 5′ 10″ and I had no problems with head or leg room. That said, the trunk is smaller. In fact, the entire capacity of the Bolt (94.4 cubitc feet – 16.9 in the trunk) is evidently smaller than a Prius.

Update: as one commenter pointed out, the total capacity of the Bolt is actually listed as higher than that of the Prius (94.4 vs 93.7 respectively). However, anecdotally I still stand by my testament; the 2015 Prius volume feels bigger than the Bolt. That said, the Prius does have a larger trunk (21.6 cubic feet) which might explain why it feels larger. And to that end, perhaps Toyota got creative in other areas that I’m not cognizant of.

I know the latter isn’t an electric car, but many will be looking at that when considering the Bolt. I would have liked to see more space in the trunk as I believe it was just beyond unusable for long road trips, provided of course you have more than 2 people in the car. Chevy heavily pushed this as a family car to us, but the reality is that with strollers and such it really isn’t practical. Sorry Chevy.

Chevy Bolt EV Back Seat

Im over 6-foot and didn’t feel too much of a squeeze in the rear.

The battery pack is the base of the car and as a result gives a fairly open feeling at least in the front of the vehicle. Things get pretty conventional in the back seat in terms of space, which I already touched on. But the reason I mention that is that the i3, which we reviewed a few years ago and did this zany video, feels entirely different than most if not all cars.

Driving Dynamics

I was super impressed with the driving dynamics with the Chevy Bolt. Too many cars feel unstable at high speed. Not so with the Bolt. Both at highway and surface road speeds the Bolt has an uncanny amount of zippiness to it and stability. Lane changes at 65-70 mph feel controlled and planted. Moreover, it takes little to manage this car and keep it in the lane. I know that might sound like a “totally obivy” thing, but if you drive enough cars you learn quickly what is and isn’t stable. And believe me, it’s not always price reflective, as BMW’s 7 series, their most recent one, in my experience, is not this, at least on highways.

Chevy Bolt EV

Chevy Bolt EV Trip computer – on the right is remaining range.

Because the battery pack is in the floor of the car, the Bolt’s center of gravity, like Tesla, is super low. This adds to its stability. There is of course a limit here, but given the car’s class, I didn’t feel as though I ever came close to it.

If I took anything away from the Bolt, is that it its ride comfort is a touch on the tighter, or less springy side. In short this equates to the aforementioned stability but also makes the car less comfortable than some “competitors” in the space, such as the Prius.

Pick up? In the words of many lovely Italian archetypes: forget about it! The Bolt has some kick, unlike the Spark EV. You’ll get to 60mph in just under 6.5 seconds. So in other words 6.499999, because “the under” is a Chevy quote. For posterity’s sake that’s all thanks to the equivalent of 200hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.

The Special Rear View Mirror and Other Tech

Chevy Bolt EV Mirror

Flip the switch and the rear view mirror turns into a rear view camera display.

The rear view in this car is special. How? With the flip of a switch it converts to a display that uses the rear view camera to display what’s behind you. Why is this cool? Because it effectively skips anything in the back seat that is blocking your view. In actual use I didn’t like driving with it on. However, I could see it being very useful with a full car load.

Other tech:

  • Android Auto/Car Play
  • Bluetooth Connectivity and optional Bose 6 speaker
  • 10.2″ Infotainment screen (no maps built-in)
  • 8″ driver screen

Charging the Chevy Bolt

Chevy Bolt EV Energy Break Down

A break down of how the Chevy Bolt used energy during our trip.

Just plug it in. Duh. But seriously. You’ll get 4 miles back for every hour you charge on your home’s normal outlet, a 110 volt. Upgrade things, as in install a home charge, and that time drops. Total time for a full charge on a 240 is 9 hours, so you can pretty much double that number to figure out what a regular, conventional outlet will provide. A DC fast charger – you’ll need to add this option to the car when you buy it (it’s costs $750 – two extra holes at the top of port) – scores you 80% in 1 hour or 100% in 2 hours. Yes, like your phone’s battery, the last 20% takes much longer since the charge slows to more of a trickle to prevent damage to the battery. That all being said, the home charger, for $699, and can be rolled into the car’s purchase price allowing you to finance it. This doesn’t include installation cost but there should be plenty of info here.

Cost to Own The Chevy Bolt

Some of you are probably wondering what’s the up keep and maintenance on the Chevy Bolt. Well, the first thing you should recognize is that you’ll have to go to a dealer to get all your work done – general mechanics just don’t have the tools.  The great news is that visits should be super few and far between for regular maintenance.  According to GM your first visit, on the official level, will be at 100,000 miles (still looking into the cost here). Say what?!?! I know. Hard to believe. But since there is no oil to change…you’ll of course need a tire rotation at 7,500 miles, but you should be able to get that done any where.

