Cheap, clever things that get a sh*t ton of praise on Reddit

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by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 

When you want help with something, Reddit is an excellent (and outspoken) source. If you find the right conversation — and it’s definitely there — you can get detailed answers from a random body of informed, or at least sure of themselves, people. It’s a great place to find the strange solution to your storage problem, bathroom dilemma, or desire to keep your snacking habits a secret from your boss. That’s where I went to find advice in a recent search for weird, useful, and occasionally kind of bizarre items that people just had to have. I pored over the lengthy arguments among Redditors so you don’t have to, and came up with this amazing list of cheap, clever things that get a sh*t ton of praise on the site.

If your shopping list has a need for something that could be filled by bandages that look like meat products, a flashlight that’s small enough to carry in your pocket every day, an inverted butt shower, or even something super necessary like a great can opener or peeler, these recommendations are spot on. Sometimes they’ll make you scratch your head, but they will definitely improve the speed and ease of your food prep, personal ablutions, and snacking. There must be something weird just calling your name here, right?

1. These finger covers for eating cheezy snacks

If cheese- snacks are your weakness, these finger covers will be your superpower. Wear them when you reach for those delicious, crunchy, cheese-powder-covered treats and keep the telltale orange mess off your hands. Now you can eat cheesy snacks at your desk without covering the keyboard in orange dust. They’re easy to wash when snacking is done and come in seven colors. This slightly strange item made its way from /r/UnnecessaryInventions/ over to /r/INEEEEDIT/.

2. A battery-powered snack seed sheller

If you love to snack on sunflower or other seeds, this little seed-cracking bot will take all the work out of getting the meat out of the shell. “Lazy or brilliant?” asks u/AbdulHakim54 in /r/BeAmazed/. This just may be both. Simply drop your seeds — it handles four sizes — into the sorter on top and it cracks them open and spits the opened goodness out of the mouth. No more hand cramps from your seed-eating habit!

3. This fantasy world that emerges from a stack of sticky notes

Inspired by a find in /r/DidntKnowIWantedThat/, this 3D pad of artistic notes hits a lot of marks. You need sticky notes on your desk, obviously, because they are useful and help you stay organized. But don’t you also need an illuminated magic castle on the edge of a cliff with stairs that lead to the sea? Of course you do! This starts out as a square notepad. But every time you remove a page, it gets closer to unveiling the magic castle within. A switch on the side turns on the battery-powered light.

4. A small skateboard that's also a flash drive

Found in the recesses of /r/INEEEEDIT/, this fingerboard flash drive is sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone obsessed with skateboarding. The creators used official art from classic boards to create finger-sized replicas that double as digital file storage. This Skatedrive is a must-have for anyone who loves the sport or collects boards.

5. The rubber ducky that brews your tea

This adorable rubber ducky is a helpful member of your kitchen team. Fill the metal infuser base with loose tea and set the duck down in a cup full of hot water. It will swim around, happily, while your tea brews. When you are ready to sip, set the duck (and your wet tea leaves) in the nest to drain the water. Thanks to u/dread3ddie in /r/DidntKnowIWantedThat/.

6. These bandages that look like strips of bacon

A post by u/Poohbizzle79 in/r/DidntKnowIWantedThat/ inspired some questions: What better way to handle a cut or scrape than bacon? Bacon is good for everything, right? These realistic bacon bandages are more sight gag than cured meat product, so they give your injury the protection it needs while giving you — and everyone who sees you — a laugh. “I concocted a story about how bacon heals wounds and keeps the skin moist around the wound,” laughs one reviewer. “A couple of my friends freaked out and told me to get that bacon off my finger!”

7. This beanie for all your Cthulhu-related fantasies

Pull this octopus-face beanie on when you want to go out into the world as your favorite cosmic entity. It keeps your head warm and covers your face in tentacles to show your recent emergence from the farther reaches of the galaxy. It comes in seven colors and there is an opening for your mouth so it won’t stop you from eating, drinking, or talking. As u/linkognito said in /r/OddityMall/, “Finally, a way to keep my face warm and horrifying!”

8. A slick shaver to bring fabrics back from the dead

A nod to a mesmerizing video from u/WickedWombats, this handsome fabric shaver does some fascinating (and effective) work. There’s a wide shaving surface and a garment brush hidden in the handle, so it is well-equipped for moving your pill, fuzz, and lint-covered fabrics from the donation pile back into regular rotation. The rechargeable battery and compact size make it super portable and it looks awesome. Almost 31,000 people give it five stars.

9. This versatile organizer that hangs on a door

Hang this pocket organizer on the back of your closet, bathroom, or pantry door to create a highly visual storage system for shoes and cleaning supplies, or do as u/Meta-Fox does and use it in the kitchen for spices. The pockets are large enough to each hold a size 13 men’s shoe, and can easily handle toiletries to cleaning supplies to snack foods. There are 24 clear pockets and it comes in five colors.

