50 cheap, amazing things on Amazon you'll use all the time

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by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 

I recently bought a simple jar-opening tool on impulse and, when it arrived, I wondered what I had been thinking. It was cheap though, so I laughed at myself, threw it in a drawer, and forgot it until I was making dinner a few days later and could not get a jar open. Suddenly, it was the very thing I needed. It saved dinner. And since then, this has happened dozens of times, and I now wonder what I did before I had that thing. Amazon is full of weird, innovative gadgets and tools created by inventors who are trying to solve problems like that. It’s just a matter of sorting them from all the crap. So I did some sorting for all of us and tracked down 50 cheap, amazing things on Amazon you'll use all the time.

Consider the slick neck fan disguised as headphones that will help you survive the blistering heat or the drink carrier that seems to defy the laws of physics so you never spill a drop. There’s also a tripod that’s a complete selfie lighting studio. These are crazy useful, super cheap, and the solution to so many problems you probably thought you had to endure. No more. What’s your problem? I’ll bet it has a simple solution. Keep scrolling for dozens of problem-solvers that won’t set you back a pretty penny.

1. A multitool that opens bottles & charges your phone

With this one keychain, you get a screwdriver, hex wrench, phone charger, and bottle opener. The nifty tool comes with a carabiner, so you can just clip it onto your keys or a backpack. You’ll never be caught without a phone charger again.

2. This clever desk timer to improve productivity

Whether you are trying to keep a Zoom meeting to 30 minutes or just want to make sure you take a break every hour, this desk timer is the simple way to manage that. Just turn it to the length of time you need — 60 minutes of focused work or ten for a short break — and it will keep you on track. When it isn’t timing, it’s a desk clock. Choose from six colors.

3. A neck fan that looks like headphones & won’t snag hair

If you are suffering in the heat, power up this neck fan and get a cooling breeze delivered right to your face. It has no fan blades, so it won’t snag on your hair or clothes. The carbon fiber fan comes in 11 colors and patterns, so it just looks like cool headphones. Plus, it runs for hours on a single charge and comes with a carrying case so you can toss it in your backpack.

4. This tiny plug-in WiFi extender for better internet

Plug in this little WiFi extender, and it will pull your wireless signal deeper into your house, further into the yard, up into the attic, or out to the garage. It expands your network by another 1,000 square feet, connects up to 15 devices, and sets up quickly and easily. Say goodbye to dead zones at home.

5. The electric trimmer for quick shaves anywhere

Need a shave away from home? This portable electric shaver goes anywhere, runs for 45 minutes on an overnight charge, and does everything from trimming to close shaving with no water or hassles. There is one blade and three snap-on combs for different stubble lengths, so you can get the look you want. The OneBlade doesn’t care how long your beard is and it’s dual sided, so you can shape edges in any direction.

6. A hand-cranked ice crusher for cool beverages

There’s nothing like crushed ice, and with this simple machine you can have it at home to elevate any drink. It takes the ice you have and crushes into tiny chips with just a few, easy cranks. The ice crusher suctions onto the counter for stability and holds five cups of crushed ice in the body.

7. This compact flashlight you can carry every day

You never know when you might need a flashlight, so it’s great to keep this compact one on hand. It’s just six inches long and slim, but this LED flashlight’s beam reaches over 350 feet. It’s also waterproof and can be clipped into a pocket or attached to a lanyard. It fits easily into any backpack or bag.

8. The light-blocking sleep mask with headphones

Grab a nap whenever you need one by blocking out the ambient light and noise at the same time with this sleep mask. It has slender, integrated Bluetooth headphones, so you can sleep without earbuds crammed into your ears. And the silk-lined, memory foam eye cover blocks out light while gently laying against your eyes and skin.

9. This drink carrier that defies physics

If you can’t carry a cup of coffee across the room without spilling, this drink carrier will fix that. Set your cup on the tray, hold the handle, and head toward the couch or wherever you need to go. You can even walk faster than you normally would and not worry about looking down at the cup or bowl. Seriously, your drink will arrive at its destination unspilled thanks to a clever application of simple physics.

10. A mounted bottle opener that catches the caps

Having a beer bottle opener mounted to the wall is awesome but there are two problems with it that this magnetic opener overcomes. One is you have mount it to the wall. Not this one! It attaches magnetically to the fridge. The other is that they create a pile of bottle caps on the floor that someone has to pick up. The magnets embedded in this one catch those before they drop.