Chevy Bolt Trunk

The trunk, anecdotally speaking, is smaller than the Prius.

That said, the tires on the Bolt are special; they’re Michelin self seal tires that can stay spinning provided the whole is no larger than 3/16th – the hole seals itself. They’re also low rolling resistance. Tirerack has them for $149 a pop, and they’re officially called the Michelin Energy Saver A/S 215/50R17 all-season.

Chevy Bolt EV Review Wrap Up

Save for the styling – I’m just not into car’s like this but that’s a personal takeaway – and the lack of trunk space. The Chevy Bolt is the first all electric car that actually makes sense to me. The BMW i3 while cool just doesn’t have the range to warrant it as an everyday car. The Bolt can replace your everyday driver and more importantly be your only car given its range and driving dynamics. Acclimation to charging will surely have to come, but with time, and the proliferation of charging stations this burden will lessen.

Price of the Bolt starts at $37k for the LT. You can add stuff here and there or just jump to the Premier, which costs $44k all in. And that’s before any tax incentives. In California I believe you can still get back $10k total ($2500 from the state and $7500 from the Fed), so your cap cost is significantly reduced. That said, don’t wait too long, as the rebates and tax incentives will eventually dry up, at least on the federal side as it’s capped on the manufacturer level. With price in mind, I preferred the cloth interior over the leather, but the leather might add more long term value, especially if you have sticky fingered kids.

 

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Best Pour Over Coffee Maker: Brew Like A Pro

Best Pour Over Coffee Maker: Brew Like A Pro Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

With coffee giants like Starbucks officially adopting the pour over coffee method as the superior way to brew the perfect cup of Joe, you might be asking yourself, what is the best pour over coffee maker in 2017?

As a daily coffee drinker of 15 years and a pour over amateur of the past two, I’ve learned a lot about what goes into the perfect pour. This is why it was easy to name the Hario V60 as the#1 pour over coffee maker this year, thanks to its ceramic built spout with grooved inlets that gives you all the control you need when learning the art of pour over at its finest.

Best Pour Over Coffee Maker

  51-yu-d5il-_sl1000_ 419u2dlkvgl 81hvfbhidnl-_sl1500_
Name Hario V60 Chemex 8-Cup Bartelli Paperless
Rank #1 – Editor’s Choice/
Best Pour Over Coffee
Maker with Grinder
#2 – Best Multi-cup
Pour Over
Coffee Maker
#3 – Best Pour Over
Drip Coffee Maker
Amazon Rating 4.5stars-new 4stars-new 4.5stars-new
Carafe Size N/A 8 4 cups
Filters Cone-shaped #2 Cone-shaped Stainless-steel paperless
Price $19.43 $39.79 $19.99
Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now


How We Choose the Best Pour Over Coffee Maker

As the pour over revolution began to pick up steam over the past few years, I, as a coffee drinker of 15 years, decided to get my own setup to see what all the fuss was about. Since then I’ve been pretty obsessed with perfecting the process, buying around $200 worth of equipment since I first started.

I’ve also known and lived with a number of self-professed “coffee nuts”, who would often spend hundreds of dollars on coffee-making equipment just to get the perfect cup of Joe every single time. I’ve used a number of different spouts and kettles during my experimentation, and while my own pour over coffee making setup is modest, I still do what I can to carefully control the temperature of the water using a candy thermometer to ensure that the temperature of my pouring water stands at a perfect 190° throughout the brewing process. I’ve more advanced pour-over systems, such as those made from copper, and also experimented with French press and newer brewers like the AeroPress, which uses pressure and a vacuum seal to create a uniquely hearty cup of coffee every time.

To find the best pour over coffee maker, I considered a number of various factors and features when making my picks, including the material the spout is made of, the shape of the spout/whether it uses grooves inside the cup, the capacity of the carafe (if it has one), the type of filter it uses, and whether or not it comes with any extra features like a washable filter or included kettle. The process of learning how to use a pour over coffee maker isn’t a simple one, which is why it was important to us that the picks we went with have a clear set of instructions packed away inside the box as well.

Read More: Best Coffee Maker With Grinder

Why You Should Buy a Pour Over Coffee Maker

For anyone who by this point might be asking themselves “what is a pour over coffee maker?”, pour over is a new trend in both home and professional coffee brewing techniques that The actual practice of pour over itself is actually quite old, but it’s only recently that both hipster cafes and major chains like Starbucks have embraced the slower, more methodical method of brewing you daily cup of Joe.

