73 votes

What everyday things can you replace with a higher-quality alternative?

Some normal everyday things have "premium" alternatives which are more high-quality and pleasant to use. Some examples of what I mean

Ballpoint pens -> Fountain pens
Cartridge razor -> Double edge razor
Nespresso -> Brewing coffee
Membrane keyboards -> Mechanical keyboards

Those things can be overkill, but if it's something that you use often, it can become a great investment.

What other similar improvements have you found?

182 comments

  1. [31]
    ymhr
    Link
    Replacing the casters on your office chair with rollerblade casters is good, super low friction for moving and MUCH less destructive on hard floors.
    • Exemplary

    Replacing the casters on your office chair with rollerblade casters is good, super low friction for moving and MUCH less destructive on hard floors.

    64 votes
    1. [11]
      bendvis
      Link Parent
      Similarly, if you're using a chair on carpet and have some basic tools, skip the overpriced and poor functioning sheet of plastic to protect the carpet. Go to the hardware store and get a sheet of...

      Similarly, if you're using a chair on carpet and have some basic tools, skip the overpriced and poor functioning sheet of plastic to protect the carpet. Go to the hardware store and get a sheet of hardwood plywood and some stain. You can usually get a 4' x 8' sheet, 1/2" thick for around $45, and the store will usually cut it down to your size requirement for you. Then sand the corners down and stain it whatever color you like.

      I've had mine under my chair for 4 years of working from home and it still looks basically brand new. It's also a lot more attractive than a generic sheet of dented and warped plastic.

      19 votes
      1. [10]
        Grasso
        Link Parent
        I splurged and bought a glass one. Plywood was one idea, but I felt that the splinters would tear up my feet/socks.

        I splurged and bought a glass one. Plywood was one idea, but I felt that the splinters would tear up my feet/socks.

        5 votes
        1. turmacar
          Link Parent
          Once sanded and stained splinters really shouldn't be any more of an issue than they are with any other wood floor. I do like the idea of glass so you can still see the carpet though.

          Once sanded and stained splinters really shouldn't be any more of an issue than they are with any other wood floor. I do like the idea of glass so you can still see the carpet though.

          9 votes
        2. bendvis
          Link Parent
          That's where getting hardwood plywood specifically comes in. The surfaces are sheets of hardwood (usually oak or maple) that's smooth enough that you could use it for cabinetry. A bit of sanding...

          That's where getting hardwood plywood specifically comes in. The surfaces are sheets of hardwood (usually oak or maple) that's smooth enough that you could use it for cabinetry. A bit of sanding on the freshly cut corners and there will be no splinters.

          3 votes
        3. [7]
          DiggWasCool
          Link Parent
          You mean you bought a glass office floor mat? How thick is it and how durable is it? And where did you buy it if you don't mind me asking? I've gone through about 4 or 5 different plastic mats and...

          I splurged and bought a glass one.

          You mean you bought a glass office floor mat? How thick is it and how durable is it? And where did you buy it if you don't mind me asking?

          I've gone through about 4 or 5 different plastic mats and they all seem to have the same problem, they all slowly indent where the wheels are.

          1. [5]
            Grasso
            Link Parent
            Not sure if tildes is cool with direct links, but I bought it off of wayfair for about $150. It’s 46” x 55” x 0.2” tempered glass. I have it on pile carpet, not super flat office carpet. It’s been...

            Not sure if tildes is cool with direct links, but I bought it off of wayfair for about $150. It’s 46” x 55” x 0.2” tempered glass. I have it on pile carpet, not super flat office carpet. It’s been great, my only issue is that it can slide a bit on the carpet over time but I could probably put some rubber stoppers on the bottom to mitigate it.

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              updawg
              Link Parent
              It would be great to get a direct link.

              It would be great to get a direct link.

              1 vote
              1. [3]
                Grasso
                Link Parent
                Here you go, looks like it’s supposed to include 4 anti slip pads but I didn’t get them with mine....
                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  DiggWasCool
                  Link Parent
                  Thanks for sharing. It's actually surprisingly affordable. When I first saw your original comment over the weekend, I called a couple of shops near me to see how much they'd charge for a slab of...

                  Thanks for sharing. It's actually surprisingly affordable. When I first saw your original comment over the weekend, I called a couple of shops near me to see how much they'd charge for a slab of glass that I could use for this purpose and the cheapest one I found was $320.

                  1. roo1ster
                    Link Parent
                    +1 for glass deskchair mats - I've got a buddy who swears by his (and has for years)

                    +1 for glass deskchair mats - I've got a buddy who swears by his (and has for years)

                    1 vote
          2. spit-evil-olive-tips
            Link Parent
            my current office has hardwood floors, but a few years ago when I lived in a carpeted place, I went down a rabbit-hole of researching trying to find a chair mat that didn't suck. the problem is...

            my current office has hardwood floors, but a few years ago when I lived in a carpeted place, I went down a rabbit-hole of researching trying to find a chair mat that didn't suck.

            the problem is that most cheap chair mats are made from vinyl / PVC, which is flexible and develops indentations like you said. ones made from polycarbonate plastic are more expensive, but much more durable. this is the one I ended up ordering.

            2 votes
    2. SlappinSalmonella
      Link Parent
      Yes... I will never again use normal caster-wheels on my office chairs. I bought these for myself and multiple family members last year. They are so much more pleasant to roll around in. Highly...

      Yes... I will never again use normal caster-wheels on my office chairs. I bought these for myself and multiple family members last year. They are so much more pleasant to roll around in. Highly recommend.

      8 votes
    3. [12]
      ecchi
      Link Parent
      You will find yourself not being able to keep your chair still because this type of casters is so easy to roll. If i remember correctly they are also higher than normal casters and might make your...

      You will find yourself not being able to keep your chair still because this type of casters is so easy to roll. If i remember correctly they are also higher than normal casters and might make your chair unstable if you lean back. Overall they look cool but in practice you would get much better results of buying high quality rubberized casters. Never tried them personally but this is what I read when I heard about them for the first time.

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        draconicrose
        Link Parent
        I had the same concerns but honestly that did not come to pass! The chair stays in place even when I lean back and it still takes effort to move, though once it is moving it stays moving much more...

        I had the same concerns but honestly that did not come to pass! The chair stays in place even when I lean back and it still takes effort to move, though once it is moving it stays moving much more easily.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          ecchi
          Link Parent
          I’m glad that it’s not a concern for you, but still people with laminate floors should consider how easy these casters going to roll

          I’m glad that it’s not a concern for you, but still people with laminate floors should consider how easy these casters going to roll

          3 votes
          1. draconicrose
            Link Parent
            Ok, I had to google it because English isn't my mother tongue but it turns out that's the kind of floors I have. The cheap casters scuffed a portion of the floor, the rollerblade wheel casters did...

            Ok, I had to google it because English isn't my mother tongue but it turns out that's the kind of floors I have. The cheap casters scuffed a portion of the floor, the rollerblade wheel casters did not make it worse!

            3 votes
      2. [6]
        ymhr
        Link Parent
        The height can be an issue if it makes the chair too high to comfortably work with your desk, but the accidental rolling, at least for me, is a non-issue.

        The height can be an issue if it makes the chair too high to comfortably work with your desk, but the accidental rolling, at least for me, is a non-issue.

        4 votes
        1. [5]
          ecchi
          Link Parent
          I meant not rolling but tipping and falling because of increased height

          I meant not rolling but tipping and falling because of increased height

          1. [4]
            ymhr
            Link Parent
            I'm not sure it's going to shift the centre of gravity enough to affect that.

            I'm not sure it's going to shift the centre of gravity enough to affect that.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              ecchi
              Link Parent
              If you have a chair with this type of casters you can just try leaning all the way back while sticking your legs all the way forward. Even if it doesn’t fall after your test, it doesn’t mean that...

              If you have a chair with this type of casters you can just try leaning all the way back while sticking your legs all the way forward. Even if it doesn’t fall after your test, it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t happen for someone else with a different chair.

              For some reason none of the high end chairs use these. Probably because the casters that they put on their chairs aren’t just plastic.

              2 votes
              1. draconicrose
                Link Parent
                Office chairs, in general, are pretty well balanced due to the design of the feet and the supports. I just tried the lean-back test and the chair did not even threaten to tip. High end chairs...

                Office chairs, in general, are pretty well balanced due to the design of the feet and the supports. I just tried the lean-back test and the chair did not even threaten to tip.

                High end chairs don't use these because, as you correctly pointed out, they use the more expensive rubber casters. And sometimes, they even use the plastic ones. (Mom had a 2k office chair with those. It had massage functions.) I suppose it's because they are probably easier to standardize and because they are how people probably expect office chair wheels to look like.

                3 votes
              2. SeeNipplesAndDo
                Link Parent
                I've never had a regular chair that wasn't unreliable when leaning back anyway. A centimeter to an inch of extra height also shouldn't really make a difference because it's still got 5-6 points of...

                I've never had a regular chair that wasn't unreliable when leaning back anyway. A centimeter to an inch of extra height also shouldn't really make a difference because it's still got 5-6 points of contact with the floor and...well, unless you're SUPER short, you should be able to like...lower your chair with the hydraulic-mabober. So I think what you read might have been propaganda from the caster guild or something.

                3 votes
      3. ours
        Link Parent
        My chair had the rubberized caster option which I took. It was worth it.

        My chair had the rubberized caster option which I took. It was worth it.

        2 votes
      4. roo1ster
        Link Parent
        can confirm - I had a set of rollerblades on my home office chair on (probably asbestos) tiles common for the era my house's basement was finished out. Every time I got into my office, I had to...

        can confirm - I had a set of rollerblades on my home office chair on (probably asbestos) tiles common for the era my house's basement was finished out. Every time I got into my office, I had to pull the chair across the room and back to the desk. Lasted about 2 days. I'm excited about the rubberized casters - thanks!

        1 vote
    4. [2]
      Habituallytired
      Link Parent
      And this has been bookmarked. OMG. This is something I didn't know I needed, and when I am in the market for a new work chair (which will hopefully be soon since the one I currently have makes my...

      And this has been bookmarked. OMG.

      This is something I didn't know I needed, and when I am in the market for a new work chair (which will hopefully be soon since the one I currently have makes my back hurt but I can't use it right now because my office is packed), I'm going to get these.

      5 votes
      1. turmacar
        Link Parent
        Not as big of an upgrade as the casters in the first place, but there are also ones that have brakes on them, which I wish I had bought first. They're not too much more expensive and being able to...

        Not as big of an upgrade as the casters in the first place, but there are also ones that have brakes on them, which I wish I had bought first. They're not too much more expensive and being able to make the chair stop rolling is very useful sometimes.