11. The memo pad you wear on your wrist

This silicone memo pad snaps around your wrist, so you always have it handy with important notes for the day. And it’s reusable, so you can jot notes as you go about your day and erase them as needed. Write notes while it is on your wrist or pull it off and write on any surface. It has a to-do list on the front and a handy ruler on the back.

12. A waterproof arc lighter that’s rechargeable

Whether you keep it in your emergency kit or use it every day, this electric lighter is one you can depend on. It will fire up in wind or rain, never needs a butane refill, attaches to your rig via lanyard, and just looks cool. It lights with an electric arc, locks for safety, and recharges via USB. It also comes with a safety whistle.

13. This sleeping bag that may save you in an emergency

If you are camping, fishing, backpacking, or living in an apocalypse, this sleeping bag has everything you’ll need to survive. It operates not only as a place to rest your head when you’re out in the wilderness, but also as an emergency bivy sack that’ll keep you warm and dry. This also comes with an emergency whistle and a paracord string.

14. A tower of power to solve all your charging needs

This big tower outlet has every plug you need for your conference table, desk, or kitchen. It spins to reveal 10 standard outlets and four USB ports. The tower’s six-foot power cord retracts into the base to keep your surface tidy. And a power switch controls each layer of the tower separately.

15. This screen magnifier that makes a small screen big

Most of the time that small phone screen does just fine, but this simple screen magnifier is super handy for times you’d like to increase your screen size. Unfold it, set your phone in the phone cradle, and look at the screen through the magnifier. It requires no power and creates a 14-inch screen from just about any phone.

16. A complete kit for serving wine

This combo has everything you need to serve wine easily. The rechargeable wine opener comes with a foil cutter stored in the base. It will open a bottle of wine in seconds with no struggling on your part — just press it to the bottle top and push the button. When the wine is uncorked, set it on the table in the companion double-wall aluminum, thermal stainless steel chiller, and your wine will stay chilled all the way through dinner.

17. The pencil case that holds everything you need

Whether you are bullet journaling with a huge selection of pens, stickers, and markers or studying and porting a calculator, pens, and highlighters everywhere you go, this big pencil case is attractive, organized, and has plenty of space for all of it. It also zips down into a smaller, compact case. It’s so useful and versatile that over 12,600 people gave it five stars.

18. A universal socket for when you don’t have the right size

Why is it that the size you need is always the one you don’t have? This universal socket tool will fix that. The multitude of pins in the round housing adapt to whatever size nut or bolt you need to turn, even if it’s a broken nut or irregular bolt. It attaches to your socket or drill and works on anything that’s 1/4 to 3/4 inches.

19. This memory foam neck pillow for your car

Snap this adjustable neck pillow onto the metal poles in your car’s seat back, and it creates a cradle for your neck so that you can lean back and relax as you drive. It adjusts up, down, forward, and backward, while the slow-rebound memory foam adjusts to the shape of your body so you can dial in the perfect position to relieve pain or achieve comfort.

20. A stress relief ball that’s an optical illusion

Focus your attention or just relax by spinning this desktop fidget and watching the continuous spiral it creates. Spin it on your desk, hand, or anywhere for a few minutes of relaxation or to help you distract your mind from worry, so you can focus on the problem you are trying to solve. It’s crafted from aviation aluminum and comes in five colors.

21. This tool that uses leverage to open any jar

Don’t let wrist pain, hand pain, grip strength, or an impossible-to-open jar stand between you and dinner. This clever jar opener lets you get a powerful grip on any lid in one of the graduated channels that go up to almost four inches in diameter. The grippy interior holds the lid while the handle gives you leverage to turn it easily. Your hands will thank you later.

22. A stainless steel soap bar that stops the stink

When hand soap won’t get the fish or garlic smell off of your hands, science has the answer: stainless steel. It sounds unlikely but it actually works because the molecules of the metal in this bar bond to the sulfur molecules on your skin. It leaves your skin free of the odor without replacing it with perfume. Also? It will last forever.

23. These splash guards for the shower so the bathroom stays dry

These splash guards fit into the corner of the tub or shower stall and guard against escaping water streams, so your floors stay dry. They are easy to install with caulk and integrate neatly into the look of any bathroom.

24. A moldable glue for fixing everything from shoes to electronics

This moldable polymer is so cool you will buy it to fix your electronics — it’s great for frayed wires — and end up using it to engineer solutions to every problem, break, or product failure in your life. It’s pliable when you open the sealed pack, starts to cure in its molded position in thirty minutes, and is a permanent fix after 24 hours. Choose from seven color options.