10. A simple & easy-to-install bidet attachment

This bidet might be a simple and inexpensive accessory but it will transform your experience in the water closet as much as putting a shower in there did. Sit down, turn a dial, and get an upside-down rear-cleansing anytime you like. For many, this bidet is the end for toilet paper. “Heaven!” said one reviewer. “A bit startling at first, if you have never used a bidet, but I have never felt cleaner in my life!” And as Redditor u/schuss42 said in /r/INEEEEDIT/, “Do it! These kind are easy to install even if you rent... Ironically saves water!”

11. This bidet attachment that’s so affordable you can’t say no

If you aren’t convinced you’ll love a bidet, you can try the experience for the price of lunch with this simple seat attachment. It’s easy to install, taps the toilet’s supply for clean water, has an adjustable shower head, and you can turn a dial to get the intensity you want. “If it saves on bum wipe — and it definitely does — that'll make it pay for itself in no time!” said one reviewer. “I can decide [later] whether to buy a more fancy-pants unit with all the bells and whistles.”

12. A tiny Tabasco bottle for your keychain

If Tabasco is your spice of choice and you don’t want to risk a meal without it (as looks to be the case in a moment caught by u/TheoMerca), you want this little holster for a Tabasco bottle on your keychain. The little silicone holster comes with a tiny glass bottle of Tabasco that fits it perfectly, and has a carabiner to connect it to whatever you please so you always have the heat you need.

13. This rechargeable arc lighter that’s also a flashlight

“Charge it. Use it. Toss it in a drawer. Find it a month later and use it again. It's windproof during use and waterproof when closed, and has a flashlight on the bottom," informed u/GAMBT22. This handy arc lighter charges via USB, has a gooseneck that bends to reach hard-to-access candle wicks, and has a safety switch to stop accidental firings. Since people often light candles when there’s no other light, there is also a small flashlight built into the head so you can see what you’re doing. Four tiny blue dots on the body tell you when it’s time to recharge.

14. A high-quality steel can opener with non-slip grips

Everyone has a can opener but it’s often a terrible one. This is a tool, found in r/INEEEEDIT, that’s actually a good one. The heavy-duty can opener has a carbon steel blade and rubberized grips so you can open cans without struggling with an inferior gadget. “I’m two years into this beauty and I’d go back and pay twice as much for it if I had to,” said one of the nearly 11,000 five-star reviews. “It works, every time, perfectly. It’s still tight as a drum, sharp as day one, and it opens every can every time without fail. Let this be the last can opener you buy, your fingers will thank you.”

15. These sweet measuring spoons that look like a cactus in a pot

Posted by u/toodleoo77 in /r/INEEEEDIT/, this set lets you put your measuring spoons right out on the counter (or on the window sill) where you can reach for them any time. When stored, the thing looks like a cute little cactus in a clay pot. The lid for the pot has four holes — one for each measuring spoon — so they stand up. And the pot itself is a measuring cup with 1 cup and 1/2 cup markers on the inside. The spoons also nest.

16. These 2 bulbs that turn any fixture into a Himalayan salt light

Just screw these two lightbulbs into a lamp or light fixture that you already own to create a Himalayan salt light that warms up your space and aesthetics. The bulbs fit a standard E26 socket, and throw the equivalent of 60 watts of amber light that’s filtered through pink Himalayan salt. Repurpose a lamp, create a string of warm lights, and turn the vibe in your space into one that’s calming and relaxing. Via r/INEEEEDIT/.

17. These 3 chrome markers that create a mirror finish

A great find from u/Stipey, these three liquid mirror markers let you draw a shiny chrome finish onto anything. There are three line thicknesses — 3 mm, 1 mm, and .7 mm — so you can paint big swaths of shiny onto large surfaces, or draw more intricate details onto small figures or jar labels. They work best on non-porous surfaces like glass, plastic, and metal.

18. The chew toys that make it look like your dog is grinning

Inspired by u/Berty4ever and a post on r/blessedimages, give one of these two chew toys to your pup and get out your camera. When the dog munches on these, the face you see will have a big, cartoonish grin on it. There’s one red and one blue, and they have squeakers in them to get your dog excited. Worth it for the Instagram gold alone.

19. This calendar that’s a puzzle challenge every day

Give yourself a fun daily challenge with this puzzle calendar, as recommended by u/9999monkeys in r/Damnthatsinteresting. You have to fit the pieces together so that only today’s date shows. “It is a challenge to find the day's solution,” shared one reviewer. “But so satisfying when I do. Most days have more than one solution, so it's fun to see whether different members of my family solve the puzzle the same way.”