        1 vote
    5. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Seconding this! IMO rollerblade casters are also essential if you have pets, since they don't get clogged up with hair (or string strands from rope toys) like those cheap, standard office chair...

      Seconding this! IMO rollerblade casters are also essential if you have pets, since they don't get clogged up with hair (or string strands from rope toys) like those cheap, standard office chair casters do.

      3 votes
    6. k4i
      Link Parent
      I bought some of these a couple of years ago and had high hopes, but the thing that drove me crazy about them is that they wouldn't change direction smoothly. For example, if I was sitting in my...

      I bought some of these a couple of years ago and had high hopes, but the thing that drove me crazy about them is that they wouldn't change direction smoothly. For example, if I was sitting in my chair and rolled to the left there would be a very noticeable jerkiness if I then rolled to the right because the wheels all had to reorient themselves to the new direction. This was all on hardwood, for what it's worth. I'm not sure if it was the specific wheels I bought, but it definitely turned me off of the concept and I went back to my normal casters.

      3 votes
    7. draconicrose
      Link Parent
      YES! Every time I remember I evangelize about this. It's incredibly life-changing. Especially if you have pets. No longer will your wheels drag, get stuck, pinch your pets or get absolutely...

      YES! Every time I remember I evangelize about this. It's incredibly life-changing. Especially if you have pets. No longer will your wheels drag, get stuck, pinch your pets or get absolutely clogged with fur! Your floors will not be scuffed! Your rugs/carpets won't bunch up! It's a miracle!

      2 votes
    8. Nsutdwa
      Link Parent
      I've heard that the rollerblade-style casters are nicer to move around on, but that they are not always compatible with the socket on the chair leg. The centre of the rollerblade wheel is further...

      I've heard that the rollerblade-style casters are nicer to move around on, but that they are not always compatible with the socket on the chair leg. The centre of the rollerblade wheel is further from the shank up above, which therefore acts as a stronger lever and can break the socket/plug section on the chair. It's probably more of an issue towards the bottom of the market where the sockets are flimsy plastic, but it's worth searching online to see if others have done the hack and found your particular chair wanting.

  2. [30]
    nacho
    Link
    A guy at works has a metal straw. He brings it when we go out to eat lunch or for coffee. He never has to deal with a soggy paper straw. Says it's extremely easy to wash because it came with a...

    A guy at works has a metal straw. He brings it when we go out to eat lunch or for coffee.

    He never has to deal with a soggy paper straw. Says it's extremely easy to wash because it came with a pipe cleaner and is dishwasher safe.

    On the other hand, he brings a metal straw around.


    A mirrorless camera over a phone.

    Waterproof dress shoes, running shoes and the like.

    Well made clothes last way longer than cheap ones, even for things like t-shirts. (Many branded clothes aren't well made.)

    A computer mouse that suits your hand.

    An adjustable standing desk to avoid static positions for a lot of time.

    Paying for ad-free services is so worth the time/distraction saved, if money isn't super tight.

    Good knives in the kitchen, both for prep and eating.

    28 votes
    1. [13]
      Habituallytired
      Link Parent
      I can't stress enough how much better your kitchen experience will be if you invest in good (not necessarily expensive, but good quality) knives and take care of them by handwashing them and...

      I can't stress enough how much better your kitchen experience will be if you invest in good (not necessarily expensive, but good quality) knives and take care of them by handwashing them and making sure you sharpen them as necessary. They will outlast you, and they're going to be more likely safer than anything you can buy for cheap like the cuisinart rainbow sets (I have them, and I have a really nice Global chef's knife (it's the only knife I use except for a serrated knife for tomatoes and bread).

      24 votes
      1. [9]
        wowbagger
        Link Parent
        I have decent Wüsthofs but sharpening is where this falls apart for me. The professional options in my area are sparse and costly, but doing it properly myself also seems like a big time and money...

        I have decent Wüsthofs but sharpening is where this falls apart for me. The professional options in my area are sparse and costly, but doing it properly myself also seems like a big time and money investment. Do you have your own sharpening kit?

        7 votes
        1. tanglisha
          Link Parent
          I went down a knife sharpening rabbit hole last spring, I even bought a cheap knife to practice on. Ended up getting a couple of waterstones - whetstones that you soak in water before using. I...

          I went down a knife sharpening rabbit hole last spring, I even bought a cheap knife to practice on.

          Ended up getting a couple of waterstones - whetstones that you soak in water before using. I watched a bunch of sharpening videos, then gave it a try. It’s a bit time consuming, but not hard to do. I did ok with the practice knife, so I tried a very beat up knife next. I’m sure a professional could do a far better job and do it faster, but all of my knives are all sharp now, even the beat up one that I thought I would have to throw out.

          It’s kind of relaxing.

          5 votes
        2. [2]
          Markpelly
          Link Parent
          Use a sharpening steel at least once a week and you won't need to sharpen very often. I don't think I've sharpened my knives in over a year and they are still razor sharp (and I am just using Ikea...

          Use a sharpening steel at least once a week and you won't need to sharpen very often. I don't think I've sharpened my knives in over a year and they are still razor sharp (and
          I am just using Ikea knives) https://a.co/d/cLFi9mm

          4 votes
          1. Bal
            Link Parent
            If you get a ceramic rod instead of a steel one, that's enough to keep soft-ish (so normal German) steel sharp permanently, without the need for other sharpening.

            If you get a ceramic rod instead of a steel one, that's enough to keep soft-ish (so normal German) steel sharp permanently, without the need for other sharpening.

        3. NoblePath
          Link Parent
          Ace hardware has an automatic machine thatbseems to work well. $8 I think. I use the little hand held thing that has two ceramic discs next to each other. Recommended by cutco, works well enough...

          Ace hardware has an automatic machine thatbseems to work well. $8 I think.

          I use the little hand held thing that has two ceramic discs next to each other. Recommended by cutco, works well enough for me.

          2 votes
        4. lackofaname
          Link Parent
          My approach was to buy a cheap knife + a general purpose sharpening stone from a hardware store (something like this) simply to learn the motions. I wouldn't use that on expensive knives or tools;...

          My approach was to buy a cheap knife + a general purpose sharpening stone from a hardware store (something like this) simply to learn the motions. I wouldn't use that on expensive knives or tools; even the fine side is a really rough grit. But, it was a very low-cost, low-barrier way to help me feel comfortable with sharpening motions and I used it for years tbh.

          I've since moved on to nicer knives and a waterstone for sharpening, but still have kept my costs down by buying only a single 1000-grit stone (and a cheaper releveling tool). It does a good enough job to cleanly slice tomatoes without needing a serrated knife, so I'm happy.

          I feel like knife sharpening is one of those skills that has a big commitment difference between good enough and perfect. I genuinely don't care about being able to sharpen to a point of slicing paper or any of the other internet show-off tricks of 'perfection'. I just want to spend the least amount of time possible to allow me to easily slice and dice food.

          2 votes
        5. R3qn65
          Link Parent
          You can get some decent whetstones for a total of maybe $50. You only really need a 1000 grit stone to get sharp enough. You can go nuts with a higher grit stone, but that's really only for knife...

          You can get some decent whetstones for a total of maybe $50. You only really need a 1000 grit stone to get sharp enough. You can go nuts with a higher grit stone, but that's really only for knife nerds to see how sharp they can go for its own sake. There's a bit of a learning curve, but I stopped worrying so much about that when I saw how many different techniques there were and decided it must not matter all that much.

          Alternately, if you use a honing steel and especially a leather strop, you can go long enough between sharpens that you can probably mail them out for a sharpening service.

          1 vote
        6. TescoLarger
          Link Parent
          I use a very similar sharpener to the below link. Only cost about €15 in a local brick and mortar shop and it's been great. Just need to run the blade through it 3/4 times every few weeks and it's...

          I use a very similar sharpener to the below link. Only cost about €15 in a local brick and mortar shop and it's been great. Just need to run the blade through it 3/4 times every few weeks and it's back to it's former glory. Couldn't imagine life without it now, so handy

          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lantana-Smart-Sharp-Knife-Sharpener/dp/B010O4OCCS/ref=asc_df_B010O4OCCS/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=232028567160&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11690836133808121309&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1007850&hvtargid=pla-494464426055&psc=1

        7. Habituallytired
          Link Parent
          I don't. There's an old Greek guy at my farmer's market every week, and he sharpens knives for $10/knife. I do have a little hand-held honing tool that helps between sharpening, and I got it on...

          I don't. There's an old Greek guy at my farmer's market every week, and he sharpens knives for $10/knife.

          I do have a little hand-held honing tool that helps between sharpening, and I got it on Amazon a long time ago, but you can find similar ones on the site now, just look up knife sharpening and it'll be like a two-stage "sharpener"

      2. [3]
        CannibalisticApple
        Link Parent
        It's never occurred to me people could have cheap/bad knives until this comment because my family's always had Cutco knives. It's just always seemed "standard" to me to have a high-quality set of...

        It's never occurred to me people could have cheap/bad knives until this comment because my family's always had Cutco knives. It's just always seemed "standard" to me to have a high-quality set of knives. Some of them are older than me, and as far as I remember we've never had to replace any.

        A little side-tip that may help people: don't get just one or two good knives, even (or maybe especially) if you're not super into cooking. We have a set of eight different cooking knives with varying sizes and blade types that work for different foods, and that helps keep the edges from getting dull from overuse. We only need to get them sharpened every couple years.

        3 votes
        1. Habituallytired
          Link Parent
          My knife doesn't dull that often, but I am a huge fan of a very sharp blade when I cook. I hone my knife every time I use it, but I'd say I get it sharpened once a year. having one good chef's...

          My knife doesn't dull that often, but I am a huge fan of a very sharp blade when I cook. I hone my knife every time I use it, but I'd say I get it sharpened once a year.

          having one good chef's knife beats having a whole set of other knives.

          and please to anyone reading this NEVER EVER EVER EVER put your knives in the dishwasher or leave them soaking in the sink.

          3 votes
        2. Akir
          Link Parent
          I have a set of decent set of knives that I've inherited from my grandmother. My husband hates how big they are with the whole block, and bugs me to buy a cheap dollar store knife to replace it....

          I have a set of decent set of knives that I've inherited from my grandmother. My husband hates how big they are with the whole block, and bugs me to buy a cheap dollar store knife to replace it.

          Somewhat ironically, my grandmother was no kitchen nonni and she avoided using most of the knives herself; the one that had the most signs of use at the time I took them was the tiny paring knife.

          Adding more irony is that I generally only use the chef's knife. Most of them are meat-specific; a butcher knife, a filleting knife, a slicer for carving roasts, and one of them is actually a serving fork. I don't eat meat, so they're practically useless to me! And even when I did eat meat, I didn't like dealing with butchery or big expensive roasts so I rarely ever used them.