25. This wireless power bank for easy charging on the go

Toss this wireless, portable power bank into your go bag and charge your phone or any other Qi-compatible device on the go, even if you can’t track down the right cable. An LCD screen shows you precisely how much power it has left and it supports a wide range of power outputs. It has two USB ports and one each for micro USB and UCB-C, so you can charge just about anything with it.

26. An integrated light ring & phone tripod with a remote

Whether you are building a YouTube channel or taking family photos, this selfie lighting kit will take everything to the next level. The light ring is bright, with three color temperature modes and ten brightness intensity levels. The tripod holds your phone just below the light, so you look terrific, and it adjusts from 17 inches long up to about 60 inches. It even comes with a remote that lets you control the camera from a distance.

27. A flashlight with a telescoping, magnetic gooseneck

If you drop your keys under the car seat or a screw under the sink, you will be glad you have this clever flashlight in your toolbox. The telescoping neck extends to 22 inches, bends in any direction, and has a magnetic flashlight on the end so you can find — and retrieve — any metal item you dropped. Reviewers love it, giving it nearly 7,000 five star ratings.

28. The light that turns the toilet into a disco or night light

Clip this simple light onto your toilet bowl, choose a color, and transform your toilet from a cold, white bathroom fixture to a glowing orb of beauty. You can choose from eight colors to match your décor — and change that color any time you like — and will never again stumble in the dark when you get up to pee.

29. This shot dispenser for better, faster, drinking games

Line up your glasses under the dome and pour everyone’s drink at once with this shot dispenser. It cleverly delivers an equal portion to six glasses when you pour liquid into the big bowl. If you don’t have six drinkers, simply close one or more of the pouring spouts. Your drinking games will be elevated by this fun addition.

30. These silicone gloves so you never get burned

These silicone gloves not only protect your hands from high heat — even for prolonged contact — but they give you back your manual dexterity with separated finger covers. They’re heat-resistant up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, making them great for handling hot pans in the kitchen or hot items on the grill. Over 2,000 people give them five stars and say they fit a wide range of hand sizes.

31. These bulbs that can change to 16 different colors

It’s so simple to convert overhead lights into fun colored lighting with these bulbs. Just screw them in and change to any color that fits your mood using the handy little remote control. Not only can you change your bulbs to 16 different colors, but you can also make them flash, fade, get brighter, or become dimmer.

32. A lighting strip that transforms any room with color

It’s super easy to turn the bedroom into a modern haven, light the stairs with colored guide lights, or dress the game room in low ambient light with this LED light strip. Just stick the light tape — you get over 65 feet of it — under counters, behind appliances, or under the bed and choose the color you like using the 44-key remote. There are 16 colors, six modes, and two speeds, so you can create exactly the mood you want at any time.

33. This colorful LED light that’s a Bluetooth speaker

Set this rechargeable Bluetooth speaker down on your outdoor dining table, beach blanket, or tiki bar, and it will provide a gorgeous light while playing music. Choose from six different color and pattern displays. It’s waterproof and has a built-in microphone, so you can also use it for hands-free calling.

34. A four-pack of smart outlets at an amazing price

If you were planning to slowly add appliances and lamps to your smart home system, this four-pack of smart outlets plugs will help you upgrade your home at a bargain price. They work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, have timer functions, and let you turn devices on and off with just your voice or from anywhere in the world with your phone.

35. A smart power strip to connect many devices at once

This smart power strip has six standard outlets and three USB ports, and each one turns whatever you plug in into a smart device. Suddenly, you can control them via your smart home system or a smartphone app. Each standard outlet is controlled separately, and the USB plugs operate as a group.

36. These outlet shelves for a tidy bathroom

When space is limited in the bathroom, these shelves that go over your outlets are a brilliant solution. Whether you use them to hold rechargeable toothbrushes, an Amazon Echo, Google Home, a small speaker, or your razor, they will keep your gear off the counters and close to an outlet. There is even a channel for cords in the back, so everything looks tidy.

37. This adapter for wireless music streaming in the car

For less than $10, this little doohickey plugs into your car’s auxiliary power outlet and makes your ride Bluetooth-compatible. You can listen to streaming music and take calls through the car’s stereo without buying a new car. It also works to bring a home stereo into the streaming age or to convert a pair of wired headphones to wireless.