20. These Christmas lights that charge your phone

Plug one end of this festive phone charger into a USB port and the other into your iPhone for a holiday light display on your desk, in the car, or on your bedside table every time you charge your device. “Everyone at work is super jealous,” said one reviewer. “It looks so festive on my desk! It’s a great charger too, I’ll definitely be using it all year!” Found on r/INEEEEDIT/.

21. This air vent cover that doubles as putting practice

Shared by u/BlueHat13, I ask: Why cover in-floor air vents with something boring when you can transform them into an indoor mini-golf course? Replace the standard air vents with this golf-putting vent cup, get out a putter and ball, and have some fun — while tightening up your game.

22. This slick insulated mug that keeps beverages hot for hours

You might choose this Zojirushi insulated mug because of the slick-colored exterior, or the one-handed lid that makes it easy to grab a sip and close it. But you’ll likely rave about it because of how long it keeps hot beverages hot. “Zojirushi ones are great. Probably the best thermos I've had for urban commuting, since they don't spill at all and are easy to sip from,” shared u/e5vvKOa84_bDkYuV2E1 in r/BuyItForLife. “They have a tendency to keep the coffee too hot (seriously), so sometimes I leave them open to cool a bit... Another great thing is that you can buy spare parts from Zojirushi. I lost a piece of one, and I was able to get a replacement no problem.”

23. This vegetable peeler that’s a dream to use

Peeling vegetables isn’t that much fun, but using this ergonomic and efficient vegetable peeler instead of a hard-to-hold, dull, and poorly engineered tool, it can at least be fast and easy. “Zyliss Y Veggie peeler is not fancy but a great design — works very well,” informed u/MACmandoo in r/BuyItForLife. The Y shape makes it easy to hold both the peeler and the thing you’re peeling, the blade is super sharp (and comes with a blade cover), and the thick handle is easy to grip.

24. A rotary grater for fresh cheese on your pasta

If you love it when the waitperson asks if you want fresh parmesan grated onto your pasta in a restaurant, you’ll love having that same experience at home. Just pop a hunk of cheese into this rotary cheese grater, close the clamp with one hand, and turn the crank with the other. “I got 10 years out of my previous Zyliss and I’m going on 5 years with my current one,” said u/Middle_Name-Danger. “I use it multiple times per week.” It works with either hand, can also grate nuts and chocolate, and cleans up in the dishwasher.

25. This tiny penlight that’s super bright

This tiny penlight is small enough to carry in your pocket every day, but it throws so much bright light that it could compete with a much larger flashlight in a darkness-cutting contest. A removable pocket clip keeps it secure and its aircraft aluminum body is super durable. “I’ve had my 2 AAA LED penlight from Streamlight for 10+ years and it’s still going strong. Highly recommend this brand,” u/MAKLNE shared in r/BuyItForLife. It comes in four colors.

26. These work gloves that don’t reduce dexterity

If you want to protect your hands from materials you’re handling but also need to pick up small items and move your hands with accuracy, this three-pack of nitrile work gloves is for you. They come recommended by u/StankJankins44 and are breathable, durable, super stretchy, and enhance grip. “I am a commercial electrician,” said a fan on Amazon. “I wear these gloves daily. I can pick up nuts, bolts, and screws in them and they work fine when using a smartphone.”

27. These padded socks for painless hikes

Coming by way of u/Golddustwoman1129, this pack of five (70% cotton) hiking socks have a padded footbed so hikes — or walks or runs — are more comfortable. The fabric is also breathable and soft against skin, so feet won’t overheat and sweat won’t be trapped. The calf area is lightly compressed to enhance blood circulation, and the contrasting colors are vibrant and fun. There are two color schemes to choose from.

28. This light merino wool base layer for your head

This merino wool beanie is the light layer you need for active pursuits where you want to keep your head warm but don’t want to bundle up. It is light, breathable, washable, and odor resistant so you can wear it for days and it will look (and smell) fresh. Says u/F1del1us, “I've got a midweight wool and used it as a helmet sock on my motorcycle or skiing. Could also use it in conjunction with what you already have. They have many materials and uses.”

29. A reliable pair of USB-C cables to power your devices

These two braided, nylon USB-C charging cables are everything you need for a solid charging setup. “I have burned through so many cables over the years until I bought Anker and it’s lasted longer than any other brand,” shared u/LectroRoot in r/BuyItForLife. At six feet long they’ll reach the plug from your desk or bedside table, charge quickly, are durable, and come in black, red, and silver. These have a 4.7-star rating from over 65,000 Amazon reviews.

30. The handheld trimmer for all those extra unwanted hairs

This nose trimmer makes getting rid of nose hairs, ear hairs, and a long, unruly brow the work of mere minutes. The dual-sided, rotating blade snips hairs quickly without pulling, and it comes with three attachments to make brow trimming super easy and foolproof. It’s waterproof, so cleanup is a matter of running it under the tap. It comes recommended by u/fazalmajid, and Amazon reviewers gave it almost 6,000 five-star reviews.