          A lot of people these days recommend getting a chef's knife, a paring knife, and maybe a serrated knife for bread. I tend to agree with that.

          2 votes
    2. f700gs
      Link Parent
      I second the metal straw - I keep a couple in my truck for if I go through drive thru or something.

      I second the metal straw - I keep a couple in my truck for if I go through drive thru or something.

      6 votes
    3. [14]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      I wouldn’t recommend a metal straw. In practice they become hygiene nightmares. It’s incredibly difficult to thoroughly clean them.

      I wouldn’t recommend a metal straw. In practice they become hygiene nightmares. It’s incredibly difficult to thoroughly clean them.

      6 votes
      1. [7]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I genuinely don't understand that argument against metal straws. IMO they're really not hard to clean thoroughly with the right cleaning tools (which often come with the straws when you buy them,...

        I genuinely don't understand that argument against metal straws. IMO they're really not hard to clean thoroughly with the right cleaning tools (which often come with the straws when you buy them, and are super cheap to buy). A reusable water bottle or thermos is a hell of a lot harder to clean, even the widemouthed ones, but weirdly I've never seen people making the hygiene argument against using those. So why are metal straws being singled out? I honestly can't help but feel like it all stems from misinformation campaigns against single-use plastic bans, rather than due to any legitimate hygiene concerns with them.

        28 votes
        1. [6]
          shrike
          Link Parent
          I do love how everyone is talking about "what about that plastic over there" when they are forced to use shitty decomposing straws. ...that was the exact point of the ban, it affects everyone's...

          I do love how everyone is talking about "what about that plastic over there" when they are forced to use shitty decomposing straws.

          ...that was the exact point of the ban, it affects everyone's life in a very visible way and makes them see every other unnecessary plastic item.

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            f700gs
            Link Parent
            That's a dangerous gamble - there is only so many times you can play the "lets fuck with your day to day making essentially no improvements to teach you to look at things different" before...

            That's a dangerous gamble - there is only so many times you can play the "lets fuck with your day to day making essentially no improvements to teach you to look at things different" before everyone just gives you the middle finger.

            9 votes
            1. [3]
              shrike
              Link Parent
              That it is, but since the ban I've seen people who just didn't care about the environment start talking about it out loud. "Fuck these cardboard straws, why do I need to suffer this when Company X...

              That it is, but since the ban I've seen people who just didn't care about the environment start talking about it out loud. "Fuck these cardboard straws, why do I need to suffer this when Company X can keep shoving crap everywhere". Which was exactly the point.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                f700gs
                Link Parent
                the question is does it turn into pressure on corp x or does it simply turn ppl against the policy makers. In my experience the latter is happening way more than the former.

                the question is does it turn into pressure on corp x or does it simply turn ppl against the policy makers. In my experience the latter is happening way more than the former.

                5 votes
                1. shrike
                  Link Parent
                  Yeah, people always pick the path of least resistance. In most cases it's just upholding the status quo, all change is bad.

                  Yeah, people always pick the path of least resistance. In most cases it's just upholding the status quo, all change is bad.

          2. wervenyt
            Link Parent
            I'm not sure how convincing it is to push for "environmental regulations" that are only effectively feel-good propaganda. Is anyone pointing this out, who wasn't already in support of further...

            I'm not sure how convincing it is to push for "environmental regulations" that are only effectively feel-good propaganda. Is anyone pointing this out, who wasn't already in support of further regulations around packaging etc., and who doesn't mean it as a snipe about how pointless "the government" is?

            4 votes
      2. sparksbet
        Link Parent
        If you're that worried, couldn't you boil them? They're metal.

        If you're that worried, couldn't you boil them? They're metal.

        10 votes
      3. shrike
        Link Parent
        Hot water, normal washing-up liquid and a straw brush. Takes like 10 seconds to clean it properly. If you mostly just drink water/sodas (no smoothies or milkshakes) you can get away with just warm...

        Hot water, normal washing-up liquid and a straw brush. Takes like 10 seconds to clean it properly.

        If you mostly just drink water/sodas (no smoothies or milkshakes) you can get away with just warm water for a while before doing a deep clean.

        4 votes
      4. [2]
        feanne
        Link Parent
        For those who are concerned about keeping a metal straw clean, a glass straw may be a more suitable option :)

        For those who are concerned about keeping a metal straw clean, a glass straw may be a more suitable option :)

        3 votes
        1. sparksbet
          Link Parent
          yeah this is what I went with. They're easily cleaned in the dishwasher (or the little pipe-cleaner thing that came with them).

          yeah this is what I went with. They're easily cleaned in the dishwasher (or the little pipe-cleaner thing that came with them).

          1 vote
      5. ThrowdoBaggins
        Link Parent
        I never looked into the hygiene of cleaning them, but I’m terrified by them just based on the idea of tripping and falling with one in your mouth… *shudder

        I never looked into the hygiene of cleaning them, but I’m terrified by them just based on the idea of tripping and falling with one in your mouth…

        *shudder

        3 votes
      6. nCeon
        Link Parent
        This would be solved (somewhat) by making the straw out of sterling silver. It is so little metal that it couldn't be more than a $12 increase material costs...

        This would be solved (somewhat) by making the straw out of sterling silver. It is so little metal that it couldn't be more than a $12 increase material costs...

    4. DwoMen
      Link Parent
      Are you me? I have sought out all of those things, very nice list.

      Are you me? I have sought out all of those things, very nice list.

      1 vote
  3. [7]
    shrike
    Link
    The old rule of thumb is that spend extra money for everything that's between you and the ground: Bed Chair Shoes We switched to futon mattresses + a natural latex (I think) mattress topper. Felt...

    The old rule of thumb is that spend extra money for everything that's between you and the ground:

    • Bed
    • Chair
    • Shoes

    We switched to futon mattresses + a natural latex (I think) mattress topper. Felt weird at first but I wouldn't look back.

    Same with chairs, working remotely I spend at least 8 hours on mine, usually closer to twelve. Find yourself a cheap 2nd hand premium one from any of the 6 dozen startups that bought their expensive chairs with VC money before they crashed and burned =)

    Shoes, multiple. Don't wear the same pair every day, shoes need to "rest". (Basically they need to air out and re-form to their old shape). If you're old(er) like me and don't care about the fanciest sneakers, when you find a comfy pair, buy two. Or three.

    24 votes
    1. DwoMen
      Link Parent
      I think I need a second couch, because it really seems to need that rest time too. Well, probably more that I need a job and some hobbies to get me out of the house more.

      I think I need a second couch, because it really seems to need that rest time too. Well, probably more that I need a job and some hobbies to get me out of the house more.

      1 vote
    2. [5]
      CannibalisticApple
      Link Parent
      A tip I've heard for chairs: look for gaming chairs, because they're explicitly made for extended sitting sessions and comfort.

      A tip I've heard for chairs: look for gaming chairs, because they're explicitly made for extended sitting sessions and comfort.

      1. wervenyt
        Link Parent
        Another tip I've heard for everything: ignore "gaming" branded things, because they're marketed to the rich parents of spoiled teens rather than the "prosumer" niche that they purport to exist in.

        Another tip I've heard for everything: ignore "gaming" branded things, because they're marketed to the rich parents of spoiled teens rather than the "prosumer" niche that they purport to exist in.

        31 votes
      2. stu2b50
        Link Parent
        I have to say, the general wisdom is the opposite: gaming chairs are mostly built off of advertising. If you want comfortable, you should look at high end office chairs.

        I have to say, the general wisdom is the opposite: gaming chairs are mostly built off of advertising. If you want comfortable, you should look at high end office chairs.

        19 votes
      3. phoenixrises
        Link Parent
        that feels like it's wrong advice, from what I understand the only good gaming chair is SecretLab, and even then you might as well spend a little more and try and get a refurb/secondhand herman...

        that feels like it's wrong advice, from what I understand the only good gaming chair is SecretLab, and even then you might as well spend a little more and try and get a refurb/secondhand herman miller or steelcase.

        6 votes
      4. shrike
        Link Parent
        But NOT the cheap ones. I got one without test-sitting it and the hard sides pressed up to my thighs just enough to make my legs go numb... The real deal is the ones that security guards sit on,...

        But NOT the cheap ones. I got one without test-sitting it and the hard sides pressed up to my thighs just enough to make my legs go numb...

        The real deal is the ones that security guards sit on, the kind that looks at CCTV in 8-12 hour shifts. Those things are like la-z-boys but with better lumbar support :) On the other hand they're prohibitively expensive and rarer than a honest politician to find on the used market.

        As far as gaming chairs go, I've heard good things about Secret Labs.

        2 votes
  4. [10]
    mieum
    Link
    I think they are just different with their own pros and cons. I prefer ballpoint pens for their feel and versatility. I would recommend finding a cartridge and actual pen that is comfortable to...

    Ballpoint pens -> Fountain pens

    I think they are just different with their own pros and cons. I prefer ballpoint pens for their feel and versatility. I would recommend finding a cartridge and actual pen that is comfortable to use.

    I will second what others have said about clothing. I have been wearing a lot of the same shirts, coats, etc. for years, and they are still in great condition and are generally "easy" to repair. In line with that is finding what is comfortable to you, especially shoes!

    22 votes
    1. [6]
      bitshift
      Link Parent
      I switched from ballpoint pens to using a fountain pen, and after a while I've mostly "upgraded further" to gel pens. The act of using a fountain pen can be really pleasing, especially with a deep...

      I switched from ballpoint pens to using a fountain pen, and after a while I've mostly "upgraded further" to gel pens. The act of using a fountain pen can be really pleasing, especially with a deep black ink — it just feels good. But gel pens can also lay down a solid line, while drying faster and working on any paper. Also, I prefer fine tip pens (it feels like I'm taking notes in a higher resolution), and the gel pens I'm using (Uniball Signo) can produce much finer lines than my fountain pen does.

      I've heard there are some really good ballpoint pens out there, but most people's experiences are with cheap ballpoints — and because they can be cheap, the free one you got from your bank/hotel/dealership is more likely to be a ballpoint. So if you're switching from that to a fountain pen, you're probably getting an upgrade! But almost anything would have been an upgrade.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        mieum
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure what I mostly use is "really good" or not. The cartridge is a Schmidt Easyflow, and it's pretty nice. However, when I was younger I used to draw with cheap BIC pens all the time. Even...

        I've heard there are some really good ballpoint pens out there, but most people's experiences are with cheap ballpoints

        I'm not sure what I mostly use is "really good" or not. The cartridge is a Schmidt Easyflow, and it's pretty nice. However, when I was younger I used to draw with cheap BIC pens all the time. Even though they are blotchy and inconsistent (compared to other ballpoints or fountain pens etc.), they have an interesting feel that I have always liked.