38. A slick-looking vertical mouse for more comfortable hands

A vertical mouse puts your mouse hand into the handshake position rather than forcing you to pronate your wrist all day long, and this wired vertical mouse has a slick LED light trim that looks awesome. You can choose the light scheme you want, customize the mouse-motion responsiveness you like, and program the five buttons to do whatever you like.

39. This splitter so you can plug all your gear into your laptop

If your computer is short on ports, this multi-port splitter is the fix. It transforms one USB port into seven, each with its own power button. An LED light for each port tells you if an outlet is on, and it’s hefty enough to sit firmly on a desk.

40. A remote control to help your find your stuff

If you are constantly losing your keys, wallet, the cat, or even a slippery toddler, this remote locator will help you keep track. Just attach one of the colored fobs to the item that tends to go missing. When you are looking for it, grab the remote, press the same color, and the fob will beep so you can track it down. It works through walls and and covers an area of over 100 feet.

41. This fitness tracker and smart watch for under $30

Hankering for an Apple Watch but don’t want to fork over that much cabbage? This fitness tracker has many of the same features, and it’s significantly less than Apple’s version. It tracks heart rate, sleep, steps, calories consumed, and workouts. It also connects to your phone for more features and vibrates on your wrist when you get a text, call, or other notification.

42. The cute fan & power bank that beats the heat

Keep this slender accessory in a bag or pocket and when the train or your workspace gets too warm, whip it out and enjoy a cool breeze. The built-in flashlight will light your walk home. And it’s also a battery backup that can charge your phone in an emergency. It folds up small enough to always have on hand.

43. A magnetic mount that keeps your smartphone safely in place

This clever magnetic car mount is the perfect way to store and use your phone in your car hands-free. It’s compatible with all smartphones, uses only a magnet to stick to your phone, and can even rotate 360 degrees for easy viewing when you need it for navigation or your road trip playlist. One happy Amazon reviewer gave this device five stars and wrote: “This mount is the perfect size, [and] the magnet is strong and sturdy.”

44. An inflatable lantern that’s waterproof & solar-charging

You absolutely want this inflatable lantern for camping and boating because it’s waterproof, folds down to almost nothing, charges via sunlight or USB, and gives you either a bright light or a gentle colored ambiance. But it will also be your go-to light for the yard or patio because it looks beautiful, hangs from anything, floats in the pool, and lasts for hours on a charge.

45. This wall-mounted toothbrush holder that cleans up the bathroom

Mount this toothbrush holder to the wall using the included suction stickers and you suddenly have a place for everything and a clear countertop. This organizer holds toothbrushes, two cups, a shelf for sundries, and a toothpaste dispenser right where you want it. There’s even a little drawer for floss or other small items.

46. The trap that eliminates mosquitos & flies

The ultraviolet glow of this plug-in bug trap tempts flies, fruit flies, and mosquitoes into its orbit and away from pestering you. When they get close enough to the light, a fan sucks them into the depths of the appliance and they stick to a mat inside. This trap covers about 400 square feet.

47. These wireless earbuds in a wireless charging case

These wireless earbuds connect to your phone wirelessly, so you can listen to music or chat for over five hours while your phone remains pocketed. They come in a case that adds another 30 hours to that battery life by charging them whenever they are stored. The case picks up a charge when you set it on a Qi-compatible charging pad or plug it in via USB-C.

48. This personal safety alarm that is super loud

You’ll be glad to have this keychain alarm on hand if you find yourself facing a scary situation. Remove the top pin and it sounds a deafening alarm and blinks a bright light. It attaches to your backpack, purse, or keys and gives peace of mind for night dog walks and hikes. It comes in five colors and includes a clip.

49. These super handy cleaners for your earbuds

While most people love their earbuds, no one likes finding a bunch of gunk in them after listening to just a few songs. Instantly clean out earwax and dirt from your AirPods or other headphone devices with this 24-pack of cleaning putty, which works better than any other method you’ve probably tried before. And, with no gunk in your buds, your sound quality becomes so much better!

50. A portable fuzzy blanket and pillow all-in-one

Heading on a long plane ride or road trip and want something cozy to lay on while you snooze? Look no further than this travel blanket and pillow all-in-one. Remove the fleece blanket from inside its pillow-shaped case to keep you warm, and stuff your jacket or t-shirt inside the case for a makeshift pillow. This is an ideal travel necessity for adults and kids alike!

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