Depending on who you ask, these days there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be drinking all your coffee made with the pour over style. Personally I don’t think there’s a huge difference between a freshly brewed cup of coffee from a quality coffee maker and pour over, but pour over ensures you get a fresh cup of coffee every time you go back for another refill, unlike a coffee maker which can quickly grow stale. You also have far more control over the brew style when going the pour over route, which can – if done properly – yield a more consistently flavorful cup that’s great from the first sip to the last.

That said if you don’t have the time to do pour over right, it’s not really worth doing at all. On average you can expect to spend anywhere from 3-5 minutes on the prep for your coffee (grinding the beans, getting your water to the proper temperature), and another 3-5 brewing. 10 minutes may be your entire break depending on where you work, so unless you know you’ll be able to devote the time and focus necessary to getting a flawless cup, a standard drip coffee maker might be the choice for you instead.

#1 Pick  Hario V60 Ceramic – Editor’s Choice/Best Pour Over Coffee Maker

 Pour Over Coffee Maker - Hario V60 Pour Over Coffee

For the price, this pour over coffee making starter kit can’t be beat.

Price: $19.43  | Features: Several build materials, grooved design, single-spout

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK:  The Hario V60 offers convenience and consistency at a great price.

Hario is a longtime staple player in the coffee industry, and although there may be a ton of young upstart coffee brewers who think they’ve got it all figured out (read: hipsters), there are still a few tried-and-true traditions in the space that will always hold strong no matter what the latest trend is.

With the Hario V60 Ceramic pour over coffee maker, the company keeps things simple, cheap, and to the point – otherwise known as “just about everything that I love in a top product”. The V60 doesn’t really have a ton of flash or extra features outside of its spiral groove system inside the spout, but what it lacks in grandiosity it makes up for in consistently producing tasty cups of coffee day in and day out with no muss, and no fuss.

The V60 we’ve recommended here is the ceramic version, however due to its versatility Hario also offers the option to switch over to any number of different materials and colors, including: copper, glass, and plastic. As I’ll get into more below, I personally think that ceramic is the best material for beginner pour over users to try out, however if you’re confident in your abilities then a copper V60 pour over coffee maker might be the way to go instead.

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#2 Pick Chemex 8-Cup Classic Series Coffeemaker – Best Multi-Cup Pour Over Coffee Maker

Best Pour Over Coffee Maker - Chemex 8-cup Pour Over Coffee Maker

Got a big party that demands the best? Give them a taste from the Chemex 8-cup.

Price: $39.79   | Features: 40oz carafe, polished wood collar, 8-cup capacity

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK:  The Chemex 8-cup Classic Series is perfect for pour over coffee parties.

If you plan on doing your pour over brewing in bulk, you might want to invest in something like the Chemex 8-Cup Classic Series Glass Coffeemaker instead of the standard spout-on-a-cup system we’ve sported in the other two picks on this list.

Related: Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker

This is an all-in-one carafe that combines the spout and the receptacle of a pour over coffee maker into one, and can make/serve up to eight 5oz cups of coffee at a time. With the help of the wooden handle around the mid-section, you can easily make your coffee, dispose of the filter, and then serve to multiple people all in the same movement without burning your hands.

If you’re hosting a party this can be a more accessible way to still get that pour over quality for a room full of people at a time. In case the 8-cup model isn’t large enough however, the company does offer a 10-cup version that should fill the mugs of everyone around your table without a problem.

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#3 Pick  Bartelli Paperless Pour Over Coffee Maker – Best Pour Over Drip Coffee Maker

Pour Over Coffee MakerBartelli Stainless Steel Pour Over Coffee

Stainless steel makes for the best paperless filter.

Price: $19.99   | Features: Permanent paperless filter design, 18/10 stainless steel, single-spout

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK:  If you want the most eco-friendly coffee on the planet, paperless options like the Bartelli are the way to go.

Convenience isn’t exactly the name of the game when it comes to pour over coffee, (you’re better off going with an automatic drip model for something like that). But, at least when you go with a stainless permanent-filter model like the Bartelli Paperless Pour Over Coffee Maker, you know you’re eliminating one step in a process that already has a few too many for the coffee drinker who needs to get out the door in thirty seconds or less.

Paperless permanent filters come in many different types, sizes and shapes, but we prefer stainless steel options for their ease of use and even simpler cleanup process. Stainless steel won’t stain over time, (hence the name), which means the hundredth cup of of coffee you strain through this filter will taste exactly the same as the first as long as you clean it regularly.