        Also, I prefer fine tip pens

        How fine of a tip? For years I used something similar to the Signo, and loved the sharp bite, but I stopped using them because I broke them frequently enough that it became a problem :b I have since "repaired" my handwriting, so maybe it wouldn't be an issue anymore.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          bitshift
          Link Parent
          I'm using a 0.38mm: not the finest tip they offer, but it's up there. They write smoothly enough, and I haven't had any break yet. As far as ballpoints go, my knowledge is limited to reading...

          I'm using a 0.38mm: not the finest tip they offer, but it's up there. They write smoothly enough, and I haven't had any break yet.

          As far as ballpoints go, my knowledge is limited to reading JetPens articles, but they describe the Schmidt EasyFlow: "A longtime favorite among the pen enthusiast community, the EasyFlow is hands-down the smoothest, wettest-flowing ballpoint refill around." Personal preference is definitely involved over how wet ballpoint ink ought to be — but it sounds like you found something satisfying!

          2 votes
          1. mieum
            Link Parent
            I didn't know about this site, so thanks for the link! haha My personal preference is not a well-examined one. I have tried a few other cartridges but I am generally ignorant about what is out...

            I didn't know about this site, so thanks for the link! haha

            My personal preference is not a well-examined one. I have tried a few other cartridges but I am generally ignorant about what is out there. I think i would enjoy fountain pens too if I could use one consistently for a while.

        2. [2]
          wervenyt
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yeah, the Schmidt cartridges are very often the favorites of people who've tried every hybrid ballpoint on the market. There are only a few others with a similar balance of smoothness,...

          Yeah, the Schmidt cartridges are very often the favorites of people who've tried every hybrid ballpoint on the market. There are only a few others with a similar balance of smoothness, reliabilitity, consistency, and cleanness: uni-ball Jetstreams are a lot drier, but longer lasting and makes cleaner lines, Pentel EnerGel are in between, and it's been a long time, but if I remember correctly, the Pilot Acroball is a lot like the EnerGel. None of them are as glassy-smooth as the Easyflows, though.

          PS: Oops, meant to say this from the start: Bic pens are really beloved in artist communities! Heck, I can't think of another cheap ballpoint that lets you mess around with shading or use the edge of the cup holding the ball to write. That blotching and inconsistency is not terribly hard to manipulate for effect, even if it's counterproductive for writing, so sketch artists will very often stick to, well, Stics.

          1 vote
          1. mieum
            Link Parent
            People get up to some crazy stuff with them!

            Bic pens are really beloved in artist communities!

            People get up to some crazy stuff with them!

            1 vote
    2. [3]
      fxgn
      Link Parent
      Sure, that definitely applies to other examples in my list as well, they all have some drawbacks. That said, I hate using pencils with every part of my soul, and the feeling of using a fountain...

      I think they are just different with their own pros and cons

      Sure, that definitely applies to other examples in my list as well, they all have some drawbacks. That said, I hate using pencils with every part of my soul, and the feeling of using a fountain pen is the polar opposite of using a pencil, so I love them.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        NPC
        Link Parent
        And I love pencils more than fountain pens, and feel they are just far less of a hassle and mess. To each their own. But saying that one is a "higher quality replacement" just because you prefer...

        And I love pencils more than fountain pens, and feel they are just far less of a hassle and mess. To each their own. But saying that one is a "higher quality replacement" just because you prefer the feel doesn't really come across the same as saying "I love fountain pens"

        2 votes
        1. fxgn
          Link Parent
          I'd still say that fountain pens are a higher quality replacement for regular cheap ballpoint pens. Of course, if you own a great refillable ballpoint pen, it's also good. If you enjoy pencils...

          I'd still say that fountain pens are a higher quality replacement for regular cheap ballpoint pens. Of course, if you own a great refillable ballpoint pen, it's also good. If you enjoy pencils more, I'd assume the alternative would be something like mechanical pencils.

          1 vote
  5. [12]
    jimmytheface
    Link
    In the kitchen, a fast, quality thermometer. Really limits your risk of overcooking or undercooking. https://www.thermoworks.com/thermapen-one/

    In the kitchen, a fast, quality thermometer. Really limits your risk of overcooking or undercooking. https://www.thermoworks.com/thermapen-one/

    21 votes
    1. tanglisha
      Link Parent
      For anyone finding this later, that company has good sales once in a while.

      For anyone finding this later, that company has good sales once in a while.

      5 votes
    2. [5]
      sparksbet
      Link Parent
      Does anybody have any recommendations for a high quality brand that does laser thermometers? A fast and reasonably accurate laser thermometer has always been recommended by my favorite Chinese...

      Does anybody have any recommendations for a high quality brand that does laser thermometers? A fast and reasonably accurate laser thermometer has always been recommended by my favorite Chinese cooking channel but I hate researching options for purchases like these myself.

      2 votes
      1. PetitPrince
        Link Parent
        A bought a random no-name one from Aliexpress from and it has been a reliable instant oil indicator and cat toy for 5 years now. I guess the electronics behind it is well commoditized now....

        A bought a random no-name one from Aliexpress from and it has been a reliable instant oil indicator and cat toy for 5 years now. I guess the electronics behind it is well commoditized now.

        Nitpick: it's an IR thermometer; it could function without laser (whose there only to tell you were you're pointing).

        1 vote
      2. mild_takes
        Link Parent
        They're all literally instant from what I've seen. Couldn't tell you about accuracy though.

        A fast and reasonably accurate laser thermometer

        They're all literally instant from what I've seen. Couldn't tell you about accuracy though.

      3. [2]
        Greg
        Link Parent
        ETI (the company that makes Thermapen probe thermometers) also does the RayTemp range - the spec for the RayTemp Mini is ±2°C up to 330°C, which should be more than good enough for anything you’re...

        ETI (the company that makes Thermapen probe thermometers) also does the RayTemp range - the spec for the RayTemp Mini is ±2°C up to 330°C, which should be more than good enough for anything you’re likely to use it for in the kitchen and costs about £40 (~$50), although they do also sell more expensive ones if you need to keep that accuracy while you’re measuring molten steel or anything like that!

        Their main customers are lab / commercial / industrial users, so those specs tend to actually mean what they say, too.

        1. sparksbet
          Link Parent
          ooh yeah damn that's definitely more than sufficient for my use case, I'll check them out. Even a much shittier version would probably be a marginal improvement on the "stick a chopstick in the...

          ooh yeah damn that's definitely more than sufficient for my use case, I'll check them out. Even a much shittier version would probably be a marginal improvement on the "stick a chopstick in the oil and see if it bubbles" method

          1 vote
    3. [5]
      mild_takes
      Link Parent
      But why buy an expensive one over a cheap digital one?

      But why buy an expensive one over a cheap digital one?

      1 vote
      1. Greg
        Link Parent
        Speed, accuracy, and precision - they’re made from high quality materials and individually calibrated, rather than just rolling off a line with no real indication of how close the readout is to...

        Speed, accuracy, and precision - they’re made from high quality materials and individually calibrated, rather than just rolling off a line with no real indication of how close the readout is to reality or even what the margin of error theoretically should be.

        On an entirely anecdotal level, I’ve also found Thermapen specifically to have exceptional customer service and really stand behind their products. I’ve got a lot of respect for any brand that prioritises actual product quality.

        5 votes
      2. Olly
        Link Parent
        I actually bought a thermopen recently for cooking. I had a cheap meat thermometer from Amazon that I used to use, but it would take a minute or more to settle on a temperature. The thermopen...

        I actually bought a thermopen recently for cooking. I had a cheap meat thermometer from Amazon that I used to use, but it would take a minute or more to settle on a temperature.

        The thermopen settles on an accurate temperature in probably 2-3 seconds. Even going from a pot of ice water, to a pan of hot oil.

        1 vote
      3. [2]
        supported
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        cheaper ones tend to take 5-10 seconds to give you the reading. who wants to wait so long for a temp?

        cheaper ones tend to take 5-10 seconds to give you the reading. who wants to wait so long for a temp?

        1. JackA
          Link Parent
          I also love how I can spend ~5 seconds checking multiple different depths and areas of the meat I'm cooking. Sometimes you stab too shallow or too deep into the food to get the lowest temperature...

          I also love how I can spend ~5 seconds checking multiple different depths and areas of the meat I'm cooking. Sometimes you stab too shallow or too deep into the food to get the lowest temperature you're looking for to verify food safety, a normal thermometer takes too long to adjust to move around quickly and would take me ~45 seconds to do the same task.

          1 vote
  6. [16]
    wundumguy
    Link
    Belt. A leather belt. Make sure it says Full Grain Leather or it isn’t. A bicycle that isn’t the cheapest but is at the top of your budget. You can spend an infinite amount on bikes but there’s a...

    Belt. A leather belt. Make sure it says Full Grain Leather or it isn’t.

    A bicycle that isn’t the cheapest but is at the top of your budget. You can spend an infinite amount on bikes but there’s a sweet spot where you’re spending a lot and it’s worth it.

    Pay to remove ads from apps you use the most. Use the money you get from Google’s Opinion Rewards app.

    On that note, use NextDNS to block ads on the DNS level. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good.

    You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. Spend money to save time. House cleaners, grocery delivery, washer/dryer combo, tax preparation, etc

    18 votes
    1. [7]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      I stopped buying leather belts entirely after giving a nylon webbing belt a try and falling in love with it. IMO webbing is superior to leather in almost every respect, and there's good reason so...

      I stopped buying leather belts entirely after giving a nylon webbing belt a try and falling in love with it. IMO webbing is superior to leather in almost every respect, and there's good reason so many militaries use them instead of leather nowadays; They're a hell of a lot cheaper than a full-grain leather belt, just as durable (if not moreso), and unlike most leather belts the buckle can easily be swapped/replaced.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        A few years back I bought a cheap stretchy woven belt at Walmart as an emergency replacement for a belt that broke on my vacation. It changed my mind on belts altogether. Leather ones tend to be...

        A few years back I bought a cheap stretchy woven belt at Walmart as an emergency replacement for a belt that broke on my vacation. It changed my mind on belts altogether. Leather ones tend to be too rigid so they have to be tight to work properly on my body, and that makes them get uncomfortable fast. But because the belt I bought was flexible it didn’t have any of those problems. It just works. It’s got just the right amount of flexibility that I could take my pants off without unbuckling it if I needed to, yet it still manages to keep my pants securely on my waist.

        6 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I do a lot of landscaping work, and leather belts were always incredibly uncomfortable to wear when doing those kind of tasks. They have to be tight to work properly on me too, but as a...