31. This 6-inch chef’s knife that’s excellent & affordable

If you’re done with cheap knife sets yet aren’t willing to shell out $200 for a fancy version, meet this 6-inch pro chef’s knife from Victorinox. “They are the only ‘cheap’ knife brand my husband will use (former chef) and they are a favorite amongst line/prep chefs,” shared u/nkdeck07 in r/BuyItForLife. It’s the right length for most of the quick work you do in a kitchen, and the tapered, stainless-steel blade is sharp and holds an edge. The handle is ergonomic and has a grippy texture that won’t slip when hands are wet and working fast. Almost 2,000 people love it and gave it five stars.

32. An ultra-durable cutting board that’s dishwasher safe

“I worked in a kitchen store for a couple years and these things are indestructible but still gentle on knife blades,” shared u/queenlois in r/BuyItForLife. This cutting board is made by Epicurean, via a sustainable facility here in the USA — the company was actually founded by a skate park manufacturer to make use of excess (ultra-durable) construction materials. This wood fiber board is easy on knives, safe up to 350 degrees so can be used as a trivet, and pops right in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

33. These colorful cable clips for a funkier desk

Give your desk a citrusy upgrade with this 6-pack of bright, stick-on cable clips that not only hold your charging cord, mouse wire, and other cords in place, but spice up your desk with a pop of color. Just peel and stick to any non-porous surface. “I love the pop of color in my office and love being able to unplug the keyboard/mouse from my laptop and not lose the cords,” said one of the over 7,000 five-star reviewers. These come suggested by u/smallbearcat.

34. This minty lip balm with sun protection

“A little pricey, but lasts forever because it works the FIRST TIME,” u/Damaso87 shared. Take a hint and slather some minty hydration onto lips (along with sun protection) with this intense therapy lip balm. The antioxidant green tea and vitamin E give lips a serious drink, while broad-spectrum SPF 25 prevents sunburns. Over 13,000 people gave this five stars, and one reviewer wrote, “The best balm I’ve tried. It was recommended by someone on Reddit and my lips look soooo much better.”

35. The handheld milk frother with a to-go case

If you want frothed milk in your hot (or cold) beverage but don’t trust the world to deliver it for you, pack along this handheld milk frother. Redditor u/youblue123 describes it as “the best thing to happen to hot chocolate, ever.” It comes with a handy storage case so you can toss it in a bag without worrying about it. It runs on batteries, and it turns milk into a foamy froth in just a few seconds.

36. This microwave pasta boat so the machine cooks dinner

“PASTA BOAT. You just put your pasta in it, add water, put it in the microwave AND WALK AWAY!!! No waiting for the water to boil!" raved u/escapist11. And they’re right — just fill the water to the marked lines on the inside of this microwave pasta boat and add noodles. Then put it in the microwave, pour yourself a drink, and relax. When the microwave beeps, strain the water out through the drain holes and add sauce. Can dinner get easier than that?

37. This stand that turns your Apple Watch into a bedside alarm clock

That watch on your wrist becomes a snazzy bedside clock and alarm when you set it on this charger stand. Recommended by u/yayuli in r/DidntKnowIWantedThat, this handy little stand has cutouts to accommodate the charging cable so the watch sits neatly on its own while juicing up. It comes in nine colors to match your watch or decor, and almost 23,000 Amazon reviewers gave it five stars.

38. The plasma lighter that’s wilderness-ready

This rechargeable arc lighter doesn’t just look like it’s a survivalist's best friend, it’s there for you if you find yourself out in the wild. Via Redditor u/royalredcanoe in r/camping, it’s waterproof, has double arcs to light hotter, and comes with a survival whistle on a paracord (that’s also secret para-tinder for lighting things the lighter won’t on its own). So, yeah, it probably is a survivalist's best friend.

39. These two length-measuring stickers for your fishing rod

If you need to know the length of your fish for your license (or for boasting), you don’t want to get caught without a measure. These two ruler stickers turn any fishing rod into a measuring tool so you can handily scan your catch. A contribution from u/Corpsman223 in r/INEEEEDIT, the two 36-inch stickers are clear — except for the numbers — so it won’t change the look of your rod (but may change the look of your face when reeling in bonafide one-footers).

40. A 3D Earth jigsaw puzzle that helps teach global geography

Coming by way of u/CadenXC (or rather, their mom), there’s nothing like a puzzle to deliver a visceral lesson in geography. This 3D Earth puzzle asks you to fit together the entire planet. You’ll know where Guyana and Ghana are, along with the precise location of Luxembourg, after putting together the 540 curved puzzle pieces of this globe.

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