Bartelli also claims that paper filters remove all the “essential oils and nutrients” from coffee, though we couldn’t find any external research which substantiated this claim. That said, the Bartelli still performs above and beyond even some of the cheaper ceramic options despite being made of metal, thanks to the layering scheme of its 18/10 stainless steel.

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Most Important Features

Material

  • While a ceramic pour over coffee maker won’t necessarily affect the flavor of your coffee any more than a glass one might, things get a bit dodgier once we enter copper/plastic/stainless steel territory.
  • The main reason for the different materials comes down to heat retention and dissipation. Ceramic, for example, absorbs and wicks away heat more slowly than copper might.
  • The benefit of this is that you don’t risk burning your beans if your pour speed isn’t as trained as it could be. If you’re confident in your abilities though, a metal spout made of copper or stainless steel might be better since the temperature is more easily controlled, but also more fickle to keep consistent.
  • If you’re still learning, glass or ceramic should be the choice, while plastic should be avoided altogether (unless cost is a serious issue for you).

Filter Type/Quality

  • Pour over coffee makers come in two types: those with permanent filters, and others that use standard filters.
  • Standard pour over coffee makers will use the same filters as a regular drip coffee maker, while any that have a permanent filter utilize a washable, endless-use filter that never needs to be swapped out or thrown away.
  • I have no preference one way or the other, though some say that you can garner a bit more control over the flavor of your coffee by using a standard filter instead of a permanent one.
  • If you do go with paper, try and find any filters that are unbleached. These have less of an effect on the environment, and are more biodegradable once they inevitably end up in a landfill.

Spout Shape

  • There has been a lot of talk lately about the “science” of pour over coffee, with hipsters and scientists from MIT both racing one another to bring the art of coffee into the 21st century.
  • Part of this effort is evident in the shape of spouts that we’re seeing come out of the more premium pour over coffee makers, which will use grooves and indents to separate through the silt and make sure the hot water has a perfect path through the grinds every single time.
  • Whether or not these small improvements to the spout makes any noticeable difference in the flavor of the coffee itself is still a hotly debated topic, but you’re always encouraged to try both types for yourself to see which suits your pallette best!

Pour Over Coffee Maker vs. French Press

  • Last up, there’s the endless debate between pour over coffee and cofee made in a French press.
  • Again on a personal note, I prefer the level of control that pour over affords you in comparison to French press, but that said, you can still only really make one cup at a time if you don’t have more than 10 minutes to spare.
  • French press coffee tastes nearly as good as pour over, but you can also make about 2-3 cups at the same time instead of just one, depending on the size of the unit you’re using to brew.

Mistakes or Things to Avoid

Use a Proper Gooseneck Kettle: Even though they may seem a little too expensive upfront, a proper kettle is key when investing in a new pour over setup. We like the Hario 1.2L VKB Kettle, which uses its unique spout design to ensure that you have full, reliable control over your pour no matter what angle you’re approaching the cup from. These kettles are also made from materials that are designed to retain water at a specific temperature over longer periods of time, ensuring you won’t have to live next to the stove to keep reheating your water during the pour process to maintain proper temps.

Go Stainless to Stay Eco-Friendly: Even with passively-aggressive-themed coffee filters like these on shelves, in the end the best way to save the Earth is to use a permanent filter system, preferably one made out of stainless steel. Other materials do work, but often they stain over time and start to soak through with the flavor of the last 500 cups you brewed after time.

Don’t Fudge the Details: Although it may be tempting to think you can quickly learn how to brew pour over and power through every cup like a pro in no time, like any skill, creating the perfect cup of coffee through this method takes time and persistence. The grounds will burn if you’re not using a thermometer (190°F is your optimal temperature), will taste bitter if you’re pouring too slow, or won’t be strong enough if you pour too quick. Make sure you’re the kind of person who can hit all these details perfectly every time you want a cup of coffee, especially when you’re still trying to rub eight hours of fresh sleep out of your eyes.

What Else You Should Think About

No matter which best pour over coffee maker you decide to go with, before you start doing anything you should learn how the art of pour over works in the first place. These YouTube tutorials from Portland’s own Stumptown Roasters are a good beginner’s course, featuring the Hario V60 here, and the Chemex here.

Of course, if you’re one of the millions of people who simply don’t have the time or patience to sit around and make sure their water is just below the boiling point to get their caffeine in the morning, we always recommend going with alternative models like the Best Coffee Maker with Grinder 2017, or the Best Drip Coffee Maker for the true traditionalists among us.

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