          Yeah, I do a lot of landscaping work, and leather belts were always incredibly uncomfortable to wear when doing those kind of tasks. They have to be tight to work properly on me too, but as a result would often dig into my gut or hip every time I bent or leaned over (which I do a lot of while landscaping). So I would buy these cheaper, thinner/narrower leather belts for working that didn't dig into me as badly, but then those would often fall apart or snap after less than a year.

          But nylon webbing is super thin, flexible, and has a tiny bit of stretch as well, so it's much more comfortable than leather, especially when doing manual labor. And I'm going on 4 years now using the same webbing belt for outdoor work, and it's still in decent condition. The buckle is bit banged up, but still fully functional. And I can always replace it if it gets too banged up or breaks eventually. So all of that is why I don't think I will ever go back to leather belts.

          6 votes
      2. [2]
        turmacar
        Link Parent
        In addition to nylon I've become a big fan of... ammo belts? Not sure what to call them. Like this, where the length is adjustable but unless you gain/lose a lot of weight you just set it and...

        In addition to nylon I've become a big fan of... ammo belts? Not sure what to call them. Like this, where the length is adjustable but unless you gain/lose a lot of weight you just set it and forget it and then there's just a latch for the belt. I like it a lot better than traditional belt buckles and having to do something with the leftover flap of belt.

        2 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          That's still a nylon webbing belt, AFAICT, but just one with a V-buckle on it. I have a similar-ish belt that I use when landscaping that has a "tactical" buckle, which can be used as set & forget...

          That's still a nylon webbing belt, AFAICT, but just one with a V-buckle on it. I have a similar-ish belt that I use when landscaping that has a "tactical" buckle, which can be used as set & forget as well since it has a quick-release that separates the two halves. But it's super easy to adjust the tightness on-the-fly too. I just pull back the locking mechanism latch, pull the webbing tighter, and then re-latch it. Great for manual labour, since some tasks require my belt being tighter, but I can loosen it up immediately afterwards... or even completely release the two halves for more comfort when I am sitting down. :)

          4 votes
      3. updawg
        Link Parent
        I have been using the same Patagonia belt for the past 12 years. Definitely a good use of probably $20 at the time.

        I have been using the same Patagonia belt for the past 12 years. Definitely a good use of probably $20 at the time.

        1 vote
    2. pallas
      Link Parent
      I think this is not necessarily the case for many high-end craftspeople, at least on the English market, especially if they are specifying something more specific, like bridle leather.

      Make sure it says Full Grain Leather or it isn’t.

      I think this is not necessarily the case for many high-end craftspeople, at least on the English market, especially if they are specifying something more specific, like bridle leather.

      5 votes
    3. [5]
      Namarie
      Link Parent
      Or, if you're in a light tinkering mood, Raspberry Pis are coming down in price, and a pihole is a fun day project.

      On that note, use NextDNS to block ads on the DNS level. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good.

      Or, if you're in a light tinkering mood, Raspberry Pis are coming down in price, and a pihole is a fun day project.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        1338
        Link Parent
        There's also a number of other SBCs available as better alternatives to raspberry pi.

        There's also a number of other SBCs available as better alternatives to raspberry pi.

        3 votes
        1. PuddleOfKittens
          Link Parent
          Define "better" - raspberry pis are generally 'better' because they're more widely used and therefore easier to find documentation for; there are cheaper options, and there are more performant...

          Define "better" - raspberry pis are generally 'better' because they're more widely used and therefore easier to find documentation for; there are cheaper options, and there are more performant options, but neither of those is necessarily useful if you want something that Just Works.

          6 votes
      2. [2]
        SpinnerMaster
        Link Parent
        Pihole is fun, but if you have internet that is faster than 1gbps down you are bottlenecked by the NIC on the Pi.

        Pihole is fun, but if you have internet that is faster than 1gbps down you are bottlenecked by the NIC on the Pi.

        2 votes
        1. Greg
          Link Parent
          Unless you’re doing something fairly unusual with the setup it’s just the DNS requests going via Pihole, not all of the traffic - bandwidth requirements there should be minimal even for a very...

          Unless you’re doing something fairly unusual with the setup it’s just the DNS requests going via Pihole, not all of the traffic - bandwidth requirements there should be minimal even for a very fast connection.

          9 votes
    4. [2]
      Moonchild
      Link Parent
      Which is it? How, pray, do I do that?

      Use the money you get from Google’s Opinion Rewards app.

      Spend money to save time.

      Which is it?

      You can always make more money

      How, pray, do I do that?

      1 vote
  7. [20]
    R3qn65
    Link
    Toothbrush --> electric toothbrush. (Better for your teeth in most cases!) Any blender --> Vitamix (in all likelihood the blender is the difference between cafe-quality smoothies and whatever...

    Toothbrush --> electric toothbrush. (Better for your teeth in most cases!)

    Any blender --> Vitamix (in all likelihood the blender is the difference between cafe-quality smoothies and whatever you're making at home. Ditto for silky-smooth soups.)

    Bowl-shaped measuring spoons --> fancy ones designed to fit in spice jars.

    If you cut hair/beards: clippers you get at target --> professional clippers. I like Andis.

    14 votes
    1. [18]
      fxgn
      Link Parent
      Interesting, for some reason I always thought that electric toothbrushes are just a marketing gimmick, didn't know they are actually better. Also, isn't their pricing also based on the...

      Toothbrush --> electric toothbrush. (Better for your teeth in most cases!)

      Interesting, for some reason I always thought that electric toothbrushes are just a marketing gimmick, didn't know they are actually better.

      Also, isn't their pricing also based on the razor-and-blades/printer-and-ink model, where you have to constantly buy overpriced brush head replacements?

      5 votes
      1. [14]
        spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        bacteria on your teeth create a biofilm one of the reasons toothbrushing is necessary (as opposed to just using mouthwash, for example) is that you need to break up that biofilm. with a manual...

        bacteria on your teeth create a biofilm

        one of the reasons toothbrushing is necessary (as opposed to just using mouthwash, for example) is that you need to break up that biofilm.

        with a manual toothbrush, you're relying entirely the physical action of the bristles to break apart the biofilm.

        I have a Sonicare, and swear by it. it's not just moving the bristles of the toothbrush, it's actually vibrating fast enough that the vibrations help to break the adhesive bonds of the biofilm.

        the brush head replacements are expensive, but there are alternatives. at Bez-Mart for example, the official replacements are about $10/each (in a 3-pack), but off-brand ones are $2/each (in an 8-pack).

        and even with the more expensive brush heads, a 3-month replacement interval means it works out to about $3/mo. completely worth it in my opinion.

        8 votes
        1. [13]
          Greg
          Link Parent
          I’ve been meaning to buy an electric toothbrush for months and keep getting hit by choice paralysis when I go to look. I’ve heard a few times that Sonicare are standout, then seen Oral B do very...

          I’ve been meaning to buy an electric toothbrush for months and keep getting hit by choice paralysis when I go to look. I’ve heard a few times that Sonicare are standout, then seen Oral B do very well in review comparisons, then seen the huge range of options and price points even within each of those two brands, and then put the whole question aside to investigate later about six times now!

          Very interested to know if you (or anyone else - @R3qn65, perhaps?) has specific recommendations of what to look for or avoid, and/or why you chose the model you did. In the spirit of the thread this is something I’m very willing to spend on - it’s health related and used twice every day, pretty much as good an investment as I can think of - but I don’t want to just assume more expensive is better and end up spending on flashy bullshit or unnecessary app controls only to get worse actual product quality, which I know is something that happens a lot in product categories I’m more familiar with.

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            spit-evil-olive-tips
            Link Parent
            the cheapest Sonicare option looks to be the Philips One, at around $20. it has 13,000 "microvibrations per minute" which I think is probably the only performance figure that actually matters. at...
            • Exemplary

            the cheapest Sonicare option looks to be the Philips One, at around $20. it has 13,000 "microvibrations per minute" which I think is probably the only performance figure that actually matters.

            at the other end, you have the Prestige 9900 Power Toothbrush with SenseIQ at an eye-popping $380. it claims 62,000 vibrations per minute. plus an app that is "powered by artificial intelligence" and a vegan leather carrying case...

            I think the sweet spot is probably the 4100, which is $40 and claims 31,000 vibrations/minute. the next rung up is the 5100, which is $90 and matches the 62,000 vibrations/minute of the absurdly priced Prestige 9900 Power Toothbrush with SenseIQ.

            I'm skeptical that more than doubling the price tag is worth doubling the vibration speed, so in your shoes I'd go for the 4100, and spend the savings on brush heads. Sonicare heads are all standardized, so you could even get the A3 Premium All-in-One heads that come with the Prestige 9900 Power Toothbrush with SenseIQ. they're $15 each, so not cheap, but like I said that works out to $5/mo overall.

            Oral-B brushes apparently all run at 8,800 movements per minute and 20,000 pulsations per minute.

            and I'm dismayed, but I really shouldn't be surprised, that Oral-B also has a $400 toothbrush, the iO Series 10 which comes in "cosmic black" or "stardust white". it has "3D teeth tracking with AI". (but sadly, no vegan leather in its travel case)

            5 votes
            1. [2]
              Akir
              Link Parent
              Vibrations per minute really doesn’t mean anything, though. How much force does that mean? How much friction results from it? What distance does the brush move in that vibration? Electric...

              Vibrations per minute really doesn’t mean anything, though. How much force does that mean? How much friction results from it? What distance does the brush move in that vibration? Electric toothbrushes work because they assist with brushing, so these are legitimately important questions to ask. And zero manufacturers will actually answer those questions.

              1 vote
              1. spit-evil-olive-tips
                Link Parent
                it can be a meaningful comparison within one manufacturer, though. Sonicare seems to have three tiers of motors, and looking at the quoted vibration speed tells you which motor a model uses. they...

                it can be a meaningful comparison within one manufacturer, though. Sonicare seems to have three tiers of motors, and looking at the quoted vibration speed tells you which motor a model uses. they have several models between the 5100 and the Prestige 9900 Power Toothbrush with SenseIQ, but they all appear to use the same motor.

                (or, maybe they do something similar to CPU binning, and have one basic motor design, test them, and the ones with close tolerances that can handle high RPMs get used in the higher-end SKUs?)

                the grandparent comment was asking about how to tell the differently priced models apart, ignoring the flashy bullshit features. looking at the motor speed is basically the only meaningful datapoint the manufacturers do give you. these brushes are just a battery, a motor, and an attachment point for a brush head (and the battery doesn't matter much since it sits charging 99% of the day). so the motor is the only thing that matters, the rest is just flashy bullshit.

                4 votes
          2. [2]
            R3qn65
            Link Parent
            I think I have a sonicare and I got that one because it was on sale at Costco. I think I paid ~30 for it? You definitely don't need an app. Mine doesn't have any sort of weird wireless...

            I think I have a sonicare and I got that one because it was on sale at Costco. I think I paid ~30 for it?

            You definitely don't need an app. Mine doesn't have any sort of weird wireless functionality; it's just a toothbrush :)

            5 votes
            1. Greg
              Link Parent
              Good to know, thanks - and yeah, very much my intention to avoid connectivity on things that really, really shouldn’t need it!

              Good to know, thanks - and yeah, very much my intention to avoid connectivity on things that really, really shouldn’t need it!

              1 vote
          3. [2]
            Akir
            Link Parent
            Of all the dentists I have talked to, absolutely none of them have specifically recommended Sonicare. They just say “any electric toothbrush”. So just get whichever is most convenient for you.

            Of all the dentists I have talked to, absolutely none of them have specifically recommended Sonicare. They just say “any electric toothbrush”. So just get whichever is most convenient for you.

            5 votes
            1. tanglisha
              Link Parent
              Mine did! However, the general consensus seems to be that the best toothbrush is the one you’ll use.

              Mine did! However, the general consensus seems to be that the best toothbrush is the one you’ll use.

              1 vote
          4. tanglisha
            Link Parent
            I got an upper midrange Sonicare. When I moved I misplaced the charging base for a while, so I got an Oral B both because it was fairly cheap and because I was curious about the difference. The...

            I got an upper midrange Sonicare. When I moved I misplaced the charging base for a while, so I got an Oral B both because it was fairly cheap and because I was curious about the difference.

            The Oral B was not what I expected. The round heads don’t spin, they just vibrate. My teeth didn’t feel as clean as I’d become accustomed to with the Sonicare.

            What I’ve learned:

            • The heads do make a difference for me. When I use a high end head my teeth feel like they do after a dentist visit. The lower end and generic heads don’t do that.
            • I’d read to get a simple one because most people only really use one setting. The more expensive bushes have things like gum care and whitening - my brush has these and I never use them. I would have been just as happy with a lower end model.
            • The only features that matter to me are the brushing timer and the long life battery.
            4 votes
          5. [3]
            patience_limited
            Link Parent
            I highly recommend the basic Philips One Sonicare rechargeable travel toothbrush. It's light, easy to maneuver, the timer buzzes are helpful, the head shape is comfortable, and it lasts for over a...

            I highly recommend the basic Philips One Sonicare rechargeable travel toothbrush. It's light, easy to maneuver, the timer buzzes are helpful, the head shape is comfortable, and it lasts for over a week on a single charge (with any USB-C cable). [I've got bad arthritis in my hands, wrists, jaw, etc., and this is the only toothbrush I've had no discomfort with in daily use. YMMV.]

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              Deely
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I love Philips electric toothbrushes. Biggest issue for me is that battery is not replaceable. Each one died in a year or after 1.5 of years unfortunately. So I moved to cheap and not so good...

              I love Philips electric toothbrushes. Biggest issue for me is that battery is not replaceable. Each one died in a year or after 1.5 of years unfortunately. So I moved to cheap and not so good toothbrush with replaceable batteries.

              4 votes
              1. oniony
                Link Parent
                The Sonicares were so much better twenty years ago when they had the huge, bulky heads.

                The Sonicares were so much better twenty years ago when they had the huge, bulky heads.

          6. RobotOverlord525
            Link Parent
            If you're still looking around for this, the New York Times Wirecutter has recommendations here that are probably worth a look.

            If you're still looking around for this, the New York Times Wirecutter has recommendations here that are probably worth a look.

            2 votes
      2. R3qn65
        Link Parent
        Yeah it's weird, right? My dentist recommended I get one because I was brushing too hard and it was making my gums recede. No problems since. And sort of. I replace the brush head every few...

        Yeah it's weird, right? My dentist recommended I get one because I was brushing too hard and it was making my gums recede. No problems since.

        And sort of. I replace the brush head every few months, and you can get a multi-pack for like... €15. So yes, but also it's not even close to the same scale as razors.

        2 votes
      3. updawg
        Link Parent
        I don't believe they're a marketing gimmick, but I don't believe they are actually better either. I think a big part of why they are helpful is that many people just suck at brushing their teeth,...

        I don't believe they're a marketing gimmick, but I don't believe they are actually better either. I think a big part of why they are helpful is that many people just suck at brushing their teeth, whether they don't move the toothbrush enough or they press too hard. I have been using the same four pack of bamboo toothbrushes with charcoal bristles (ultra soft) for the past four or five years. The only dentist visit I've had in that time where I wasn't complimented (despite certainly not flossing enough) was the one after I was given an electric toothbrush for Christmas. I switched back immediately. The bristles on the toothbrush that I'm using these days aren't even frayed.

        1 vote
      4. Grasso
        Link Parent
        My dentist usually asks if I have one that warns you if you use too much pressure. I guess that’s the main benefit. The brush heads are definitely expensive, but I find the 3rd party knockoffs...

        My dentist usually asks if I have one that warns you if you use too much pressure. I guess that’s the main benefit. The brush heads are definitely expensive, but I find the 3rd party knockoffs work just as well.

        1 vote
    2. tomf
      Link Parent
      the purple magnetic guards from Andis are great. I use them on my zero-gapped Oster fast-feed :)

      the purple magnetic guards from Andis are great. I use them on my zero-gapped Oster fast-feed :)

      1 vote
  8. [22]
    BuckyMcMonks
    Link
    I've upgraded my backpack to an Osprey and I'm very pleased with the carry, organization, and a very good warranty that should come in handy if I need it. I'll add to the coffee conversation - a...

    I've upgraded my backpack to an Osprey and I'm very pleased with the carry, organization, and a very good warranty that should come in handy if I need it.

    I'll add to the coffee conversation - a good grinder is the key piece of equipment for a good brewing setup. Spend ~80% of the total cost on your grinder!

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      DwoMen
      Link Parent
      Got a baratza encore, it works pretty well. I only wish it sounded more premium. It’s not the worst, but not the best sound early in the morning.

      Got a baratza encore, it works pretty well. I only wish it sounded more premium. It’s not the worst, but not the best sound early in the morning.

      3 votes
      1. BuckyMcMonks
        Link Parent
        The exact model I have. Mmmmm this echo chamber is cozy 😂

        The exact model I have. Mmmmm this echo chamber is cozy 😂

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      IsildursBane
      Link Parent
      I have thought about getting an Osprey due to my backpack wearing out. However, I am torn on buying an expensive backpack with a zipper as I feel like a zipper is just a failure point. I ended up...

      I have thought about getting an Osprey due to my backpack wearing out. However, I am torn on buying an expensive backpack with a zipper as I feel like a zipper is just a failure point. I ended up being given a backpack for free which has worked great. What has your perspective been? Do you have zipper anxiety?

      2 votes
      1. BuckyMcMonks
        Link Parent
        I don't, but that is a reasonable argument. The zippers are very durable, and they likely will fail eventually, but I think they'll last a very long time. My Manta 34 was used very heavily for a...

        I don't, but that is a reasonable argument. The zippers are very durable, and they likely will fail eventually, but I think they'll last a very long time. My Manta 34 was used very heavily for a few days years and I can notice essentially no wear on any of the parts. I just got another bag and I feel like the construction is the same, if not better. I've looked at other bags and I just can't see myself getting anything else.

    3. [14]
      fxgn
      Link Parent
      I have a Bellroy backpack and I really like it, except for the fact that the straps are somewhat loose and you have to adjust them sometimes, which is a pretty annoying thing for a €219 backpack,...

      I have a Bellroy backpack and I really like it, except for the fact that the straps are somewhat loose and you have to adjust them sometimes, which is a pretty annoying thing for a €219 backpack, but everything else has been great.

      Speaking of coffee - I wrote that in the list, but I don't actually brew my own coffee yet, although I'm planning to. What would you say is a good place to start? I've heard many people suggest starting with a french press, but I've never tried press coffee and I've heard from other people that it doesn't taste that good. Is that not true?

      2 votes
      1. [9]
        BuckyMcMonks
        Link Parent
        I prefer press coffee, but taste is highly subjective. With a press setup you can adjust for many thing to get your coffee as you prefer - grind, water temperature, extraction, brew time, etc. and...

        I prefer press coffee, but taste is highly subjective. With a press setup you can adjust for many thing to get your coffee as you prefer - grind, water temperature, extraction, brew time, etc. and of course buying beans that suit your taste helps. I'm by no means a pro, and this is one of many endless rabbit holes. You can go DEEP on coffee if you so choose. Enjoy your journey, I hope you find your white rabbit!

        3 votes
        1. [8]
          fxgn
          Link Parent
          Okay, so I have no idea why I haven't thought of this before, but right now I just ... went to a nearby coffee shop and tried a filter coffee. I liked it. I guess I will get a french press than....

          Okay, so I have no idea why I haven't thought of this before, but right now I just ... went to a nearby coffee shop and tried a filter coffee. I liked it. I guess I will get a french press than. Thanks for your advice!

          2 votes
          1. [6]
            bitwyze
            Link Parent
            I'm a bit of a coffee nerd, so if I may, I'll offer some advice. I started with an Encore and a French press and made some pretty tasty coffee that was always better than whatever I could get at...

            I'm a bit of a coffee nerd, so if I may, I'll offer some advice. I started with an Encore and a French press and made some pretty tasty coffee that was always better than whatever I could get at work (generally K cups or similar). I highly, highly recommend getting a quality scale that can measure to 0.1g. You can use a kitchen scale if you have one already, but they generally don't get that precise. (Here's what I have).

            If you liked filter coffee, I actually recommend going for a cheap V60 brewer rather than the French press - you can get a cheap plastic brewer that generally runs you less than $15 on Amazon (or you might be able to buy one at a local cafe, I know my local spot sells them). Paper filters are also incredibly cheap. A nice pouring kettle will also make your life a lot easier (but you'd want that for the French press as well). The reason I recommend this is because French presses make very different coffee than a filter brew. French press coffee generally has more sediment because the liquid hasn't been filtered through the incredibly fine weave of the paper filters - the metal mesh simply lets more particulate though. That's not to say that French press is bad - French press coffee can be delicious, you'll just get a "siltier" cup, which can often mean different flavors come though in the cup (both good and bad!).

            The best way to find out what you like is to brew a bunch of coffee and just experiment! Nowadays, about 8 years into brewing good coffee, I grind on a Niche Zero and brew V60s and espresso with my (modded) Gaggia Classic Pro.

            James Hoffman is a great resource for brewing wonderful coffee. Here's some good technique videos:

            Good luck, and have fun!

            6 votes
            1. [5]
              fxgn
              Link Parent
              Oh, sorry, I meant to say press coffee. Or, at least, I think so? Because it was called "press coffee" on the menu, but it seems like they made it with an automatic drip machine. Thanks a lot for...

              If you liked filter coffee, I actually recommend going for a cheap V60 brewer rather than the French press

              Oh, sorry, I meant to say press coffee. Or, at least, I think so? Because it was called "press coffee" on the menu, but it seems like they made it with an automatic drip machine.

              Thanks a lot for your advice though!

              2 votes
              1. Akir
                Link Parent
                One can only assume they call it that because they press the “on” button.

                One can only assume they call it that because they press the “on” button.

                2 votes
              2. [3]
                stu2b50
                Link Parent
                Coffee made with a french press is filter coffee. The distinction is vs pressurized brewing methods like most notably espresso (but also things like a moka pot). I don't think "press coffee" is...

                Coffee made with a french press is filter coffee. The distinction is vs pressurized brewing methods like most notably espresso (but also things like a moka pot). I don't think "press coffee" is really a term. V60, french press, drip machines are all filter coffee. Aeropress is in the middle.

                1 vote
                1. wervenyt
                  Link Parent
                  Filter coffee almost always refers to paper-filtered brewing, in my experience. I'm not sure why a french press and a drip machine would be in the same category, separate from an aeropress. French...

                  Filter coffee almost always refers to paper-filtered brewing, in my experience. I'm not sure why a french press and a drip machine would be in the same category, separate from an aeropress. French press brewing consists of nearly 100% immersion, drip machine brewing consists majorly of percolation, and an aeropress brew is somewhere between them, depending on technique, but usually closer to a french press. In what sense is a french press screen more of a filter than a portafilter or mokapot screen?

                  2 votes
                2. fxgn
                  Link Parent
                  Hmm, now that I think of it, maybe the menu did say "filter coffee" and I just confused the words? I forgot already.

                  Hmm, now that I think of it, maybe the menu did say "filter coffee" and I just confused the words? I forgot already.

          2. BuckyMcMonks
            Link Parent
            My pleasure! Enjoy the morning routine :)

            My pleasure! Enjoy the morning routine :)

            1 vote
      2. tomf
        Link Parent
        get a decent hand grinder, an aeropress, and a small drug scale. If you don't want to fuck with grinding, get it ground at a shop -- but make sure you're buying locally roasted beans and not some...

        get a decent hand grinder, an aeropress, and a small drug scale. If you don't want to fuck with grinding, get it ground at a shop -- but make sure you're buying locally roasted beans and not some old trash from a supermarket.

        Watch some James Hoffman's videos and also check out the coffee compasss

        The Aeropress is incredibly forgiving and gives a really nice, clean cup. If you want a little more body to it, you can get a mesh filter to let the oils through.

        French press is alright, but not pressing is better. For me, I go between the aeropress and this weird metal filter method that works well for some beans.

        3 votes
      3. JoshuaJ
        Link Parent
        If you would like to really get into coffee the number one thing would be to get a bunch of single origin beans from different countries and try them. Decent roasters have taster packs where you...

        If you would like to really get into coffee the number one thing would be to get a bunch of single origin beans from different countries and try them. Decent roasters have taster packs where you can get 3-5 cups each of about 5 different beans for pretty cheap (<£/$/25).

        Grind them yourself and try to pick out the textures and taste notes.

        You should find central & south american beans like a colombian or costa rican, or Honduran bean, are more chocolatey, and african (Ethiopian / Ugandan etc.) beans are more fruity and have citrus and berry notes. You can even get some delicate roasts that are almost like teas.

        Next try to experiment with the different beans, and different grind settings to see how that impacts the mouth-feel and taste.

        Personally I love a medium-fine ground south american medium roast, that's nutty and chocolatey, brewed with a french press, and enough fines that the mouth feel is velvety smooth.

        *(You can technically get many different flavour profiles from the same country but those I mentioned above are fairly stereotypical of the average beans. But you can find chocolatey African beans, and fruity south american beans, of course!)

        2 votes
      4. ThrowdoBaggins
        Link Parent
        I’m a bit into the journey for good coffee but still super newbie — I’ve heard French press is a great starting point because it’s relatively forgiving and there aren’t as many things that can go...

        I’m a bit into the journey for good coffee but still super newbie — I’ve heard French press is a great starting point because it’s relatively forgiving and there aren’t as many things that can go wrong.

        If you’re looking for a good starting point, I strongly recommend James Hoffman’s French Press video (https://youtu.be/st571DYYTR8), he goes into plenty of detail without being overwhelming, and I’ve used his method countless times now and it’s always been an excellent brew!

        1 vote
      5. Akir
        Link Parent
        My suggestions for people who are interested in brewing coffee for the first time is to ignore the coffee snobs and do whatever is easiest to get started. The easiest and cheapest way to make...

        My suggestions for people who are interested in brewing coffee for the first time is to ignore the coffee snobs and do whatever is easiest to get started.

        The easiest and cheapest way to make coffee is the pourover method. There are a bunch of pourover coffee makers on the market, and the one I have used the most cost me a bank-crashing $1.50. A pack of 100 filters threw me back another $1.50. You put the coffee maker over your mug, place a filter in it, toss in your coffee grinds, and then pour over some hot water. It practically makes itself. And once you've made your first few cups you can start experimenting with differing amounts of coffee, water, temperatures, and techniques. And when you get tired and want to try something else, then you just move on to another method.

        The absolute easiest way to brew coffee, though, is to simply buy a machine to do it for you. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for drinking machine-made coffee. The downside to machine coffee is that most machines will do things the same way every time so if it makes bad coffee, it will probably always make bad coffee.

        1 vote
    4. Pioneer
      Link Parent
      On backpacks, I've got the Wisport Sparrow and it's bloody excellent. Molle in every direction to attach whatever I need and is veritably bombproof. Mines easily done 20K miles on my back whilst I...

      On backpacks, I've got the Wisport Sparrow and it's bloody excellent. Molle in every direction to attach whatever I need and is veritably bombproof. Mines easily done 20K miles on my back whilst I ride my motorbike and it's fine.

      Pricey, but worth it.

      2 votes
    5. blindmikey
      Link Parent
      I second this. I've had mine for going on 15 years. I pack that thing to the brim. It's taken a beating and it still holds up perfectly!

      I second this. I've had mine for going on 15 years. I pack that thing to the brim. It's taken a beating and it still holds up perfectly!

      1 vote
    6. roo1ster
      Link Parent
      back in grade school (circa mid-80s) I went through 3-5 of those cheapo backpacks from Walmart's back-to-school aisle every year. Then around 7th grade I received a ?$40? well made back pack from...

      back in grade school (circa mid-80s) I went through 3-5 of those cheapo backpacks from Walmart's back-to-school aisle every year. Then around 7th grade I received a ?$40? well made back pack from a local high end backpacking store, and ~40 years later, I've still got that same back pack. Made it through high school, college and my first couple jobs (it has these nifty pockets where you can tuck away the back pack straps and carry it like a briefcase) as a daily driver. Other than a few stains it's still just as good as it was the day I unwrapped it.

      1 vote
  9. [4]
    R3qn65
    Link
    If you put a lot of soft spreads on stuff - butter on your toast, Mayo on your sandwiches, that sort of thing - get yourself a mini offset spatula. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes in...

    If you put a lot of soft spreads on stuff - butter on your toast, Mayo on your sandwiches, that sort of thing - get yourself a mini offset spatula. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes in your spreading experience.

    11 votes
  10. GobiasIndustries
    Link
    Keeping with the kitchen theme, I splurge on certain high-end foods. I'll happily pay $50 for a bottle of good balsamic vinegar or $12 for a little container of Fleur de Sel. I can't do this all...

    Keeping with the kitchen theme, I splurge on certain high-end foods. I'll happily pay $50 for a bottle of good balsamic vinegar or $12 for a little container of Fleur de Sel. I can't do this all the time for every ingredient or I'd eat myself bankrupt, but there's always something in my fridge that I could have paid a tenth of the price for a lesser version of.

    9 votes
  11. [18]
    patience_limited
    Link
    Collapsible travel chopsticks can replace a lifetime of carryout plastic cutlery and disposable bamboo. They're compact enough for EDC, and I've never had any airport security troubles with them....

    Collapsible travel chopsticks can replace a lifetime of carryout plastic cutlery and disposable bamboo. They're compact enough for EDC, and I've never had any airport security troubles with them. I've been using the same set for at least 10 years; I think they cost about $8 back then. You can get very fancy $40 threaded titanium ones, or much cheaper wood or stainless steel.

    There are nice travel kits with collapsible multipart Western cutlery plus chopsticks as well, but they're less easily portable for daily use, have more parts that can get lost, and probably won't go through a security check.

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I’ve got a pair of chopsticks that come in two pieces that can be recombined with fork and spoon pieces. It cost $1.50. I use them all the time. I would recommend spending more money on quality...

      I’ve got a pair of chopsticks that come in two pieces that can be recombined with fork and spoon pieces. It cost $1.50. I use them all the time.

      I would recommend spending more money on quality ones though. The ones I bought are made from very brittle plastic so I have had to repair them a few times.

      2 votes
      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        I saw these recently and was thinking of raising my game, but they're much heavier and there are more pieces to lose. Some overzealous TSA agent will definitely give me a hard time because I could...

        I saw these recently and was thinking of raising my game, but they're much heavier and there are more pieces to lose. Some overzealous TSA agent will definitely give me a hard time because I could conceivably weaponize the 3 cm blade, and would probably confiscate the whole kit.

        The simplicity of collapsible chopsticks with wooden tips that slide into the metal handles is part of the utility. It's hard to lose track of the parts. They weigh only a few grams so I can always have them along without thinking about it. I can wash the fabric wrapper easily. No puffed up TSA thug has yet claimed I could take over an aircraft with them... and you'd be amazed what they'll confiscate from a vaguely ethnic looking person with a non-Anglo name.

        3 votes
    2. [15]
      fxgn
      Link Parent
      How often do you eat Asian food that you need to carry chopsticks with you?

      How often do you eat Asian food that you need to carry chopsticks with you?

      2 votes
      1. [9]
        stu2b50
        Link Parent
        You don't have to eat Asian food with chopsticks. I eat most things with chopsticks, they're just a particularly flexible utensil if you have the dexterity for it.

        You don't have to eat Asian food with chopsticks. I eat most things with chopsticks, they're just a particularly flexible utensil if you have the dexterity for it.

        9 votes
        1. [7]
          fxgn
          Link Parent
          I see. While I can eat stuff like sushi with chopsticks, I always have a lot of trouble with using them for other food. For example, I never managed to eat noodles with chopsticks, and always eat...

          I see. While I can eat stuff like sushi with chopsticks, I always have a lot of trouble with using them for other food. For example, I never managed to eat noodles with chopsticks, and always eat them with a fork. Do you have any chopstick tips?

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            BashCrandiboot
            Link Parent
            I was in Chiba once for work and eating curry for breakfast at my hotel. I was having trouble procuring a bite with the chopsticks and bringing it up to my mouth from the table without dropping it...

            I was in Chiba once for work and eating curry for breakfast at my hotel. I was having trouble procuring a bite with the chopsticks and bringing it up to my mouth from the table without dropping it back into the bowl.

            I look around to see if any of the locals are witnessing my shame. A businessman nearby is looking at me with his curry bowl in one hand, and his chopsticks in the other. He gives me a knowing smile, and then holds the bowl like 6 inches from his face, and just starts shoveling his food into his mouth.

            You are probably trying too hard to eat politely with your chopsticks. Be that businessman. Bowl in one hand. Chopsticks in the other. Eat like Goku. Lean over your bowl and have your face hole meet your food halfway like the wild animal you are.

            There are times to eat politely, but it's not very often. Eat like that businessman, and you will be better at chopsticks in no time. Don't think about it too hard. It's all reps. Start shoveling.

            32 votes
            1. patience_limited
              Link Parent
              There's a classic scene in the movie Tampopo where a Japanese finishing school teacher is attempting to teach a group of proper young ladies how to eat spaghetti Western-style, without slurping....

              There's a classic scene in the movie Tampopo where a Japanese finishing school teacher is attempting to teach a group of proper young ladies how to eat spaghetti Western-style, without slurping.

              Just slurp with pride.

              6 votes
          2. stu2b50
            Link Parent
            Nothing in particular. There's several different, but legitimate, ways to hold chopsticks, and it doesn't matter which one you pick, but if you learned without learning a specific method, it can...

            Nothing in particular. There's several different, but legitimate, ways to hold chopsticks, and it doesn't matter which one you pick, but if you learned without learning a specific method, it can be worthwhile to retrain from scratch. There's also different types of chopsticks between China/Korea/Japan - Chinese chopsticks are longer and not as tapered, Japanese are more tapered and shorter, Korean chopsticks tend to be round and often made of aluminum. One or the other may speak to you more.

            Other than that, just practice. I grew up in an asian household, so it's been second nature since I can remember.

            4 votes
          3. RheingoldRiver
            Link Parent
            Honestly practice, try eating all your food with either chopsticks or chopsticks+spoon (if it's soup) for a couple weeks & you'll have no issue.

            Do you have any chopstick tips?

            Honestly practice, try eating all your food with either chopsticks or chopsticks+spoon (if it's soup) for a couple weeks & you'll have no issue.

            3 votes
          4. patience_limited
            Link Parent
            When I was a kid, my family used to play games with chopsticks - picking up and passing around sauce-slick button mushrooms, ice cubes, and dimes. So that's a little weird, but using chopsticks is...

            When I was a kid, my family used to play games with chopsticks - picking up and passing around sauce-slick button mushrooms, ice cubes, and dimes. So that's a little weird, but using chopsticks is as much second nature to me as Western cutlery. I don't know that I've got cross-cultural table etiquette down pat, though.

            Unfinished wooden chopsticks are less slippery and easier to learn with than lacquered, metal or plastic ones. You can get practice chopsticks that are joined like tongs, and there are any number of instructions and videos out there. But for noodles and rice, it's key to bring the bowl towards your face and scoop with the chopstick tips together/slurp. That's not a faux pas in most Asian dining.

            If you practice and handle chopsticks well, you'll never be without eating utensils. I've whittled pairs when camping, and used wooden pencils in a pinch.

            3 votes
        2. itdepends
          Link Parent
          I really like chopsticks but if I'm being honest they're a less versatile fork. Dishes in cuisines that use them are prepared so they can be eaten with chopsticks. The way dishes from other...

          I really like chopsticks but if I'm being honest they're a less versatile fork.

          Dishes in cuisines that use them are prepared so they can be eaten with chopsticks. The way dishes from other cuisines are prepared and presented often necesitate the use of knife and fork.

          2 votes
      2. tanglisha
        Link Parent
        They’re the prefect tool for eating lots of things. Try using chopsticks to eat messy finger foods, like potato chips or Cheetos.

        They’re the prefect tool for eating lots of things. Try using chopsticks to eat messy finger foods, like potato chips or Cheetos.

        5 votes
      3. [3]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        They're not only for Asian food. Anything chopped into mostly bite-sized or smaller pieces, or anything you can eat/drink/slurp from a bowl, works well. You just need to be a bit flexible about...

        They're not only for Asian food. Anything chopped into mostly bite-sized or smaller pieces, or anything you can eat/drink/slurp from a bowl, works well.

        You just need to be a bit flexible about Western table manners. I find that lifting a bowl to eat from with chopsticks is tidier than moving food from a stationary plate or bowl at table level, but it's a matter of what you're comfortable with.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          papasquat
          Link Parent
          Couldn't you just use a fork to eat bite sized pieces of things? I can use chopsticks without issues, but I find a fork to be more convenient for like 90% of foods

          Couldn't you just use a fork to eat bite sized pieces of things?
          I can use chopsticks without issues, but I find a fork to be more convenient for like 90% of foods

          1 vote
          1. patience_limited
            Link Parent
            Forks aren't as comfortable to carry in a pocket/purse, and and are harder to keep clean if you've got limited facilities. It all depends on your criteria, I guess?

            Forks aren't as comfortable to carry in a pocket/purse, and and are harder to keep clean if you've got limited facilities. It all depends on your criteria, I guess?

            1 vote
      4. CosmicDefect
        Link Parent
        I find myself getting sushi pretty regularly these days and a lot of the dishes I cook are simple fried veggies and meat dishes with rice so chop sticks are just becoming as comfortable in my...

        I find myself getting sushi pretty regularly these days and a lot of the dishes I cook are simple fried veggies and meat dishes with rice so chop sticks are just becoming as comfortable in my hands as a fork or spoon.

        1 vote
  12. [4]
    feanne
    Link
    Cocofloss dental floss! Colorful and comes in fun scents. It makes an annoying tedious chore a bit more pleasant for me 😂

    Cocofloss dental floss! Colorful and comes in fun scents. It makes an annoying tedious chore a bit more pleasant for me 😂

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      fxgn
      Link Parent
      Speaking of dental care - I told my friend about my purchase of a DE razor yesterday, and he said that if I want more cool things, I should also consider buying Marvis toothpaste. Have you heard...

      Speaking of dental care - I told my friend about my purchase of a DE razor yesterday, and he said that if I want more cool things, I should also consider buying Marvis toothpaste. Have you heard anything about that?

      1. DrStone
        Link Parent
        Reading this, Marvis toothpaste seems like mostly brand/image hype.

        Reading this, Marvis toothpaste seems like mostly brand/image hype.

        2 votes
  13. [7]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    for handwashing soap in kitchens and bathrooms, get a refillable foaming dispenser. I have these, they screw on to mason jars which is convenient. then, you can dilute any liquid soap you like...

    for handwashing soap in kitchens and bathrooms, get a refillable foaming dispenser.

    I have these, they screw on to mason jars which is convenient.

    then, you can dilute any liquid soap you like with water (somewhere between 5:1 and 10:1), and you have foaming hand soap for your refillable dispenser.

    protip: you can mix up a large batch by washing out and reusing a gallon jug (like for windshield washer fluid) and then fill the dispensers from that. it makes measuring the ratios much easier. a 16oz bottle of soap (I like Dr. Bronner's citrus) into a gallon jug, then topped off with water, is a 7:1 ratio and works well.

    and if you do anything where your hands get truly grubby / grimey (gardening, car maintenance, etc) get some Boraxo. foam soap is perfect for everyday handwashing, Boraxo is great for when your hands need scrubbing.

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      oniony
      Link Parent
      Surely, if it has that much water in, the water will quickly go stagnant?

      Surely, if it has that much water in, the water will quickly go stagnant?

      1 vote
      1. [5]
        sparksbet
        Link Parent
        What do you mean by "go stagnant"? No soap dispenser would contain flowing water, so it would be "stagnant" from the beginning. But if there's enough soap for it to be effective washing your hands...

        What do you mean by "go stagnant"? No soap dispenser would contain flowing water, so it would be "stagnant" from the beginning. But if there's enough soap for it to be effective washing your hands I don't understand how it would be dangerous sitting inside the bottle. Liquid soap would already contain water anyway.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          oniony
          Link Parent
          Stagnant, as in gone off, bad, a breeding ground for water bourne life. Still water becomes a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. They add preservatives to hand soaps to avoid this for a...

          Stagnant, as in gone off, bad, a breeding ground for water bourne life.

          Still water becomes a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. They add preservatives to hand soaps to avoid this for a time, but every liquid product has a lifetime after which this breaks down and moulds and whatnot can start multiplying to unsafe levels.

          If you dilute any cleaning product in storage then you're also diluting the preservatives, shortening the time before it goes off. (Some concentrated products are designed to be diluted by having higher preservative levels.)

          Soaps, generally, are not designed to kill moulds and bacteria, they're chains that bind, at one end, with dirt, and at the other water. This removes the dirt from your hands/plates/clothes and attaches it to the water, washing it away.

          Antibacterial soaps do actually kill bacteria (bad ones and good), but again you'd not want to dilute them in their containers. I also doubt antibacterial soaps would inhibit yeast/mould growth, as mould is a fungus.

          3 votes
          1. Bal
            Link Parent
            All soaps will kill bacteria, as the detergents chemically lyse the cell membranes. Fungal contaminants are more resistant to this, though.

            All soaps will kill bacteria, as the detergents chemically lyse the cell membranes. Fungal contaminants are more resistant to this, though.

            4 votes
          2. sparksbet
            Link Parent
            Ah that's a fair concern, I think the wording of "stagnant" just confused me. I guess in the end it would come down to how concentrated the preservatives and such in the normal soap are. I suspect...

            Ah that's a fair concern, I think the wording of "stagnant" just confused me.

            I guess in the end it would come down to how concentrated the preservatives and such in the normal soap are. I suspect for most soaps it's probably still pretty concentrated even when watered down like this, but I don't know if anyone's studied that.

            1 vote
        2. DrStone
          Link Parent
          Whether the concentration of the key ingredients is still high enough to effectively clean after dilution is a separate concern than whether the concentration of preservatives/anti-microbial...

          Whether the concentration of the key ingredients is still high enough to effectively clean after dilution is a separate concern than whether the concentration of preservatives/anti-microbial agents is still high enough to prevent bacterial growth.